What is TPE??

It is rather interesting to me, how people in the world of BDSM is how hostile most people become when they are dealing with the odd relationship that is called TPE. Since i have lived in a TPE relationship it has become very natural for me, I don’t quite see the “threat” that most people here see in it. I do understand, though that a TPE relationship is not for everyone. Neither do I say that a TPE relationship is “better” then other D/s or M/s relationship. What I do say, though, is that it is a totally different ballgame.

So, what is TPE (Total Power Exchange).

Well, the name says it, really. It means Total, as opposed to partial. It means that the slave has given herself to her Master; Body, mind and soul, without restrictions. The Master on his side has taken on this huge responsibility. He owns her. So, how does this mindset make a TPE relationship different from a D/s relationship? I will mostly use Quade and myself in the examples here, because I know our relationship was great compared to some others i have been involved in.

It is a lifelong commitment.

TPE couples commit for life. Death of one of the partners is the only “way out” of the relationship. Most TPE couples I know of are in this for life. When Quade collared me, I promised to Love, honor and obey him till death do us part. To the people present, it was just like a wedding. Nothing very unusual with the vows, except maybe the “obey” part.  Quade and I took our vows literally.

The submissive cannot leave the relationship.

She has given herself to her Master, and handed over also the power to end a relationship. And since they are committing for life, there are really no way out for the submissive. She cannot leave.

This is one of the parts that makes most people cringe when they are talking about a TPE relationship. Their argument “you can leave if you want to”, is of course valid, in the sense, that I can walk out the door; if I should be stricken by insanity. However, Quade would have come after me and brought me home. That is his right. Most TPE couples create an environment where practical actions support this “unable to leave” decision that the couples made when they entered their relationship.

In our case there was a couple of things. I did not have a job outside our home. Consequently, I did not have any money of my own. When I needed money for some reason, I had to ask Quade for it, and he would give them to me. If I got change after my purchase, I was to give that back to him with the receipt. I didn’t have a car, so I couldn’t go anywhere other than by foot, and there is no public transportation around. So even if I should suddenly turn insane and would wanted to leave, that would have been very difficult.

I know that for most people this sounds like prison. But what you must have in mind, is that it is a prison that I wanted to be in. The practical issues were there to support that wish, – for both of us. I think of this as a mindset that I share with other very committed people like nuns and monks. (the comparison ends there! LOL). I did find, that over time the thought of leaving became more and more distant. It was simply not an issue. Just like any other property of Quade’s, I was just here. Just as his car could not drive off on its own, I could not walk out of Quade’s control.

There is no contract.

Looking around on the net, most D/s gurus tell you to negotiate a contract before you establish a 24/7 D/s relationship.(i even teach this to new submissives). There has to be a contract to “regulate” the dos and don’ts. In a partial relationship it seems logical that there is a need for a contract. Are there areas between the two persons that are held outside Domination/submission. Children, maybe or the submissive’s outside job? Is there a time frame in the relationship? Does the power exchange only apply to the bedroom?

In a TPE relationship a contract is meaningless. The slave has already given all of herself to her Master. There is no reason to narrow the areas of his power over her. He has all the power. She has none. There is no reason to put that on a piece of paper.

The only thing we had, were our collaring vows.

There are no rules.

When we established our TPE relationship, we tried to gather as much information as we could about “how to do it right”. Everybody said that we needed rules. We tried, seriously. We wrote down a lot of suggestions that we felt might suit us. But in the end we found it a waste of paper; because Quade had the ultimate say. If he told me to go and dye my hair purple, that was what I was going to do. His decisions about me did not often go into details like what to wear, when to go to the bathroom and daily routines like that. But if for some reason he wanted to, he made all my “small decisions” as well. That is his right.

Mostly he would draw the big lines. In the example of hairdo, I know that he prefered me to have long hair, and it is up to me to figure out when I need a haircut/trim or other hair treatment. When I thought it was time to do my hair, I would ask him if I could make an appointment with the hairdresser, and ask him for the money for it.

As for the even bigger picture, Quade decided how I prioritized my days, – how I was to use our time, and when I was permitted to leave the house. He decided that I would not have an “outside” job for a time, I had no money of my own and I did’t have a car. Most people would call this being imprisoned. And most people don’t see the fact that this is a life I thrived in.

There is no safeword.

To my surprise I found that people get really offended when they hear that I did not have a safeword. I didn’t even understand the concept of a safeword. I felt that I had the “control”(like i was topping from the bottom) if I could yell “red” or “yellow”, and Quade had to stop whatever he was doing. In a TPE relationship, there are no “timeouts” and no safewords. Quade was the boss all the time. He knew my reactions well enough to scat, animals, for example)

I have many! But part of our thrill was to find them, and for Quade to push them.. whatever limits he felt desirable to push.

To wrap it up.

So, what is the “goal” for a couple living in a TPE relationship? I would say it is a symbiosis, – to almost become “one person”, or a kind of an organism that is ONE but consist of two cells depending on each other. It is certainly not for anyone. The two persons involved must really want it, and get pleasure out of it. The slave must feel the need to give up all control, and the Master, on the other hand, must have the need to have that total control.

Is it ever possible to reach a goal like that? Hmm… maybe not. And in a sense that does not matter. The journey in trying to get there is so satisfactory in itself. And we all do like traveling.     

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