Circumventing consent in a Taken In Hand relationship

Circumventing consent in a Taken In Hand relationship

When we talk about consent, I think most of us would like to have some kind of a baseline, a mandatory level of consent that must be there in order to proceed. I know I would sure like to have that.

But there are some women who don't want to consent—who don't want to give permission—who, in fact, want to say "no" and mean it and have it done to them anyway, despite the fact that they hate it.

My wife, Elle, is one of them.

Elle and I found a way around the issue of consent. We found a path that allowed her to not have to give permission.

It's called forgiveness.

A while back, she looked at me with irritation in her eyes and exhaustion in her voice. She said to me, "Please don't do this! Just... Just please don't do this!" She then turned away in disgust.

What I was doing that she hated so much was talking to her, trying to find out what I could do that she could agree to. The truth is that there was nothing she was going to agree to, because agreeing would ruin it.

So I asked her, "If I get it wrong, will you forgive me?" She turned back to me with a ray of hope in her eyes—mixed with a lot of irritation.

After a deep breath and some thought, she said, "I love you. I'm not going to leave you, ever. I'm not going to stop loving you, ever... Yes, I will forgive you. I may hate you for a while, I may get revenge, I may make you pay dearly for it, but I won't run home to mother... and I will forgive you... eventually."

"... BUT ONLY IF YOU SHUT UP ABOUT IT AND JUST DO IT!" Her face turned bright red with a combination of anger and embarrassment.

That was part of what allowed me to do what I did last week. While I was doing it, she hated it. She was mad. She wanted me to stop. She shouted at me and told me "no" in no uncertain terms—and she meant it.

Afterward, despite her threats of grudge-holding, she forgave me almost immediately. Her revenge and hatred have so far been avoided (although I did tell her that I might enjoy a little revenge).

She didn't tell me not to do it again.

In the five days since, she has given me many passionate hugs and kisses and has seductively bent over just about every piece of furniture in the house that is of the appropriate height.

I must not have gotten it wrong.

For the future, I still have nothing more than a promise of forgiveness—not a new one, just the same promise I had before.

No, there does not need to be consent. And please do not suggest that a promise to forgive is consent—at least, not within earshot of Elle. If she heard something like that, she would withdraw the promise.

CarlF

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Comments

But she did give him consent.

But she did give him consent. They've been together long enough and been working at this process long enough that I think from the sounds of things that she gave him consent to do things without her voiced consent for each individual episode.

"No, there does not need to b

"No, there does not need to be consent."

That was the phrase that rather alarmed me...if it is taken as general advice, rather than a description of his particular case. I have read several postings here warning that there must indeed be consent, for serious legal reasons. Of course, I am referring to general consent, rather than consent for every particular action...but that consent can be withdrawn if the actions become too severe.

Consent is fundamental to Taken In Hand

The position of Taken In Hand is that consent is essential, ethically as well as legally. And I think that this needs to be stressed, especially with respect to an article that could seem to be saying that actually circumventing consent is acceptable in a Taken In Hand relationship.

I believe that CarlF’s wife did give him implicit consent, but I am concerned that his description (and definitely the title) could be very misleading, and even damaging, to someone new to Taken In Hand.

As I wrote in my second reply, “A few observations,” to his article about anger:

For example, one idea is that you shouldn’t overanalyze an incident to the point of starting to resolve it in you mind, because then you become less able to resolve it on her bottom, which would be the most constructive way at a certain stage in some Taken in Hand relationships, and which may require taking it beyond where she thinks the limits should be.

(This is an example of consensual non-consent (discussed on other threads), which is appropriate only with a self-aware woman who has integrity (one who doesn’t change her mind after the fact and isn’t vindictive), and which should first be made clear in the minds of both, and then made explicit once (and then assumed to be ongoing, unless terminated during a neutral discussion). An explicit understanding is a necessity in the current social environment, and it makes everything more real, since it eliminates guessing games, uncertainty and hesitancy.)

Consent

But there are some women who don't want to consent—who don't want to give permission—who, in fact, want to say "no" and mean it and have it done to them anyway, despite the fact that they hate it.

I gave blanket consent in the beginning when we first starting talking about Taken In Hand and the implementation of DD. Still, I completely understand not wanting to say 'yes' to a punishment. I'm normally too wrapped up in my hissyfit to fully believe I even need to be corrected.
Some of us like to be able to say 'no' in the heat of the moment and really mean it. The thing is, even if I do say 'no' I don't want to derail my significant other. I want him to push through, show me I can't bend his will. I'd probably be distraught if he backed off after I said no.
You said you'd been married a very long time to your wife, and taking the process of changing your relationship to Taken In Hand slowly as well. I know I shouldn't assume but I assume you know your wife well enough to know that she was giving consent in her own way. The phrase ""... BUT ONLY IF YOU SHUT UP ABOUT IT AND JUST DO IT!"" leads me to believe that she was at the very least WILLING to try it. I mean she did tell you to 'do it'.
Sure, everyone should have the "Do you consent to this?" talk and sometimes things just fall into place.

I understand

I have to disagree with the firm assertions about consent here. I am a Taken in Hand woman who has, at times, NOT consented to some of the things my husband has done in order to maintain the dynamic of our relationship. He has done things to me sexually against my will, as well as using physical punishment against my will. There have been times where I have pleaded with him and begged him to stop. I've sobbed and cried. I've even fought him physically when I don't want him to do something. Sounds terrible and I know some of you are already heading for the door or writing me off as a looney.

But here's the thing. My husband does have my "blanket consent" or "consensual non-consent." He knows that we both desire a Taken in Hand relationship and that he has no official "boundaries" when it comes to maintaining that. He chooses how and when he will exert his control over me. Sometimes I wholeheartedly DON'T want him to. Sometimes that means that I hate the actual things he does to me during that moment, but afterwards I feel peaceful and happy that my husband's authority and control is real. We have no safewords. I have no "out." If it were any other way, it would not be real to me.

I know that others believe so firmly in the concept of consent for safety and legal reasons. I understand why their relationships utilize those things. If that is what both partners want, then that is what is right for them.

I don't have to do that. I trust that my husband knows me well enough to know when something is pushing my boundaries or is hurting me beyond the point that I can really handle. And he has never crossed that line. He has pushed my boundaries, but he has never abused his power.

I think maybe part of it is that I am a very dominant woman in my own right. I don't want to be a little submissive flower. I want my husband to have the ability to actually force his will on me at times. It's sort of a catch-22 because I don't want him (at times) to force his will on me and I don't want to submit, but I do want him to be able to, even in spite of my protestations. I want him to MAKE me submit. He has my consent to use means he deems necessary to achieve that end, but sometimes he does things I don't specifically consent to or want.

Consent

Ah, this knotty subject. Classic male seduction of women was never to ask. It was to seduce, persuade through romantic words or physical action, push until you obtained your advantage. That's a fairly natural way to do it although in 2008 in UK/US at least it can be legally risky for the man. But in a long term marriage it's much easier to take as you know each other better.

I don't like to be asked. I don't think my last boyfriend ever asked me before anything and he was bright enough to know when something might be going too far, and stop.

In the UK in my lifetime it was not a crime for a man to rape his wife because you gave continuous consent on your wedding day but now it is. It used to be lawful in England to beat your wife (and servants) too although that stopped a long time ago.

Leaving aside those legal difficulties I am sure a lot of women who want to be taken in hand are like the wife above. They don't want to be asked. There are things I would never have agreed to but that wasn't an issue as I was never asked. Human sexuality is very complicated. The underlying legal principle of consent which is important for most people that it should all be sane safe and consensual or whatever to me always belies the facts. If someone is inside my mind they can make me comply. I am not at all sure that really is free consent. Whilst I know I have a legal right to make something stop or to leave a relationship if you're very very submissive it is not easy in practice to exercise that right even when you feel you should. All this is why you need to be very sure you're with someone who will look after you.

The references above to being made to consent (obviously that is not genuine consent) will ring true with lots of people.

My wife and I agreed

My wife and I recently agreed to begin a Taken In Hand relationship. We've been married more than 20 years—happily!—but after I came across this website I approached her about considering making a change in our lives together. She's a professional woman, very strong-willed, a superb mother and my best friend. (No, we're not perfect; Yes we have had major issues in our past, but we're still here and we're stronger than ever.) She read many articles and comments over the next few days. She came to me and said she couldn't believe it, but she'd been wanting something like this for us.

We talked and talked and read and read some more. We both agreed that: #1 yes, we want to pursue this; #2 yes, she trusts me implicitly; #3 yes, she gives her consent to me to lead our relationship more firmly than I had in the past.

Bottom line (FOR US—we would never judge anyone else's relationship) is that because she TRUSTS me, she is willing to give her CONSENT. I do not believe that either one of us would have considered this kind of relationship as recently as 5-10 years ago. But, we have found that for whatever reason, this works for us. She's happier, I'm happier, and we're even more in love than we were before.

We have one problem and that is that she is frustrated with me asking her whether or not she's still comfortable with our choice. She told me, quite impatiently, the last time I asked about her comfort level, that as far as she is concerned, we've made the choice..... she agrees and wants this..... and I should shut up about it!

Frankly, it has taken me a while to become comfortable in my new role. I'm typically a take-charge type of person, but as we discussed our lives, we agreed I had become a little too complacent and she was really hoping I'd re-assume my authority and be her husband.

The way we run our relationship is our secret; we don't, and never will, "kiss and tell." It may not work for others, and we would never discuss this outside the safety of this forum. It's between me and my wife.

The trust she has in me is complete—and because of this she is willing to consent to our agreement. So, for us, it's a matter of both trust and consent. We wouldn't have it any other way.

I think that we all actually agree about consent

I think that we all actually agree, but we are not always using consent to mean the same thing.

Consent, as a basic willingness to participate, must be present as a fundamental part of a Taken In Hand relationship, and every other relationship. Without this requirement, any man would be allowed to do anything that he wanted to any woman whom he could overpower.

Then, the legal environment is one reason why the specific interactions that we are discussing are a good idea only with a woman who is emotionally mature and self-aware, who takes responsibility for her decisions and accepts that mistakes will happen, and who is not vindictive. (Don’t forget that some women feel entitled to change their minds after the fact and believe, for example, that if they later wish they had not wanted to have sex, then it must have been rape.)

Comments such as those on this thread are valuable because they describe desires that masculine men cannot know from personal experience. The best that we can do is to observe and infer, and extrapolate from our complementary needs. But we can’t know for sure, unless our women care enough to tell us.

Masculine men can start such a relationship by gradually increasing their dominance and focusing their control on the well-being of their women, while carefully observing the effects of their actions. And the reasons for these effects may not always be obvious or simple. For example, see the excellent explanation What spanking can do for some women, which is the second reply to I KNOW I need a spanking, but WHY do I need it?

And, as Katie also wrote on that thread:

I’m a very take-charge woman in many areas of my life. …However, in my personal life, I have noticed that I respond in a very basic “female” way to a masterful man. I seem to have no control over this nor do I want any. I want to be overwhelmed by his masculinity. His strength and the fact that he can overpower me physically and psychologically drive me to speechless ecstasy. … I have been spanked before by a man who wanted to “break the ice” and though I protested vigorously, I remember being turned on by his control. I think this has something to do with some ancient wiring of the sexes where the woman desires connection with the dominant male for protection and survival purposes. There is something about a “dangerous” man who uses his power to sexually control and possess me that speaks to some deep primal thing inside me. I definitely think it is the male, female thing. A man who is not strong and lovingly in control does not make me feel safe. I was raised by my father to value education and have my own opinions and creative spirit but none of that has quenched this “female” need.

But even if they think that men should simply assume that this is the case, women still need to help their men fully understand their needs and the effects that their actions are having.

“Some of us like to be able to say ‘no’ in the heat of the moment and really mean it. The thing is, even if I do say ‘no’ I don’t want to derail my significant other. I want him to push through, show me I can’t bend his will. I’d probably be distraught if he backed off after I said no.”

Masculine men tend to find it easy to be “benevolently” dominant, but a man who loves his woman will be hesitant to take risky activities, especially those that could cause invisible emotional damage, to the point of being real. He will insist on learning her vulnerabilities and what can injure her, before he will be willing to ignore “please stop.”

I am a Taken in Hand woman who has, at times, NOT consented to some of the things my husband has done in order to maintain the dynamic of our relationship. He has done things to me sexually against my will, as well as using physical punishment against my will. There have been times where I have pleaded with him and begged him to stop. I’ve sobbed and cried. I’ve even fought him physically when I don’t want him to do something.

But here’s the thing. My husband does have my “blanket consent” or “consensual non-consent.” He knows that we both desire a Taken in Hand relationship and that he has no official “boundaries” when it comes to maintaining that.

He chooses how and when he will exert his control over me. Sometimes I wholeheartedly DON’T want him to. Sometimes that means that I hate the actual things he does to me during that moment, but afterwards I feel peaceful and happy that my husband’s authority and control is real. We have no safewords. I have no “out.” If it were any other way, it would not be real to me.

I want my husband to have the ability to actually force his will on me at times. I don’t want him (at times) to force his will on me and I don’t want to submit, but I do want him to be able to, even in spite of my protestations. I want him to MAKE me submit. He has my consent to use means he deems necessary to achieve that end, but sometimes he does things I don’t specifically consent to or want.

But what this seemingly extreme approach actually means in practice would depend on the changing needs of a specific woman. The idea is not to be as severe as possible, but rather to nudge her over her tipping points, whatever and wherever they may be. This will allow her emotional experience to expand way out of proportion to any physical effects, instead of overwhelming her and causing her to shut down and just wait for it to be over.

With respect to consent, the essential distinction is between consent in life and consent in the moment.

A woman gives blanket consent, in their life together, so that she can experience, in the moment, the emotions, arousal and incredible intensity that are possible only if she has no “out” and the activities and levels are a bit beyond what she would have chosen for herself.

This allows her to experience the reality and intensity of both his actions and her helplessness, to experience the full range of her emotions, to be able to say “no” and resist and really mean it and then, once it is over, to love having been forced to endure, and to “feel peaceful and happy that her husband’s authority and control is real.”

But, before she gets to that position, a woman should first ensure that her man “knows her well enough to know when something is pushing her boundaries or is hurting her beyond the point that she can really handle … and will never cross that line … will push her boundaries, but never abuse his power.”

It is especially important, as Hera said, for a very submissive woman to be certain that she is with someone who will look after her, since even though she knows that she has the right to make something stop or to leave a relationship, it is not easy in practice for such a submissive woman to exercise that right even when she feels that she should.

These tendencies of very submissive women to acquiesce and hide their injuries are one reason why I think that trying to “just know” what a woman needs can be a very bad idea. Men and women can be naturally dominant and submissive but, beyond that, there is endless variability, and what is not far enough for one woman may be devastatingly far for another.

When she is certain that her man understands everything that is relevant, a woman who desires this type of a relationship could give him “blanket” or “non-consensual” consent explicitly once, with the firm understanding that it can be withdrawn only during a neutral conversation and never when her limits are being pushed.

This type of consent could be superfluous when “things naturally just fall into place,” possibly as a consistent and rapid progression, in small increments. This can happen when a couple is very compatible, open and honorable, when the man is dominant and confident, and the woman is responsive, expressive and communicative.

While this may not be rare, it is certainly not the norm, and there is a fine line between observing and understanding your woman, and constantly evaluating her reactions as a form of “permission.”

And so, by eliminating the guessing games, uncertainty and hesitancy, an explicit understanding can make everything more real.

I would like to offer an expl

I would like to offer an explanation that resolves the apparent paradox of "consensual non-consent" or "blanket consent with non-consent in the moment". It is a tentative theory, but as a rival to the "consenting core" model of the submissive personality it's probably a good idea to at least mention it.

The reason why men have found it very hard to understand women through the ages is that many husbands are not dealing with one wife, they are dealing with two or more wives that occupy the same female body. This might seem like an outrageous idea, but if one considers the extreme case of multiple personality disorder then it becomes at least somewhat theoretically plausible.

The personalities are linked to different emotional states. There may be some awareness across the personalities but to a first approximation they are separate. This means that they have only weak access to the worldview and memories of the others. Hence a deeply depressed person literally cannot imagine any reason for wanting to live longer, despite having passed through such episodes before and emerging happy.

The simplest and most common version is a two-personality model. It consists of wife + 'pain body'. The pain body concept is due to the spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle. It can be thought of as the accumulation of anger and pain throughout a person's life, which 'takes over' in certain moments. Contributions to the pain body will typically include negativity from parents, child birth and previous fights with husband. It may be that the reason for the accumulation of negative emotions is that they were not properly experienced in the first place. This would mean the pain body is the product of denial and mentally 'turning away' from horrid situations. Men have pain bodies also, btw.

The pain body is cunning, and like most creatures, it wants to survive. It thrives on misery and fighting, and will recede once it has been renewed. Thus it will deliberately start fights. When a Taken In Hand husband spanks his wife, he is 'feeding' the pain body and sending it into remission, and in the process satisfying his wounded ego. The pain body, by its nature, will not profess to consent. It needs to experience pain and opposition. The rest of the wife wants rid of the pain body, which is in competition with her for control of 'her' resources. Spanking is preferable to arguments or silent treatment because the latter would be experienced by a mixed state of the two personalities without either being satisfied. (Hence "... but only if you shut up about it and just do it!" reported in the article.)

If this theory is true then it's interesting to consider what the ethical implications might be for Taken In Hand. At first glance, it seems secure. After all, both the wife and the pain body want to be spanked. (The wife so that the pain body can go into remission, and the pain body because it wants to be fed.) However, it may be preferable to dissolve the pain body permanently. It is, after all, a dangerous parasite.

The guessing game

And so, by eliminating the guessing games, uncertainty and hesitancy, an explicit understanding can make everything more real.

For us, it's the other way around. Having an explicit understanding—having explicit permission—would make it a game.

Punishment with consent wouldn't be punishment and it wouldn't be an exercise of authority. It would be playing or pretending. It would be a facade.

In fact, most couples want a facade. Most women want the ability to call it off if they change their minds. But that leaves the woman in charge. That means that the whole thing is "by her leave".

The uncertainty, the "guessing game", the fact that the husband is taking a genuine risk (albeit a small one) means that he is making a real judgement call.

When I took my wife in hand a little more than a week ago, I had to make sure that I brought her to submission. I had to bring her to an emotional state where she felt under my control. If not, if I had stopped when she was angry and still saying "no", she would have pushed away from me.

My wife is taking a risk (that I might abuse my authority). That risk is balanced by my risk (that she might change her mind afterward and leave me). Both of those risks are small, but they are both there.

I have a very long history of radical opposition to hitting a woman. The likelihood that I am going to hit her too much is incredibly small. But "incredibly small" isn't the same thing as "zero".

It's kind of like riding a roller-coaster: there is very little risk of the roller-coaster running off the tracks but it is a risk in the back of the rider's mind. People do occasionally get killed on roller-coasters.

Without that small risk, the thrill wouldn't be as great.

My husband cares enough to be sure

Some would argue that there needs to be explicit permission before a husband spanks his wife. Those people who make this argument either don't live in a long term committed taken in hand relationship or perhaps don't have the level of trust that exists in a loving taken hand relationship.

You are so full of yourself!!!

For us, it's the other way around. Having an explicit understanding—having explicit permission—would make it a game.

Punishment with consent wouldn't be punishment and it wouldn't be an exercise of authority. It would be playing or pretending. It would be a facade.

When my husband paddles me it is punishment and it really hurts, and it is HIS choice and he doesn't let me get away or talk him out of it (believe me I try like my butt depends on it) :-). But he cares enough to KNOW what I need and what would be bad for me. We talked before we started anything, and now all of the time, and I HAVE TO tell him everything, so we have “explicit understanding”. My husband has “explicit permission” because he has “explicit understanding”. He doesn’t guess or pretend he knows and then experiment on me. I gave him “explicit permission once” by telling him explicitly how I am inside, because he FORCED me to even though it was embarrassing, so when HE makes decisions for me and for us he would be moral, to use CarlF’s religious terms. Don’t you people see that John was talking about “understanding what is relevant” to be able to be a husband who is sure that what he is doing is good?

The uncertainty, the "guessing game", the fact that the husband is taking a genuine risk (albeit a small one) means that he is making a real judgement call.

Wives come to my hospital after their husbands play “guessing games” and make “real judgment calls” and “take genuine risks” (but with other people’s lives!). They say “he is a man and this is how he shows me he loves me” and then they curl up and cry in a corner. Maybe those who start to learn in years what other men learn in months and even weeks should be more humble.

Hitting a woman without consent is wrong. No matter that it is what she wants, it's still wrong. Hence the need for forgiveness.

I don't normally like to put things in religious terms, but this seems apropos. I am choosing between two sins, spanking my wife without her permission or failing to give her what she needs/desires. Either of my choices is sinful and either way, I need forgiveness.

But that is the way of things in this world.

How is “what she wants” also “without consent”? Why is giving your wife what she wants and needs a sin? How do you know that this “is the way of things of this world”? You are so full of yourself too! John is a lot better at thinking and explaining, and I even get to learn new words. LOL!

hmmmm....

"Some would argue that there needs to be explicit permission before a husband spanks his wife. Those people who make this argument either don't live in a long term committed taken in hand relationship or perhaps don't have the level of trust that exists in a loving taken hand relationship."

"You are so full of yourself!!!"

Well this is not the first time I have heard this lol...But I think you have mistaken my meaning. I am not arguing against explicit consent. For many couples this is vital, especially for men who can't proceed without it. I do not doubt that these people have a taken in hand marriage on their own terms. I have never argued that those couple's taken in hand relationships that have explicit consent agreements are less valid than those who operate on implicit consent. How could I make this judgment, I don't know them. Rather my point was directed toward those folk who can't accept that there are couples who have a taken in hand marriage w/o an explicit form of consent. It is directed at those folk who demand there be explicit consent or it is abuse.

If you have read from this and other forums, you must know there are many women who don't want their man to ask for permission before he takes her in hand. There are women who need their man to act on his own initiative. For those women it is vital that he has this authority to act. I think this is especially true in long term relationships where the couples knows each other so well—who know each other at their best and their worst. But hey....this is just what I think.

Consent - Explicit or Implied

I'm sure most people would agree that consent is vital. I would not want to have entered into a Taken In Hand relationship without knowing that I had my wife's consent. My experience however is that my wife was not comfortable giving her explicit consent. We talked for a long time before she agreed to a trial period where we would include discipline in our relationship.

Interestingly to me, during that trial period she would react well to a spanking in that she was close and warm and loving afterwards and rarely sulked or made her disapproval felt. However, if we talked about it she would always say she didn't like it, couldn't get her head round it, and didn't think it was right for us. And she would not say she wanted to continue. This made it difficult for me to feel sure she was OK with it. So, I would keep wanting us to discuss it some more.

One day she turned to me in total exasperation and said "For pity's sake, stop asking me about this. We have been married for 16 years and you have led this relationship from the start. If you want something and I've said that I'm willing to try it then just do it the way that feels right to you. If I can't do it, you will know! That is how our relationship works because we know and trust each other."

So, I have realized that she is never going to explicitly say this is something she wants but I do know I have her consent.

"you must know there are many women who don't want their man to ask for permission before he takes her in hand. There are women who need their man to act on his own initiative. For those women it is vital that he has this authority to act. I think this is especially true in long term relationships where the couples knows each other so well"

I guess I agree with this. This would describe my wife and what she feels about my leading the relationship. I suppose it is different for each couple and we all find our own way. That is what I like about Taken In Hand, there is not just one way.

Experimenting

When my husband paddles me it is punishment and it really hurts, and it is HIS choice and he doesn't let me get away or talk him out of it (believe me I try like my butt depends on it) :-). But he cares enough to KNOW what I need and what would be bad for me. We talked before we started anything, and now all of the time, and I HAVE TO tell him everything, so we have “explicit understanding”. My husband has “explicit permission” because he has “explicit understanding”. He doesn’t guess or pretend he knows and then experiment on me. I gave him “explicit permission once” by telling him explicitly how I am inside, because he FORCED me to even though it was embarrassing, so when HE makes decisions for me and for us he would be moral, to use CarlF’s religious terms. Don’t you people see that John was talking about “understanding what is relevant” to be able to be a husband who is sure that what he is doing is good?

Yes, if the woman is willing to be explicit, it makes life much much easier.

I could have forced my wife to be explicit. In fact, I considered it in the beginning (See my original post from four years ago and the associated comments).

However, her desire to not be explicit wasn't a whim nor was it an exercise in gamesmanship. It was a deep-seated need to not be in control. Also, she didn't completely understand her own needs/desires and didn't want to have to "talk it to death" in order to find out.

She wanted me to figure out what her needs were and fulfill them without her needing to understand it. In effect, she enjoys the fact that I know her better than she knows herself.

We had some rather comical arguments along the way, with me saying, "Tell me what you want," and her saying "What I want is to not have to tell you what I want. I don't want to know what I want until suddenly it's there."

I do a similar kind of thing with presents (birthday/Christmas/anniversary etc.). She likes to mix and match earrings with her clothes, but I noticed that she always wore one particular set of earrings with one of her blouses. I went through her earring collection and saw that she only had one pair in that color, so I bought her several more pairs of earrings that would coordinate with the blouse.

When she opened the box that had four pairs of teal earrings, she was puzzled. Then she said, "Hey, these will go with that blouse...". Until that moment, she hadn't noticed that she needed more than one set of teal earrings.

Of course, there is a lot more at stake when I'm trying to figure out how and why and when she needs to be taken in hand, but the effect is the same. She doesn't quite know why I'm doing something—or telling her to do something—but she does know afterward if it "felt right".

That's also why it took me four years of small steps and experiments to get it right.

I've never pretended that I knew what I was doing when I wasn't sure. She has always been very aware of the fact that I'm figuring it out (and making it up) as I go along.

She likes the uncertainty. She likes being experimented on. She likes the feeling of knowing that I'm constantly trying to figure her out.

Avoiding hospital visits

Wives come to my hospital after their husbands play “guessing games” and make “real judgment calls” and “take genuine risks” (but with other people’s lives!). They say “he is a man and this is how he shows me he loves me” and then they curl up and cry in a corner. Maybe those who start to learn in years what other men learn in months and even weeks should be more humble.

Yes. I was always worried about causing harm. For that reason, I did not use any kind of implement other than my open bare hand on her bottom and thighs.

While it is possible to cause actual harm with an open bare hand on a bare bottom of a healthy adult woman, it is also relatively easy to avoid doing so.

We are much more likely to do harm to each other through sheer clumsiness. The most frequent cause is turning over in bed toward each other at the same time and whacking each other with elbows, foreheads and legs. We've gotten a couple black eyes over the years that way, and plenty of bruises, but nothing broken.

We've also given each other lots of bruises and sore body parts through intense sexual activity, but that has also been fully consensual.

I haven't come anywhere near harming her by spanking or anything else related to taking her in hand, mostly because the non-consensual/semi-consensual stuff has been very controlled.

Oh, wait a minute... do hickeys count? Those are technically bruises.

A call for discussion

I understand the concerns of those who say that there must always be consent.

In particular, it is important to avoid misleading newcomers to this site.

On the other hand, there are women who want to be taken in hand without giving consent explicitly. My wife is one of them, and there are others.

For the husbands of these women, it is particularly challenging to wrestle with the whole notion of consensual non-consent.

It would be useful if consensually 'non-consenting' women and their men had a series of articles to read that could help them along their path.

Both men and women would probably appreciate having a place to send their mate, saying "Read this!"

In order to create a resource, I would like to propose a collaborative process where multiple contributors share what we can to specifically address the issues of consensual non-consensual Taken In Hand.

This is a sensitive subject and it is going to be important that we respect each other's viewpoints.

Specifically, can we please agree that:

1. Taken in Hand relationships should be consensual but not necessarily explicitly so.
2. Some women do not want to give consent explicitly (they want to be Taken In Hand ostensibly against their will or without explicit consent).
3. Some women do not want to talk about it at all (they just want their men to do it).
4. These women have legitimate needs/hopes/desires and we should respect them and their needs.
5. Taking such women in hand can be particularly challenging, and men attempting to do so may need more help than most men at this site.
6. Because of the sensitive nature of this subject, discussions in this thread should be particularly respectful and non-critical of other people's views.

With this introduction, I would like to ask for posts on the subject of Taken In Hand where there is no explicit consent and the woman does not want to talk about it (but does want a Taken In Hand relationship).

In particular it would be very helpful to hear from:

Women who want to be taken in hand without having to give explicit consent.
Women who want their men to "just know what to do" and not have to ask.
Women who don't want to talk about it, just want to do it.
Women who already are in such a Taken In Hand relationship.
Men who have relationships with women in the above categories.
Men who are considering relationships with women in the above categories.
Men and women who have some insight that they believe may be helpful.

Thank you
CarlF

Television, Feminism, Romance and the 1960s

Thank you, ladies, for explaining this better than I have.

I want to touch on the issue of "the way things used to be" and put it in some cultural/historical context.

Elle and I were both born in 1961. We were the "TV generation".

We were grew up on the cusp of the transitions created by second-wave feminism. While Elle doesn't remember the 1950s, she grew up with I Love Lucy in constant reruns, Katherine Hepburn movies on television late at night and June Cleaver looking admiringly at Ward.

The images were different from today and the mindset of male/female interaction was different.

We both remember a time when "no" didn't mean "no". It meant, "Please do that thing that men do that tuns us into putty so I can forget myself and fall into bed with you—after I slap your face of course."

Back then, in the "before time", husbands didn't need explicit consent. Ricky spanked Lucy and people laughed nervously. Although it was never shown on TV and we were too young to see it in the movies, romance novels told young girls what men did to women behind closed doors. They made it sound incredible.

And then there was Gone With the Wind. When Rhett Butler picked up Scarlet, carried her up the stairs and raped her, the word "consent" didn't enter into it. Elle took mental notes under the heading, "I Want That".

In the 1960s, Second-Wave Feminism changed everything. Feminism did a lot of good things, but it stole something essential from the experience of womanhood. It did wonders for women married to men like Ralph Kramden, but, today's woman doesn't get the full romantic experience of being married to a Ricky Riccardo, Rob Petri or Ward Cleaver.

Explicit consent is vital for a woman in a bad marriage, or even a mediocre marriage, but it can get in the way of romance in a good marriage. Some women in good marriages (including Elle) want to jettison the (explicit) "spouse consent" part of feminism in order to recapture that romance.

Of course, Elle doesn't want to go back to the days when men had their way with whatever women they wanted. She certainly does not want to go back to the days of a woman's place being in the home.

But she does want to go back to the day when husbands had their way with their wives—the days before spousal rape laws, when a husband didn't have to listen to the word "no"—the days when Ricky could spank Lucy, the neighbors downstairs could hear it and they would giggle rather than call the police.

In Elle's admittedly-romanticized view, a "good" husband doesn't need explicit consent. Not only doesn't he need explicit consent, he should understand that fact and not have to be told.

Yes, of course this a romanticised version of reality. But that's the view we often have of the time in which we were born. We don't really remember it. We remember images of it.

Women who remember being girls of that time—who remember the way marriage was "supposed to be"—can't get back there. They can't re-create the world of Ward and June, Ricky and Lucy or Rob and Laura. It never existed in the first place. But they still want it.

And a husband and a wife can create a small piece of it in their own home.

That idealized view of the 'non-consensual' relationship between husband and wife feels right to them and until they get there, there's something missing.

Carl...

I want to thank you for this thread from the depths of my heart, and the pit of my gut! I have sent this link to JohnB, because it puts into words, through all of the posters, what I have felt so deeply, my whole life.

I find it incredibly difficult to express my needs—and nearly impossible, most of the time, to express my desires, because I have always been in the role of care-taker of the whole family, putting my needs after their wants! Via this thread, I have been able to communicate that even though my mouth, and even my body language may be saying, 'no!', my deepest desire is for him to stand firm and ignore those pleas—even if they seem angry, at the time.

We have not yet reached a point where this has come up, but then again, I have still not been able to move to be near him, yet—and will have to remain here until school gets out at the end of May. (I don't want to move my daughter to another state, in the midst of a school year) No wedding date has yet been set, and the engagement has not even been formalized—but they are coming, and I know that this situation WILL come up, at some point.

This thread has allowed us to address the issue before it becomes an issue. I cannot even begin to say just how deeply and beautifully this whole site has affected our relationship and future, together.

Thank you, again, (both Taken In Hand and CarlF!)
kitten

Meaningful consent

This is the essence of consensual-non consent, a rather lawyerly term if you me for something that is a special moment of intimacy between a husband and his wife. Whenever an article like this is written a number of people make a fuss about consent which I think distracts from the real subject.

It is one thing to discuss consent as a general principle. I doubt anyone here disagrees that there needs to be meaningful consent. However, when discussed in the context of a specific relationship, as the one between Carl and his wife Elle, one needs to take care in how they would characterize what is transpiring between them. Someone characterized it as a dangerous game. It is not a game. It is an example of a very real intimate connection. Some would argue that there needs to be explicit permission before a husband spanks his wife. Those people who make this argument either don't live in a long term committed taken in hand relationship or perhaps don't have the level of trust that exists in a loving taken hand relationship.

So what is meaningful consent? In a male led relationship it is about more than simple permission, it is about a deep and abiding trust. It is about a wife knowing her husband so well that she implicitly trusts him. Even if it means she does not always like the way he chooses to take her in hand.

My wife and I have been married for 10 years. I started taking my wife in hand before we married. Other than a few brief discussions early in our relationship my wife does not want to discuss the hows and whys of taking her in hand. She most certainly does not want to give me permission to take her in hand. In fact, she still vigourously protests when confronted with an impending spanking. She can become quite lawyerly when pleading her case—arguing why it is not fair or how she is not in the mood. Although she does not physically resist (although I often have to take her by the hand and pull her towards the bedroom) she pleads with me not to spank her before and during the spanking. She does not enjoy being spanked. For her it is not an erotic moment. Nevertheless, she would be sorely disappointed if I did not follow through.

So why does she accept it? Why hasn't she called the police or threatened to divorce me? The answer is not very complicated. She loves me. She wants me to be in charge. It is up to me to decide how to lead—not her. She has long desired to be in a marriage where her husband leads in a loving, yet firm and determined way. Unlike many women who want a taken in hand or a DD relationship, she has never fantasized about being spanked. She is not a spanko. As a young woman her fantasies were about strong willed, determined men who took from her what they wanted. She loved the idea of a strong and protective man as depicted in the movies from the 30's, 40's and 50's. She definintely had (has)a thing for Clark Gable. When it comes to being spanked she has told me that even though she does not like being spanked she respects me for not backing down when she protests. As much as a spanking is connected to me being in charge of her, she wants me to do what I think is necessary.

My only difference I have with Carl is not that he spanks his wife w/o explicit consent. What I don't understand, and perhaps he will explain this more thoroughly, is that he has substitued consent for forgiveness. I can't relate to the need to be forgiven for taking my wife in hand. To me it implies that I have done something wrong that I need to be forgiven for. Why feel guilty for something that you know she (on some level) accepts/needs as part of the way you lead? Perhaps he can explain what he means more fully.

Great article Carl.

Stephen

Why forgiveness?

My only difference I have with Carl is not that he spanks his wife w/o explicit consent. What I don't understand, and perhaps he will explain this more thoroughly, is that he has substituted consent for forgiveness. I can't relate to the need to be forgiven for taking my wife in hand. To me it implies that I have done something wrong that I need to be forgiven for. Why feel guilty for something that you know she (on some level) accepts/needs as part of the way you lead? Perhaps he can explain what he means more fully.

There is an inherent contradiction (a paradox).

Hitting a woman without consent is wrong. No matter that it is what she wants, it's still wrong. Hence the need for forgiveness.

I don't normally like to put things in religious terms, but this seems apropos. I am choosing between two sins, spanking my wife without her permission or failing to give her what she needs/desires. Either of my choices is sinful and either way, I need forgiveness.

But that is the way of things in this world.

To see it in a non-Christian metaphor, one only has to look at the Taijitu (the Taoist yin/yang symbol) and see the spot of yang in the yin.

At the other extreme, I could quote Mae West: "When choosing between two evils, I always like to try the one I've never tried before."

Great article Carl.

Thank you.

RE: Dangerous game explained

When I said Carl was playing a "dangerous game," I did not mean he was indulging in make believe. I was thinking rather of the idiom, "You play a dangerous game," meaning,"You are taking serious chances." It comes from the old story "The Most Dangerous Game," where the "game" in question was hunting humans.

Stephen, Carl: forgiveness

Stephen, Carl

I can see where you're both coming from but (I was interested, so looked up some definitions) 'forgiveness' can also mean to show a lack of resentment rather than a feeling that the other party has in fact done anything wrong. As we all say (ad infinitum and I understand why!) on this site, being taken in hand doesn't per se equal spanking, so if Carl likes to hear from his wife that she feels no resentment that this is the method that he has chosen to take her in hand at that moment, as opposed to scolding or any other form of showing his dominance, I don't find the concept strange in the slightest.

I know (please don't mis-read this folks, I KNOW it's not the same, OK?) that spanking a wife and disciplining a child in whatever way you feel is appropriate (and is legal in your country!) are DIFFERENT things, but if after you'd just had to punish him/her in some way, a child said, 'I forgive you, Daddy' ... in that solemn way when they try adult or 'church' language and don't quite get the register right ..., I would imagine that would melt your heart, and you wouldn't say or think, 'You little brat, you have nothing to forgive me for! I did nothing wrong! You deserved it!' No, you'd hug them back and say, 'I forgive you too.' I'd see this as the most loving (and Biblical to those of you for whom that is important) response from parent to child at that moment.

If I'm very honest, much as I find the ideas about consent, non-consensual consent, implicit, explicit, in the moment, specific et al highly erotic and fascinating to discuss ... at the end of the day, I can understand why a man whose wife has spent the last however many minutes crying and pleading 'no' to being spanked would be happy to know that she feels no resentment at that point. Not because she's implicitly agreed whenever it was that whatever it is might happen whenever he feels she deserves it, but RIGHT then and there while she's still physically very sore. I think that's connection and it's hot.

Thanks

Dear Taken In Hand reader,

Thanks for your explanation concerning a wife forgiving her husband who had just spanked her. It makes a lot of sense.

Stephen, thanks, and I apolog

Stephen, thanks, and I apologise for anonymity but having used two names on here already, one representing a relationship I'm in but is wrong for me, and a new one that I'd dearly love to be in which would be so completely different ... my reply to you and Carl fell slap bang between my two personae.

It's good to know that my comment made sense, despite my never having had children, or ever having been punished to the level that would need anything like forgiveness. You and Carl both write really great stuff, and I'm very much into words, so I went off looking for origins and definitions. Thank you too for not assuming that my suggestion implied any possible resentment on your wife's part in any way, shape or form.

Consent

I certainly don't like to say what I want but you need some communication and lots of knowledge before you can safely do these kinds of things to women. I like to think consent is at the heart of it—the original consent, not moment by moment consent.

But I also know how easy it is to tolerate being abused. Someone above referred to the women coming into her hospital whose men had gone over the top and if you've put all your trust in the husband not to go further than is reasonable it is very hard to escape that relationship when it turns abusive.

non-consent

I think much is made of little here. Anyone hitting an adult without explicit consent is risking the fact that he could be committing battery. Maybe a damn small risk, but the law does not recognize blanket enduring consent to being hit. That said, who gives a damn? What most of us know full well is that the whole erotic charge of DD involves losing control and having a man hold a woman down and warm her bottom while she kicks and squirms and can't do a thing about it. Done right, with luck, if you know each other well, it is sexy as hell. That is why we are here.

What do you mean you can't read my mind??!!

Ok, I am a single member of this blog but I am also like CarlF’s wife. I do not want to talk about it, think about it (well maybe I will fantasize about it), or CONTROL it. If you can’t read my mind, read my body language. If you are still unsure, then ask. I come from a background of being seen and not heard so to express my feelings was at times and still is very difficult. There were very real, physical consequences if I did. I can freely express myself in a working situation, be very alpha and take-charge even as a woman. But in a relationship, that is entirely different. I struggle to speak of things that truly bother me, or need to express. I do not want to have to do so. I want the man to take the initiative and responsibility from me and to do what is needed to make me feel safe and happy and protected. I am intelligent enough to know you cannot read my mind, but I expect you to be interested enough to watch my reactions closely, only question me about the things that you simply cannot figure out on your own, and as CarlF has stated, experiment on me.
I am also intrigued by the theory of a “pain body” spoken of by the anonymous poster on Jan 26. I have never heard of this but can definitely identify with it. Many women, especially alpha prone females, seem to have this tendency. I know that personally I have days where I am full of self doubt or guilt for taking my strong personality traits to the extreme. An OTK episode can be very therapeutic and wanted, we just can’t ask for it. To do so takes some of the responsibility back on our shoulders and prevents that total cleansing that we wanted in the first place. As for the statement “…it may be preferable to dissolve the pain body permanently”, I do not think for women like myself that may have this “condition” it can be “dissolved” without serious harm to our psyche. We have this because it is a safety valve. It is the part of us that we use to release all our “bad” feelings. If we remove it, we have no such outlet and sooner or later will implode.

And finally on the subject of consent: I will discuss it once if you bring it up, but after that it is done. I have now given consent or rejected it. I do not want to discuss my agreement again. Odds are though that I will be the one to initiate a Taken In Hand relationship in the first place so the point is moot. By doing so, my partner will understand I want this. For the male seeking clarification or being the one wishing to begin a Taken In Hand relationship, I would agree with other posters to do this early in the relationship if you are single. It would not make me a happy camper if we start off on one foot then midway, you suddenly changed feet on me. Be honest as to why you want it also. It will help make things more clear for me and I can make an informed decision that will then be correct for me. If married for any length of time, you should have a feel for your woman by now. If you really want this, guide her to this site, give her as much time as she needs to digest it, and then open a discussion. Even though I have problems in expressing things I want, I have never had problems making myself heard when I adamantly was saying no.

Libby

Freed (a bit) from the abuse-permission pickle!

Very valuable post. I love it when someone shows me something I've seen, but never really seen, as in: "What I was doing that she hated so much was talking to her, trying to find out what I could do that she could agree to. The truth is that there was nothing she was going to agree to, because agreeing would ruin it."

Like so many husbands I don't want to be abusive. So I fall the other way, into permission-seeking. Now that I've seen the potential for a Taken In Hand wife to actually desire "circumventing consent" I'm more likely to see it in the future. This is very freeing. Thanks.

-Alex

Thank you so much for this

Thank you so much for this post CarlF. It hit such a deep resonating chord within me that I have read and re read it a dozen times. I have also appreciated so much the replies and analysis that has been posted by so many of you. I am an extremely strong willed woman and have consistently resisted attempts by my husband to control me. This is despite the unavoidable knowledge deep within me that this type of relationship is what I desperately want and what our marriage desperately needs. It is also what my husband has indicated time and time again he desires. You have given me pause for thought and a deeper determination to overcome my sense of 'awkwardness' and to just give in to my instincts that this is what is right for us, despite our social conditioning to the contrary. Thank you again.

Concerning the wives who don

Concerning the wives who don't want to talk about it.

My wife is very much one of those. I think out loud sometimes. I like to have discussions about our relationship. I like to talk about control and submission, relational dynamics, what I am going to do and how she feels about it. It doesn't have to be about spanking, (something I rarely actually do.) I like to have discussions about how I am in charge, how I control her and how she reacts to that. Etc, etc, etc.

Let me tell you. It drives her nuts! She doesn't want to talk about it. She just wants it to be. To happen. She thrives and is at her sexual best when control is taken away from her. As long as she doesn't have to talk about it. Talking about it ruins it for her. To her when I talk about what I am thinking, about what I want and what I am going to do, in her mind it is like I am asking for her permission. She doesn't want to give her permission. She wants me to take what I want from her. She has "consented to the unconsensual" and that ends it for her, giving me free reign to do as I please with her. In, and out, of the bedroom.

This is a concept that has been difficult for me, even while we have been living this way for the past few years, but I am finally coming to terms with it.

She wants to feel my control and not think about it.
She just wants, needs, it to be. Like a Law of Nature. It just is. Like gravity. (her analogy)

Joseph K