Everyone seems to talk or give lip service to the power exchange like it's a mystical thing and only lifestyle related but if you really think about it even the most vanilla have it. Everyone does to some degree or another. Omega believes in it and practices it more now than ever before, since his stint in rehab by giving himself over to his higher power. Which, for those Dominant types that's not so easy.
When you break it down, a power exchange is nothing more than giving up control over something to another. It can be limited, for example, as in work. Who really has control in their job? Even if you're an owner you have responsibilities, either to your shareholders, customers, and employees. You cannot control the rise and fall of prices, the economy, cost of living, etc.
If you're not the owner of a business, then you probably feel the power exchange working each time you go into work, because you're not in control. You might think you are but you can't just beat the hell out of coworker when they do something stupid. You also can't fire your boss for letting it happen. In some ways you have to just suck it up and deal with it. In other words, you take their money, you take their shit. When you're so fed up you look for another job.
For other people they engage in the power exchange in a home setting, where someone (maybe other than yourself) in the house decides what happens and when. Even with those people in a so-called 50-50 relationship engage in a power exchange, but it's much more limited. They each have their own duties to perform. Each has to trust that the other is doing them and if not, there are consequences for not following through.
Cults also actively engage in the power exchange, whether they just collect money or people, or their very souls. Their leaders count on the power exchange from their wayward followers that each word will be taken as their own version of the gospel. Jim Jones, Charlie Manson, Branch Davidians are examples of this, as are Heavens' Gate, etc...
Religions, even those on the fringe of cultism, engage in that power exchange. The Mormons believe in tithing as related to how far into heaven you will get (ok, I'd admit I'm way over simplifying but that's gist). It's not that they don't do good works with that money they collect, because they do a lot for those less fortunate but I also understand that their funds are collected seperately. All religion in general is based on that theory, but some are more forceful about it than others are. Not only based on the power exchange ideal, but they depend on it.
Its all about power and giving up power to something or someone else, either in a limited capacity or a total one. Within the lifestyle we always conjure up thoughts of slaves on their knees never questioning their Master. But what about those who just play once in a while? Well they engage in the power exchange while they play. For that time, someone else is in control and for that time their control is total.
And what about us engaged in a lifestyle related total power exchange? Are we just voiceless slaves on our knees waiting for orders? Ummm no. That's a fantasy (or a nightmare depending how you look at it). O is head of house (even if I own it), and makes all the decisions regarding it and how we live. That doesn't mean he always makes the right choices, or decisions, and it doesn't mean that he can't make mistakes either. It just means what I said. He decides. Part of our problem recently was that he took away my voice in his decision process, and seemed that he didn't care about my thoughts. So, the power exchange can be misused. I think we all kinda know that is always the risk. Just like your boss can give you more work, which they are supposed to do, while they take the afternoon off to play golf or go to movie. I think maybe responsibility keeps some from not taking advantage, or some maybe like O, it's a temporary detour from responsibility.
TTWD is not carved in granite, or set in concrete; it is what it is. I know a lot of people quote from various authors, take their words out of context and twist them around to suit their purpose or end game to demonstrate how smart they are. But the truth is much easier than what's written in those books. The truth is it's all common sense. If it feels wrong, it probably is and if it feels right...Then it might be illegal, at least in some states. Ok that was a joke.