Total Power Exchange – How to Be in Control

This article will help you understand what is total power exchange, can be a good thing for BDSM couples and how it improves all aspects of life outside the bedroom
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Last updatedLast updated: April 29, 2024
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While BDSM is often around sexual acts, it can actually penetrate other areas of life. Total Power Exchange is when the power dynamic extends past the bedroom and instead is maintained all day long.

BDSM TPE is not for everyone. It’s not just like acting out a scene; it becomes your life. But, if you want to enjoy either total power or total submission, then it is a lifestyle that might prove to be fulfilling. Before you enter into Total Power Exchange, there is a lot to consider. We’ll walk you through the basics and offer tips along the way.

Total Power Exchange Definition

Total Power Exchange is also known as 24/7 power control, which as you can surmise, means 24 hours, 7 days a week. Instead of merely assuming different power roles for a scene, TPE refers to the entire relationship. In fact, you will need to have a lot of frank and open conversations with your partner before TPE can even commence.

For this reason, most traditional relationships don’t simple evolve into TPE, although it is a possibility. Instead, most people already identify as dominant or submissive and then actively seek other people out to fulfill their needs. There is a large BDSM community Trusted Source Americans Are More Into BDSM Than The Rest of the World Not only is BDSM far more common than you might think, it’s also far less of a red-flag when it comes to health and psychology around the world and the introduction of the internet has made it much easier to find others who want to engage in TPE.


A contract seems very formal but think of it more as a piece of protection. A contract in TPE isn’t legally binding but it should be followed by both parties. If not, then trust won’t happen and the relationship will be doomed to last.

Contracts start by defining roles, as in the Dominant and the Submissive. Then, most importantly, different acts are agreed upon. There will be a list of hard limits and soft limits. Hard limits are completely off the table. If only one person is against a certain act, it is still considered a hard limit and the person’s wishes must be respected.

A soft limit is something that you may feel uncomfortable doing but also want to try. Whatever the soft limit is, it should be acted upon slowly and in an extremely safe manner.

Finally, contracts need to include safe words. For TPE, caution safe words and stop safewords are necessary. Caution safe words act as yellow lights. You can still proceed but you need to pay more attention and maybe ease back a bit. Stop safe words act as red lights. You must stop right away, no questions asked.

The purpose of the contract shows that you understand and respect the other person. It means you will not break it and therefore will not harm the other person emotionally.


Because there is a vast power dynamic in Total Power Exchange, there are many roles that are used. Dominant and Submissive are the more basic, but you can also use Master and Slave. Other kinks to explore include Daddy/ Daughter power role-playing.

Rules for TPE Fetish

While every TPE relationship will be different, there are some common rules to follow. If these rules aren’t followed, then punishment is the natural consequence. This can be done by hand spanking, paddle spanking, cane spanking, and many more creative ideas. When done right, TPE can have a lot of benefits Trusted Source How BDSM Might Benefit Your Health and Improve Your Relationship Learn how BDSM can build trust, reduce stress levels, and improve your communication skills. such as less anxiety and a deeper sense of trust.

1. Edging

A submissive is not able to orgasm until their dominant allows them to. The result can be a prolonged session of edging, driving the submissive to agony. The point, however, is both to assert dominance and to create a maximum amount of pleasure. Edging can take place in a sex swing, on a bed, or wherever a dominant decides it should happen.

2. Bathroom control

This is often a hard limit but some submissives are happy to give over their bathroom privileges to their dominant. Bathroom control can include a submissive having to ask permission to go. It’s important to note that this should not be used as an extreme punishment as it can lead to severe health issues.

3. Safeword denial

We talked about the importance of safe words and this can be a tricky subject to navigate. The object of TPE is to give up all your control, which may include safe words. However, there are many TPE relationships that still use safe words.

This is a matter that needs to be discussed thoroughly. If safewords are not to be used, then going over hard limits is even more important. Safety should always come first, with or without the use of safe words.

4. Sleep control

This is another rule that needs to also abide by common sense and practical health. Sleep may be constricted or alternatively dictated. A submissive may be forced to stay up later as part of a scene, in which fatigue lends itself to the experience.

In contrast, sleep is often mandated in order to keep the submissive healthy and alert. A bedtime may be set, as is a wakeup time, to better regulate the day.

5. Pet play

With pet play, the submissive assumes the role of a pet attached to their master. They may have to wear a leash around home and walk crawl on their hands and legs. As for eating, they may be required to eat out of a dish, similar to pets.

6. Time control

Each part of the day is portioned out and a submissive is expected to adhere to these commands. They are told what hobbies they can partake in, who their friends are, and if they can work or not.

Often chores are assigned, such as cleaning and cooking, and these are expected to be done on a daily basis.

7. Money control

With money control, the dominant has complete authority over all financial matters. They can choose to be the one to pay for everything or provide their submissive with an allowance. While some submissives continue to work, others may be asked to quit their jobs to stay and tend to the home.

The one important caveat with money control is that the dominant must adequately take care of the dominant. They should not be living in abject poverty when there are two able bodied people capable of working.

8. Revert eyes

A submissive should look demure, and this may include avoiding eye contact. Just is in the animal world, when an alpha male takes control of the pack, the others submit by looking down. Submissives may be required to look at the floor or avoid eye contact with their dominant. They may be allowed eye contact, but only when instructed to do so.

9. Food control

Again, the emphasis here has to be on health. Food is often controlled, with a submissive being restricted to a nutritious but calorically appropriate diet. Often times submissives may need to wait until their dominant has finished their own meal before eating themselves.

10. Appearance control

A dominant will most likely want to select a wardrobe for their submissive. This will include everything, from casual clothes to lingerie. A submissive may need to dress a certain way at home, such as only wearing underwear. Grooming also falls into this category, including body hair and makeup.

Appearance can also dictate certain wearable sex toys. For example, a submissive may be forced to wear a face strap on. It is entirely up the dominant what is used.

There are many bondage accessories a submissive may be forced to wear. For women, the Cottelli Wet Look and Mesh Bondage Teddy with Arm Restraints is not only sexy but has arm restraints attached to the sides, along with an opening in the crotch area. For men, the Male Power Poseidon Fetish Thong and Shorts have a cut-out style and a removable crotch pouch. These are just a few examples of BDSM clothing involved in TPE.

Relaxed Control

You can be parents and be a part of TPE. Or you may be active members of society. In certain situations calling each other Master and Slave just isn’t appropriate. With relaxed control, you can slip into traditional roles and slip back into TPE when it is appropriate.

Things to Remember

If you’re still interested in BDSM power exchange, here are a few things to consider.

Make arrangements

If TPE sounds a bit exhausting, it’s because it is a complete lifestyle change. You may be required to give up your job, stop seeing family, and change your behaviors. Before you start this lifestyle, make sure you are comfortable with giving these things up, and then arrange for your new life.

What if you’re uncomfortable?

Total Power Exchange should make you uncomfortable but not push past your limits. This is why a contract is so important in the first place. You can state what your hard and soft limits are and be comfortable in these parameters.

You may want to schedule a weekly meeting with your dominant, as part of your contract. This is where you can remove the power constraints for an hour and talk freely about what is working and what you would like to be different.

Trial period

Even if you are fully into Total Power Exchange, you might not click with your master or slave. A trial period is always recommended, especially if you don’t know the other person very well. And, if you are completely new to TPE, then a trial period is essential.

Final Thoughts

Deciding on a new lifestyle can be incredibly overwhelming. Many outsiders look at BDSM and think it is too extreme while others want to take it even further. While you can interact with someone else in the realm of BDSM and confine it simply to the bedroom, others want that power control to be all-consuming. This is where Total Power Exchange comes in. Instead of merely acting out different scenarios, you assume the role of Master and Slave all day long, for the duration of your relationship. While you should take precautions, such as creating a contract, expect the submissive to give up complete control in all aspects of life, such as appearance, food, and even hobbies. Although it is not for everyone, many people relish in the experience of Total Power Exchange.


Americans Are More Into BDSM Than The Rest of the World
Not only is BDSM far more common than you might think, it’s also far less of a red-flag when it comes to health and psychology
How BDSM Might Benefit Your Health and Improve Your Relationship
Learn how BDSM can build trust, reduce stress levels, and improve your communication skills.
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