I keep seeing discussions about how people choose their D/s partners and how they go about weeding the wheat from the chaff and what labels they are looking for and blah blah blah… Yes, it’s important to find partners you are actually compatible with. I get it. But one thing I DON’T get is how 24/7 seems to have become synonymous with TPE. Because I don’t agree with that idea at all.
Let me start by defining the terms 24/7 and TPE and how I come by those definitions. Because it’s vital to the reasoning behind my above referenced disagreement.
I define 24/7 as 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. So it pertains to time. In this case it is a unit of time that basically does not end. It is an ongoing time period.
I define TPE (total power exchange) as a type of relationship where one or more persons has given authority to one or more persons over absolutely everything. And I mean EVERYTHING… job/no job, clothing worn (or not worn), how to spend free time, who does the chores, what kind of car to own (or not), length of nostril hairs, everything. So it pertains to a level of authority.
I find these two concepts to be related but NOT THE SAME THING. One has to do with time. The other has to do with authority. The way they are related (in my opinion) has to do with the level of authority exchange being total. Because I think it would be difficult to have total authority over someone for a limited time period. I suppose it would depend a lot on what one actually wanted to exert authority over. Because if I have a TPE agreement with someone only on the 12th of every month… and I tell him on the 12th of June that he has to quit his job? Well, that is going to extend beyond the 12th of June. So a TPE relationship is usually also a 24/7 relationship.
Not all 24/7 relationships are TPE. And I find this to be an important distinction. I seek 24/7 relationships because some of the things I want authority over are things I want authority over ALL THE TIME. But I don’t need authority over everything. And I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had submissive men run scared because I mention that I like 24/7 D/s. They will start telling me how they can’t give up control of everything to someone. They aren’t a good fit because they want to retain some authority over things like friends, family, and work. And I am quick to point out my views on the difference between 24/7 and TPE.
But the fact remains that there are some things I want continuous authority over. All day every day. So yes, I am a 24/7 dominant looking for a 24/7 submissive. (Well I am not actually looking right now, but you get the point.) But I don’t care how long your nostril hairs are or if you want to wear a rainbow tie-die speedo to the beach. But I don’t want to share authority over how the towels are folded or how often my submissive orgasms.
So the tl;dr version is: TPE is about what things someone has authority over and 24/7 is about when someone has authority over something. But they really not the same thing at all.