Being taken in hand is hot!

This desire for control is at least partly sexual. It may be indirectly so, but it is sexual nevertheless. We are thrilled in every way by that control. It is no coincidence that romance novels are full of strong, take-charge heroes. Many women are simply not attracted to men who lack the capacity to take them firmly in hand.

For such women, part of the erotic power of the idea of being taken in hand is in the very fact that the control of the man is real. For many women, if it were just a bit of fun, a bedroom game or a role-playing “scene”, it would not have the power to arouse and thrill the way it does. This is not to disparage those who enjoy BDSM scenes: each to his own. But for the women I refer to, if the control were only ever expressed in role-playing scenes, it would not feel real enough. It would feel like a mere game. Some people do dismiss what we are doing as just a game.

It can be slightly irritating to be told that the way of life you passionately cherish is all just a mere game, but it is worth identifying the tiny grain of truth in that accusation, if only to be more clear about the way in which it is false.

What is the grain of truth in such statements? Other things being equal, a woman who craves a relationship with a take-charge man is choosing this of her own free will, and chooses it freely on an on-going basis. Conversely, a prisoner does not choose to remain in prison, he is there genuinely against his will. If he were at liberty to choose otherwise, he would do so (at least in most cases). Similarly, most children are not choosing genuinely freely to be under the authority of their parents and schoolteachers. If they could wave a magic wand and have their parents change from being involved and loving parents who spank them to involved and loving parents who don't, most would do so.

Can you imagine a child complaining that she doesn't get enough spankings? The idea is completely absurd. But women often complain that their men do not spank them enough. And they most definitely would not want to wave that magic wand to turn their man into a non-spanker. If anything, they want him to be more bossy and forceful, not less. Unless the man is physically or mentally abusive. In which case, the woman would wave that magic wand to end the abuse but still have the love, just like most children would wave the magic wand to make their parents non-spankers.

In one case, there is wholehearted consent; in the others, the authority and control is against the will of those subject to it.

The word “authority” implies having the right to control and direct the actions of those subject to it. So it could be argued that since men and women are equal under the law, no man has real authority over his woman. And indeed, even if a man and a woman decide that the man does have that right, the woman is legally free to withdraw that right unilaterally at any time. The prisoner and the child are not legally free to walk out. So if you insist that the “right” implied by the word “authority” must be a legal right as opposed to any other kind of right, then it is true that the man has no more authority over his woman than she has over him. But why insist that?

You may want to argue that the fact that it is consensual proves that the dominant authority of the man is just a game. But if you do, you are missing something. You are simply defining “real authority and control” as non-consensual. That is all very well, but many of us experience what we think of as games very, very differently from how we experience this very welcome thing you think is just a game but which to us feels like very real control. How do you explain that? You can dismiss the experience of thousands of Taken In Hand readers if you want to, but that doesn't invalidate it.

Because the control needs to be real to have the powerful effect it has, some conclude that they must draw a hard line between what they call “erotic spanking” and what they call “punishment spanking”. If they don't hate “punishment spankings” in exactly the same way as the average child hates to be spanked—then (their reasoning goes) we might as well pack up and go home and stop wasting everybody's time. If a punishment is in any way erotic, it must be just a game, a “scene”, a “kink” or a fetish. But it does not follow from the fact that it is erotic that it must be just a bit of kinky fun, and we should resist the temptation to buy into this idea.

First, for some women, a serious spanking is not directly erotic at all, it is scary, painful and can be quite distressing. In some cases, there may be physical evidence of sexual arousal that the woman herself is not consciously aware of. In other cases, there is no evidence of arousal at all. And yet I still say that it is erotic. Why?

What is actually erotic is being under the control of the man. But because that control needs to be real if it is to have the erotic power it does, at some point, or on an on-going basis, the man needs to establish the reality of his authority. Is he in charge or not? If he only spanks her in a fun, playful way, and has never established his authority, there might be some doubt as to whether or not he is in charge. One way of establishing his authority (though by no means the only way) is through serious, non-fun disciplinary spanking. So how is that erotic?

Suppose a woman behaves unacceptably in some way, and the man takes the woman in hand and gives her a severe, painful spanking to show her who's boss and to let her know that he will not tolerate such behaviour. No matter how much it hurts at the time, unless something has gone wrong, the end result is that the woman feels a sense of submissive peace, love, a desire to please the man. She feels his, and she feels strong sexual desire for him. She might not feel this immediately after the spanking—the effect is not that direct, it works in a much more general way, assuring her of his authority over her. It is that authority—and the woman's awareness of and experience of that authority—that produces and maintains so powerfully those feelings in the woman. For the women I am discussing here, it is not spanking in itself that has that effect, it is the ever-present authority that the spanking represents.

If the man has not established his authority over her, she might not feel this strong sexual and emotional desire for him and connection with him on an on-going basis over the years or decades. But for as long as she is aware of his authority, she feels sexually and emotionally drawn to him. This is the sense in which so-called “punishment spankings” are erotic.

In my next article, I address the following question: “If a woman finds the idea of being taken in hand erotic, how can taking her in hand also “work” to modify her behaviour? [Click here for the next article: Why you should not withhold spanking.]

the boss

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Comments

What submission means to me

There is a general theme of if you want it it isn't discipline....if you choose to be submissive or to surrender, actually you are the one in control. Having just read the Surrendered Wife, I think Laura Doyle's idea of surrender actually is quite controlling in itself but if it works for her that's great....I had some difficulty with following any of the suggestions, keeping it quiet from my husband being key, he bought me the book so he already knew what it was all about.

Anyhow onto submission—submission comes with discord of some sort; if not, if there is no discord, there must be agreement and harmony, in which case nothing to submit to. So submission is an act towards achieving the equilibrium of harmony. It follows therefore, that to be submissive requires submission to something disagreeable to the submitee, and in my relationship that means being spanked. I think that is what it is all about for me anyhow.....that's why I want to lead this lifestyle. And in doing so, Mark recognises my need to be submissive to him, and the most important part of that statement is that he recognises my need and when he acts on that recognition I feel cared for and immensely secure.

The eroticism in being spanked for me is the act of having submitted to it. It signifies my obedience and my ability to be obedient to my husband and that is a huge thrill

Disagreeable

My wife doesn't find obeying me disagreeable, she finds it exactly what she wants. She told me a long time ago--before we were married--that she needed to submit. It's been a real pleasure giving her what she wants. :) Besides, it saves alot of arguements.

I think that submission and o...

I think that submission and obedience are two different things.....as distinct as submission and subservience.

I love to be obedient to my husband.....it thrills me. On the other hand, I hate submitting to a punishment, but I do so out of obedience

Issie.

Discord or wanting it?

Issie, you wrote:

Anyhow onto submission—submission comes with discord of some sort; if not, if there is no discord, there must be agreement and harmony, in which case nothing to submit to. So submission is an act towards achieving the equilibrium of harmony. It follows therefore, that to be submissive requires submission to something disagreeable to the submitee, and in my relationship that means being spanked. I think that is what it is all about for me anyhow.....that's why I want to lead this lifestyle.

Isn't there a contradiction here? You say it implies submitting to something disagreeable......... then you say you want it. Which is it?

The Surrendered Wife

Hi Issie,

I was just wondering what in particular you were referring to, when you said that Laura Doyle's idea of surrender actually is quite controlling in itself? I was wondering whether you meant that it is controlling in some general sense (in which case, I'd be interested to know what you mean) or were you referring to specific pieces of advice she gives, such as the following examples?

From memory, she advises women to:

- pass responsibility for financial matters to her husband, whether or not he wants that, and absolutely to refuse to help with the finances

- on no account tell a man when he has missed the exit or taken a wrong turn (not sure if she says to do that whether he likes it or not)

- say "I can't" when her husband wants her to do something she can't bring herself to do (this might be reasonable, but I can imagine that it might be used at the drop of a hat)

- refuse to express an opinion or desire and instead, when asked what you want to do, say "Whatever you want". This could get really annoying if taken too far.

I do think, though, that you have to read this book in the knowledge that it is aimed as shrews who really are quite controlling and might well do and say really rather awful things if they don't get out the duct tape now and again. If a woman has spent the last ten years bossing her husband around and making snide remarks whenever he takes a wrong turn, perhaps there might need to be a period in which she keeps quiet instead of jumping down his throat. And perhaps giving her husband the space to have his own wishes and opinions might be necessary too, in really bad cases.

But perhaps those who know the book better than I might have more informed, intelligent comments to make on this. MamaKat? Daisy? Charlotte? Ben? Anyone else?!

Surrendered Wife

Crikey. Does the book really say that if you're out driving with your husband and he takes a wrong turning you shouldn't say anything? I can just imagine what MY husband would say if I knew he'd taken a wrong turning and didn't point it out to him and just let him keep driving the wrong way. He would be furious, and I'd probably get a VERY severe spanking! Actually, come to think of it, that's quite a good idea—. No., but honestly, what kind of a nutcase would actually WANT his wife to behave like a complete imbecile. This book sounds totally bizzarre. I must read it, if only for the laughs.

Your response to mine

Hi to the boss

I'm going to get the book out again later and give you my critique but just wanted to say quickly, that you really surprised me with the part of my response you picked up on...I thought you'd be far more interested in the thinking on submission and the non-erotic feelings about being spanked...which is an article I've been trying to tie together for a while now!

Issie

Issie's distinctions

I so agree, Issie! These are different things.

One can obey without feeling submissive. One can submit without feeling obedient. Subservience is another thing entirely too, as you say.

previous article?

To the boss:

I'm just wondering if you could name your previous article in this one. I wanted to read them as a series, and I had to figure out which one came before this one; I believe it's Why you shouldn't mention the 'M' word. Perhaps if something is a series, the series could be listed in each piece?

Melanie

previous article? 2

Okay, now I remember you can just click on "previous article." I just didn't know I could at the time. This is just part of learning how the site functions. I guess every new person has to figure out a few things.
Melanie

In Denial

Issie may be a little in denial. You have to chuckle when somone comments about subs being controlling or having control.

Subs have little if any control at all. Just because a sub can have limits on severe disiplines or something like that doesn't mean they have control. Some lame o's try to interpret that and say, yes the sub has some control. Usually people who are still in denial about being sub.

Just because a sub has limits it doesn't mean a thing. EVERY PERSON has limits. If I walk down the street and see a woman standing, I KNOW that she doesn't want me to get a bat a bash her head in, and I KNOW that I don't want someone to do the same to me. There are just boundaries in all aspects of life, it doesn't mean someone is controlling the person because of it. That woman walking down the street has NO CONTROL over me because I know that she doesn't want me to beat her head in.

Same for the sub, the sub doesn't have control merely becuase she may have a certain boundary. Everyone has boundaries, that doesn't mean you have any sort of control.

How it started

When we got married, my husband would shout and throw things around the place in his frustation. One night, quite by accident, as we were about to have sex, he started to spank me really hard. At first I was outraged but the more he spanked me and the more sore my bottom became, I felt closer to him than ever before. With each slap, he told me what he did not want in the marriage. Then we had passionate, if a little sore, sex.
The next afternoon after the children had gone back to school, he bent me over the settee and spanked me again just to let me know that I was being taken in hand. I could hardly sit for the week. Everytime he saw my discomfort, he became very pleased. Since that time, whenever I displease him, within reason of course, he tells me that he is going to spank me at the earliest opportunity. Apart from the fact that I am excited at the thoughts of it, I am nervous in anticipation too. Occasionally, if he is very angry, he will use his belt but usually his hand is the implement. As a result of this, we are getting on much better and I would recommend it to any married couple especially to those who are having problems.
Anna

Anna,

Anna,

I have not lived a DD Taken In Hand relationship, I have experienced a little of it, or its results I should say.

In my first (and only) marriage (now divorced) of over 16 years, a couple of times my spouse spanked me. Only a few weeks ago, while I was researching spanking, I asked him if he thought I could or would allow a man to dominate me. We only touched on the subject, but he said, do you remember when I busted your tail a couple of times. You fought me like a wildcat, but afterwards you were content, soft...and the sex was HOT! I feel that I need to be made to submit, for a spanking or possibly for sex, it's hot! And I agree, the more he makes me submit, the the hotter I get. Now, divorced, I long for a DD Taken In Hand relationship, and an head of the household, but I don't know if I can actually submit without some...... coercion. But I do truly believe that this would create a better relationship between a husband and wife.

stormy

Insufficient input from the wife?

What bothers me in this case is that the husband seems to be totally in control without input from the wife as to limits to his behavior.
I do not see a man using his wife in the way the writer describes as "loving" or in a way that promotes the realationship they have. To me, this is really an example of a man using a woman without an agreement or limits to the behavior they will indulge in.
I have seen many women used in this way and think that if their husband or partner treats them better after he uses them, then things are better in the relationship. Boundaries need to be respected.

How Laura Doyle's book, The Surrendered Wife, has helped me

It was the chat group for The Surrendered Wife which referred me to Taken In Hand, so for that I will be eternally grateful.

I too took issue with the advice not to tell your husband what you're doing, although I still have yet to come clean about my change in behavior.

There seem to be many silly things in the book, but many excellent ideas as well. I believe if it doesn't relate to you, it will seem silly or misguided, but if it has a ring of truth in it, you will see the example for what it is worth.

Laura Doyle is giving examples of the extreme of controlling wives—wives who can never accept anything their husbands do as having any worth. My ex-mother-in-law was just like that. My father-in-law was one of the sweetest, most honest and dedicated men I have ever met. I married his son because I hoped he'd be just like him. I was right. I ran roughshod all over the guy, just like his mother did to his father. Oops... I have mentioned he was my ex, right?

At that time I fit the descriptions of those horrible women in the book. My ex couldn't do anything right, including take the right exit off the freeway. I remember he cherished and kept repeating to our friends one of the few compliments I ever paid him. It was painful to hear it repeated, because I felt so guilty.

I have vowed not to make the same mistakes, but have found myself slipping back into my old ways with my new husband. He is not so tolerant, but so far I've just managed to stuff him in his cave and create discord in our entire family. My “surrendering” as in Laura Doyle's book is, for me, simply the beginning of what I see as submission.

Her book clearly illustrates many of the reasons women are controlling, specifically fear— fear that their husbands will make mistakes which they will blame them for, fear of financial ruin, fear of having to do something they don't want to do, fear that he will do things differently from the way she wants. The book states repeatedly that the only way to true marital bliss is through trust and communication, the same things which are emphasized here on this site—she just doesn't bring discipline into the equation.

Enough of my two cents. I took from the book what appealed to me, and discarded the rest.

The Surrendered Wife

I got as far as page 35, and stuck on the bit about not telling your husband if he's taken the wrong turning. When I told my husband the book said that, he flatly refused to believe it until I showed him the passage in print. I think the book is too silly for words, it recommends that women behave like fools. What kind of an idiot man requires his wife to play these stupid games? A man who can't cope with his wife telling him if he's taken the wrong turning, honestly who'd want to be married to such an imbecile? A man with an ego as fragile as that shouldn't be married at all, he should be in a nursing home.

Confused about whether it's consensual

The boss wrote:

Can you imagine a child complaining that she doesn't get enough spankings? The idea is completely absurd. But women often complain that their men do not spank them enough. And they most definitely would not want to wave that magic wand to turn their man into a non-spanker. If anything, they want him to be more dominantly authoritarian, not less. Unless the man is physically or mentally abusive. In which case, the woman would wave that magic wand to end the abuse but still have the love, just like most children would wave the magic wand to make their parents non-spankers.

Wait! Is it the Taken In Hand position that a punishment spanking is consensual or just that the relationship is consensual? I'm confused?

Consensual non-consent

This is confusing. Some Taken In Hand relationships have what is called consensual non-consent. So it can seem that there may be no consent at times. When my husband and I started I gave him "blanket consent" to do what he sees fit, even if I protest at the time. To an outsider witnessing our conversation what my husband was doing would sometimes seem non-consensual. He is not however, because I have given him consent from the get go. For us there is power in my husband saying "no" to me or sometimes doing things that I do not want. In essence I want my husband to follow through with things I do not want! :) It can seem confusing to others outside our relationship, but it makes us perfectly happy.

Take care,
Tevemer

You all have a very serious problem

You all are people with a deeply rooted problem of lacking self-estime, and I do not believe for a minute the person writing all this non-sense (not to employ any more rude adjectives) is anything but a seriously mentally harmed man.
I hope you will find good people in your way and not get too seriously harmed.
All the best

It is not just a game, a ‘scene’, a ‘kink’ or a fetish.

Thank you for saying that this is not a game. This is in fact a real way to live a real life. If it was just a game for my husband and me there would be a window of opportunity to let all hell loose. This would potentially hurt his feeling and destroy the balance that I crave. It is the "threat" of always being under his authority that protects the joy of our relationship. I chose him to be my husband because he demanded that I respect him.

"...part of the erotic power

"...part of the erotic power of the idea of being taken in hand is in the very fact that the dominant control of the man is real."

This so describes me! It isn't the spankings that are erotic, it is the power!

When my hustband does anything to me in front of others that remind me he is in charge, it is the hottest thing he can do. This certainly may be because whatever he does is very discreet and no one knows what's going on except us!

It is the power of the man that I am so attracted to... Not only physical, but emotional and psychological power! It is very sexy!

M-

Limits? What Limits?

"What bothers me in this case is that the husband seems to be totally in control without input from the wife as to limits to his behavior."

There should be no limits on a husband's control over his wife, other than her objection to such. This sort of trust obligates BOTH partners to UNLIMITED trust.

This trust includes the possibility of the revocation of such by either party, in which case the relationship itself is dissolved.

I think that total trust should be the cornerstone of a marriage. If that cornerstone is dissolved, so is the marriage. Once that happens, the entire relationship is doomed, beyond recovery. At this point, the marriage has no emotionally sustaining value.

Mick McCleod