Over the past few days the topic of Total Power Exchange has come up in conversation with a few different people. At Midori, she posed the question "Is there such a thing as a 24/7 TPE relationship?" The audience gave mixed answers and, if I had to guess, I would say the answer was 50/50. She answered with a resounding "NO"!! She went on to give this example: If the Dominant was to order the submissive to hold their breath indefinitely, would the submissive be able to obey? Well the answer is obvious - NO! The human body would take over and, after the sub passed out, the body would resume breathing. I thought that answer didn't really make a good case for a TPE not being possible.
When I think of 24/7 D/s or Total Power Exchange, I think of what the submissive is CAPABLE of giving control of over to the Dominant. I think of things like: sex, financial decisions, parenting decisions, free time decisions, etc. I do not think of things the submissive does not have any control over, which would include bodily functions. Yes, the submissive can give over urinating and defecating, where permission has to be given before evacuation can be made, but what if the Dominant does not ever give permission to use the bathroom? Eventually the submissive will make a huge mess. So, does he or she really have control over that function? NO!!
I am just starting to read more about TPE (total power exchange) so I am by no means an expert on the subject. I have also been asked lately if I am ever just "normal" with my husband. Where we are equals? I have been thinking about this and I have come to the following observations. First, in any relationship there is a dominant and submissive balance. Even with friends, usually one is more dominant in the relationship than the other. In my marriage, I have more control over CERTAIN aspects of the marriage. This has always been though. In the past, before D/s, if I wanted to watch a particular program on TV, in the end we would end up watching what I wanted. There might have been arguing and pouting, but I would have gotten what I wanted. The only difference now is I am being freely given the right to watch whatever I want, with none of the arguing or pouting. Presto, D/s is born in our marriage. What is different - the mindset of the parties involved. My husband made a decision to hand over his power, which includes his arguing, pouting and generally unlikable behaviour. He sees it now as a gift he is giving me, instead of something I am taking from him. On the surface the only thing that has changed is him.
Some people say that the submissive is really the one in control. Actually it takes both to make it work. The sub has to be willing to give control and the Domme has to be willing to take control. I like to look at it a little different - the submissive is freely giving up his rights to control and giving it to the Dominant. This is what makes it a gift. In a relationship where the D/s is strictly in the bedroom, the submissive is still giving up his right to control the situation. Once the Dominant accepts that gift, a power exchange has occurred. Pretty simple. Well the same thing happens in a lifestyle or 24/7 D/s relationship. Instead of the submissive saying "OK, I will give you the power to do whatever you want for the next hour", the 24/7 lifestyle submissive is saying "OK, I will give you the power to do whatever you want for our entire relationship".
In any marriage there is a Dominant partner and a submissive partner. Society tells us that the man is the Dominant and the wife is the submissive. When people think of a regular marriage, where there is no D/s, they see that as completely normal. They do not think that the woman is sitting at the man's feet waiting to be given permission to speak. So why do people think that in a FemDom marriage, it is not just as normal as a vanilla marriage? Like Ms. Rika says "We are no different!" My husband does not sit at my feet every night, not allowed to speak or change the channel on the TV. The only difference between us and "regular" folks is I am being given the power to have my husband sit at my feet when I want. I have been given the power to make the final decision on certain things, like anything to do with this lifestyle. I decide when and how we have sex. I decide when and if my husband gets to orgasm. I decide who will cook in our household. My husband still decides when the bills get paid, when he goes to work, what he eats and when he speaks.
When we go to dinner or the movies, we still hold hands. He walks beside me and acts like a gentleman, opening doors and pulling out my chair. We are a lifestyle FemDom couple but in most cases you can't tell us apart from all the other "vanilla" couples. I decide how, when and where we have our power exchange and to what extent. If we are going out to dinner and I specifically tell my husband that he is to ask permission for everything while we are out, that is just a game I play with him, to exaggerate the level of control. I have the power in the relationship to do that. If we go to dinner and I do not make him ask permission for everything does that mean we are acting "normal"? No, it just means the level of control I am enforcing is that he doesn't have to ask permission for anything, that in itself is control.
So the bottom line is the mindset. There is never any question who is in control of our marriage and everything it encompasses. My final word is law, period. Most days our interactions are just as normal as any other couple out there. There is just a firm understanding that I make the rules and whatever those rules are, my husband is to obey them. When he is unsure of a rule, it is his place to get clarification and it is my place to communicate with him what I am expecting. On most days we seem as normal as anyone else. Actually we are quite different. We are madly in love and anyone that is within 500 yards can tell that. More than 50% of marriages end in divorce, maybe those "vanilla" couples should be more like us!! One can only hope!