(c)July 2013 All rights reserved This article is the sole property of the author and CAN NOT be reprinted in any format without express written permission of the author
The kink world has but two simple facts. The first, power exchange of some type happens in every dynamic. The second, no two relationships are exactly the same. Although some have the same title, and the same type of dynamic, no two are truly identical. In this writing, i’d like to explore the Total Power Exchange dynamic, and help to define abuse within it. Before I do, i’d like to say that i’m going to spend very little time explaining the terms I use, and will approach this assuming that, the interested party understands the basics of a “kink” dynamic.
The Lie of Total Power
Lets face it, “Total” power exchange is a sham. Slave owners throughout history have proven this, as even with the threat of execution, mutilation, torture, rape or worse, no human being has had “Total” power over another. However, unlike those situations, our “slaves” submit themselves willingly. For the potential “Master” reading this, understand something; Until you are physically dressing, feeding, and wiping for your slave, you don’t have “total” power. What we exert is a modicum of control, meant to give all involved the illusion of utter control. Even the most micromanaging Master, can’t tell his slave how many breathes to take every minute of every day, and getting asked permission for even the most minuet of tasks becomes monotonous quickly, (can i scratch my toe? Can i stretch my left pinky). I have done it to the finest detail, including bathroom time. It really takes the fun out of this lifestyle.
Introducing this simple fact into your mindset is key in my next point. Because you can never really have “Total Power”, why would it be such a far stretch to say that slaves are allowed limits? Does it make you a good Dominate to respect even the most submissive pets small limits? Yes. Even when they give themselves fully to you, and swear to having no limits, your job as a Dominant is to know exactly what your slave hates, and avoid it. Why damage them mentally, or physically anymore than a intense punishment would require? Your beloved slave needs to have boundaries, and not just the ones you set. S/he needs to be able to do things for themselves. Even if it’s just the simple things, like how many bites to eat their meal in.
Defining abuse in TPE is the same as any other D/s relationship. Both parties must define, clearly, their “Proper use”. It may seem counter-intuitive, but in all reality, even slaves have a proper use. In any relationship where you’re not allowed limits, or the word no, you’re crossing the line into abuse. Because “Total Power” is an illusion, exerting your will 100% on another human being creates cracks in their sense of self. Every person requires a “self” to be healthy, and by taking over that, you may be taking away the uniqueness that set this person apart in the first place.
The abuse in this type of dynamic doesn’t come from what an abuser does, necessarily. But what the abuser denies, or does not do. Outrageous demands can be met, but if it’s at great personal cost to the slave, which in turn creates a dependency on the Master, the Master is clearly abusing his authority. For example:
A long time ago, when I was fresh in the lifestyle, I read the story of an abuse victim. She wanted to please her Master so badly, that she submitted to him without limits. His word was what she lived for. In following his word, he decided that it was time for her to relocate. Showing his generosity, he payed for the whole trip. Everything was great for her at first. Punishment when she needed it, structure to the extreme, her Master to serve, and a new job with new friends. But all didn’t stay well. His control got progressively more intense. She was no longer allowed to have friends, then… abruptly one day, she was to have his name tattooed on her. Eventually, she was forced to shave her head. On and on . . . until she lost her job. She had no contact with family and no friends to speak of. Her entire world revolved around this man.
This is abuse, and a great example of how it manifests itself in TPE dynamics. If every mundane activity must be controlled, then the controlling party fears something. Extreme behaviors, going against your moral compass, and turning against the world outside of the dynamic, are all common behaviors associated with abuse victims.
For every inch a Master takes, he becomes responsible for it. A true Dominant doesn’t feel like they need to control everything. It is this Master’s opinion, that a true Dominant feels like they have become responsible for everything they can control. Every action will have their pet’s best interest at heart. Punishment is not from malice, but to teach a lesson. Anything that will effect the slave permanently, must be carefully weighed and measured. Then discussed with the slave, and a mutual decision must be made. If there is any doubt, the responsible thing to do, is to disregard the action that will leave the effect on the slave.
Master’s and Dom’s are ever responsible, and must be ever watchful. Always aware, and always caring. Everything we do will effect what we own, and if that type of responsibility doesn’t scare even the most experienced Dom just a little, then you should rethink owning a girl.