Power eXchange: More Than Just the Whip

COLUMBUS, Ohio – This weekend in Ohio was the first ever Power eXchange Summit.  What differentiates this event from others is the types of things found there. Sure, there were vendors. Sure, there were classes and presentations. Sure, there was a silent auction. However, there was no one competing for anything, and not one class could be found on how best to flog your submissive or the ins and outs of fire play or electrical stimulation.

Instead, the classes were all about relationships. Different types of relationships and how they are structured, what they each mean, and ways of enhancing your style of power exchange dynamic were all on the agenda. While there are events all over the country, heck even the world, which focus on the relationship values of a specific dynamic, such as the” Master/slave conference”, this is the first of its kind, that I am aware of, which embraces ALL types of power exchange relationships and brings so many different facets of our larger kink community together to learn from and share their own dynamic values to each other.

The Power eXchange Summit’s coordinators, Dan and Dawn Williams; GLLA Master/slave 2010, authors of two books on the subject of power exchange dynamics (“Living M/S; A Book For Masters, Slaves And Their Relationships” and “Sex, Stories and Power Exchange”) and hosts and owners of “Erotic Awakenings” podcasts; had this idea about a year ago to hold a weekend event completely on power exchange dynamics in relationships.

Having gone to a number of different events during their title year, they discovered there was one thing they wanted which was missing for them, and they suspected for others. An event which focused not on skill sets, but solely on the relationship aspect. And not just one specific aspect, but ALL power exchange dynamics.  So they decided to start their own. Oh sure, you can find a few classes here and there at other events about relationships, you can even find some events focused on one specific dynamic if you look for them. But one which addressed and catered to all different forms of power dynamic? Nope, there was not one … until now.

Dan said they really “wanted it to be primarily about the relationship, not play. There are plenty of skill based events.” And He and Dawn must be on to something with that. Why else would they have had people come all the way from Canada to attend? At first, the fact that they intended to put on the event was spread by word of mouth. The volunteers came out of the woodworks to offer up help. By the time the event actually went public, nearly all spots for presenters and volunteers had been filled. Presenters and sponsors from the US and Canada filled up the pages of the run books quickly.

There was a wide array of presenters at the event. The experience range was vast as well, with Dr. Bob from Austin, Texas. who has been a presenter for years and GLLA Title holders for 2011 Sir Charles and lil jacki from Kentucky are new to presenting in comparison. It seemed all the presenters had the same opinion of the summit and the people running it. They felt it was very well run and that the presenters were particularly well taken care of.  Sir Charles and lil jacki said “Karen, the presenter coordinator, has been wonderful! They (the event staff) went out of their way to assist and take care of the presenters.” Dr. Bob indicated that such wonderful treatment is not always the case when presenting at some events, but the staff at this event went above and beyond the call of duty apparently. And that thought resonated throughout the presenters, which is why it is no surprise that presenters seemed to be more than willing to come back next year and do it all again.

The attendees felt much the same way. Will and Lisa from Ohio said they were embracing the fact that there was no dungeon at the event because it left more time for socialization and conversation. In many relationships, the time to spend to focus for any length of time on relationship improvement or learning new techniques or ideas is sparse. “Sir usually does not have time for reading (on relationship books). This is the first time we have been able to focus on protocol and relationship,” said Lisa. That sentiment seemed to be a key element in those who attended. They all seemed to delight in an event which focuses solely on their relationship and classes to garner new knowledge about the different types of power exchange dynamics.

Like everything else in Dan and Dawn’s relationship, this was a joint collaboration. As with most power exchange relationships, each person has their own set of strengths and they complement each other’s.  “Relationships are such a passion for us, we are glad to provide a place and space for others to explore. Even though we do not all experience relationships the same, we all have something in common and we are glad to provide a space for that commonality” said dawn. This is what Dan and Dawn were hoping for when they first set out to hold the event and they seem to have achieved just that by the reactions of those who not only attended but who presented and vended as well their own staff, without whom Dan and Dawn said they could not have done it, nor would it have run so smoothly.

Evangeline Raven
Chicago Den

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