Power Play

SM-Relationship Survey, US  
Thank you for participating in this survey. Your honest responses are very important for helping therapists, medical practitioners, and others to understand the nature of sexual relationships that include SM practice. In this study, comparisons of couples from Germany and the United States will help professionals understand the nature and complexity of SM relationships.

The researchers involved in this project will publish the findings in academic and professional journals. All aspects of the study are strictly confidential; great attention has been paid to this confidentiality. All names and/or nicknames will be changed and only the primary researchers will have access to the information you return.

Again, thank you for your honest responses to the questions we have asked. Please provide feedback at the end of the questionnaire on anything you would like to tell us about the survey or your life experience.

Please email your completed survey to
Subject line: Couple Survey  


How to respond to this questionnaire (please read carefully)

Please take your time working through the questions. Write as much as you feel  is necessary to state your point of view. We have not provided adequate space on this form for most of your responses. Please use additional paper or space when you need it.

Please try to respond to all questions.

As a couple you can work on the questions together or separately. If you want to respond together, identify your answer with your prefixed name or nickname.
If you choose to respond separately please copy the questionnaire but let us know (by names or nicknames) that they are responses of a person as a couple. This is particularly important


For questions concerning this survey:
Subject line: Couple survey  


Please return this questionnaire by email to
Please put into subject line: Couple Survey  


Part I - Personal Data

  1. Name or Nickname



  1. Type of residence (city, town or countryside)



  1. Your orientation (Dom, sub, Switch,...)



  1. Gender



  1. Children: age, gender



  1. Profession, Educational background



  1. Age, Race (Ethnicity), other important background information



  1. Any religious or spiritual affiliation:



  1. How long have you been in this relationship?



Part II – Questions on SM and Power Play

  1. Is your relationship a committed one?


    1. If no, is that your choice?
    1. If yes, can you describe the nature of your commitment?



  1. When did you first become involved in SM?


  1. How old were you when you got involved in SM?


a.         How did that come about? What happened?


  1. What effect did it have on you—your life—when you realized that you would remain interested in SM?


  1. Have you ever encountered problems related to SM in your relationship?
    1. If yes, - in what way were these problems?


  1. Can you identify any specific experiences that may have shaped your SM interests?


  1. What type of SM activities do you participate in?


  1. How important is SM in your relationship? In what ways?


  1. What do you experience when you practice SM with your partner? Can you describe your feelings when you have had an experience with SM with your partner?



  1. Do most of your friends know your SM interests? How does this work for you?


  1. Does your family know about your SM interests? How does this work for you?



  1. Have your SM practice and interests changed over time?
    1. If yes, in what ways?



  1. What attitudes have you encountered (or would you encounter) from friends and family about your SM orientation?


  1. Have you ever been the client of a psychotherapist?


    1. If yes, what type of contact did you have and what was your over-all experience?


  1. The term “power play” has been used by some people to describe SM relationships as a way of avoiding the stigma often associated with “sadomasochism.”
    Is “power play” a meaningful term for you and for your experience?


  1. Are you involved in the SM community? If so, in what ways?


If you would have anything else to say about your experience of completing this survey or something you would like to add, please do so here. 





Current research study


Abstract of Dr Hoff's recent research 

Previous papers by Dr Hoff

Research by other authors


CARAS (research on alternative sexuality)