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Power Exchange

Updated: JULY 12, 2021

Power exchange is a term that is frequently used to describe dominance and submission relationships and the BDSM community. These types of relationships involve submissive partners who willingly and voluntarily relinquish control to their dominant partners, either in a specific situation, for a specified period of time, or completely. Once in power exchange relationships, submissive partners must surrender to and obey their dominant partners. Common elements in power exchange relationships include bondage and discipline.

More About Power Exchange

Before a power exchange scenario or relationship occurs, there is often a great deal of communication and negotiation regarding limits, boundaries, and safewords. Written contracts that spell out the terms and conditions of a power exchange relationship are also quite common.

There are many different levels of power exchange relationships in the BDSM community. Some individuals only use power exchange as sexual roleplay, while others use it in their everyday lives. Total power exchange (TPE) lifestyles, for instance, typically require a submissive to give up all control to their dominant, without limits or boundaries. This includes control over the submissive's diet, career, and social activities. In exchange for complete submission, the dominant partner is responsible for the health, safety, and general well-being.

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