There are certain things that I think about, quite a bit. Especially in terms of Power exchange, Chief among those is self care and mental well-being of my slave and any other s-type I am currently involved with or protecting.
Sure physicality is a big part of everything, and it’s fun, cathartic, leaves some pretty spectacular reminders for a while, and is the primary focus of many a BDSM relationship.
That’s not where Power exchange REALLY shines.
As a Master there are other things that create and encompass the power exchange. Recently my slave has been in one of her “lows” it becomes difficult for her to summon the will to function within a normal headspace. Things like dragging ass at work, reluctance to get out of bed, low self image, and a constant need for reassurance that I do infact love her and she is worthy of it. There is more but I think you get the gist.
There are however things you can do.
So in a normal non power exchange relationship as well as a power exchange the most important thing you can do is identify what you’re dealing with, as my slave is rather private about her struggles I will leave her illness as hers to tell – however if you put 2 and 2 together from here, as well as entries on her blog you get a fairly clear picture.
So after diagnosis (professional help is important here), In addition to therapy and medication (if applicable), what can we as Masters/Dominants do ?
Largely the onus is on the slave to follow through with Masters orders – For me, the primary is for my slave to take care of my possessions to the best of her ability, and most cherished of those is she, herself. So the slave should learn what she can about her illness, coping strategies, properly adhering to medication schedules, and other forms of self care during issues. Even the slave recognizing the onset of a low, or other issues can go a long way in offsetting potential damage.
So what do I do when my slave hits a low ?
Well, I will admit I am not as rigid in the power exchange as I would be when she is at 100% – this is not to say the power exchange disappears, however I may do a bit extra to reassure her that everything is OK, and that I still love and value her and her service. Ensuring to remind her to eat, shower (the power of hot water is not to be underestimated), basics that might otherwise go neglected.
That said, I have been known to call her out on behavior that leans towards her lows, and knowing her well enough to push the issue when I have to. Structure is important to people with mental health issues, and not straying too far from routine can go a long way in dealing with/shortening episodes.
Now I should add that these particular coping methods are how I and my slave deal with mental illness in OUR dynamic.
That said something you should keep in mind is that dealing with mental illness can be incredibly stressful for the Master as well, and after an episode passes, I highly advise doing something FOR YOURSELF to depressurize, refocus and recharge, so that the power exchange can continue with as little disruption as possible. It can be just as draining for the Master as it can be for the slave, and as I mentioned, staying as close to routine or normal as you possibly can is in my opinion the best thing you can do for both parties.
In the end making sure that the Master keeps the slave accountable for their actions, because mental illness is not excuse for a lapse in deference or service – there should be consequences to actions no matter the circumstances. Educate yourself on the illness in question – BOTH of you. It is an excellent opportunity for essays, formulating coping mechanisms, and strategy. Read blogs of people who have the same illness, medical journals, documentaries, learn voraciously, because knowledge is power.
In the end both parties need to work at maintenance, and do so together, which, is the key to success in any sort of authority exchange (if not vanilla) relationship.
***These are my thoughts and my experiences alone, your results, methods and experiences will likely be different but I do hope at the very least I may have given some insight and perhaps a starting point for other dynamics who find themselves in the same boat that we are in.***