Power imbalances in romantic relationships are very well known.women inherently know that every date, new prospect, and ultimately marriage is a navigation of power. Women also know that each move and even compassion has to be questioned. Even compliments or withholding compliments can be insidious. As a society, we have neglected to teach women about power and manipulation. Instead, we expect women to learn from society; learn from their mistakes, or learn from their parents who are often misguided. One of the reasons why it is hard to thwart power imbalances in hetero relationships is due to social pressures. Women are verbally abused, physically abused, and emotionally abused but the community around her will tell her it is her worth that determined this behavior. Her community will encourage her to stay and ensure it is the norm. Even if this woman decides to leave, or challenge the relationship dynamic to ensure she is happy, she will be blamed if it all falls apart. She will be blamed for emasculating him. She will be blamed for ruining the family. She will be accused of asking for too much. She will be accused of being difficult and her harshest critics will be the women she once thought of as a sister  Women are stuck in a loop, where hetero men are protected and encouraged to exploit women. While women are encouraged to suffer in silence because this is how it is supposed to go. One space where this conversation is examined, elevated, and questioned is in sex work. Sex work, for the most part, has been examined through the lens of deviance or oppression; however, it is also a site for liberatory politics and some of the best thinkers and theories regarding power and boundaries stem from current and former sex workers. In other words, let’s look at sex work in a polymorphous paradigm, where there is, “a constellation of occupational arrangements, power relations, and worker experiences.”In the following paragraph, I will outline tools from these power relations to help women who are not sex workers better navigate. What I want women to know is that there are other paradigms outside of exploitation within romantic, sexual, and non-sexual relations with men. While my wish is for patriarchy to be demolished and the hierarchy that relegates women to the bottom destroyed, it has yet to be destroyed so I will teach women how to subvert power in unique and creative ways. I've outlined four categories: The types of power imbalances, Signs that demonstrate that imbalance, Power imbalances for sex workers, and navigating, destroying, and subverting power in sex work and romantic relationships. Types of power Imbalances Below I’ve outlined some common relationship archetypes that demonstrate power imbalances.
Coined by Salvador Minuchin, it is a psychological term that describes a blurring of boundaries between people,
What it looks like: having no identity outside of your partner or the relationship
Opposite of enmeshment: Choosing to be together but belonging to ourselves. 
Couples that abide by strict gender roles
While there are relationships that enjoy this dynamic, some do not. For those who do not abide by strict gender roles below is what that power imbalance looks like.
Undervaluing of labor that women do.
Unequal labor distribution. Cleaning the house
Managing the household
Managing the emotions of the children and the husband.
Faking incompetence to get out of doing a choir
Using money to dictate the family
Couples that are riddled with abuse
Power is the foundation for which abuse is built on. The exploitation of power where two parties have not agreed to the terms will always result in physical, mental, emotional, and financial abuse.
Signs that you aren’t respected
Manipulation to get their way
Lack of trust
Convincing you it’s no big deal or that you are making a big deal out of it.
Uncomfortable speaking up for yourself
"A big reason you don't speak up for yourself is that you fear your partner will reject that part of you, or that they'll retaliate against you in some way,"
ME vs YOU mentality
Everything is a competition
Expression of contempt for you
Putting you down as a way to build themselves up
Physically trying to intimidate you
Requiring you to meet their needs, but won’t meet yours
Regularly requiring you to take ownership of their issues
You are regularly disappointed, while they are content
If peace is dependent upon your silence, then you are in trouble.
If your friends start to disappear slowly and your partner is constantly telling you how horrible they are, know that he is purposefully alienating you.
Power imbalance for Sex workers
Negotiating your rate
Don’t/won’t honor their word
Trying to ascertain free services
Provoking you to try to humiliate them
Trying to have a romantic or girlfriend experience online with no intention of paying
Excuses as to why they can’t pay
Unwilling to build trust
Withhold information from vetting
Won’t provide any information to verify identity
Don’t feel safe
Not creating the conditions to ensure you feel space`
Not gaining any pleasure
Physical, mental, or monetary pleasure
How to thwart power imbalances
For sex workers, money first.
Violence in any form is grounds for leaving.
Seek out services that may help you with seed money to uproot you and your family.
Many states and churches have funds moving funds
Cultivate a community that encourages you to speak up
Cultivate a community with like-minded women
Do not seek out advice from women who think subservience is womanly, feminine, or your duty.
Keep your friends
Say no or disappear. No is a complete sentence and disappearing is a statement.
Watch for the red flags (review signs you aren’t respected)
Pay attention to their community. Are they friends with abusers? Do they excuse bad behavior? Do they hate other women? Do they talk badly about sex workers?
Have secret savings account to leave if need be
Buy a weapon and know the law.
Outline on paper the type of labor you are willing to do and what you need from your partner
Review this after every life event, marriage, children, sickness, and financial instability.
Do not allow incompetence to be a valid excuse. If they have no disabilities, then they can do it.
Don’t allow your partner to weaponize his mental health nor his childhood.
Do not allow your children to monitor their dad as if they are his guardian.
Watch how they discuss your choices. If they do it with disdain, know that they do not respect your autonomy.
Thought this is not an extensive list, my hope is that you will gain some knowledge from this post and utilize it in your life.  https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0003122417737951  https://oureverydaylife.com/power-imbalance-marriage-28820.html  where can scrutinize our norms. https://www.annualreviews.org/doi/pdf/10.1146/annurev-soc-070308-120025  https://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/psychpedia/enmeshment  https://www.bustle.com/p/is-my-relationship-toxic-11-signs-to-look-out-for-according-to-experts-74392  https://www.bustle.com/p/11-signs-theres-unhealthy-power-dynamic-in-your-relationship-according-to-expert-8643093