This week’s #BeyondFetChat prompt from Love Is A Fetish is on 24/7 and Total Power Exchange (TPE) style relationships. Our current dynamic may not be exactly the definition of TPE but it is a very nuanced and consuming dynamic, the likes of which I have never experienced before. It has me tuned in and turned on 24/7.
If you have been following along recently, or over the last few years, you’ll be aware that D/s has been a bit of a roller coaster for me since discovering kink, and BDSM as a whole, about 6 years ago. To say that I am learning about myself would be a vast understatement. Literally every day is a day of reckoning and deeper understanding. Kink is wild in the ways that it can weave itself into your existence. I’m not really one for defining myself by my kinks, just as I don’t define myself by my white privilege, my fat and fabulous body or my mental illness. Even though the term ‘Switch’ applies, and I do use that term to describe the desire for variety and curiosity I have for BDSM, it’s just a label, it’s not something that feels essential to me. Fluidity is a valid definition of identity expression, but I’m more likely to say I’m a Kinkster than to get into the nuances of being a Switch. Saying I’m a submissive would be a misnomer. I’m not a submissive; I’m His submissive.
Not quite TPE
Our dynamic is 24/7, despite geography; He calls the shots and He has control and influence over several things in my day to day life, not just the sexy stuff. Even though it is always in place and not just “in the bedroom” (nothing wrong with that!) I wouldn’t call it a total power exchange because He does not have full control of everything because that would not work practically at all. There are agreed upon expectations on daily “tasks”, primarily self care related, all of which are of direct benefit to me and not so much about indulging His ego or arbitrarily pleasing Him. There are also other things that He controls, that are His domain, primarily things that relate to my physical self. We discussed early on that over time we both had interest in Him controlling everyday details and having more dominion over my body. Emotional submission comes easily to me with Him but I knew that a more literal and physical submission would be a challenge, a challenge I wanted to experience.
Ever expanding control, always reasonable expectations
So far we have landed on a few simple but integral activities for Him to decide on. Permission is required before I may masturbate or solo orgasm and I have never deviated from that rule. I have other partners and those relationships are outside of His jurisdiction but when it comes to what I do with my own body, alone, He has ever expanding control. Permission is also required before I bathe or go pee. Do I text Him every single time I need to pee or shower? No. Am I chastised or punished if I don’t? Also no. You may be thinking: why have a rule if it’s not going to be upheld? Our focus is on “the spirit of the law, not the letter of the law”. Basically, the reason for the shower/pee permission check point is not for Him to have ultimate control every single moment, it’s a reminder that if He chose to, He could say no and deny me or make me wait for these intimate and corporeal experiences. His expectations are always fair and reasonable and His follow through is always decisive and clear. He doesn’t need me to literally ask permission every time, He needs me to consistently be in a state of mind where I can and will accept His answer, regardless of what it is.
Consistency and the warm fog of subspace
A consistent state of low-grade subspace keeps submission near the front of my long queue of thoughts. My mind wanders easily and I can get off topic without even realizing it. Having a steady sense of connection to the desire and need to submit is helpful and allows me to check off tasks and achieve consistent self care that I otherwise lack the diligence to do. Somehow, and I have always been this way, long before discovering submission, it is so much easier to do things for others than to do them for myself. The gentle cloud of subspace acts as reminder for those must-do activities and I now do them without a second thought. Initially doing them for the thrill of the challenge and to please Him was the starting point, but those positive habits are now just as much for me as for Him and I have a new appreciation for the value they bring. I feel more confident and effective with the structure of our dynamic.
What is really fascinating to me is how submission has tuned me into my body so much. I feel so much more literate with what my body is telling me, in every way, not just sexually. It’s as if my body has tuned in and turned on, in so many ways. I’m more aware of how my body responds to nutrition and hydration, to rest and to exercise. I feel more pleasure, more pain, more of everything. It’s as if I have finally allowed myself to really sink into the thoughts and needs I’ve had for a long time. I have experienced them in isolated moments, but this is so much bigger and more consuming. I think that stepping outside of myself and viewing my body as something that is not entirely my own has made me so much more aware of how it works and what it needs. If it is His, within the parameters of the dynamic, then to disrespect or neglect my body is an affront to Him. By framing my current experience in my body as something that I am accountable for it is so much easier to be receptive and responsive to its needs.
“Don’t ever lose yourself, I love who you are.”
To the uninitiated, D/s can seem controlling and manipulative. I get that, I used to see it that way too before I understood that every single part is negotiated and agreed upon. I can’t really articulate why I love that His word is law but it makes me feel safe and understood. It’s gratifying to have such tangible proof of our mutual commitment; it feels good to be His focus and to know how much care and responsibility He feels. It feels good and right to give Him the dedicated focus and obedience that I do. It’s lovely to be such bright spots in each others’ lives.
There are seemingly infinite reasons that I trust Him with all of this, but none is more poignant than something He said to me just the other day. I was waxing poetic about the intense satisfaction of submission and he asked me if it was ever overwhelming. I admitted it was but that it always feels good because it feels like a natural part of myself has been coaxed out and can now breathe. His response was “That’s beautiful. Don’t ever lose yourself to it entirely. I love who you are.” That recognition of ultimate autonomy and concern for independence is exactly why I entrust so much to Him. It’s not an ego trip or a chore to Him, it’s a living breathing part of our relationship, but at the end of the day, I know we see one another as people, not just roles or titles or playthings.
I will leave you here, (at 1200+ words, oof! Thanks for sticking with me) with an apropos tweet from Lemon Letters that sums up exactly how I feel about my place within our dynamic:
This post was written in response to the #BeyondFetChat prompt on 24/7 TPE dynamics. Read more by clicking on the logo below.