Embracing each other's darkest secrets

After nearly 18 years of marriage, my wife and I are experimenting with a Taken in Hand relationship. The breaking point came after I became depressed and withdrawn and it became clear that our marriage was on the rocks despite the fact that we still loved each other dearly. (As an aside, reading other posts on this site, I'm simply astonished how many times a posting starts like this...) We both have a feeling of exhilaration like newly weds at the moment. Although I don't imagine the adrenaline rush will remain, I do feel strongly that it is the way it's meant to be and will be the long-term solution we both so desperately need and want.

That having been said, being an intellectual kind of guy, I find the hardest part of asserting myself the fact that I always take time to consider things and usually find that I can see most people's point of view. In general, I would say that I come across to most people as a shy, conciliatory and empathetic person. I definitely avoid conflict where I don't find it necessary. In fact, all in all, I would be exactly the sort of guy that many women (and men) on this site would warn you off as being a "weak" man. But this is very deceptive. In fact, I am usually quietly ranking the probability of my opinion being right against all others and therefore feel a sense of unassailability even if someone can convince me of their opinion—I still usually have the sense that my analysis was reasonable.

But recently, I have been becoming more and more aware of the need to be the head of the household and be more in control both mentally and physically over my darling wife. This is coming from a dark and irrational place that I don't understand and have always suppressed. It bubbled up to my consciousness—my rational persona—through feelings of hurt and anger but it's definitely always been there and now it won't go away. Why do I feel these urges? Am I a bad person? And why does my beautiful wife, so spontaneous, vivacious and direct to the point of being forthright, feel so comfortable when I assert myself? We neither of us understand this completely. While she is worried about the apparent "demeaning" nature of being the woman in a relationship like this, she needs it on some level and can't hide her obvious responsiveness. For my part, I have struggled with the deep shame of thinking that there must be something very wrong with me.

So, you could see this article, perhaps, as a kind of armchair psychoanalysis of what it all means. I can see from many of the posts on this site that I'm not the only one to struggle with the "meaning of it all". It's helped me beyond description to be able to read so many different perspectives on something I'm also feeling.

I also wouldn't be the first person to go back to evolutionary biology to try to find the answer here. Several people have speculated that, back in the caves of pre-history, the woman needed someone to protect her and chose the most dominant man accordingly. I think this is surely true, but I also notice that there are precious few people (if any) who, armed with this new logic, feel comfortable proclaiming to the world at large how they feel. I'm guessing that despite all the affidavits and congratulations exchanged by most people on this site, they would still rather keep the details of their relationship to themselves and not tell their friends and neighbours. (By the way, that's why this site is so important—deep respect and gratitude to the Taken In Hand site owner!)

In a way, the problem is not explaining where the primal feelings are coming from, but explaining how it is that we override them so easily. Here, I think it's the tremendous flexibility and adaptiveness of the brain that lies at the heart of it all. Analogous to the way our brains have picked up writing, philosophy, ethics and watching TV, etc, etc, despite these not being "necessary" for prehistoric daily life, we have also been able to slowly rationalize human-to-human interactions and change our behaviour. We do it so well, that for most of us, it is now second nature, at least in a modern Western culture, to say that men and women are equal and should be able to aspire to the same things in life. I suspect that most people, if they ever thought about it, would conclude that feelings running contrary to this opinion come from conceit and selfishness (or maybe poor upbringing, cultural indoctrination, etc.). But something else is going on. There's more to the prevalence of politically incorrect thinking and motivations than bad ethics, it's just that nobody's allowed to talk about 'the dark side'. In fact, in many cases it's pretty well verboten to even suggest that peoples' attitudes might somehow be influenced by their biological, primal urges. This is often justified explicitly with, "don't even consider that possibility because it will excuse the evil-doers for their behaviour" which is the dreaded slippery slope. No! Rapists are just bad men, period, no more to say, don't even go there... well, to preempt myself, I'm not about to let rapists off the hook but I'm still going to go there.

If you give in to the biological component as part of the explanation, i.e. you say, okay, by and large, there are deep and primal urges in men to be in charge of their women and deep and primal urges in women to live under the loving protective control of their man, you can still get all the opinions on this site and elsewhere by simply acknowledging that the suppression of these urges versus the strength of the intellectually-arrived-at preferred attitude varies from person to person but generally successfully overrides the urges. And also everyone has a different set of experiences and background that mould their "intellectual" interpretations of, and responses to, their primal urges. So in the end, the fantastic plasticity of the brain itself shapes our behaviour enormously and disguises the commonality of the base urges. I find this way of looking at it extremely liberating. Just as wanting to eat chocolate doesn't mean you disagree with the health expert's opinion that sweet, fatty foods are not good for you, nor does it mean you are a bad person for wanting it, so, feeling urges to rape your wife (or be raped by your husband) doesn't mean you condone rape or that you are intrinsically immoral. It's whether you rape your wife or not that makes you a bad person not what your urges are.

Clearly, I've gone into territory that will tread on lots of peoples' toes now. Looking at all the fuss it caused when a woman wrote "When rape is a gift", imagine how much worse it would have been if that had been written by a man? I still don't think I've ever read or heard of a guy admitting that he wants to rape a woman. Obviously, not only do some men, but they're even willing to risk more or less everything they value in life for it. Now that's some urge! It's time to look at it and marvel at the sheer force of that. In fact, I'll go further: unless you take into account the strength of the primal urges we all feel and not judge a person for having those urges, you can't begin to solve the actual problem—namely, that despite the presence of urges, it's still unacceptable to act on them without examining the consequences. That's what I'm coming to. There should be nothing to apologize for in having primal urges. They are just there (and probably far more common and dark than anyone cares to admit). But you do need to identify them and know how you plan to respond to them. So actually, at this point, I would be arguing that if you're denying to yourself that you have the urge to rape your wife, you are being irresponsible and ultimately unethical because you won't be able to deal with it as well as someone who is able to admit it to himself. And as a woman, if you insist that any man with the urge to rape a woman is a "bad man", you're actually fueling the problem because fewer men will learn to deal with it properly.

In this sense, anyone who has crossed the line and discussed their desires to have a Taken in Hand relationship with their partner, should pat themselves on the back for being so damned responsible!! :-) But seriously, this way of seeing it doesn't just get you off the hook. Many people here have commented on how relieved they feel to firstly be able to confront it and secondly to see how many others feel the same way. But relief is only the half of it! I believe it's time we, as a culture, were advanced enough to acknowledge the presence of primal urges without any condemnation and then to encourage people to deliberately follow them (if and only when the consequences have been examined and accepted by all people affected). Where there's a conflict of urges and consequences, every effort should be made to find benign outlets for those urges or ways to handle them. Then we would have a functional society in which we weren't all hiding dark secrets. Women could openly tell a guy on their first date of their desire for a strong man who will be firmly in charge without fear that he will think she has psychological problems. If this was as easy as saying you like jazz music and movies, there would far fewer dysfunctional relationships. It all starts with the acceptance and embracing of all primal urges.

Well, I don't have any magic bullets for changing society, but I'm sure it's immediately possible within trusting relationships. Weak as I may appear to those who don't know what I'm actually feeling, my wife can now have the satisfaction of knowing that deep down, I am the man she needs, but I'm also sensitive enough and responsible enough to consider her feelings and put them before my urges. And sometimes this means giving in to my urges. I can also finally make sense of the dichotomy in my intellectual beliefs and my deeper feelings. In other words, I can now be proudly honest about my primal urges to my wife and put my trust in her and vice versa. At that point, we haven't simply immunized ourselves against each other's reactions, we've actually embraced each other's darkest secrets and can truly be ourselves to live life to the fullest.

Sounds like the best of both worlds to me... or am I just kidding myself?


Taken In Hand Tour start | next



I wonder when we read about rape here if we are all on the same page. I recently read in a women's magazine an article about how women can improve their sexual experiences, and one of the recomendations was to have sex even when they didnt want to. I am of the opinion that there is a difference between rape and 'taking' your wife when she is not in the mood. Very often in the mornings when my wife is in a hurry to get out the door or is tired at night she is just not in the mood she gets taken anyway and it is not always a romatic affair—sometimes it's just copulation. But can we call this rape?

Being taken

I agree that we need two different words for this, and you are using the same ones used in our household. "Rape" is for that vile act which is a crime, and "taking" is for what my husband does when I might not be in the mood.
However, I will make one additional comment about being taken. My wise and loving husband needs to look for the clues, because I know he wants to lead me, ultimately, to happiness. Am I truly late for work and need to get there? Or am I just letting my nerves get in the way of a relaxed and happy way of life? In case one, I'd really appreciate some loving help to get out the door and get going...in case two, I'll feel much better after being taken. :)

Forced sex upon someone who d

Forced sex upon someone who does not consent is rape, yes, in its simplest definition.
But it's clearly not always an illegal offense or even emotionally harmful as many women who crave this act can attest.

I assume in your marriage, your wife consents (at some level-either during the event or perhaps it's just a general understanding) to this kind of "non-consent" and it serves to add an overall positive element to the relationship.

I for one would find this kind of "rape" terribly hot and would find it a positive element. As do many taken-in-hand wired women.

But even the original poster shares that he and his wife are figuring it all out. They struggle to understand and accept each other's needs and desires (even the dark ones). In doing so, they and others, who enjoy and want to act on a desire such as this, through mutual respect and acceptance can, in fact, take what could be an illegal offense and use it to the advantage of the relationship.

It is always a tricky subject to tackle because the word "rape" is so emotionally loaded and I believe the fear is that the line may get blurred between real rape and consentual-non-consent between couples who understand, accept, respect and fulfull these darker (as the O.P. puts it) desires.


Rape or not?

It depends on whether or not your wife has consented to be 'taken' in this fashion. if she consents, then it's not rape.

Personally, I sometimes have sex with my husband when I don't particularly feel in the mood, but I am not being raped becaause I am willing. Besides, I find that if I relax and just go with the flow, I warm up as we go along.

However, if I said a definite 'No' to my husband, and he still persisted, I would be somewhat upset. And if I resisted and he carried on, then yes I think I would call it rape. But if I had given prior consent to be 'taken' whether i felt like it or not, I wouldn't call it rape.

I presume that your wife is willing to be taken even when she doesn't particularly feel like it, otherwise I would hope you wouldn't do it.


Not about definitions

Thanks for the comments. It seems that there is some focus on the word 'rape' which of course caused so many problems in "When rape is a gift". Firstly, I should explain that it's my wife who has the rape fantasy in our relationship, not me, but that's not really the point. I'm afraid the point I thought I was making must have been unclear. Let me try again.

Instead of trying to find the imaginary line where an act becomes acceptable versus unacceptable on the basis of the consensual agreement or the circumstance (e.g. wife not in mood versus repulsed, etc), just concede fundamentally that the urge to do this or that (rape/be raped, control/be controlled, etc) is not just nobody else's business but perfectly okay. It's coming from deep in the evolutionary ancient part of the brain that is not under direct conscious control and therefore not specified in triplicate and worked out to the 9th degree. In this way, you could have the deep down feeling that you want to be raped—and raped in the fullest, nastiest, most vile, criminal [add your worst adjective here] sense—and yet, on top of this feeling comes your rational brain that's going to have to work out the details. Obviously, if you want to define rape as 'that form of forced sex that you don't like', well firstly you're going to need an extra word for the fulfillment of your own desires (for what that's worth). But more importantly, you face the dilemma that you're never really truly going to get your urge fulfilled. Well, that's just the way it is, unfortunately, so I would say, so be it. You can still get close. Find a trusting lover who can satisfy as many aspects of your need as they can. Call it whatever you want and enjoy yourselves. Every one else can go jump in the lake.

But let's keep the core of this idea intact; you have deep emotional reactions to things for apparently obscure reasons. These most likely come from your amygdala and limbic brain and you're not fully in control of them. Then you've got this fantastic bit of hardware (the cerebral cortex) which is so well developed in humans that it can completely specify the why's and wherefore's of your intentions, beliefs and even feelings. It's this part of the brain that ultimately says go do this or that. It's this part of your brain that's "responsible" for your actions. At least, that's what we arbitrarily impose on anyone who wants to be treated as a fellow citizen in our societies. If you can't do that, you either get put in a psychiatric ward or in jail. Too bad. We don't do this to dogs and cats, etc, exactly because they don't have such a great cerebral cortex and wouldn't have the faintest idea what the hell was happening to them if you put them in jail.

But, and this is what I'm claiming is liberating, just because you can control your actions and should be expected to do so, doesn't mean you have to vilify your deeper urges. Okay, so you can't act them out willy nilly. Fine. We all accept that. Let's move on. You can find others who truly want to understand you to the core and want to share your deepest experiences. And the more you can move to "full disclosure", the deeper the connection will be. In this new conception, you don't have to vacillate over the rights and wrongs of any urge. You don't have to apologize for things that are just part of you.

So you may well be a man who has deep down urges to rape a woman (I'm not, by the way). That's fine so far. We'd all hope you're not a man who would actually rape a woman, but you've got the guts to admit it to yourself and maybe, if you're really exceptional, admit it to your wife or lover. Great, we've now established what your deepest, darkest motivations are and that you've got a normal, working cerebral cortex. You are a decent guy. Let's hope you've found your soul-mate and can live life to the fullest.

The same can be said of course for the woman who feels she wants to be raped (or whatever else she wants deep down). What she hopefully no longer needs to do is make angst-ridden justifications of why she's like this, or redefine the meaning of words to pretend she doesn't really feel that adrenaline rush, the sense of fear and elation combined, the truly most beautiful and visceral emotions that she ever feels and the sense of connection on a level that can't be articulated by that wretched cerebral person she is normally.

Having said all of this, I'm still angst-ridden. :-) What if this is all fundamentally wrong? What if it's right but people in general are not ready for this? And anyway, even if this is a valid way of looking at it, implementing it is always going to be tricky and potentially dangerous for the perpetrator and the recipient. It's always going to require a level of trust that's not easy to come by. This web site is the only place I know where you could 'go there' and hear so many honest viewpoints and great pieces of advice on the subject. It's changed my life.

Fundamentally wrong?


If I understand you, you are examining the possibility of people stripping all morality and judgement away from the base, instinctual, primal urges they have to just accept them, embrace them, celebrate them, (but not necessarily unleash them on society) with the hope that their partner or future partner can/will do the same with thier own 'dark side' and they can live out these sides of themselves together. (Where they won't be arrested--in the case of the rape fantacy-lol.)

Rape is the example but I understand you refer to any and all dark urges that society typically deems wrong, immoral or whatever.

What is so interesting to me is that although what you are saying hasn't been stated so plainly and analytically here before, what you describe is exactly what most of the couples are in fact doing/trying to do.

I applaud so many couples in finding like minded partners and fulfilling their 'against the grain' style of living. But I also hear in the many articles here that there often remains an inner struggle with it. Especially for couples new to taken-in-hand where one or the other is introducing it.

The men sometimes struggle with guilt at the pleasure they derive from their control and some women struggle with thoughts of "is something wrong with me for wanting this?"

And both wonder "will he/she think I'm nuts for bringing this up?"

That's is why this site is so powerful. It's a support system for those who are finally accepting their own desire to live a way that is unusual in society's eyes and find courage from others to get honest with their partner.

It shows people they are not alone and in fact there is nothing fundamentlly morally wrong for having their 'dark' desires and wanting to act on them.

I think you said it best here:

"And anyway, even if this is a valid way of looking at it, implementing it is always going to be tricky and potentially dangerous for the perpetrator and the recipient. It's always going to require a level of trust that's not easy to come by."

Yes, it is going to be tricky and the key is two people who are equally honest and trusting. This is a tall order but I think being honest with oneself is the place to start.

I am inspired and humbled by the level of maturity, both emotionally and psychologically that the people here possess. The stories of such deep, committed and loving relationships that celebrate the intense dynamics that they do, couldn't have developed without trust and honesty of the tallest order.


Old hat

What is so interesting to me is that although what you are saying hasn't been stated so plainly and analytically here before, what you describe is exactly what most of the couples are in fact doing/trying to do.

Hi Sapphire,

Yes, you're quite right. It's an interesting situation for me (a rather analytically-minded guy) to find myself in. On the one hand, I want to figure out exactly what's happening and on the other hand I'm discovering feelings that are quite beyond my ability to analyse them. In a way, I would prefer to just revel in them. You'll have to forgive my navel-gazing, but I do wonder if others here also have an urge to analyse their feelings and how they deal with this in the long term with such fundamentally visceral emotions involved?


I don't think it's necessary to find an explanation rooted in evolutionary biology for an urge to become acceptable. You could simply accept it because it's part of you—or your wife.

As you say, whatever the nature of the urge, the important thing is whether or not you act upon it and if so, how. Wanting to ravish your wife, or your wife wanting to be ravished, overcome, or whatever, by someone she loves and trusts is quite different I think to a non-consensual act by someone you're not intimate with and are not attracted to. There's nothing to be ashamed of about the former—wanting to take or be taken by your lover. Presumably you're not talking about a husband or a wife having fantasies of indiscriminate rape by strangers, or if they do, then both parties in the relationship are aware it's just that—an erotic fantasy—and the reality is obviously not either desirable or being sought. I also think there's nothing to be ashamed of in communicating your wildest fantasies to your husband/wife. You don't have to find an evolutionary biology explanation to feel all right for just having such fantasies and desires. I assume you're not talking about criminal fantasies that an individual has trouble in restraining themselves from acting upon? If so, they probably need to see a psychiatrist. So I assume what you're talking about are erotic fantasies?

I think the problem with finding an explanation from evolutionary biology is the retrospective nature of the reasoning, eg. I have this fantasy, quite a lot of men/women have similar fantasies—therefore there must be some function behind it for the whole species. Having looked in some depth at the research into the development of aggressive behaviour a while ago, another trait that people like to find explanations for within evolutionary biology, I was surprised by how many of the contributing factors are environmental rather than genetic.

There's also the matter of emotional development and socialisation. We may have all sorts of 'natural' urges—for example a toddler may just take something because they like it and want it, whereas as an adult, not only do I know that I can't just walk into my neighbours house and walk out with their new HD TV, I don't even have the urge to do so, primarily because of empathy. So if someone does repeatedly have urges bordering on the criminal, I don't think locating the cause in evolutionary biology really helps, because adequate social and emotional development mean humans develop empathy, and such urges become tempered.

Another problem with an evolutionary biology explanation is what happened evolutionarily with the exceptions—the men who want to be controlled and forced by a woman, the women who want to control a man, the gay couples of both sexes where one has the fantasy to 'rape'/ravish/violate and the other has the fantasy to be on the receiving end?

I prefer as an explanation the pychological composition of the individual. As an individual woman I respond to control from a man and luckily for me, I've got a wonderfully dominant man. I'm not trying to find a unifying theory to explain all Taken in Hand relationships—or even all male dominant relationships. There's just too much diversity in relationship dynamics and what people desire for me to reliably attempt it. I think that as long as you're hurting no one (including yourself), there's nothing to be ashamed about in what you desire. As for telling other people about my relationship dynamic, it would be odd for me to purposefully and explicitly explain it to others outside the relationship. However my man doesn't change how he is, whether we're alone or in company. He just is who he is in any context. Everyone who's ever known him knows he's a take charge type so I don't think they think anything of it.

Evolutionary biology isn't a get-out-of-jail-free card

Lauren said:

I don't think it's necessary to find an explanation rooted in evolutionary biology for an urge to become acceptable. You could simply accept it because it's part of you—or your wife.

I absolutely agree with this. However,

...if someone does repeatedly have urges bordering on the criminal, I don't think locating the cause in evolutionary biology really helps, because adequate social and emotional development mean humans develop empathy, and such urges become tempered.

I think this is the nub of the problem I'm trying to address. I can certainly agree that evolutionary biology is no get-out-of-jail-free card. In my case, strong feelings of empathy prevent me feeling any desire to rape my wife. After all, I want to make her happy—no, I want to make her completely content so that she will look back on our life together and say, "he made me happy".

Before we had the framework to talk about this, I didn't want to make love to my wife whenever I wanted. Meaning: I had been socialized to think that it was wrong to do this and I didn't want to be a "bad person". Then my wife told me that the greatest thrill for her was that I would make love to her whenever I wanted. As soon as I could embrace that concept our sex lives became deeply satisfying.

You see, it's not good enough (for me at least) to imagine that what people are doing in a Taken in Hand relationship is simply tempering urges through adequate socialization and emotional development. First of all, some of the things being supported would be flat out against the law if done with a non-consenting adult. But making the distinction between criminal versus non-criminal is actually making the problem easier than it actually is. If I even thought what I was doing was fundamentally wrong (not to mention bordering on criminal), I'd be suicidal with guilt even with consent.

This is perhaps an asymmetry about Taken in Hand that many women don't perceive because they are generally not the perpetrators. It's all very well to say, well don't worry, you're partner has agreed to everything. If it's totally wrong and evil without consent, it's hard to reconcile how it could suddenly be good and right simply by the presence of consent. 'Not criminal' is not quite the endorsement I'm looking for.

Forget where the urges come from for a minute. Maybe they're not biological in origin. Nonetheless, couldn't we agree not to view urges pejoratively at all? I'm actually at a bit of loss as to how a woman could simultaneously say it would be wrong for a guy to want to do these things without consent, but nonetheless, they're looking for a man who is just like this naturally. I think it would be far better to say, the urge to protect your wife is great. The urge to have sex with your wife is good. The urge to use physical force is a (typically) masculine trait that I would argue we can embrace. If you want a masculine guy who will protect you and make love to you, you'll actually be happier if you accept that masculine traits don't end there.


Acting on your urges without taking into account the consequences is wrong. Not thinking of someone else's feelings is wrong. Not taking responsibility for, and preparing for, your impulses is wrong. Consent is simply one of the important steps along the road of considering the effects. For some, consent might simultaneously remove all feelings of guilt but I need more than this, I'm afraid.

I think the evolutionary argument can be helpful for 'embracing the urge in many men to use force', because it might explain why using force is in the make-up of so many men. Whether it's "good" or "bad" doesn't make sense when talking about the urge itself. You might as well ask if it's good or bad that men have more muscles than women. It's good if men use their muscles well and bad if they use them badly. It could also explain why some women feel strangely attracted to men who use force. But ultimately, I agree, the argument doesn't depend on a biological explanation.

Melman, "You'll have to fo


You'll have to forgive my navel-gazing, but I do wonder if others here also have an urge to analyse their feelings and how they deal with this in the long term with such fundamentally visceral emotions involved?

No need to forgive you. I rather love your open and honest analytical approach. You write very thoughtful, and well articulated articles!

You said:

But making the distinction between criminal versus non-criminal is actually making the problem easier than it actually is. If I even thought what I was doing was fundamentally wrong (not to mention bordering on criminal), I'd be suicidal with guilt even with consent.

Wow. Yes, I can completely understand this. I just experienced a situation where I was acutely aware of the psychological implications for my boyfriend as he fulfilled my desire.

I am introducing taken-in-hand principles to my boyfriend. He is a naturally take-charge man but when it comes to women he is gentle, loving, considerate, and kind, defers to her wishes....all the wonderful things that make him fantastic man and why I love him. However, in his past most serious relationship, he took way too much 'crap' because he took his catering-to-the-woman too far.

I'm trying to foster his natural dominance that is there and help him understand the importance of balance —indeed cherish, love, honor, protect, treat with gentle care his woman (me), but stand his ground if I were to behave badly or treat him poorly. I couldn't respect him otherwise.

At work and in life he is a hunter, a take-charge, strong, confident man. He takes NO crap from anyone, ever. But at the same time is very laid back, goes with the flow and is at ease with himself.
I saw his natural dominance, love it, and have given him permission to bring that side of himself into our relationship. He knows how it turns me on and my admiration grows.

That being said, I, like your wife, have "rape-ravishment" fantasies. Which bring all of this to a new level!

I have told my man that I will be open to him sexually whenever he wishes--and that if I ever do say no, he is to 'take me' anyways. (We have discussed at length the situations he wouldn't/shouldn't exercise this gift: his love for me would prevent him from harming me emotionally so I don't worry about that.)

He agreed immediately that he would do it but I wasn't sure he could wrap his brain around it and actually follow through. He has never and would never force himself on a woman.
Plus even though he agreed to do it because I want him to, I don't know if there is any part of it that actually turns HIM on. (I want it to turn him on!)
I wouldn't want him to be going through the motions and suddenly feel instinctual guilt, remorse, or just plain get turned off because as you said, even with consent it may feel fundamentally wrong and gross.

So far I've never turned him down so it hasn't played out in reality yet, but the other night during consensual sex, I suddenly stopped, pushed him off and said I didn't want to continue because I couldn't climax. I said, "If I can't climax, you can't either."
I said it casually but seriously, no hint of levity.

He lay next to me for awhile. I thought his consideration for me would win out. We'd never been at the place where he had to make the choice to actually follow through on the 'dark desire' of his woman. And to decide if THIS situation was the right time.

The air changed and he rolled back on top of me. I fought at about 60% of my strength, incredibly turned on, but equally concerned about what he was feeling and experiencing. Did he like this? Was he losing his arousal? Would he just stop and tell me I'm sick? Was he feeling like a criminal?

He used his strength to control me, force me, take me—and quite roughly, I might add. The intensity and passion between us was incredibly palpable. Of course he won, flipped me in several different positions until I just submitted and relished the feeling of being owned for awhile. We lay in each other's arms a long while before we talked about it.

I asked him if he got anything out of it or if he just did it for me. He said it was very 'hot' and he rather enjoyed it—because he knew it was okay with me for him to be selfish. He knew I loved it.
I asked him if he would like it if I would fight more, admitting that I had held back not sure if he was enjoying it.

What he said was music to my ears: "Honey, you can fight as much as you want, but I'm still going get it."

Now Melman...the million dollar question....could he have always had some level of 'force' desires unconsciously because he's wired that way as a man, and I brought them out by my permission and request? Or has he always been aware of them but tempered them because he is a socially responsible person? Or never had them but once experienced the event NOW has them? I don't know and it is very fascinating to ponder...

But his ability to do it easily, enjoy it and not be conflicted about it would beg the assumption that some primal, forcful, urge was indeed there all along at some psychological level, would it not?


Revealing hidden desires

Hi Sapphire,

That was a wonderful episode. Thanks for sharing it. And thanks also for getting me to introspect even deeper. It's lead me to change some of my thinking on this. My wife and I haven't got to the stage you describe (I haven't ever forced her into having sex while she's resisted). She has said that I should do whatever I want and said that if and when I make a mistake (i.e. something that she really doesn't want even on reflection after the event), that this will be okay too as long as we can discuss it. I'm not sure if this precaution is more for her or for me and I see you have this same dilemma. Fascinating!

Now Melman...the million dollar question....could he have always had some level of 'force' desires unconsciously because he's wired that way as a man, and I brought them out by my permission and request? Or has he always been aware of them but tempered them because he is a socially responsible person? Or never had them but once experienced the event NOW has them? I don't know and it is very fascinating to ponder...

My question exactly. Before I would have been inclined to say that they are likely to have been "there" already but buried under layers of world experience and political correctness (i.e. an urge that he suppressed). This would be closest to your 2nd option. After thinking about this and looking inside my own feelings I think I would react exactly like your husband. I was very aroused by your description. And the fact that your husband could fit so naturally into this new behaviour speaks to me of an interaction between his thoughts and his feelings. This also somehow seems to fit the overall idea that the urges are suppressed in the first place.

I'm going with something like this for the time being: there are basic urges which have to be put into a context. The context both drives the urge and is influenced by the urge in that the behaviour of the individual interacts with the context (e.g. you resist him after having intimated that you may want him to go the full 9 yards, he explores a new feeling and observes its effect on himself and you). I would hazard a guess that these basic urges are like yin & yang in different people so that most men have one urge and most women the counterpart urge. As Lauren pointed out, it isn't strictly correlated by gender but this is also apparent throughout the animal kingdom. Maybe it's evolutionary advantageous to have a certain number of exceptions to the rule in a population...

Anyway, be that as it may, this would lead to basic feelings of fulfillment when an urge can be satisfied and basic feelings of revulsion by the opposite. That is, your husband contextualized the new behaviour as satisfying his urge but couldn't, in all likelihood, ever cross the line and revel in the counterpart urge, as you also likely would be repulsed by having to behave as he did. That would explain how you could imagine modifying some but not all behaviour. Now this leaves explaining the original revulsion. I'm guessing that we're dealing with a melting pot of different basic urges and that the revulsion that he (and I) formerly felt belongs to a general feeling of outrage at oppression and a feeling of protectiveness for women which itself is able to be suppressed in the new context because it is no longer contextualized as oppression, per se. No doubt, he, like me, still feels outrage at oppression and feelings of protectiveness for women, just no longer in this specific context.

Thus, if he's like me, he truly didn't have the feeling before that he'd like to force you to have sex (but was afraid to admit it). He wasn't secretly wishing it but kidding himself until you released him. He really was repulsed by the idea of forcing himself on you. But in this new paradigm, so to speak, he is in fact releasing a basic urge which is probably as miraculous to him as to you. Now that it's come to the fore, he can revel in the new feelings of satisfaction. This would correspond best to your first option but is somehow a mixture because of the interactive nature of it.

Well, that's a fair bit of guesswork. I'm sure it's even more complex than that but it's working for me at the moment. I sure do appreciate being introduced to these new thoughts! Thanks Sapphire!

Emerging Selves

This discussion is absolutely fascinating... and I would like to share an observation with the hopes of feedback. I was recently in a relationship that failed partially, I believe, because my partner could not really accept his darkest urges and could only experience them in an anonymous setting (this was not a Taken in Hand relationship, obviously). However, I felt so released and wonderful to be able to participate with him exploring his urges, and I felt no shame about his desires or mine. The possibility for deep communication on this level, of true selves emerging with each partner supporting the other, is incredibly viscerally and intellectually deep. Trying to find this in the BDSM community is probably hopeless. Finding this site has been a revelation... now I just need to find a man who realizes that this is a dance between two people who have decided to dance together, with one of course leading, but both graceful.