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In BDSM, a switch is someone who participates in BDSM activities sometimes as a top and other times as a bottom or (in the case of dominance and submission) sometimes as a dominant and other times as a submissive. Switches are very common; partners may switch roles based on mood, desire, or to allow each partner to experience their preferred activity. For example, a switch may be in a relationship with someone of the same primary BDSM orientation (e.g., two dominants), so switching provides each partner with an opportunity to realize his or her BDSM needs.
It is also common for people to switch with different partners, such as when a person acts exclusively as a top with one partner and exclusively as a bottom with another.
The act of "switching" may also refer to a spontaneous reversal of roles, initiated by either the bottom or the top.
A person who engages in self-bondage can be viewed as taking both roles simultaneously.
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