Power Exchange and Connection

In the media, power exchange is usually shown in it's more extreme forms. Because, well, otherwise, it would make a pretty boring story :)

For example, the media won’t show what a rope bondage workshop is like. If you go to a bondage workshop, you'll see a bunch of people having fun trying out different knots on each other... and it’s about as narratively exciting as a macrame class xD

One more intense style of power exchange is to roleplay harshness, alienation, evil villain and helpless victim.

Now, lots of people do power exchange without roleplay, and lots of people do roleplay without anyone playing a harsh or mean persona. Just like how some people enjoy horror movies, but that isn't the only genre of movies you can watch.

However, even when roleplay includes harshness, that doesn't mean that power exchange is about disconnection.

Imagine the actors in the horror movie, where one character is doing various horrible things while the other futilely begs for mercy. The actors aren't disconnected from each other. If they're any good as actors.

In good power exchange, even in the most intense scene, even with someone roleplaying the most depraved, evil person imaginable, the participants are still strongly connected with each other. Having fun. Enjoying each other's roleplay.

Because the media typically portrays more extreme styles of power exchange, some people get the false idea that BDSM is about alienation. That it's about being disconnected. That's not true at all.

Now, it's certainly is possible to have bad power exchange, just as it's possible to have bad sex. So yes, you can have bad, disconnected, alienated power exchange. But that doesn't have anything to do with what is being roleplayed. You can have bad power exchange with some simple domination or some simple rope bondage, and you can have bad power exchange while roleplaying the evil villain... and you can have good power exchange with either.

Power exchange is a skill, and connecting with someone while practicing power exchange is a skill, and these are skills that can be learned like any other skill. If you don't have the connection part going well yet, you might want to figure that out first before moving on to roleplaying harshness. Just like actors who bond and rehearse together before jumping into a performance.

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