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June 18

Why you need to know about power exchange (and it’s not just for kinky people)

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Why you need to know about power exchange (and it’s not just for kinky people)

Playing with power, dominance and submission, is an integral part of being human, and it’s inside of you whether you’re aware of it or not. Will you choose to own it or leave it in the shadow?

Back when I started to explore my sexuality, I used to be what you could class as super vanilla. Besides trying out different positions and learning where the clitoris was, I didn’t have much of an idea about the energetic or psychological aspects of sexuality. 

One day visiting with an ex-partners parents, I found her mother talking about a new book, 50 Shades of Grey. It seemed they had both read it (and the sequels) and loved it. I felt some resistance to this. I saw myself as someone who respected women as equals, and certainly wouldn’t want to dominate (or be dominated by!) one. 

But deep down I felt there must be something to it, to have captured the imagination of so many women around the world (it’s one of the best selling books of all time). 

My inner dialogue when I thought about BDSM involved gimps in latex or leather suits and dominatrixes stepping on men with stiletto heels. And while all that exists and is perfectly valid, it never held much attraction to me.

Through my wanderings in Europe, I met mentors who introduced me to an entirely different story. They were well adjusted, intelligent, successful and often with their own businesses. They played out power dynamics, using language, rope or other tools. They played with sensations, giving and receiving… And they never wore leather or latex to do so. 

Rope, in particular, drew me in. The beautiful and artistic nature of it. The surrender. The holding and the trust. Seeing beautiful photography of shibari drew me in in a way that images of dungeons never did. Hearing my girlfriend at the time describe a shibari session she had received, and the deep emotional healing process it brought about was the final piece. I decided this was something I wanted to learn, an experience I wanted to be able to give. 

What I learned through rope was that it’s not really about the rope. The rope is an extension of the intent and energy of the practitioner… And you don’t need anything but your intention and energy to play with power exchange. 

But why is power play seductive? Because power structures and hierarchy are everywhere around us, they are hardwired into us, no matter if we “choose” to be a part of them or not. They’re an innate piece of our existence since tribal times and exist everywhere in nature.

There even seem to be some psychological health benefits to engaging in these activities, studies showing men in particular who engage in BDSM activities score significantly lower on measures of psychological distress than those that don’t. They are, in general, better adjusted and functioning humans in society. Quite the opposite of the old “people who like that must be damaged” narrative. Indeed, until 2013, BDSM play was considered a sign of psychological pathology in the DSM manual (no relation πŸ˜‰ )

My belief is that by bringing their dominant (or submissive) side out of the shadow and into conscious awareness and playing with it in a healthy, consensual way, it helps them to be more integrated. The fact that these behaviours are deeply rooted and often shunned is a recipe for internal shame. Healthy expression is the cure for many ills. Shame is toxic and leads to many adverse outcomes. 

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About the Author

Brett is a Coach, Tantrika, Daka, and Sacred Sexual Healing Practitioner. He has studied with the International School of Temple Arts, and with various Tantra schools around the world. Born and raised in Australia, Brett has spent more than five years traveling the world, learning from the best of the best in Tantra, Shamanism and kink worlds. As part of this experience, he has also been studying and experimenting with different forms of relationships such as polyamory. The deep realisations and growth he had during this period made him leave his old life as a programmer and dedicate his life to helping others remove the guilt and shame around their sexuality and empower themselves to live the life they dream. Brett has helped dozens of people around the world with his one-on-one coaching programs, body-work and sexual healing sessions, and many more through teaching workshops and live-streamed online events on topics like Tantra, BDSM and Sexuality.

Brett

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