[NSFW] Much of contemporary liberal thought rests on the idea of the Social Contract. In this scheme, we agree to give up a certain amount of freedom in exchange for the protection and opportunity that society provides. Our individual lives mirror this. We defer to others when politeness requires it. We assert ourselves and our needs with pleases and thank yous. Most of daily life has some power dynamic to it, expressed with the subtlety that civilization demands. And what is implicit in daily life is made explicit in the role-playing of BDSM, based on the idea of a Power Exchange, where one party explicitly agrees to give up a certain amount of power to another. For most people who are into this, the “scenes” are circumscribed by rules, usually discussed beforehand, such as appropriate safewords, time limits, etc. For a small subset of this group, the typical safeguards are cast aside and the slave surrenders all aspects of his or her life to the master. The female submissive Polly Peachum has written about this lifestyle in her essay “Violence in the Garden” about her life as a 24-7 slave and the sexual dimensions of that relationship.