Power exchange is a tricky thing. Since it is consensual, it requires both people to agree on how it will take place. Enforced chastity and domestic discipline appear to transfer enormous control to the dominant partner. The fantasies abound with examples of downtrodden subbie husbands living under the lash 24/7. Or, they talk about incredibly long lock ups with no opportunity for sexual release. Of course this is pure fiction. Let’s take a look at how it works out in real life.
The BDSM world is a good place to look to see power exchange dynamics. I’ve been part of that world for decades. Here are a few interesting facts:
- Most of the toys are purchased by the bottom. Whips, paddles, restraints, dildos, butt plugs, and chastity devices are almost always bought by the person who will receive the benefit of these toys. Tops do buy toys, but not nearly as often.
- Limits are set by the bottom. This is a proper part of negotiation and any ethical top will solicit and abide by these limits.
- Bottoms generally push for more control. I know I do. I am impatient to feel Mrs. Lion’s control.
- Tops are usually very willing to slow down or stop something if the bottom doesn’t want to continue. This, again, is just good ethical top behavior. It flies in the face of the fantasies though.
So, ultimately, who is in control? The very obvious answer is that both partners are sharing that control. Mrs. Lion has the key to my chastity device. She also has the paddles, straps, and other implements of punishment and play. But she isn’t an impersonal disciplinarian. She is my wife and partner. She will only push me as far as she thinks I want her to. But wait! Isn’t she in control? Yes she is, but only within the agreed limits.
That doesn’t mean that she is my wish granter; that she only will do what I want, when I want. No, not at all. She has a great deal of freedom to do things that I will hate at the time she does them. She can take away toys. She can spank me. She can discipline me as needed. She can make me wait as long as she wants for an orgasm. She can also make me come as much as she likes. She can make rules that I have to follow or get punished. See? She has a lot she can do.
But she can only do this as long as I allow it. The governed must consent to be governed. The catch is that once I have agreed to give Mrs. Lion control and to discipline me for displeasing her, I can’t revoke it on a moment’s notice. In our case, we have agreed that I will remain locked up and under her absolute sexual control until March 2016. At that time we will discuss enforced chastity and decide how we will proceed going forward. Until then we are both committed to continue. The same is true for domestic discipline / Wife Led Marriage. We don’t have a review date yet. We are both trying to understand what this means to us and our relationship. Once we have an idea of the parameters, we will agree on how we will proceed and set a review date.
Within the limits we set, Mrs. Lion has absolute control. But even that control is administered taking into account how what she does affects me. She can and does decide what is best for me. But she also listens to me, perhaps too much, so that she can feel good that she is making me happy. As far as I can tell this is the way almost all enforced chastity, WLM relationships work. I’m glad because what matters most of all to me is that Mrs. Lion is my wife and that we are together. Love drives our power exchange. Love is a pretty good driver.