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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

TTWD: Total Power Exchange

Ok..I've been thinking about this quite a bit.  I think from it being called a total power exchange, it kinda explains what that means so this isn't about that.  Omega likes to describe the power exchange as a circle, never ending but needing both parties to really work.  They make the circle.  It can be between two, three or even more people depending on the dynamic.  It's all good, but it all kinda hinges on doing what your supposed to do.  If your Dominant demands that you do something, you have to do it.  If you don't, aside from risking punishment, the ramifications over time will cause the overall relationship start to break down.  No one can lead if someone won't follow.  The opposite is true, if the Dominant is overwhelmed or feeling maybe not so Domly the submissive in the exchange starts to feel well...less submissive.  In a 24-7 relationship this can leads to fights or at the very least bickering between the two (or more).  There is a clear cause and effect that occurs.  


I think the power exchange is...well...a powerful component in a relationship.  It drives it. The need to control and the need to submit must even out other wise the circle becomes misshaped.   Too much pushing from either and it will break down, dissolving.  I think the one thing Omega is careful to provide is constancy.  What is wrong today will be wrong tomorrow.  What needs to be done today will be done tomorrow or the next time or the next time it needs to be done.  He doesn't allow me to blow many things off just because I'm not in the mood.  Balance is so important, like a tire that's out of alignment or balance begins to wear funny.  I think relationships do too.  If our relationship becomes out of alignment we have to work hard to get it back into a balanced state.  WE both have to.  It can't just be me or him.  It has to be both of us.  Sometimes if I don't know how to approach a subject it can start with blog post either in a public or private way.  Other times it can start with conversation.  Sometimes he'll be the one to seize control over something, like my forgetfulness in thanking him for little things.  He will expect me to be still and reflect on why I do something or not do it.  While it's tedious for me being still works.  It brings the needed change and realigns my focus.  It's not something he does lightly or on a whim.  He takes it under consideration.  Omega decides if its the right course and plots it.  


I think the main element in a total power exchange is trust.  I think that trust are the hinges that hold the door in place, and allow it to be opened or closed at will.  Without them, the door would just fall.  Without trust the relationship falls.  One of the biggest lessons I've had to learn is that while trusting Omega is one thing, trusting myself is another issue entirely.  Saying I trust Omega is easy.  But do I trust myself?  I had to learn that in order to thoroughly trust him, I had to trust myself.  I had to learn to turn off my need to edit myself.  Of course I need to be respectful to Omega, and can't just fly off with venom.  I needed to learn to pause, or be still, compose what I really wanted to say and say it without fear.  OMG that wasn't so easy for me to do.  First I worried that I would seem too needy.  I worried that he wouldn't understand or dismiss my fears as being irrational (which sometimes they are).  But most of all I worried that it would cause problems.  That I would rock the boat or something by saying what I thought.  By saying the words, "I think you're wrong and here's why..." I really believed that I was being a bad sub or slave or whatever term you want to use.  Because good ones (name your own term) don't question right?  What I had to understand that even if Omega decides a different action it doesn't make my point less valid.  It just made it different.  Also he couldn't know I felt differently about an issue unless I told him I did.  No, instead I'd do the girl thing and pout and he'd do the guy thing and wonder what the hell my problem was.  The interesting thing is most of the time when he decides (right or wrong) his course is the right way, I'm fine with it as long as I took the time to make my case.  Like the supreme court handing down a verdict, you don't have to like it but you have to accept it.  

19 comments:

  1. I've been chewing on this very thing a lot - probably on a different scale than you two - but the same issue. I worry about the neediness and the rocking the boat - but for me - since he's learning as we go also, I worry about coming off as critical of what he's doing, even if I really just want to let him know how I feel about it. Guess I'll keep trying, and work on trusting him to take it for what i mean.

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  2. That is one of the things I've often wondered about. A person could be forgiven if they gathered through their online readings that a sub never questions her Dom. I, however, keep stubbing my toe on, "This is a relationship. How can you never voice your objections / reservations?"
    The fact that you express them doesn't mean that you won't do what he wants. But they need to be heard. You can't expect a circular flow if you block the circuit.

    I agree about being allowed to make your case. I had a boss like that. You always ended up doing exactly what he wanted, but he also always made the time to actively listen to your reservations. Bitching went in one ear and out the other but thoughtfully-presented dissenting opinions were always given due consideration. Then we went ahead and did it his way. But you knew you'd been heard.

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  3. Total is a big word. It must require an enormous amount of trust. I thought it was interesting how you discuss not being able to trust yourself--I think i know what sense you meant that in, and it's something I have never considered.

    Relationships are more like soap bubbles than circles. They wobble and change shapes, have that iridescent sheen and as they float slowly through the atmosphere, they burst all too soon! May your bubble last for many more years to come...

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  4. This is exactly how I've been feeling. It's not a lack of trust for Asha... I just worry about being need and giving him the impression that I'm being too demanding. Or "high maintenance". I have a serious fear of being a burden on him.

    And I do often worry about how he will react toward something I say. I often have trouble putting my thoughts and feelings into words and it doesn't always come out the way I mean it to. So quite often I leave him with the wrong impression of my true feelings... or I feel that I do.

    It gets a bit overwhelming and sometimes I feel like it's better to just not say anything, unless I can say what I really mean. But that never works either... I end up stewing and things just get out of control.

    I love the analogy of the power exchange being a circle... it really does help to see how your voice plays an important role in keeping the circle from breaking. He can't help you if he doesn't know what's going on in your head.

    Thanks and *hugs*

    turiya

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  5. gg,

    I do understand about coming off as critical, which is I'm always kinda careful on how I word any dissent. LOL. It always for me starts with me chewing on something, then forming the thoughts into a cohesive way, then finally explaining it to him. I don't think he's ever taken what I've said when I do that in a critical way. Than when I get super frustrated and just fly off the handle.

    Hugs,
    mouse

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  6. Jz,

    Oh yes, sometimes I just need to say something. It doesn't mean that he'll even listen but the act of telling helps me accept sometimes his POV.

    It's part of the process. And yes, I don't understand the people who really do believe that just because you're whatever, you can't say anything or question anything. Some stuff within TTWD needs to be questioned and frequently. Even revisited at times.

    Hugs,
    mouse

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  7. DT Sir,

    I dunno about the soap bubble because in my opinion they are far too delicate. I don't see Omega and I as a delicate couple. I see us as strong and resilient. Like a circle or ring. Two sides meeting in the middle, one pushing, the other pulling in unison. We have to work together through life.

    Placing trust in someone is easy but trusting myself was not. Learning not to question, learning not to edit, learning to be me, took an awful long time for me to understand.

    hugs,
    mouse

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  8. Shape Shifter,

    Thank you.

    hugs,
    mouse

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  9. turiya,

    When everyone talks about trust it's always talked about trusting the other person and while that's important...trusting yourself is just as important.

    I think a lot of people forget that.

    Hugs,
    mouse

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  10. I've been thinking about this alot lately. Its nice to read another persons perspective. :)

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  11. mouse,
    I'm always afraid of being too needy and/or too hight maintenance. Always.
    maryann

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  12. Thanks for yet another insightful post, Mouse. To me, the key sentence is "I had to learn to turn off my need to edit myself." I think that a lot of people struggle with this, not only submissives. It is such a great part of our culture to always keep one's cool, not to lose prestige, not to appear weak and needy (often seen as the same thing), that we will often rather withhold our wishes than make them known and risk being snubbed. In the end, we end up not even admitting our need to ourselves. We are made to believe that this is a god tactic to shield ourselves from getting hurt, but I think it only leads to being boxed in and losing confidence and a sense of self-worth. As a child, I got the advice to never tell my (one day) husband what bothers me, because then he would use it against me, from an older relative. What a brilliant way to mess up a kids perception of what a loving relationship can be. My own, hard-won experience is just like you say - even if it doesen't end up going my way, I have benefited from making my position clear, makin my needs known and advocating my point of view in a constructive manner. It can be tempting to not voice one's opinion, fearing failure, feeling performance anxiety. But I find I easier to accept defeat after giving it a good try. And then we're back at what you were writing about before, about the key words trust and honesty (and submission, but that I can't really relate to). Of course, one shouldn't be completely limitless and tell every stranger who would listen about ones needs. I think that maybe women are more often raised with these kinds of sentiments, but I've seen it in quite a few men as well.

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  13. it certainly hope you know that in taking up your post as I did I meant no disrespect in anyway. I hope and I am glad that it made you giggle.

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  14. Weshallsee,

    I hope it was helpful.

    Hugs,
    mouse

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  15. maryann,

    I really think it's a common problem. For me, it started with observing O and realizing he didn't react to my comments or questions in a off way. He always accepted it and or validated it.

    It took me a while to realize it he was grooming through trust.

    Hugs,
    mouse

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  16. MsLennoxx,

    I couldn't agree more with everything you said. Women are given such mixed messages from grimms fairtales to Disney ones. The happy ending or happily ever after...put on the white dress and life will be perfect.

    Its also a cultural thing too.

    Well without being truthful and trusting, you can't submit. It's impossible. You can do something that looks like submission but in the end you're just playing a role.

    Of course I'm not going to yell or scream at someone in the grocers just because...but then again with my edit off, I find myself not agressive but in some ways respectfully dissenting against the person that cuts in front of me in line.

    Hugs,
    mouse

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  17. J, Sir...


    Of course not!

    Hugs,
    mouse

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  18. It makes sense that you started doing better when Omega validated you. The thing is, when you don't have the experience of getting your wishes respected (not necessarily met, but seriously considered at least), you don't learn to put your wishes forward in a balanced manner. I suppose it's first when you are confident in your right to being met with respect, that you do it constructively. Otherwise I guess it's easy to resort to being passive aggressive, playing the martyr, etc. And paradoxically, when one does try do it straightforwardly, for lack of experience and probably a overdose of frustration, it will be done so badly that it will probably fail (even if the wish itself is reasonable).

    I can understand how this must be a pivotal part in submission, but really, I think that goes for all good relationships, of any kind. I have experienced this from both sides, and find that this often malfunctions between people (from not daring to speak up for where one wants to go to lunch to the most serious issues).

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