I would describe my dynamic as 24/7 TPE. This is often misunderstood, so I thought I’d attempt a definition.
First things first, it is worth nothing ’24/7′ and ‘TPE’ are two separate (although naturally interlinked) concepts.
24/7 refers to a dynamic in which there is no ‘off switch’. This means that the dynamic is not limited to the bedroom, but rather is just a part of how the relationship is.
TPE stands for ‘total power exchange‘. This means that I have the right to make any decision in regard to my sub’s life.
Now, frequently this cursory definition conjures images of 24/7 bondage and latex in the minds of many newbies. ‘I couldn’t do 24/7,’ I hear, usually with a mix of awe and concern for my sanity.
Here’s the thing.
A 24/7 dynamic doesn’t look like porn.
We are human. Latex is delicate and uncomfortable. We also have to be vaguely competent adults sometimes, as unfortunate as that is. He has work, I have work, we both have friends, hobbies, pets… in short, we both have lives.
24/7 just means that I retain the authority I have in the bedroom during the rest of life. This doesn’t mean he doesn’t have feelings or preferences, nor that I can’t or don’t ever take those preferences into account. It’s within the nature of having authority to be able to exercise it with discretion.
More importantly, people do not appreciate the important distinction between the two concepts. A dynamic can be 24/7, but not TPE. For example, a sub can be at a dominant’s whim sexually, but retain decision-making in regard to any area they wish.
These ‘partial power exchange’ (PPE) arrangements represent the vast majority of dynamics and, in my experience, stem more so from the dominant’s (understandable) reticence to assume that degree of responsibility for another human. TPE is an extreme, by all means, and it is not something I would advocate most people think about or aspire to.
I say this because, crucially, control comes at the price of responsibility. Sure, as a dominant in a TPE dynamic, you could theoretically keep someone from their work commitments, friends, and social life, because you have the right to.
But what does that achieve?
Your sub will be stressed, anxious, and generally miserable, which is a state of affairs any dom I know would find unacceptable.
And this is the giant, soaring, concrete expanse of a foundation that people still somehow miss – TPE is a choice. It is a level of control that a submissive chooses to place in the hands of a very specific person. A person that they know and trust, and maybe even love. A person who, whether romantically or not, cares for them and their well-being.
I’m sure I’m ruining all manner of fantasies here, but all the wonderfully dark places a 24/7 TPE dynamic can go, I’m afraid the daily reality is grounded in a good deal of wholesome and fuzzy feelings.