The 24/7 TPE (Total Power Exchange) signifies that Master/Mistress will have control over the slave at all times, not just during play sessions or only a few days per week. These types of BDSM arrangements can be in place for a certain period of time (3, 6 months, a year) or they can be entered into for life. They are common in the husband and wife scenarios or live in couples but this isn’t always the case. You can still have 24/7 TPE between a Master/Mistress and slave who do not live together.
Many people these days use the terms “slave” and “submissive” interchangeably, but there is a huge difference in the strict sense of the words. Please remember that this site is all about consensual (not forced) slavery. A consensual slave gives themselves to their Master or Mistress completely, to make decisions for them without the slave having any rights to say no. In most situations, however, issues are usually discussed at length and the slave’s thoughts taken into consideration even though Master/Mistress has final say and control in all matters. Conversely, in a Dominant/submissive relationship, the sub has the ability to choose which areas of his/her life the Dominant will not have control over and the hard/soft limits that will apply to scenes.
A slave gives up his/her body, mind and spirit to their Master/Mistress absolutely. Slave contracts typically transfer ownership of the slave, their body and mind to Master/Mistress. Even though it’s legally unenforceable, it symbolizes the party’s deep commitment and trust in one another.
A total power exchange doesn’t need to interfere with the slave’s public life. There are extreme situations where slaves are made to stay home, ostracized from their family and friends and provided for by their Master/Mistress. This is not what 24/7 TPE is about; a prudent Master would never arbitrarily keep their slave from society because that is abuse. There are plenty of 24/7 TPE couples whose BDSM lifestyle doesn’t interfere with their outside world. Many of them may not ever come out and their friends wouldn’t even know.
So how do you impose total dominance and control in such situations? This is something that should be mentioned in the Contract. For example if there are no children involved, Mistress usually has total control at home. With children, many couples choose not to expose their children to the lifestyle so they will set detailed instructions about chores, mannerism and private punishment in the Total Power Exchange Contract.
Additionally, any written agreement will need to stipulate how to manage your public lives if you haven’t come out. Obviously you can’t address Him as “Master” so many slaves will just use the Master’s first name when not in a private setting. The agreement will usually stipulate how the slave is to behave when out; respectful toward Mistress at all times, whether they must ask permission to consume alcohol and other restrictions. Master may even make subtle commands but whether the Master/Mistress is present or not, the slave is always under His/Her rules and guidelines.
A total power exchange doesn’t necessarily mean the slave is micromanaged. Micromanaging involves setting out very specific regimens and rules for the slave to control their every move including the times when the slave is allowed to sleep, go to the bathroom, wash and eat. This type of management is hard work and is not for everyone. In fact, it would make many BDSM couples miserable to have this type of responsibility and control over them. A TPE can be in place without the need for micromanagement.
If you do desire micromanagement to be included in a written document there are several options to do this. You can just simply state that Master shall have all decision making power over the slave at all times and then incorporate the specific aspects into daily life. Alternatively, you can specify the details in the contract. For example, you may add a schedule to the document which details the slave’s activities on a daily basis in chronological time order. The contract should stipulate that Mistress has the right to alter the schedule at any time or to remove and replace the schedule in Her absolute discretion.
There many different types of TPE arrangements out there. The total power exchange can be casual, just for scenes or during certain events. It doesn’t even need to be sexual. Alternatively, it can be constant for a certain period of time or permanent whether in public or in private. Either way the point of TPE is that during the agreed times, Master/Mistress has total control and final say over everything. That is what you need to remember when drafting any such contract and using the terminology “Total Power Exchange”. If the submissive can restrict what Master/Mistress has control over, then it’s not a total power exchange but rather a ‘partial power exchange’. Such arrangement can still be 24/7. You could even have a hybrid arrangement where TPE is applied in sexual play but partial power exchange applies outside the dungeon.