Tuesday, May 27, 2014

I HAVE DA POWUH!



Well, no, no I don't.

There is always this question of who truly has the power in power exchange relationships. Most people like to say the s-type, because safe word. In a relationship that hinges on consent, the ability to withdraw that consent is a powerful thing. The problem is, that argument is ridiculously one-sided. Consent is not one-sided.

It takes two to tango, bitches.

I takes two to consent too.

So, if we're usin' logic here, if the s-type can withdraw consent, then so can the dominant. If the s-type can stop everything with the magic safe word, then the d-type can too. Except, the d-type doesn't necessarily need to safe word. They can just, ya know, stop. If the s-type can leave, so can the d-type.

I'm not sure who they are, but I found this to
be a rather intense image.

Power is not that simple. People often use the term power interchangeably with authority and control. While power can include these things, it isn't just these things. It isn't just the ability to withdraw consent or the ability to leave. And there are slaves who give up their rights to such "powers" as leaving or revoking consent. They give up their rights to limits. They give up their rights to a safe word. Whether you choose to believe that can be done or whether you think that's ethical or not, people do it.

Now, as I have mentioned before, I do have limits. They mesh really well with Daddy's, so many of them are completely moot and might as well not be on the list at all. I retain the right to walk away from the relationship. I am permitted a safe word, although I don't really use one or think to use one. I tend to fall in the more "extreme" end of the spectrum than Daddy, so those were not types of power he had the desire to take from me.

But that is not power to me.

In order for that supposed power to be real, I would have to be willing to use that power. I would have to be willing to leave. I would have to be willing to tap out. I would have to be willing to say no.

The power he has is in his ability to influence me. It's in my attachment to him. My desire to please him. My abject fear of displeasing him. My inability to perceive whether his attachment to me remotely matches my attachment to him. I know he loves me, but, while I know precisely how deeply I feel, I can't possibly know how deeply he feels. I can't possibly know if he would be as devastated if I left as I would be if he left.

Power is his ability to make me consider doing things to which I would have once said "fuck you" in response. It's making me willing to try new foods when I'm one of the most picky people ever.

For me, it's in the fact that he's physically strong enough to force an issue if he wants. That is a different type of power than the what I described above, but it's still a kind of power. It's in the fact that having a safe word means fuck all unless he is willing to honor that. The d-type has to make that choice to stop.



For get the ethics. Forget the cult of safety with its acronyms like SSC, its limits, its safe words, its contracts, its safe calls, its consent. They mean nothing unless your partner chooses to honor those things. When you're in that vulnerable position, whether it be stripped or bound, or you are financially dependent on your d-type. You live in their house. They buy your food. They pay for your insurance. You're alone in a room, tied to a bed, naked and exposed.

All of your rights, your supposed power, mean absolutely nothing in that moment, because you are helpless. You are not in control. You have no power. Everything hinges on them honoring those rights.

Sure, if they don't honor those things, you could get up and leave the next day. Maybe, if they let you. But does that action mean you have the power or had the power?


This power people say the s-type has is based totally upon the ideas of fairness and equality, but this is not a perfect world. Fairness and equality aren't guaranteed ideals. Individuals have different codes of ethics.

Once I have placed myself in that vulnerable position --- physically, emotionally, economically --- my supposed power is theoretical at best.

So, do I, the slave, have all the power?

No. No, I don't. Nor do I want to.

4 comments:

  1. Although I would say that it takes a lot of power to give up the power. Being able to have no power takes a different kind of strength in the relationship. Yet I agree to the point that relationship-wise, the subs have no power. Just the self power to give up their powers in the relationship.

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    1. Thanks for commenting!

      Now, I wouldn't say that s-types have absolutely no power, just like I wouldn't say they have all the power. Absolutes are rarely true. I mean, an s-type may have similar types of emotional influence I mentioned above, or be physically stronger than their d-type. Or perhaps the s-type is the breadwinner for the household.

      So, I won't say they have no power. I think those things vary from relationship to relationship, but I do know "all the power" is incorrect and that I myself certainly have very little power in the grand scheme of things.

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  2. Well said!
    I have often thought it to be the most ridiculous argument ever that the s has all the power. If that were true, wtf am I doing making cookies at midnight and checking the mail when I really don't want to?
    Sorry, got a tad carried away.

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    1. Not a problem. lol. I get annoyed with the constant pushing of how the s-type is the key to the relationship, with the gift of submission, and having all the power, and how the dynamic doesn't exist without the sub. I find it kind of insulting to the d-type, like his/her half of the relationship is completely insignificant.

      I get that it's a security blanket for some s-types. "This isn't so scary, I mean, I hold all the cards, right?" Or maybe it's a direct response to the doms who think "it's all about the dom's pleasure, what the sub wants doesn't matter. She should live only to please her dom."

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