Fri
Aug 8 2014 9:30am

Switching Sides: What it Means to be a Switch in BDSM

Today we welcome author Sidney Bristol to Heroes and Heartbreakers. Sidney's new release, Committed, has a super-sexy romance with a DEA agent hero. The heroine of Committed identifies as a 'switch,' a term Sidney is here to explain. Thanks, Sidney!

BDSM is a big umbrella term that covers a whole range of things—and all the in-betweens. In Romancelandia we’re all very well acquainted with the Dominant and submissive roles—genders aside. We’re even familiar with the ideals behind the Master and slave relationship. 

But what else is there? A lot, actually, but those four role types get the most mileage in our hot and sexy books. They’re easy to define and our traditional relationship roles translate into them. Even for those who don’t quite “get” kink, they can understand the pleasures of giving up control—or taking control—from their partner. One person does stuff to a person, while the other person enjoys having stuff done to them. That’s an overly simplistic explanation, but you get the idea.

Now, let me introduce you to the idea behind…the switch.

Not a light switch, but a person who identifies as a switch. These are people who like it both ways. Stay out of the gutter and with me for one moment. Switches like to do stuff to people—AND—have stuff done to them. They’re often called greedy, some call them confused, but the truth of the matter is that there are a lot of switches out in the world. Switches aren’t always what we call a power exchange dynamic. Power exchange is the act of giving control to another person. For switches, it can be about that control, but also about the pure enjoyment of whatever act they’re about to experience.

But…how does this work?

Pretty much like any other kink relationship. The bedrock of a good relationship dynamic is communication. Switches, like Dominants and submissives, Masters and slaves, must communicate their wants, desires and expectations to their partner(s). This can be another switch, a Dominant, a slave or any other identification. In the BDSM world, the act of talking out those wants is called the negotiation. During a switch’s negotiation, unlike other role identifications, they’re going to state whether or not they want to be the person doing stuff, or the person having stuff done to them.

There are no incorrect role identifications in BDSM. There are a lot of different ones, and finding the right one for you is a lot like discovering your favorite pair of stilettos. You can try on some roles that pinch you, make you feel claustrophobic, and others that are like a cinderblock attached to your feet, until you find out just what works for you. A switch is going to test the waters each and every time to find out what mood they’re in tonight, what they’re itching to do or have done to them.

What’s that you say? You read a book about a *Domme once who decided to be a sub for a Dominant?

That’s not quite switching. You see, for some people there is an exception. That one person who pulls their strings and flips their switch from one role to another. They aren’t switches, at least that’s probably not what they’d call themselves. It’s a special relationship dynamic that isn’t often repeated.
You can see the above scenario in quite a few books, but it’s a bit harder to find books with people who identify as switches. It’s as common in fiction, but they’re out there! I polled a couple BDSM book clubs and compiled a list of titles with some sexy switches!

Tiffany Reisz, The Original Sinners series
Denise Tompkins, Craving
Lauren Gallagher, Light Switch
Joely Sue Burkhart, Yours to Take, The Connaghers series #3
Cooper McKenzie, His Sub's Submissive, Club Esoteria series #1
Jayne Rylon, Mistress's Master, Men in Blue series #3
Ella Dominguez, Art of D/s Trilogy
Delilah Devlin, A Perfect Trifecta, Delta Heat series
Sorcha Black, The Dom with a Safeword and The Dom with the Clever Tongue

 

*Domme—typically a term for a female Dominant, or professional service provider.

Learn more about or order a copy of Committed by Sidney Bristol, available August 12, 2014:

Buy at Amazon

Buy at B&N

Buy at iTunes

 

 


It can never be said that Sidney Bristol has had a ‘normal’ life. She is a recovering roller derby queen, former missionary, and tattoo addict. She grew up in a motor-home on the US highways (with an occasional jaunt into Canada and Mexico), traveling the rodeo circuit with her parents. Sidney has lived abroad in both Russia and Thailand, working with children and teenagers. She now lives in Texas where she splits her time between a job she loves, writing, reading and belly dancing.

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3 comments
Josephene
2. allyson55
I've read some BDSM stories and enjoyed them but I haven't read any with switches so I'll have to track down those on your list. Thanks for the recommendations.
Jenn Irene
3. Jennirene
Love the cover there! :P Will definitely have to check out Committed.
Also, I've gotta say M.Q. Barber's Neighborly Affection trilogy is a favorite of mine. I think the heroine, Alice, might qualify as a switch (?), but overall I just love the storyline of two committed males inviting a female into their relationship. Very well written, too! Would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for good m/m/f stories and/or a switch element :)
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