the Paradox of Power Dynamics in Polyamory

The Paradox of Polyamory & Power Exchange

Consensual non-monogamy and D/s relationships can seem in contradiction to one another. Where polyamory and other forms of CNM tend to value egalitarianism, autonomy, and personal agency, D/s relationships rely on hierarchy, control, and surrender. Within this seeming contradiction lies multiple possibilities for new ways of playing with passion and power.

In this 2-hour live online workshop, you’ll learn:

  • 3 frameworks to help you make sense of your negotiated non-monogamous and D/s relationships, hear perspectives to help you clarify your own relationship priorities,
  • Discover resources to guide you in your own explorations.
  • How to explore questions such as: When polyamory and power exchange collide, how do you decide what takes precedence? Where are the boundaries between one person’s authority and another person’s autonomy? Is it possible to fully surrender and have multiple relationships?

You’ll leave with a deeper understanding of how these relationship styles can play together, as well as the next steps for your own journey. 


Host Bio

SINCLAIR SEXSMITH (they/them) is a queer trans butch, a leather dominant, and a writer, focusing on individual, interpersonal, and institutional systems of power. They study dominance and submission, social & restorative justice, the energetic body, trauma, and transformation. They have been in the kink communities since 1999, and orchestrate transformative kink scenes through written erotica and ritual practice. They actively explore the philosophies of power exchange and the practicalities of sustainable, long-term D/s. As a leather community member, titleholder, and organizer, Sinclair has presented and performed 200+ times at 75+ venues, including International Ms. Leather, Dark Odyssey, SXSW, Harvard, and Oz Kink Fest. Their short story collection, Sweet & Rough: Queer Kink Erotica, was a 2016 finalist for a Lambda Literary Award, and they have edited 7 queer erotica anthologies; their latest book is Daddy4Daddy: Queer Kink Erotica. Find Sinclair online at