Sunday, July 1, 2012

The Well-Balanced Power Exchange Relationship

Those of you familiar with FetLife know that you can view the feeds/activities of your friends, just like Facebook. I came upon an extraordinary piece of writing today, written by my friend, PhyrrImp. This is a well-balanced piece regarding the dynamics of a healthy power exchange relationship. I wanted to share, because regardless of  whether you consider yourself a DD couple, D/lg, D/s or M/s, this is an excellent measure of what you should require of your partner and of yourself. I thank PhyrrImp for her permission to share this. And I hope others find this as helpful and informational as I did.



The Well-Balanced Power Exchange Relationship

 The Dom

The Protector
The Disciplinarian
The Guide
The Nurturer
The Safe Place
The Dom may critique but never criticizes. To critique is to make better. To criticize is to tear down.
The Dom reaches for perfection but practices unconditional acceptance for himself as much as for his sub.
The Dom understands that trust is the most important aspect of a relationship and does everything to protect and nurture that.
The Dom always acts in the highest good of both. If a decision must be made between the Dom or the sub, the highest good of the sub is paramount.
The Dom may endeavor to break a habit but never to break a spirit.
The Dom cherishes the sub above all else as the most prized possession.
The Dom takes ultimate control, in a situation that has gotten out of control, to protect a sub.
The Dom provides discipline as outlined initially or updated in the definition of the relationship agreed upon by both.
The Dom provides aftercare - without exception - after intense play or discipline.
The Dom guides his sub in areas, where necessary, with the goal of improving the sub in areas initially agreed upon by both.
The Dom nurtures when a sub needs it.
The Dom is the sub’s safe place, the place the sub calls “home.” It is a place where unconditional acceptance and compassion are guaranteed.
The Dom honors the power of the submission with which they have been entrusted.

The sub

The Protected
The Disciplined
The Guided
The Nurtured
The Safe Place
The sub differentiates between critique and criticism, responding positively to critiques by the Dom.
The sub strives for perfection but practices unconditional acceptance when evaluating her performance.
The sub gives her trust responsibly and earns the Dom’s trust as well, understanding that it is the most important aspect of a relationship.
The sub knows the Dom always acts in the highest good of both. The sub must always communicate her needs in a clear and respectful manner so that the Dom has the important information necessary to maintain His responsibility.
The sub may never endeavor to diminish her quality with self-depreciation.
The sub values herself as a most prized possession, prioritizing her health and well-being.
The sub yields control to her Dom without hesitation in situations that have gotten out of control.
The sub understands discipline as an integral part of the power exchange, designed to assist her in achieving the goals initially outlined in the confines of the relationship.
The sub understands aftercare as a vital part of the play and discipline process and gives herself openly to it.
The sub is charged with using good judgment in self-governance with the goal of improving in areas initially agreed upon by both.
The sub asks for, and accepts, nurturing provided by the Dom. She also maintains a self-care routine mutually agreed upon. This self-care routine may include, but is not limited to manicures, pedicures, meditation, time with friends or exercise.
The sub is the Dom’s safe place, the place the Dom calls “home.” Its a place where unconditional acceptance and compassion are guaranteed.
The sub reverently gives her power of submission. If at any time she feels that her submission is not being treated reverently by her Dom she must seriously consider rescinding it.

The Relationship

A good D/s relationship has all the characteristics of a good vanilla relationship. The relationship must meet the needs of both participants, serving to enhance life and never causing misery.
Once you have found someone with whom you are building a power exchange relationship, communication is the key. Discovering who each other is, how you have become that person, where you have traveled from and where you see yourself going are all things pertinent to building this relationship. Communication should be easy - without concern and without trying to be something you are not. Honesty is paramount. There’s no point in pretending to be someone other than who you are. Eventually the truth will come to light and the relationship will fall apart. It is better to be just who you are from the start. Sharing your dreams, goals and aspirations are as necessary in a power exchange relationship as in any relationship.
Establishing the outline of your relationship will be next. Your relationship will have a higher chance of success if you discuss your needs and wants at the beginning. Going into a relationship with unexpressed expectations is a fatal error. Speak honestly about what you expect from a partner. What gives you pleasure? How do you know you are loved? What are you looking for from a power exchange relationship? What do you picture the relationship will look like? What are your hard and soft limits? Safe words? Then listen openly to their expectations as well. Communication is always a two way street.
Once you spend time getting to know each other and discussing the relationship you can relax into the dynamics of the relationship. See how things flow between you. Reevaluate and assess how things are going. Are your needs being met? Does the energy flow between you seem to be easy and reciprocal? Are you giving as much as you are receiving? Even though this is a D/s relationship, the needs and input of a sub are as important to the success as the Dom’s. If there is disappointment then determine if you can redefine some things. It may even be necessary to end the relationship.
If you decide to continue the relationship, under the same parameters or renegotiated ones, the relationship should proceed to develop smoothly. Periodic reevaluation is crucial to ensure that both parties’ needs are met as the relationship develops. Neither party should remain in a relationship that does not serve their highest good.

Written by PhyrrImp and edited by SapientSexual


  1. Very interesting June. We don't quite fit inside the idea of a power exchange relationship (though I fully admit that at it's core, it is there) but some of the sentiments are extremely similar. We use different language but it has the same meanings.

    1. Thanks, Susie. Yes I agree the language is different across the different dynamics, but I liked the stress on communication and mutual respect, and I did love the list of descriptive words she used for the Dominant and submissive parties - I think they pretty well cross over all dynamics.

      A lot of times I think words get in the way of sentiment. Words have a tremendous and evocative power, and if concepts are explained using words that cause us to be reactive, we will reject them. It's pretty interesting.

  2. Interesting post June, thanks for sharing it.

    1. You're chewing on it, faerie! That was unusually reticent :)

  3. Thanks for sharing this June, it was an interesting read. I especially liked the descriptions under the headings of The Dom and The Sub.

    1. Thanks, Grace. That's what initially caught my attention as well! And I appreciated the emphasis on communication.

  4. Thanks for sharing this. :)

    It was lovely to read.

  5. PS I love this post so much i'm link back here on my own blog :) Thanks!!

    1. Thanks, Fondlers Anonymous :) PhyrrImp will be pleased :) I wonder if the term power exchange is frightening to some readers?

  6. Thank you so much for this posting. I am currently in a power exchange relationship and would not have my life any other way. In a D/s, vanilla, or any type of relationship communication is the key to success. I also enjoyed the Dominant/submissive role guide at the beginning of the post. I am also a member of Fetlife and enjoy the limitless information and wisdom of others of the site. I would recommend to anyone who wanted to explore their kink side, BDSM, or different types of relationships check out the Fetlife site. Thank you again and look forward to reading more post in the future.

    1. Welcome, gingersnap :)

      Thanks very much. I also could no longer imagine any other type of relationship. I would emphasize making sure you are with the right one. And if you are, this is the most edifying, delicious life. I love the feel of his control. It is safe and warm and home.


  7. Do you have a link to the original?


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