The balance of power exchange and romance…

Nookie @ Dating Kinky
5 min readJul 21, 2022


Today’s writing and my Throwback Thursday podcast and LIVE are on the same topics. I’ll go live at 1pm today on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and mōn, talking about shaping our lives through power exchange and romance and how challenging finding (MAKING) that balance is.

In the “My Power, Your Power” event we held last year, I was part of a discussion about mixing power exchange and sex. I was one of two for. There were two against.

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to attend a class presented by Master Taino (@MasterTaino on FetLife). The ABCs of M/s.

And he said something that really meshed with some thoughts I’ve been having, and made me think that power exchange and sex was not the real thing we were discussing, but instead power exchange and romance.

Master Taino said (and I’m paraphrasing) that when you have power exchange relationship with romance, you actually have two relationships:

  • Power exchange dynamic
  • Romantic

And that when there is romance and power exchange, the power exchange is the most likely to slide.

Which I’ve noticed over the years.

I wrote “Where Does The Kink Go?” Back in June of 2016.

I said:

It’s a common happening.

KinkyHurtyFucker meets FreakyPainWonder and they REALLY hit it off.

They play like tyrannosaurus-fucking-fireworks and everyone sees and feeds off their energy.

The D/s happens, and it’s wonderful. It’s intense and disciplined and proper places, and really, really fun hurty-painful-scary things, and all the stuffs of dreams.

And they fall in love.

And, it seems, the in-love overshadows the hurty stuff. And the hurty stuff starts to wither.

And eventually, FreakyPainWonder gets sad and a bit frustrated, because KinkyHurtyFucker no longer… well… lives up to their name, or their previous behavior.

Not only are they not exploring new, terrifying depths of depravity and immense pain, but the depths they have started to explore are left lonely and wanting as they have somehow retreated back towards the surface.

KinkyHurtyFucker doesn’t REALLY hurt FreakyPainWonder anymore.

KinkyHurtyFucker is in love.

And I nailed it. Exactly what Master Taino said. TWO relationships, and if you have both power exchange and romance, one of them will likely be neglected. And that one will most often (not always) be the power exchange.

Because frankly, a core human need is connection. And that romance is deep and desired and wanted, and socialized into us from inception.

We work hard to keep that going.

And we are ill-equipped to keep romance and love alive, but we are better equipped than we are to keep power exchange going.

Most of us are not raised around power exchange. It’s not promoted to us. We don’t see it on TV, hear about it on the radio, read about it in love stories — even in the completely dysfunctional ways as we do love.



We are taught that love conquers all, so we often think, “If only we can LOVE enough, the rest will work out.”

(Another thing that came up this past weekend at TES Fest in the authors’ panel I was a part of was a question to us authors, “What challenges do you see in the kink world that you need to right a book about?” and my reply was that we need to be deprogrammed to really find our best lives. This is exactly that.)

I don’t even think all that about love, and I STILL often find myself putting my romantic relationship FAR ahead of my power exchange.

I don’t lose my power.

I don’t leave it behind.

I just don’t…prioritize the expression in ways that fulfill us both as much as I could.

And so I have a new personal goal.

To prioritize my 24/7 power exchange every day. Throughout our lives. And in the past few days, I’ve already missed dozens of opportunities.

It’s going to take a lot of conscious effort to make those opportunities happen habitually. In April I confessed that “I set calendar reminders to tell people I appreciate them,” or rather, that I did that to train myself to nurture my romantic connections.

I’m now going to start thinking of ways to nurture my power exchange alongside my romance, and I’ll probably make liberal use of my calendar again, LOL!

To go back to the power exchange / sex debate…

Something else I realized is that I enjoy sex as part of my power exchange and I enjoy sex as part of my romance.

But they are not the same sex.

They have different motivations. They have different feelings. They have different energies.

And my power exchange is driven, in part, by my sex.

And my romance is driven, in part, by my sex.

And for me, personally, neither will survive and thrive without the sexual component.

Now, I’m not saying that is right for everyone. Or even anyone except me.

I’m just offering my own thought processes for your examination, in the hopes that they might give you insight into yourself-whether because you feel the same, or because you feel very differently.

And my power exchange is not the same as the kink activities I do…

Because I can maintain those desires consistently, and work the kink into nearly everything.

The power exchange dynamic is easier to forget to maintain.

Like you don’t think about how often you use your thumb until you sprain it and can’t use it. Then, suddenly, you realize it’s missing.

And like my thumb, my power is just there. Who I am. And I don’t think to make it stronger or express it more when it’s as natural as breathing to me, when it’s expected.

But for my partner, who wants to FEEL it, needs to feel it in the ways he loves (Undergroundsea’s D/s Languages presentation is eye-opening), I have made a commitment to make that happen.

So, my power is not JUST mine. But also a bigger, more central part of us.

What are your thoughts?

Do you mix power exchange and romance? Do you have both a power exchange dynamic and a romantic relationship at the same time?

Do you include sex as part of your romance or your power exchange or both? Is your sex the same or different for those things?



Nookie @ Dating Kinky

Writing about healthy and fun sex, ethical non-monogamy and kink for everyone, running a kinky dating site at, and exploring life.