So, as I noted way back here, my terms ‘principal’ and ‘constrict’ don’t feel right to me when I’m talking about positive power dynamics – which, given that I specifically came up with the word ‘constrict’ to mean ‘someone who is constrained by a power outside of themselves against their will’, makes sense. But, I’d like to talk about positive power dynamics too, sometimes. So, new words:
The top of a positive narrative power dynamic is the authority. This isn’t perfect, but it’s the term I found that best keeps the connotation for someone who has power due to it being vested in them.
The bottom of a positive narrative power dynamic is the liege. This is really less than ideal, given that it actually means both the top and bottom of a power dynamic, and is used more often for the former (as in, ‘my liege’). But, I haven’t yet found another word with the connotation of someone giving power over them to someone else, as opposed to having power exerted on them. (If anyone knows any better words, please tell me).
The difference in it’s simplest form is the presence or absence of good consent. A constrict is made the bottom of a power dynamic nonconsensually (by a principal, by social forces, etc). Therefore, a principal, even a well intentioned one or one who was not the one who forced the dynamic, is party to a nonconsensual relationship. A liege makes themselves the bottom of a power dynamic, because they want to, and the relationship between the authority and them is consensual.