The “escalator” concept is useful for all sorts of relationships! I just was looking over inbound links to this website and found this great post from SugarButch Chronicles about power exchange in kink:
“As related to the relationship escalator, I use the term ‘power escalator’ to mean that in relationships based on authority exchange or power play that often, both parties assume that as trust builds, they will play with more and more power exchange, but that is not always what the people ultimately want. Stopping anywhere along the ‘power escalator’ is valid, and going all the way to total power exchange 24/7 master/slave is not the most ‘real,’ or better, or any more valid than any other place.”
Brilliant! As an aside, I’d like to note that relationships that involve BDSM (bondage, domination, sadism, masochism) may or may not be on the Relationship Escalator, as defined in my book. There are plenty of people in monogamous, cohabiting relationships that enjoy various kinds of kink. Diversity is awesome, and nuanced.