Correcting possible misconceptions about Taken In Hand

Correcting possible misconceptions about Taken In Hand

Women shouldn't HAVE to do what their husband says... I choose to because it is a way I can show my love for him. He asks very little of me so when he does I am only too pleased to do it for him.

No woman should be expected to hide her opinions or disagree. We discuss all things and normally it is my opinion that wins out as he is so laidback. Women helps me curb my frustration and anger as I struggle sometimes to get my point across verbally. Without Women I would probably end up frustrated and shouting. With Women neither one of us shouts at the other and we communicate calmly. I can honestly say my husband is never nasty to me. He would see it as a failure in his duty as a husband if he was.

My husband does his fair share of the household jobs as we both work. He cooks the tea generally because he is better at this than I am. I do the tidying because I notice these things more than he does. I have no idea who spends how many hours doing what. We don't count. The jobs get done fairly by mutual agreement.

My husband sometimes asks me to wash his back in the shower. I do this and love it. It is a very intimate close thing for us. He makes me a milky drink every night to help me sleep. We don't do these things because we have to, we do them because we want to and they bring us closer together.

If my husband were not behaving like a responsible adult I would get myself a real man. Luckily my husband takes his role of husband seriously and loves the responsibilities that that entails. He considers one of those to be putting my welfare before his own.

My husband and I work as a unit. He does things that make me happy and I do things that make him happy. Prior to being Taken in Hand he did what he wanted and I did what I wanted. That is not a unit, that is two people living in the same house. We now do what is good for the whole. Who decides what is good for the whole? We do. By talking to each other and saying what would make us happy.

If I felt that the only way to save my marriage was to surrender to my husband's every wish or that it was expected of me to surrender then I would not want to be married to this man. I am not in this relationship with him because I am weak, and if anyone reading this is unclear as to this point then have a read of some of my previous posts.

So why do I prefer to be taken in hand? Well to me marriage is not a war zone where decisions should be fought over and won or lost by the person who shouts loudest, or a debating chamber where points are scored over the other one. So often one hears couples arguing and shouting at each other with neither one listening to each other's point of view. Or they pick, in a jokey way of course, and try to score points (my husband and I call this ping pong). I know of many happy marriages that are punctuated by screaming arguments and apparently they love it and have fab make-up sex afterwards. This suits some couples and they thrive on the challenge. OK, each to their own. That is not for me. I find arguments like this to be destructive and damaging. We don't argue. He does not raise his voice to me, because that is his nature. I do not raise my voice to him because we have agreed this is not an acceptable way for a grown adult woman to behave.

No woman should never enter into a male-controlled marriage just because her husband has given an ultimatum of do as you are told or it's over. If any man said that I would recommend she run for the hills. And it definitely would NOT be a Taken In Hand marriage, because a defining characteristic of a Taken In Hand relationship is that it is wholeheartedly consensual.

I am an educated woman with a good brain and I choose to use that education and brain to strive for the type of relationship that works for me. One where I have no choices or have to do everything for my husband would not be a marriage that could make me happy. So I'm glad mine is not like that. Being in a Taken in Hand marriage allows me to work hard, communicate and considering my husband's feelings, decisions and thoughts, as he does mine.

As for sex—some say that men have a higher sex drive than women. Before we became Taken In Hand I would have agreed with that but now it's the other way round. I have agreed that I will not say no to sex. Most of the time I am feeling in the mood for it anyway but if I was not he would not just pester me until I wanted to scream NO NO NO at him. If I don't want to have sex we have agreed that I have to justify why I don't want to. By doing that it can open up hidden areas. For example I may be angry at him but not really know it. By having to say why I'm not in the mood this gets aired and the problem solved. I suppose we could just go back to me saying NO if I wasn't in the mood but where would that leave us? We would both spend the evening emotionally separated from each other. Him sexually frustrated, me frustrated at him for being demanding of me when I'm not in the mood. I suppose he could go and look and porn and I could go to the gym but we would rather work it out between us.

Technically, with our arrangement, he does have the right to just do it whether I wanted him to not. Him knowing he can take me whenever he chooses means that he needs to pay more attention to my mood and feelings. He finds out how my day had been, etc. If he judges me to be receptive he often just throws me on the bed and off we go. It's great. He could just climb aboard I suppose and treat me as one would a blow-up doll but that would have no interest for him so he does not do that. If he did he would not be someone I would want to be married to.

I could choose to have a marriage where the mental ping pong goes on day after day but that would just build walls between us. I could have a marriage where he does what he wants and I do what I want but that would not bring us closer.

Being taken in hand allows me to be softer and more loving to my husband. It allows me to safely open up and be loved and to be able to love with all that I have. I have no need to keep bits of me locked away for fear that he may hurt me. It is his role to keep me safe, to protect me. Yes I am quite capable of keeping myself safe but to do that means putting up walls and barriers. With him I want no walls just openness, trust and love.

Sully

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Comments

I'm scared

Thanks, Sully, for the article.

I found this site a month or two ago and was shocked, disgusted, amused, entranced, and well, a lot of things. Yet somehow, I kept finding myself returning here. I was always a very timid person. While I am still introverted, I have found myself becoming more comfortable and assertive with women, even those who are my superiors in the workplace. I'm not arrogant or anything but I've even given "commands" to a female coworker and was shocked to see them followed without complaint.

There are certain things I don't agree with, like what I interpret as subsidizing a woman's lifestyle or spanking. It seems though, that a lot of the more general ideas stated here like leading are rubbing off on me. What does this mean? AAAAAAHHHHH :O

--Harold

BTW, I'm 22

Timidity

Harold,

I am convinced that timidity serves a critical evolutionary purpose!

Anecdotally, I have read that both so-called "beta" monkeys and moose take the opportunity to mate with available females while the alpha males are battling it out. Too funny.

Glad to see you here. Taken In Hand really helped me understand a depth of femininity that I didn't believe existed. Looks like it's opening your eyes as well!

The Taken In Hand alternative.

You talked about the ping pong style fighting followed by make-up-sex. In our Taken In Hand relationship, we have replaced the ping-pong fighting and make-up-sex with, preventative spanking and pre-talk-sex.

What I mean is, any start of a fight results in a spanking, which usually puts us in the mood for what is essentially make-up-sex. However, the difference is, we do not say the hurtful thing that a ping-pong fight always eventually leads to. The sex helps to relieve the aggression, that in turn helps us talk better. The important thing is not to forget, that this is pre-talk-sex. You have to make sure that you do not forget to have the discussion afterwards. But I am usually in a better mood, and remembering that he is head of the household.

Reasons to be scared off

First of all let me correct a misconception you have about equal relationships: not in every equal relationship things are decided by arguing. Most of my relationships were equal ones and in none of them did we have much arguing. I'm pretty much addicted to harmony. When a partner of me disagreed of my opinion we discussed and then just decided. Of course this only works if both partners are ready to come to a sane conclusion and can accept not being right on a matter from time to time. My non-equal relationships (a woman i lived two years with wanted to be dominated) did not work out better or worse than the other ones.

Now, there is one danger i see with taken-in-hand... There are people in the world who indeed think that woman are not equal and so shouldn't have the same rights. I have heard unbelievable things from American churches and even from some European churches which are usually not as extreme. You should be aware that in a way you are strengthening their position.

I must say that this all confuses me a lot. I have always tried to be a gentleman... i always tried to grant my partner in a relationship the same rights and duties... i was always willing to do my part in the household... i was always the person female coworkers wanted to work with at my company, because i did not treat them any different from my male coworkers.

That some women might actually have expected the opposite behavior from me is pretty shocking.

Equal rights

Alleister wrote:

I must say that this all confuses me a lot. I have always tried to be a gentleman... i always tried to grant my partner in a relationship the same rights and duties... i was always willing to do my part in the household... i was always the person female coworkers wanted to work with at my company, because i did not treat them any different from my male coworkers.

That some women might actually have expected the opposite behavior from me is pretty shocking.

Maybe I'm off here, but I think most taken in hand women do want to be treated that way. That's the big misconseption. My husband is a gentleman & treats me with respect. He helps out around the house & is respected in the workplace by men and women alike.

Just because we like the control, doesn't mean we want to be treated with any less respect or treated as a maid.

As far as the churches go, I don't think I'm strengthening their position at all. Taken in hand women do have equal rights. In fact we are the ones who gave our husbands the right to lead us to begin with. Not the other way around. Taken in hand is not something that is imposed. If it is, then it's abuse. There's a big difference. I think many taken in hand women would agree that they do, in fact, feel respected by their husbands. If we didn't, we wouldn't be in this type of relationship.

Dynomite

Spanking is problematic

Taken in hand women do have equal rights. In fact we are the ones who gave our husbands the right to lead us to begin with. Not the other way around. Taken in hand is not something that is imposed. If it is, then it's abuse. There's a big difference.

But that is not the point... the point is, if woman indeed want to be controlled it is right to control them. That is what is strengthening sexist points of view.

Of course controlling someone doesn't have to be in a disrespectful way, but spanking someone is indeed something that i would consider disrespectful. After all, that puts me in a position that implies the person i punish isn't capable to decide for herself.

Sexists are problematic

Hi Alleister!

I'll agree with you that if a woman wants to be controlled, then it is right to control her. And maybe this is where sexists are confused. By choosing to be controlled, am I not exercising my right to choose how I live my life? I mean, if I truly had no rights, then I wouldn't be free to choose what type of relationship I wanted. Whatever society deems right would be imposed on me. I'm only viewed as an outcast because most of society isn't accepting of this type of relationship (at least outwardly, anyway).

Of course controlling someone doesn't have to be in a disrespectful way, but spanking someone is indeed something that i would consider disrespectful. After all, that puts me in a position that implies the person i punish isn't capable to decide for herself.

I understand that there are many views on this issue. And I truly respect yours & others. But for many of us, spanking isn't a disrespectful act at all. By giving my husband the authority to spank me when he feels he needs to, it certainly doesn't imply that I'm not capable of deciding for myself. I make many decisions. Spanking is a way for me to physically feel my husbands authority. It is very sexual in nature. It is also very calming. It makes me feel safe and cared for. My husband would tell you how empowered he feels. It's a huge rush for him. And the sex (which, for us, always follows) is incredible! We'll lay in each others arms & talk for what feels like hours. It's so connecting.

I understand, to some, this seems odd. But I wouldn't knock it until you've tried it. And maybe you have & it just didn't feel right. Either way, it's all perspective. What's disrespectful to some is essential to others.

Dynomite

what lies behind the spank.

"spanking someone is indeed something that i would consider disrespectful. After all, that puts me in a position that implies the person i punish isn't capable to decide for herself."

If spanking is not something one is wired for it could, and probably would, be seen as disrespectful. If people knew I was spanked I would be embarrassed so I guess in a way it is not surprising that you see it as disrespectful. The act in itself is something that has connotations of punishing an errant child. I think what needs to be seen is what lies behind the action when applied to adults who choose it. It is not that my husband believes that I am unable to decide for myself. It is that we have decided this is how it suits us best to deal with a problem. Spanking is something that I have found calms me so if I'm getting too het up it can give me a release and allow us to solve the existing issue constructively.

Outraging features

There seem to be distinct features attending Taken In Hand relationships that almost every accidental visitor finds outraging. Maybe it would be useful to make a list of them and explain each of them how it should be understood to avoid recurrent exasperated posts and comments. I think such list would be on a fore place of this site. Yes, there is the "New to this site?", but I think it is too modest. I think it should be of a form guarding against hostility. Too many accidental visitors read a fragment, spit their disgust and never come again.

Hali

Hi Alleister

First of all let me apologise if my writing came across as I thought all equal marriages are full of arguments. They are not. Many are very happy and harmonious. I was referring to some of the relationships I have seen and some that I have had in the past but did not make that point clear. I am not a particularly calm gentle person and find living in harmony, without structure, quite difficult which is why taken in hand suits me very well.

I could not agree with you more on the dangers inherent in advocating this style of relationship. There are people out there, and indeed some people who write on this website, that do not believe in equality and free choice and we need to make sure we do not play into their hands. One thing that I always try to get across when discussing my taken in hand relationship is that it is not something that should ever be inflicted upon someone who does not freely choose it. I feel uncomfortable when men instigate this style of relationship and it is just accepted by the women. It is different when the position is stated at the beginning or early on it the relationship but when the relationship is already established and the man then wants to make it a taken in hand one I am not so sure how much free choice that entails and how much of it is just acceptance. I think there are dangers when one assumes that all women wish to be secretly taken in hand because many don't. The consensual and free choice elements cannot be emphasised enough in my opinion. I know that some people think it is a bore to keep on mentioning it but I am aware, as you are, that the taken in hand ethos could be used in a negative way if they are not seen as of paramount importance.

I'm not surprised you find it shocking I was pretty surprised myself to find that the idea of a taken in hand relationship thrilled me. I still have no idea why it does I just know that since we started on this journey I have felt happier and more content than I have in any other relationship.

Dispelling the harmony myth.

When a partner of me disagreed of my opinion we discussed and then just decided. Of course this only works if both partners are ready to come to a sane conclusion and can accept not being right on a matter from time to time.

This idea of a "harmonious discussion" was the most difficult part of my pre-Taken In Hand relationship. We have always had a traditionally structured marriage. He, the naturally dominant bread winner. I, the some what submissive house wife. He wanted us to be equal, and to discuss thing harmoniously. We tried it that way for ten years. He would sit across the room from me and try to discuss with me the matter that we disagreed upon. The more he talked, the more I tried to listen and understand. I alway seemed to miss the point. In my emotional frustration I would resort to uncivil primal behavior.

The problem is, I am physical in nature. I think it is related to learning style. I got myself through college by developing a type of personal sign language to study my notes. Some people learn by reading. Some people learn by listening. I learn by moving. So no matter how hard I try to have a harmonious discussion with my husband, I have a hard time understanding what he is saying. I am not dumb. That is just not the way I learn thing. Imagine his frustration as we have gone through several of the same discussions over and over again. Each time I seem to miss the point, or forget it shortly afterwards.

I decided to ask for a Taken In Hand relationship. I decided to ask for spanking to be a part of it. I decide to confess the guilt that I feel. I decide to put myself in a vulnerable position to receive the spanking. This is not a wrestling match. This is one adult asking another adult, to help them do something they need to do. I am so glad that my husband was willing to oblige.

In this type of close physical relationship, with the incorporation of spanking and intense hugging, I am more aware of what my husband wants and needs. This is, for us, way more civil then the alternative. I do not pretend that this is for everyone. In some ways I wish I was not this way. I do not think I am hurting anyone. On the contrary. I am in the minority. It has been hard to overcome the fear of what others would think if they found out.

My husband is still a gentleman. He still treats me like an equal. I am an equal who has chosen to give him the last vote. I do not think it is that much different from the equal relationships that you describe. I am sane. I do not except to be right all the time. I except being right less now, then I did in the past. The difference is, now our discussions have the physical elements to them that I need in order to make my ears work better.

I do not mean to disrespect anybody. If you are lucky enough to be able to sit down and harmoniously discuss things, I think that is great. Maybe even ideal. I just want to admit that not all sane, well meaning people have found this to work for them.

About misconceptions

Excuse me, Sully, but what you describe in your article sounds like a good egalitarian relationship to me.

Well, with the exception of "right" of the husband to take her wife if he chooses so. It's her body after all. From my point of view in the marriage it's abusive to "just say no" without explanation, but this does not give the victim right to seek redress through rape.

However if you've given your husband 'technically' that right (on the assumption that he would not do it anyway :)) this is not enough to make your relationship male-controlled. Frankly, I can't understand from your article what makes your relationship male-led.

I wonder why do you need to politicize, so to speak, your arrangement? Why do you need to call your relationship "male-controlled", "taken in hand"? Maybe I missed something? Do you need some threat to take into consideration his feelings? I'm somewhat puzzled.

Egalitarian?

This might be a case of semantics. Taken In Hand is many things.

However your assumption that the husband's "right" to his wife is assumed is not in line with modern politically correct feminism. It is the fact that "no means no" is drilled into the minds of young people everywhere, that in some marriages the "right" has to be clearly presented as an exception to the current rules of our culture. In addition, there is a stigma associated with going against the grain. Heaven forbid our feminist coworkers know that we have given up the right to say no to our husbands.

As for male-led vs. male-controlled. I have experienced both and there is a difference. In a male led relationship the man walks out in front and expects the women to follow, but if she does not, he is at a loss. Yes that undermines the male-led relationship, but not everyone wants to follow all the time. In a male-controlled relationship, he not only leads, but he makes sure that she follows. If she does not he takes the time to remind her that she is supposed to follow. I would not call it a threat per se. A better word is a reminder. He can after all hold me down with one hand. So if I think I am better off doing my own thing, I am wrong. He can only protect me if I stay by his side and help strengthen him. Protect me against what? Well for one thing, people who try to tell me that I have the right to deny my husband sex. This in turn protects him from the abuse of having his wife say no. And in case you where not sure, sex can be very controlling. It is all in how it is done.

No means no

However your assumption that the husband's "right" to his wife is assumed is not in line with modern politically correct feminism. It is the fact that "no means no" is drilled into the minds of young people everywhere

I believe in "no means no" as strongly as any "politically correct feminist". I think that sex should be based on mutual consent, and if one partner doesn't consent that's a strong enough reason not to have it.

However it is natural to want sex and to feel frustrated if you don't have it when you want it. I think that marriage or any other close relationship that includes sex is based on assumption that partners care about feelings and frustrations of each other. So when the wife just says no to the husband (or vice versa) and does not even care to explain why she is hurting him that way, she acts as if his feelings, desires and frustrations were not important to her. I believe that it is utterly abusive.

I think that she has a final say about the way her body will be used, just as he has a final say about the way his body will be used. But if she does not want sex and does not consent to it despite his desire, she should frankly explain to him why she took such decision. (And vice versa, if he does not consent to sex he should frankly explain his decision.) And she should be prepared to discuss her decision in case he insists on such discussion (unless, of course, there are some circumstances that preclude such discussion).

That's my point of view on "sexual ethos".

if I think I am better off doing my own thing, I am wrong.

So, if you were doing your own thing you would be even worse off because of his disciplinary action? Is it correct paraphrase of your statement? ;)

Protect me against what? Well for one thing, people who try to tell me that I have the right to deny my husband sex. This in turn protects him from the abuse of having his wife say no. And in case you where not sure, sex can be very controlling. It is all in how it is done.

But why do you need protection against people who tell you that you have right to something? Well, they are not cops trying to arrest you, are they? :)

And why do you think that if you believed that you have the right to deny your husband sex you would use that right? Maybe you secretly resent "how it is done" ;)

Let me try again.

I agree with "no means no" in the early stages of a relationship, before consent is established. I too am proud to be a working, equally payed in my field, feminist. So my point, in my statement is more to the effect of how these thing have put stumbling blocks in marriages. Some women will continually tell their husband "NO", without offering a reason. I think the least a women should do for her husband if she is busy or not in the mood, is plan on a time when they can get it together. Call it a date if you will. If nothing else, a stay home in bed together date.

However, I have found that when I tell myself that I need to say "YES", the things that use to get in the way, go away. Do I really need to finish all the chores right now, when he is obviously in need of some attention. Believe me the chores will always be there. I want to make sure he is always there for me. Not that I fear him running off, just that it is my chief concern as his wife, to keep him happy. The number one reason married men go to prostitutes, is that there wives do not put out. I want my man to come to me when he need some action. If I keep saying "NO" he might give up. But his needs are not going to go away.

As for her having the final right for how her body is used. I would not deny any women that right. However in the contests of a marriage, it might be interesting, from time to time, to give up that right. There might be new and interesting things a married couple can discover if they would just let go of there preconceived ideas of what sex is supposed to look like. If you are into that kind of thing. ;)

What I mean about me not being better off doing my own thing, is similar to not thinking about his feeling when it comes to things like my work schedule and the amount of money I spend. It is not in my best interest, because it could hurt the trust established in our relationship. At this point in time, he pays the bills. This job has changed hands several times in our marriage. However, right now he is the one that knows what bills need to be payed when. If I where to go shopping, on pay day to get a new outfit for myself, that might at first seem like a good idea. Until I talk to my husband about the fact that he is still paying for the car repair from last month. (Just an example.) So it is not a good idea for me to do whatever I want. It would hurt our finances. Like wise, if I take a job with complete opposite hours as his because it is something I want, that would not be good either. The truth of the matter is, he does make more then me. So in order to stay connected in our relationship I work similar hours to his.

So where is the control in that? It sounds normal and healthy. The kind of things all married couples go through. The control is in the fact that I give him the power to end the fight before I push him in to a detrimental diction. He has the power to end a fight before it gets out of hand. Sometimes it looks normal. "Hon, I do not think that is a good idea right now, I have other bills to pay." Sometimes he has to suppress my emotions. "Hon, I said no, and that is final." Or the last straw, with consequences. "When I am done with you, you will take that back to the store." We do not get to level three very often. The art of control, is a man knowing how to communicate with his wife in a way that lets her know when he means business. This keeps him from getting hurt, and keeps me informed of what is going on.

So why do I need protection from other people's opinions? There are people out there that would not take the time to notice that I am happily in love with my husband. They might only look at one aspect of my relationship and assume that I am abused. They might not even look at my relationship at all. They might simply say, spanking is abuse, period. This is so far form the case that I do not even like wasting my time on this point. So let me just say, it hurts my feeling to have people assume that the man I love so much with all my heart and all my life is an abuser. So he is not really protecting me per say. He is helping me deal with the feeling I get when others judge our lifestyle.

Lastly, I know I have the right to deny him sex. That is kind of a non-point. Why would I want to? I do not resent how he does it. I picked him because of how he does it. I would not settle for anything less.

Not Male-controlled?

One reader wrote:

"...However if you've given your husband 'technically' that right (on the assumption that he would not do it anyway :)) this is not enough to make your relationship male-controlled. Frankly, I can't understand from your article what makes your relationship male-led."

Giving him the right to her body isn't the only thing Sully & her husband have going for them here. In her first paragraph she says she does what here husband says. Just because he isn't demanding, doesn't mean it's not a male-controlled relationship.

Our relationship is very similar. In fact, most people would be shocked to discover we were in a taken in hand relationship. It appears very "normal" from the outside. I have just as much say in things as my husband does. The only difference is, if we disagree (which is very rarely) he gets the final vote.

If I want to go out with friends, I ask him if he minds. Likewise, if he wants to do something, he asks me if I mind. We show mutual respect for each other.

My husband also demands very little of me. But make no mistake, if they aren't met, he'll take action!

He wants me to be strong and have opinions on things. What fun would it be if I suddenly became this submissive little mouse of a wife that blindly followed him around? He has a dog already. He needs to be challenged just as I do.

I guess I'm confused on the reader's view of how taken in hand relationships "should" be. I see strong, assertive women all over this site. It isn't a D/s site. The women here are very strong, free thinking women.

Taken in hand comes in all shapes and sizes. Read on...

Dynomite

Male-controlled?

In her first paragraph she says she does what here husband says. Just because he isn't demanding, doesn't mean it's not a male-controlled relationship.

And in the second sentence of the second paragraph she says that "We discuss all things and normally it is my opinion that wins out as he is so laidback".

When people marry they, from my point of view, agree to take into account desires, feelings and thoughts of each other as a matter of everyday routine. That means that in some cases she would submit to his desires and decisions, and in some other cases he would submit to her desires and decisions. Even the most dominant people do as they are told by their spouses rather often, although some of them (men more often than women) try to conceal that fact from themselves and from those around them.

So, just because she usually does what he asks her (and she said he asks very little), that does not mean it's a male-controlled relationship.

The only difference is, if we disagree (which is very rarely) he gets the final vote.

This is a crucial difference from my point of view. THIS does make your relationship male-controlled. But that is where I begin to dislike the idea. I would rather flip a coin :)

Flipping a coin

Flipping a coin feels like a fight. In it you seek an arbitration, not a consent. When I submit to my husband's decision, I am consenting to him and connecting us. I also value his responsibility for our concern, his willingness to bear consequences. My and my family's well being is in his hands and this is great. Thanks he likes it.

Newer were we so connected then now.

Hali

What constitutes male-control?

"So, just because she usually does what he asks her (and she said he asks very little), that does not mean it's a male-controlled relationship."

I guess I'm confused. I'm not sure what constitutes a male-controlled relationship in your opinion. Maybe I'm reading Sully different, but I see her doing as he asks. She states this clearly. Yes, they discuss things to ensure both are respected, but I think most taken in hand couples do this. After all, our men want us to be happy. They're not tyrants.

I'm curious though. You say you dislike the idea of him having the final vote. You'd rather flip a coin. Are you in a taken in hand relationship? What is it about him having the final vote that you dislike? To me, there's just something sexy about deferring to him under such circumstances. There's nothing sexier than a man in power! :-)

Dynomite

coin flip

I do not think I would like to trust decisions to fate if we cannot decide on the best course of action I would rather trust my husband's judgement. He may well decide to flip a coin to make the decision but that would be his decision to do so :-)

A further question posed was "I wonder why do you need to politicize, so to speak, your arrangement? Why do you need to call your relationship "male-controlled", "taken in hand"? Maybe I missed something?" The original piece that I wrote was in response to a writer whose idea of what a taken in hand relationship is, is very different from mine and I felt the urge to respond. I call it male-controlled because that is what it is.

In answer to the question of do I need some threat to take my husband's feelings into consideration? The short answer to this is yes. I am a person who, in intimate relationships, does not really consider my lover’s needs before my own. This is not a good trait to have, I know, but it is how I am. Without the threat of punishment I would run roughshod over him and would soon lose respect for him and eventually leave. The taken in hand element of my relationship stops this happening. He does not really need to demonstrate his control on a day-to-day basis, I just need to know it's there when necessary.

I think as far as sex goes this is a good barometer of how I'm feeling towards my husband. If I'm feeling all is hunky dory in our relationship I'm up for sex as much as he is or often more. If I'm unhappy with him or us for some reason this is usually manifest in my lack of desire to be intimate. If it wasn't an agreed requirement that I had to give an explanation as to why I don't want sex I wouldn't. I would just say "look I don't want to ok" and roll over in a humph. I'm not great about talking about things that are bothering me and tend to hold onto them until they reach such a point that I attack. Having the sex as a barometer of my feelings is a good way to make me think about what is bothering me and to deal with it.

To flip a coin :)

> I do not think I would like to trust decisions to fate
> if we cannot decide on the best course of action I would
> rather trust my husband's judgement. He may well decide
> to flip a coin to make the decision but that would be
> his decision to do so :-)

Well, I've never did this in reality. To do something like that one need to reach the point in discussion with one's partner where they both can understand that their disagreement can't be solved through further argument, so there is a need to use some arbitration.

In my relationship with my former wife we were not able to argue long enough to understand this while remaining composed enough to do the right thing :)

But for me to flip a coin (or to do something equivalent) is actually the least submissive thing that is still fair. Because forcing the partner to do as she is told is not fair.

Of course, if she agreed beforehand to give me the final vote in such circumstances it would not be necessarily unfair: the final vote rule is just another arbitration strategy, just as flipping a coin is an arbitration strategy.

If I believed in God or thought about "fate" in anthropomorphous terms I would not consider flipping a coin to be a good arbitration strategy. In that case I would prefer to get the final vote. The second best would be to give the final vote to my partner, since it is less submissive to submit to the partner chosen by you than to the "fate" or God elected by no one.

> Without the threat of punishment I would run roughshod
> over him

Personally, I don't understand why it is necessary either to "consider my lover’s needs before my own" or to "run roughshod over him" while there are less altruistic ways to be considerate, but that is probably the way you are.

Summary

This is such a difficult argument for many reasons. (From the original post all the way down.) Let me try to name a few.

1. I see people's misconceptions coming from their failed marriages. Though I DO think one can learn from there mistakes, odiously something caused these marriages to fail. So I refuse to see them as positive examples.

2. I see people's misconceptions coming from the idea that a Taken In Hand relationship CANNOT possible be normal, happy, or healthy. Though it is not the only model for a normal, happy, healthy relationship, I am one to argue that it is a model for one type of normal, happy, healthy relationship. I say this based on the fact that the people on this site report such thing as career success, decreased fighting, and increased sexual enjoyment.

3. I see people's misconceptions coming from the ideas that everyone NOT like them must be crazy. In the past, my husband might have thought that I was crazy. In reality, he did not understand how to connect and comunicate with a person like me. The craziness comes in when a person is feeling completely misunderstood. We have to figure out how to communicate better. (see above posts)

Taken In Hand is primarily about a couple learning how to comunicate better. Spanking is just an interesting way to do just that. The conversation on this site about physically taking women in hand is shocking because it is not the kind of thing that people talk about at work. In my opinion, the number one cause of divorce is lack of sexual satisfaction in a marriage. When a person is being sexually satisfied, the other problems in the relationship do not seem as big.

It might surprise people to hear what makes other people happy. It might shock you to know that there is a group of women who like being spanked. It might make your skin crawl to realize some adult males get away with punishing their wives when they nag. If people where not so sexually suppressed, this topic would not be so shocking and I bet the divorce rate would go down.

This is not an issue of what I do. This is an issue of what your fantasies are. Now, can you find someone somewhere who is willing to help you live out those fantasies. You might have to start by giving up your prejudices for what an ideal relationship is supposed to look like.

Taken In Hand is not for everyone, but there are some underlying things you can learn from other people's healthy, happy, relationships. I encourage you to look past the kink and look at the core message here. I for one like being physically controlled. Beyond that we are couples who have learned to respect each other and communicate better. You have to admit, Taken In Hand people have an interesting way of getting that connection.

RE: Summary

I didn't present my failed marriage as a positive example. Surely there was something that caused my marriage to fail. As far as I can see it was my conviction that I know better than my partner how she should live her life, what she should expect from it and what she should strive for.

> I see people's misconceptions coming from the idea
> that a Taken In Hand relationship CANNOT possible be
> normal, happy, or healthy.

No, I don't think so. After all, this site presents a lot of evidence to the contrary. Besides, I should say that there is some appeal in it for men.

However, I don't understand it on an emotional level. I would never agree to be taken in hand even if I were woman (or maybe especially if I were woman with her reproductive vulnerability). If I were treated like that I would immediately become aggressive, and in case I'm not strong enough to resist successfully I would come to hate my partner. That's the way I am.

And to build relationships where you can't emotionally understand some aspects and behaviours of your partner, aspects and behaviours that you have to deal with daily, is not something I would like to do. If I can't understand that means I can't make reliable predictions.

> I see people's misconceptions coming from the ideas
> that everyone NOT like them must be crazy.

It's a common human predisposition to think so. I try to avoid it. Sometimes I try successfully, sometimes not :)

The emotional level

The emotional level for me is the ability to let go. I grew up to be very independent and to look after myself in many ways from quite young in life (in an emotional as well as a physical capacity). I therefore went through life doing just that. Guarding myself and not really wanting to let anyone in. The thought of needing someone totally unnerved me and still make me abit uneasy even now. To be needed was fine but to need someone else. "No way not me I don't need anyone" was how I went through life. By being in a taken in hand relationship it has allowed me to open up more. He reaches deeper into my soul that anyone else ever has. I do still find it very hard to ask for help especially where emotional issues are involved. He insists I open up to him when I'm hurting about something and does not let me disapper inside myself. By being a good, kind and trustworthy head of the household in our relationship he has shown that I can allow myself to be vulnerable to him and he will look after and nurture that side of me. It is still scary though and takes some drawing out at times.

RE: The emotional level

> I do still find it very hard to ask for help especially
> where emotional issues are involved. He insists I open up
> to him when I'm hurting about something and does not let
> me disapper inside myself

I think this is the reason why egalitarian relationships don't work for you. You reject something you truly need, so he needs to force you in order to give it to you. There is a big difference between giving in and letting someone in :) However if you invite someone and then refuse to let him in he must either force his way through or go away :(

> he has shown that I can allow myself to be vulnerable
> to him and he will look after and nurture that side of me.

That's good. But can HE allow himself to acknowledge HIS vulnerability to you? All people are vulnerable, and many of them need that their loved ones accept them being vulnerable without dismissing them as weak. Will you look after him when and if that's needed? Or will you run roughshod over him?

looking after

I have looked after him when he's needed my help and support. I have held him whilst he has cried and think of him as stronger for allowing me to see him at his most vulnerable. I have always been good at the caring/nurturing side when it's needed. Just not so good at the day to day living.
I think that the deeper we get into this and the softer I allow myself to become the more I will be able to love him.

It's gender neutral

I liked the description above of male controlled compared with male led relationships, although I suppose it's only semantics.

There is always consent in the UK/US because we can leave marriages if we choose. But within them we can give continuous consent. Even then it's a fantasy because legally no does mean no. In the UK we change the law in my life time—men can now be prosecuted for raping their wives. Previously that was not so because marriage did mean a continous consent (although not a consent to other forms of assault).

Also yes I agree with someone above who said why politicise it with terms used—there is no need. Plenty of men love to be taken in hand or dominated by their wives and although this site is not aimed at them they are out there in huge numbers and have very loving long term happy relationships where as with people here, the boundaries are clear and there is less conflict in some ways because although you want to be listened to you know who ultimately decides things. It works really well if you're this way inclined whether you're male or female.

I wonder if this is true

"Plenty of men love to be taken in hand or dominated by their wives and although this site is not aimed at them they are out there in huge numbers and have very loving long term happy relationships...."

I have read this claim many times, but I wonder if this is really true. Although, I know men who are weak and men who are stong, but passive, I don't know any man who desires to be dominated by a womman. I am not saying there are no men like this, but you said there are huge numbers of men who live this way. Can you provide evidence for this claim?

Huge numbers?

Well, I can't prove that there are huge numbers of men who want to be dominated by women, but there are certainly some—they pop up from time to time on various DD groups that I belong to. If not huge numbers, there certainly seem to be at least some men who desire to have a woman take the dominant role in their lives.

As far as spanking goes, many years ago, when I used to furtively buy men's magazines that featured spanking, there were at least as many stories about men being spanked by women as the reverse. If you read Edward Anthony's book on spanking 'Thy rod and staff' you will find at least as much about men being spanked by women as there is about women being spanked by men. Of course, a man who desires to be spanked doesn't necessarily desire to be dominated in day-to-day life, any more than a woman does, but just as some women who crave spanking also crave domination outside of the bedroom, one assumes that the same goes for men who crave spanking.

Louise

StephenI wonder if men wh

Stephen

I wonder if men who like to be dominated by their wives would admit it to another man. Perhaps it's not surprising you don't know any. Perhaps you do but they haven't admitted it! I haven't admitted the Taken in Hand nature of my relationship to any friends and family.

If you take a look at Elise Sutton's site or Disciplinary Wives Club, you'll find such men.

Lauren, I am sure you're c

Lauren,

I am sure you're correct, there are men who have the desire, for whatever reason, to be dominated by a woman. And yes, you are most likely correct; most men would not admit to other men that they have this desire. However, simply because there are men (I would guess very few) who have this "kink" does not have anything to do with what most men and women want in a committed, intimate relationship. I believe it is a mistake to assume that the number of men and women who populate the various websites dedicated to "alternative" lifestyles are representative of the population as a whole. My view of a taken in hand relationship must be different from yours. I do not view taken in hand as a lifestyle or some weird kink. I view it as a common way that men and women have related since the dawn of time. Do all men and women relate this way? Well…no. But if you ask any woman what she wants in man, I would assert they are not looking for a man who wants to be dominated. They are looking for a man with the kind of characteristics most often mentioned here on Taken In Hand: confident, strong, caring, committed, and trustworthy. Simply because all men do not possess these characteristics does not change a woman's desire for such a man. I don't know any woman who would not be glad to be married to a man like that. And if he has a bit of rough and dominance about him—all the better!

Hi again StephenWell roug

Hi again Stephen

Well rough and dominant certainly does it for me! However I wonder if having the male in control in their relationship is what most women want now. Certainly the pattern of human relationships in history might suggest this but women had very few legal rights and were without the financial means to be independent in historical times.

My partner is a take charge kind of guy (naturally, considering I write on this site!) That certainly does attract a lot of female attention and always has. If we’re out in a club and he goes to the bar to get drinks I often find women try to chat him up, not realising he’s got a partner sitting back at a table. He had lots of interested women making approaches to him before I met him (I didn’t approach him by the way, he approached me).

However just as many women seem to be repelled by his take charge and directive ways. This was a problem in his first relationship where they had a constant power struggle. Some women, even friends of his, have humorously told me that I must be a saint to be in a relationship with someone who’s so directive but I absolutely adore the way he is, I wouldn’t change anything. I love the way we relate!

Perhaps these other women haven’t realised the dictates of their genes yet or met the right guy or perhaps they’ve been brainwashed by the values of our culture. Or perhaps they just don’t want this kind of relationship.

Certainly to me it feels ‘natural’. Subjectively I feel I’m fulfilling my feminine role in response to his masculine one. I feel more feminine in this relationship than in any other and that’s deeply satisfying for me. But I wouldn’t like to assume it’s the same for all women or even the majority. I think you’re right and we do have different views of a Taken in Hand relationship. I do view it as more of a lifestyle. I feel I’m fulfilling my personal needs in this relationship and so is he.

I agree that women are looking for men who are confident, strong, caring, committed and trustworthy. However I’ve read on Elise Sutton’s site of men who have exactly these qualities but want to submit to their wives rather than direct. I’ve mused in the past at the similarities between many of the men there and the men here. Both have the desire to protect their wives, to look after her best interests, but there they’re doing it from a position of wanting to submit rather than dominate. In the outside world many of these men are very successful and very assertive. The women on that site seem delighted by their husbands’ submission, even women who initially had reservations. As here, many couples attest to how much closer it’s brought them having introduced that dynamic into their marriage.

With men who want to submit however there does seem a greater propensity to indulge in fetishes than you’d ever find with contributors to the Taken in Hand site, so I can understand your view of this as some kind of ‘kink’ compared to a Taken in Hand relationship which seems more natural to many. However I don’t know if these men are very few as you suspect. Much like women who want their men to take charge, society’s values run contrary to their freely expressing their needs—so I suspect the ones we see appearing on such sites might be the tip of the iceberg.

Possibly you’re right and there is a greater desire in the general female population for a powerful man. After all, look at the popularity of romance fiction with a strong and masterful hero. I’d say the market for this was almost entirely female and I don’t know of any corresponding genre for men (except perhaps pornography). Also the most common sexual fantasy for women is apparently a rape or ravishment fantasy. I think the most popular male sexual fantasy is having two women simultaneously! However people don’t necessarily shape their relationships around their fantasies.

I can’t know for sure, obviously, but I suspect men and women who want to submit in their relationships are both in the minority in the general population. However possibly that’s because I see this in terms of sexualities rather than a natural social order. Certainly for me I feel like I’m expressing my sexuality by choosing this kind of relationship. Sexuality of course extends way beyond the arena of the actual act. If living within my man’s control ceased to be erotic to me then I would no longer have the desire for it.

I also

I also view him letting me take care of him when he is vulnerable as him being strong enough to let me this. While he had difficulties with this, I not and I had to show that this does not diminish him in my eyes. In fact it makes him honourable for me.

Hali

I can relate

If I were treated like that I would immediately become aggressive

I can relate to this, these were my feelings when I first met seriously ment ideas about male dominance in a modern marriage. It got a long period for me to gain trust in my husband, and to my surprise this brought us in loving connection not known to me before (and I believe also not known to him). Ve both value it much.

Hali

I hope you realize that my comments where not directed at any one person. Thus the title "Summery", and the statement about "(From the original post all the way down)" :)

"As far as I can see it was my conviction that I know better than my partner how she should live her life, what she should expect from it and what she should strive for."

That sounds like a dominant trait to me. You also show a caring attitude about what is being sacrificed by the women. This would make you a good Taken In Hand spouse for an interested person.

"If I were treated like that I would immediately become aggressive, and in case I'm not strong enough to resist successfully I would come to hate my partner."

If I was treated this way immediately, I to would become aggressive. I have been married for 11 years and it was not until the 10th year of my marriage that I was able to give blanket consent. Up until that point I would agree to consensual non-consent for short period of time. It was during those times that I would gained more and more trust. Even with blanket consent, my husband still does not go in like a bull in a china shop. He still slowly worm me up each and every time. I know this about him and that is why I can give him blanket consent.

The point for me at least, is not to be strong enough to resit. It is the giving in eventually, and realizing his strength that I need. Sure I give a good fight, but this proves even more that he is physically stronger then me. I have a strong desire for independence, that translates in to a desire to run away. This desire it detrimental to the stability of my relationship. For me to feel for short periods of time, that I can not get away, makes me want to stay. INTELLECTUALLY I know I can go if I want to. INTELLECTUALLY I do not want to. In the id is an irrational battle that I do not understand. I do not even claim to be able to explain it. I just know that it is there, and to be held down by someone stronger then myself, that I love and trust, quenches that desire. My daily life becomes calmer when my id is quenched.

"It's a common human predisposition to think so." (that others are crazy.) "I try to avoid it. Sometimes I try successfully, sometimes not :)"

Why of course. That was the point. To pull this into people consciousness in order to help them to correct it.;)

Taken in hand relationships

I usually voice my beliefs even if they are not popular (unless I have some selfish reason to keep them in secret :)). Furthermore, I tend to enforce most important of them if I can. I understand this is not good because to do so means to assume the role of a judge which I am not. But the alternative is to let "them" (other people and/or society at large) to try to enforce some other beliefs just because they are widely accepted. That's not good either because I believe in validity of my beliefs more than in validity of "generally accepted" ones. Frankly speaking, when I first recognized my tendency to enforce some my beliefs on other people it was a big surprise to me, partially because I'm usually quite willing to discuss my beliefs openly and partially because I believe in self-determination. It happened rather recently and I don't know what to do with it yet.

As for caring attitude—yes, I care what my actions (or inactions) cost to other people, especially people I like or love. I think it's just normal, and people who does not seem to have that attitude (or at least most of them) in my opinion have to suppress it artificially for some reason.

But this attitude is exactly the reason why I'm uneasy with being dominant with people, especially loved ones. Being dominated by somebody else has its psychological cost. When I find myself in such a situation it is very unpleasant experience so I make substantial efforts to get out of it and can't be laid-back as usual until I succeed. I don't want to inflict it on someone, especially someone I claim to love, unless there is some very good reason to do that.

I find it quite probable now that my former wife needed to be taken in hand :) When I read pieces about pre-taken in hand days of some people here it was strongly reminiscent of my former spouse's behaviour. I did not know then what does it mean. Probably if I knew then what I know now I would take her in hand (or at least would try to do it) because I did not want to lose her. Fortunately it's too late. I say "fortunately" because I still do not see this model as an ideal. It makes me feel uneasy, some aspects more than others. I'm egalitarian—that's just the way I am.

Comment on RE: Summary

And to build relationships where you can't emotionally understand some aspects and behaviours of your partner, aspects and behaviours that you have to deal with daily, is not something I would like to do. If I can't understand that means I can't make reliable predictions.

The man in control cannot (as in it is impossible) understand, from personal experience, the feelings and needs of the woman he controls.

But, if he wants her to be happy, he must listen to her and trust that she knows what she needs and wants.

He can make reliable predictions if he listens to her. And he can validate them by observing her subsequent attitude and behavior.

The final vote "rule"

The final vote "rule" is not only an arbitration strategy, it is a commitment assurance. And in a Taken In Hand relationship I would not call it a rule, I would rather call it an arrangement. Rules are a D/s thing which although similar is not the same as Taken In Hand, and for many here these are even disjoint.

Hali

Sully correcting misconceptions of taken in hand.

I love this article by Sully: it is the kind of relationship I am looking for. I don't want to live in fear. But I do need a man who is not afraid to calm me down when I get emotional. I can see myself feeling safe enough to give all of myself to such a man. I really connected with this article. Thank you Sully. A well-written piece.