Privacy & Trust in TPE Relationships

I wanted to take a moment to address the concept of Privacy and and Trust in a power exchange relationships, focusing on its most critically related touch-points.  Initially I identified the following as being rather entangled matters which have close inter-dependencies.  These include (but not limited to): Privacy, Trust, Belief/Faith, Security, Control, Vulnerability, and Fear.



Here’s the “brief” description of these elements as I see it:

  • Privacy – respect shown for an individual by way of non-interference or intrusion in various aspects of their life. Privacy essentially asks for a show of trust without pressure or infraction to reveal a perceived vulnerability. (perceptual)
  • Trust – an ability to expect an outcome of causality (falling due to gravity, the sun rising) or in another individual where there may be perceived risk (holding a secret, catch someone falling). Trust may be earned (proven over time) or initially extended without prior evidence (faith, good will). It is primarily impacted by continuity over time. (emotional)
  • Belief – holding to a certain world view of expectations or model of working dynamics among various perceived interdependent factors usually ascertained through experience or observation. (emotional)
  • Faith – choosing to sustain a belief that has little evidence or counter-indicative to experience or observation. A choice to maintain a suspension of disbelief. An emotional investment to uphold a world view which may erode over time if not maintained and actively invested in. (cognition)
  • Security – a sense or perception that measures of control is successfully mitigating risk or minimizing either direct or indirect negative outcomes or impacts. A measure of confidence in the reduction of vulnerability. (emotional)
  • Control – an attempt to manipulate factors which may present itself as creating a vulnerability, to mitigate its risk or likelihood of occurrence. To arrange or influence in order to produced a desired or preferable outcome or experience. (cognitive)
  • Vulnerability – a sense of exposure to risk which is against a desired outcome or welfare of a being or state. May be tangible or intangible, based on objectively reasonable or perceived considerations, factors, or actual likelihood of harm. (perceptual)
  • Fear – an emotional response where a perceived vulnerability of significance is likely to occur. May be based on objectively reasonable outcomes or emotional processes which may distort the objective risk in seeming more impactful or likely than it is. Is the basis for Anxiety. (emotional)


Many Street Cameras

Our Sense of Privacy

For any of us, privacy is not a right but rather a privilege – however, it is one that should be extended in good faith (by choice) out of respect for an individuals need.

Concepts as to what constitutes privacy differs greatly by person, family, regional or religious culture, etc. Some cultures are very invasive by my standards, but they see it as trying to be inclusive or helpful – even if by force. I personally find that a violation of respect for my need for space and privacy. I therefore associate Privacy with Respect and Trust.

While matters of privacy may be increased as trust is earned, but more likely it is something that is rescinded when trust cannot be maintained or has eroded. When there is no proof to trust another, and yet still promise a high measure of privacy, we extend our trust through Faith.. a choice to believe that the other will not cause a vulnerability for us. If, however, we perceive vulnerability and feel fear, it is often a violation of privacy that occurs first as control is sought.

I typically uphold the view that there is no need to violate privacy if the person has not given cause for alarm or concern. Rather, it is the problem of the insecurities inherent in the controlling individual – a personality defect that is distorting their sense of risk with a reality warping fear. As such, and contrary to their intent, control as a reflexive response to fear will often create greater problems of trust, security, and ultimately, control.


Control and Security

Now then, there is another side of Control which requires examination. Control, when appropriately applied in a power exchange relationship, can provide a sense of structure and predictability – and thus create a sense of security within the other.  Responsibly wielded control can reinforce trust in that there is a fostered sense of openness and intimacy by requiring open exchange of shared matters of privacy.  In this way one can create a reduction of personal Privacy but increase in Security can allow another to feel a very concrete and directed attention – potentially facilitating further security and intimacy when responsibly employed.

So, I am not the type to rifle through anothers purse, books, desk or cabinets. If I have chosen to trust someone, I would respect their trust in me as manifested through their act, their choice, of submission. If, for whatever reason, I had any doubt at all about matters of trust and privacy – I would simply speak it. If I felt a need to see something, then we both would be present to examine it. I do not anticipate such an awkward event however, and hope never to see it.


Honesty in Intent

All that said, if someone were my slave or pet, as the Owner I would “ask” you to share matters of privacy with me. The word ask is in quotes because, as the Owner, Master, or Dominant, its tone clearly indicates its really a politely stated command – as if a question, but not really a question at all.  I will “ask” you to share with me your journal entries, show me your closet and home, share your friends and family contact information, etc. This is not for the purpose of gratuitous control in any way, but rather to openly share intimate aspects of the submissive life, and to take steps to build trust by showing you respect and consideration with continuity.  I am being honest and open in my intent to be engaged, involved, and knowledgeable in the personal life of the submissive.  The aspect of Control is to demonstrate Trust, and to condition the submissive to be allowing also be open and trusting.

Put another way, where trust is being Extended (on faith) it places the burden of proof on the other to keep such things private with a sacred respect and honor. This, when shown with consideration and honor, increases trust. Also too, I may need certain information to help you, ensure your safety, manage unexpected emergency. Such is my duty as your Owner – to help see to your welfare – as any good vanilla partner should. However, I shouldn’t need to constantly explain or defend the actions required to discharge my responsibilities. That’s where the trust, or at least your compliance, is required.



A responsible Dominant will hold their submissives secrets with sacred guardianship – any less would not be proper for an Owner.  The Dominant would also return these same trusts with their submissive, knowing they would hold them in confidence, and not betray their Owners trust.  This occurs slowly, with offerings of trust extended to the other, and that trust being upheld and proved out. This becomes a cycle that develops the habit of extending trust to greater extent.  However, if you cannot trust them, you should not be with them.

This is how we grow.. realizing that the chain to Master and slave, to Owner and owned, is two way. That chain of Trust upheld binds both through mutual respect, honoring one another in their roles.


Copyright 2014 Limits Unleashed