Happy living in fear of a man?!

Happy living in fear of a man?!

Who in her right mind would be happy living in fear of her man? You'd have to be crazy to want to be afraid of your husband, wouldn't you? So why do some women actively want to feel a little trepidation around the man they love?

The short answer is that for the Taken In Hand woman such fear can be erotic. It can make her exquisitely and delightfully aware of the authority and control her man has over her. Living under the control of a man may be the last thing some women would want, and we can argue about the amount and type of control we are talking about, here, but ultimately, that is what the Taken In Hand woman wants; and for such women, a touch of fear and trepidation adds an exciting, sexy, even thrilling frisson to life.¹

The sort of fear I am talking about is not the fear of the battered wife but welcome fear—fear that the particular individual at that particular time enjoys. As I have explained before, a non-jaded horror movie buff would enjoy feeling scared when he watches a film like The Ring or Halloween. Similarly, an experienced public speaker might enjoy the nervous trepidation she feels before she begins to speak to a large and potentially hostile audience. A child might love the terrifyingly long, dark and curvy tunnel slide at her local water park—and might be disappointed if the fairground “Ghost Train” ride turns out to be less scary that she had hoped it would be.²

In his 1903 book, Sex and character, Otto Weininger wrote:

Woman is essentially a Phallus worshipper . . . permeated with a fear like that of a bird for a snake. . . It has never until now been made so clear where the bondage of women lies; it is in the sovereign, all too welcome power wielded over them by the Phallus.

This quote is powerfully erotic for many of those for whom it embodies a grain of truth. It alludes to the power of a dominant man to consensually and erotically control the woman who worships him. It highlights the fact that the man and the woman are different from one another, and it alludes to the fascination, the hint of fear, and the vulnerability that a woman in love can feel for her man.

When the Taken In Hand woman is with a man, she wants to be aware of the man as a man. She wants to be aware of his masculinity, his physical strength, and the fact that he is different from her. She wants to feel respectful towards him. Being aware of his authority, his power, and the control he has over her reminds her that he is not “one of the girls”. He may well be her best friend, but he is not a buddy and she doesn't want just another platonic friendship with him. He is the man she loves and reveres, the man in charge, the man who can make her shake and quiver with a mere word or look.

Many a strong, high dominance resistant woman with a commanding presence and alpha tendencies, constantly fears that she might inadvertently overwhelm and control her man. When such a woman knows that the man is an autonomous person very much under his own control with real power and authority he won't shrink from using to command respect from her, she can relax at last. The welcome fear has liberated her from the unwelcome fear. For the Taken In Hand woman, this is deeply relaxing, endlessly fascinating, and intensely erotic.


1) It should be obvious that the sort of fear I am talking about here is nothing like that of the battered woman living in fear of her husband. Nor am I making the argument that battered women enjoy being abused. And I am certainly not suggesting that women living in fear should keep a stiff upper lip and grit their teeth and “be strong” in the face of their fear. That sort of fear is wholly bad.

2) Others would be so terrified that they wet their knickers—and at the other end of the scale, some would not feel fear of any kind in these situations. I am not saying that all women (or even most!) would enjoy feeling a little afraid of their husbands. This piece is about those who do, for those who do. Everyone else, please ignore it!

the boss

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Fear of the man

Can I enjoy fearing a dominant man? Oh, yes, definitely. I've posted here before about how much I enjoy the feeling of fear I get in the presence of a man's physical strength and the thought of what he could do to me. That's what turns on my submission, more than spanking or various other activities that many people seem to associate with dominance.

I loved the quote from Weininger—and I am definitely a phallus-worshipper myself. (There are some terrific books out there on phallic worship in pagan religions, by the way.) But while I can relate somewhat to the fear of the phallus, I relate more to a fear of the man's fists and biceps. I enjoy harmless wrestling, sparring, etc.—anything where the man uses his overwhelming strength to conquer me and force me to submit. If I don't feel some real fear of his physical power, then I feel no submission or sexual desire, either.

I can also relate to what the boss said about what many of us "sexually submissive alpha females" (my terminology) fear the most: that the man will just not be strong enough, that he won't be willing or able to overpower me, that I'll never be truly dominated. I refuse to play at it like it's a 'game,' so if he does not actually conquer me, then it doesn't go anywhere. That has long been an issue for me, and it's probably why I'm still single. The issue is made even worse by the fact that many men assume an 'alpha female' would never be sexually submissive; if only they knew how very, very wrong they are about that.

Fear and love

No, fear cancels out love as far as I am concerned , I can't feel both siumltaneously. And as for worshipping the phallus, honestly! No, I don't do that, and I don't fear it either. It's a useful object yes, but an object of worship? I don't think so.

I Agree

I totally agree with DeeMarie, especially this:

What many of us "sexually submissive alpha females" fear the most: that the man will just not be strong enough, that he won't be willing or able to overpower me, that I'll never be truly dominated...Many men assume an 'alpha female' would never be sexually submissive; if only they knew how very, very wrong they are.

This is so true and something I wish more men understood. Certainly not all women want to be controlled, but many of us don't feel truly safe and loved until we are controlled completely by a loving man.


Living in Fear

How is any fear good? What's sexy about it? Fear is a negative emotion, not a welcome one. Being aware of my husband's strength and mastery over me is not the same as living in fear!!!

I would not feel able to submit to my husband if I was afraid of him—I need to be sure of his love every day—and I do believe that I wouldn't feel it if I felt fear.

Love and fear

The boss explained why fear is a welcome thing in her article. There is objective, incontrovertable proof that many people enjoy fear. That you find it 'negative' and 'not welcome' is irrelevent, unless you are of the opinion that everyone thinks and feels the same way you do. Do you think those of us who relish fear are sick, stunted, self-destructive, what?

Fear is exciting. Fear is thrilling. It's the adrenalin rush. It's overwhelming. It's being made small. It's being the prey. I can't explain why I find it sexy, exactly. I just do. You're simply going to have to take our word for it that it exists. At least for some of us.

Fear is exciting?

Well, I've never found it so myself. I've always found it a very destructive thing. In the past, my husband sometimes could make me feel very frightened, when he really lost his temper and yelled at me, and it did our relationship no good at all. I hated him for frightening me, and hated myself for being frightened, it was very destructive.

Since we have adopted a Taken In Hand relationship this doesn't happen any more, because he can keep his temper now under the most trying circumstances, and I am no longer frightened of him losing his temper because he doesn't. Take Sunday afternoon, for instance. I am under strict instructions to NEVER let the children go into his office, but as quite often occurs even nowadays I was not giving my full attention to keeping an eye on them, and the three-year-old went in there with a handful of crayons and proceeded to scribble all over his desk, printer and the screen on his laptop. Oh boy. He was absolutely livid, but he didn't lose his temper and he didn't yell at me, and so I wasn't frightened. He certainly made his displeasure felt, two days later I can still feel the after-effects, his reaction was painful, but not frightening

I certainly would not dream of suggesting that you are sick or stunted or anything for feeling otherwise, but for me fear has always been a horrible thing, and I just couldn't feel the same love for my husband if I was afraid of him. The best thing about a Taken In Hand relationship for me, is that it has eliminated fear from our marriage.

I can't curb my enthusiasm

I like a slight amount of fear and when I can't find the man who can cause it I will actively seek it out where I know for certain I will find what I need.
No, I'm not for the battered woman syndrome myself and that is not what I mean. I would leave in that type of situation anyway. It's difficult to put into words but anyway I found him and I'm EXTREMELY happy.
He makes my heart beat faster.

Fear as Respect

Beyond the thrill of *frisson* there lies the realm of respect. Absent respect, relationships between men and women fall into the abyss of political correctness.

Women respect men whom they know—or strongly expect—to be willing and able to resoundingly smack their bare behinds. It is a language that, often in private conversation, women acknowledge they understand and, if they have found the right man, appreciate.

There is a natural authority that men have over women and which, when they find the right man, women accept. Even to the casual observer, the power of men over women is more mystical than abusive. Its presence in human interaction has been recognized for millennia. This realization gives rise to the ancient concept of women desiring to be dominated by their husbands.

Only recently has the natural authority of men over women become despised, disparaged, and denigrated by a tiny minority of nature's experiments bent on imposing an unaffordable, unworkable, and unsustainable matriarchal utopia on the rest of mankind.

We women love it

Social institution are the reflexion of human nature. Being a woman and knowing a lot of women around me i know that how much women love to be submissive to their husbands fascinates with the idea of being dominated by them.no economic system can abolish the authority of men over women b coz women love it so much.

A new system can change the form and human nature is made to sythesise or reconcile it with the older form.so the whole debate should veer round the concept of form in which men`s domination over women can function properly and give both of them a lot of pleasure.

butterflies in your tummy

Good article! I would not say that I am afraid of physical harm from my husband. That would be wrong for me. There is no fear of mortal harm either. If that were true this would not work for us. But.... there is no denying the flip my stomach does when he take out the paddle. The butterflies I get in my stomach are definitely fear. It is very similar to the butterflies I get at the top of a very large roller coaster. The very undeniable there is no turning back now no matter what feeling. It is thrilling. It must be part of what attracts me to this, otherwise why would we use spanking at all?

I am curious of the people who feel no fear at all, what do you feel just before a spanking? What happens when you have gone too far and suddenly there is no going back. You have just stormed your way past the "look" and you get the signal that what's coming is coming now no matter what?

Take care,

No Fear?

Tevemer, I don't get punishment spankings but if I am about to get a hard spanking I would feel a little trepidation about that. However I feel absolutely no fear of my husband. I know he would stop the moment I said to. I always have a safeword but I have never used it. So what is there to be afraid of?

And as for a butterfly or two about the pain, even that isn't a big thing, because pain is temporary. Any woman who has been through childbirth has nothing to fear from a spanking.


Yes, I get butterflies when he gets the paddle out, but it's not fear, it's apprehension and anticipation mingled, it's not the same as fear, which I used to get when he lost his temper with me. It is a distinctly other kind of feeling.

On Sunday night he was really, really angry with me, and it hurt, my god it hurt, it was probably the worst spanking I've ever had, but still it didn't cause fear, because he was in control, and it was always his loss of control that frightened me.

Unlike the person above we don't have a safe word, and he won't stop when I ask him to, he'll stop when he decides I've had enough, but that's all right with me. I like him being in control, it makes me feel safe. I don't want to be able to stop him when I want, I like things the way they are, I don't want to have any control over what he does, but then I'm a one-dimensional sort of person!

The Butterfly Effect

GT has no safeword. In fact it doesn't matter how much she pleads or states her discomfort the spanking is not over until I deem it to be over. It is quite easy for me to tell when she is in the I have had enough zone not to mention the destinct "Hot Cherry Red" color her bottom turns. Both Tevmer and LouiseC mentioned the butterflies. I know that GT has no fear of me the human but certainly experiences the Butterfly Effect, before she is taken in hand physically.

I believe control is the key word. GT does not tell me what to do, how to spank or how to do anything for that matter. It is as though her submission is her way of saying "I know you are in control, I am totally yours and I totally trust that you are making the right decision."

This is not to say that she and I don't talk about what caused it or why she is going to be taken in hand physically, because we do. The fact is, it has been my experience that this type of communication also causes the Butterfly Effect and an ubelievable connection between GT and I. I feel that the Butterfly Effect is caused by a certain style of dominance and for some woman but certainly not all woman is a major turn on.

Respectfully, Race

The Butterfly Effect

The Butterfly Effect is a total turn-on to me, and I would agree with Race that a "safe word" should not be necessary in a Taken In Hand relationship. A "safe word" is more appropriate for a casual dating D/s kinky relationship perhaps, in which two people don't really know one another, but doesn't seem it should be necessary for a marital relationship where there is deep familiarity. I am just starting a Taken In Hand relationship with my husband, and although he has never spanked me (yet), I think when he does I will trust him entirely and not want a safe word. A safe word would seem to me to detract from his absolute authority and indicate a lack of inherent trust. On a related subject, I was just thinking about how when I gave birth to our son in 2006 without an epidural, how my husband was so proud of me and couldn't stop marveling at the fact that all I had for pain was a Demerol drip. I didn't realize it at the time, but in retrospect I think my bravery and incredible pain threshold were total turn-ons for him! I hope he takes the initiative to explore my pain threshold again soon, this time firmly against my bottom! I hope also one day he will use his belt, because the process of the unbuckling and pulling it through his pant loops is a powerful visual for really getting those butterflies started!

No fear - trust

I can't think of any reason why I'd want my woman to be afraid of me. I want her to trust me completely, and where there is fear, there is no trust, and the relationship won't work. I want my wife to feel so free from any fear that she can completely let go and surrender, submit, trusting implicitly. I would be very disappointed if my wife told me she fears me. I know she doesn't. She trusts me, she submits. Is this fear necessary for a Taken In Hand relationship?

Is fear necessary?

My own view of fear accords with your own, I would not feel the love or trust that I do for my husband if I was afraid of him. But fear seems to mean different things to different people, and there are others on this site who do not necessarily find it an unpleasant emotion, as I do. There are many different shades of opinion on here, you can take your pick which you prefer.

Fear and Trust

Fear is not an emotion that I enjoy. I have had experiences of fear that made me sick to my stomach and caused alot of pain in my life. Pain that I do not care to relive. Then there are healthy fears that we all have in life to protect our mortality. The consequence of speeding may cause a serious car accident,or having a healthy fear of fire can protect us from getting burned or burning our house down. Healthy Fears can protect us from harm.

Spanking in in our relationship is not harmful. I am not beaten, I am soundly spanked and with good reason.

When my husband takes me in hand or is getting ready to hold me accountable for something ,I do not fear him. It doesn't make me nauseated, it reconfirms the respect I have for him. Yes, there are butterflies because I know what is about to take place and I know that he is in complete control, not me!

Yesterday I owned up to something I had done that turned out to be disrespectful towards him and he let me know that it was certainly inappropriate.I was not fearful of my husband but I did fear the pain of the spanking. He was able to administer it quite successfully despite my protests. The more I protested the harder it was.

The most important thing for me is not fear but the complete trust that I have in my husband,

Developing a taste for fear

The fact that some of the women posting here do not like being afraid and are not afraid of their men, should not surprise anyone.

There are plenty of people who do not like roller coasters, scary movies or haunted houses. Enjoying fear, being aroused by fear and craving fear are a matter of individual taste.

It is no different from enjoying, or being aroused by, the smell of leather.

Furthermore, it is possible to develop a taste for something that you currently don't like, especially in a different context. I never liked capers until I tried them with lox and cream cheese.

Similarly, a woman might find that she can develop a liking of fear or be aroused by it if it is flavored in a particular way.

Experiencing fear along with something that you find arousing, and in a context where you are pretty sure you are safe, might give you a taste for it by association.


Why should anyone need to fear or learn to fear. I agree with the comments of others that didn't want their wives to fear. And I would not want to fear. I do understand the feelings that transpire when as, was said, you have pushed past the "look". I know the butterflies of knowing that your comuppence is at hand, but fear to me indicates that someone is out of control. That is certainly not what I'm looking for in a head of the household. I want someone in control, that controls themselves and knows how to control me.

Fear and trust can coexist

Those who say they do not want to feel fear aren't discussing the same thing the author of this article was discussing. It's not the fear you feel in a situation like if you're being mugged or you're in a house fire, it's the scary movie/rock climbing fear. It's a welcome part of the experience. It's the thing that makes being taken in hand better than merely being spanked. It's kind of exciting, it makes you want your husband and respect him more because you feel he's a real man. You FEEL it.

The triple A effect

I personally don't enjoy any kind of fear, I don't like scary movies, roller coasters, or anything that makes me feel scared. My feeling before, say, getting spanked, is not fear, it is what I think of as the triple A effect—anticipation, apprehension, and arousal. Not fear.

This kind of fear is not the same as anxiety

i agree with the author, and find fear an erotic sensation and a necessary one in a taken in hand relationship. I suffer from anxiety (a feeling that I would not encourage in a relationship). This is NOT the same as the fear of a dominant man. I think some people in these comments can not distinguish between erotic fear on the one hand (good) and anxiety (bad) on the other.

Fear and Trust

I've never thought about fear in this type of context before and want. This getting spanked between two grown people seems so childish. If something was done or said to hurt someone's feelings, just a simple "I'm sorry" and truly meaning it is the grown up way to respond. But I can still respect everyone's own personal feelings about this topic. Trust is very precious and should be cherished. Just expressing the romantic side of me.

Edgy butterflies?

Being new to Taken In Hand and being in an ‘implied’ Taken In Hand relationship (I really am working on a post about my relationship so I can get some input), I really find this topic very timely and fascinating.

I know the feeling being described here. I tremble just a little when I feel that something I’ve done for him or us (e.g., something I’ve cooked, straightening the kitchen, etc.) is sub-par. I tremble much more when I know that I have made him unhappy or irritated with my questions and uncertainty (due to my own baggage, not in any way due to his actions) and even more when he gives me that look and asks “Are you trying to make me mad?” Even though he does not raise his voice and there is only subtle inflection in his voice when he asks this question, I tremble at the thought of making him unhappy when he is so good to me. Also, I have no idea what would happen if I DID actually make him truly angry. I sort of excitedly want to know but then again, I don’t want to make him angry and unhappy with me—but now part of me is wondering if he would actually ever put me over his knee and spank me.

I am wrestling a little with the term ‘fear’ but I also know that it’s not the same as ‘afraid’. “Butterflies” seems almost right but with an edge of fear, maybe, if that makes any sense. My man is a gentle man and—for my mind, body and soul—a smoldering powerhouse at the same time. He has raised his voice at me only once. While the topic was not a feel good one for either of us, the strength of his voice, the look on his face, the ‘I don’t care if the next door neighbor hears us, I am going to say what I have to say as loud as I want to’ attitude, and the strength emanating from his whole body were a major turn on. I was so turned on that I found myself wishing that he would just grab me and take me as he chose, argument or not.

Since our relationship began, I have let my past relationship baggage fall out of the closet a few times and he patiently went through the exercise (more than once) with me instead of cutting me off. However, later I always feel extremely ashamed—and even ungrateful—for questioning his intentions. I soon humbly and embarrassedly apologize for my behavior. Instead of telling me that it’s okay and that he understands (which I know he does, at least in that he understood where it was coming from), at first he would respond with words like “Then don’t do it again” with just enough edge in his gentle voice to convey sternness. Given the fact that he IS a kind and gentle man, I was very surprised at this response at first but even sitting here just now thinking about it, I feel slightly fearful but excited butterflies in my stomach. I like this very much. He is standing up to me and telling me that he is not going to put up with any unwarranted cr*p—but he is doing so without getting in my face…because he doesn’t need to. I realized very quickly that no matter how kind, gentle, and generous this man is he will not put up with having his intentions questioned for very long.

In the last few weeks, his response to my apologies for questioning his intentions has turned into “Then don’t make me unhappy”. These words made me feel worse, briefly, because he was confirming that I had made him unhappy with my questioning and stepping back, as momentary as it was. His words also gave me some relief because they cut to the point instead of ripping me up and down. Lastly came that little bit of fear, or butterflies, or whatever it is—because I am horrified at the idea of making him unhappy and seeming ungrateful, when in actuality, I appreciate every single thing that he does for me and for us. I also immensely appreciate him for being who he is and how he is.

D does not need to raise his voice to me or spank me to stop me in my defiant tracks to remind me who is wearing the trousers and who is going to be the head of our household when we get married. All it takes is a few words and a look on his face. More and more, it just takes a look. Sometimes I just step back in line. Sometimes I squirm a little…and then, I step back in line.

There is more than one look. The one that lets the most fear-laced butterflies loose and is my favorite is the “You are misbehaving, and you know it, and, btw, you know that I love you and what I’m telling you to do is best for you and us—so you better get yourself in order, or else”. I have no idea what ‘or else’ is but I don’t think I’m in a hurry to find out.

So, do I live in fear of my man? No. Do I fear disappointing him and seeing the look on his face and hear the disappointment in his voice? Tremendously. Does his gentle but unmistakable masculinity and strength make me fear him a little? Absolutely. Does this all make me weak in the knees? Every time I am near him.

No Fear - Trust

As a submissive, i NEED the fear of discipline. It is exactly the way i was brought-up. I think it's great if you have the PERFECT Wife that never needs the fear of discipline...

The perfect wife?

Yes, but would a wife who never needed discipline be perfect for a man who enjoyed disciplining her? Might he not get a bit frustrated if he never got the chance to discipline her, if he wanted to? I have no fear of discipline at all, but a very strong craving for it, and even if I was perfect (which I am not—ask my husband), I'd still want it. There's needing and needing, you might 'need' discipline in the sense of desiring it, even if you didn't actually 'need' it in the sense of deserving it. Fortunately this is not something I have to worry about, the chances of my ever being the perfect wife are non-existent. But then I'm not married to the perfect husband, which is just as well.

"Pictures of perfection make me sick and wicked"—Jane Austen.

For me, it is definitely Fear!!

And I Love that feeling. I don't get punished very often, but for me, when I have pushed him way too far and he starts to unbuckel that belt the words apprehension and anticipation just don't do it justice. I am scared, but I know I am safe too. I wouldn't change it for anything. Heck, I am the one who asked for this part of our relationship.

Healthy fear

To some extent, I live in fear of my husband, and I'm okay with that, because I know that he loves me, that he will take care of me and that he will protect me. Being taken in hand is the consequence of my actions in the context of our Taken In Hand relationship—not of his anger.

And when he is gently taking me in hand (through the tone of his voice, or a firm hand on my arm for instance), I am turned on enourmously! That feeling of fear mixed with knowledge that he loves me enough to care about me in this way is extremely sexy to me. I can say that those are the times when sex is hotter than hot... he takes me roughly on those nights—or days—and I love it. So all in all, I think a little healthy fear is a good thing.



I may be splitting hairs, but every time I look up the definition of "apprehension" (for those of you who say they don't feel fear, but feel apprehension), I find that for the most part the number one definition contains the word "fear." ("Trepidation" is the same way.) I think some people may be afraid of using the word "fear," because it has negative connotations. My husband and I like to call it "healthy fear." It's that kind of healthy fear that, when I was growing up, I felt for policemen, teachers, and clergy, to name a few. It goes kind of hand-in-hand with respect, that I can see. Now I can add my husband to that list. (Mind you, the kids today don't know what healthy fear is; the 90's motto of "no fear" really did that one in.)

Everyone's level of feeling healthy fear may be different. Louise doesn't like adrenaline rushes like scary movies, roller coasters, etc., but I can't imagine that she doesn't feel a rush with some things. I know I always loved to swing high on a swing set to feel that little rush in the pit of my stomach just after reaching the apex of each swing and beginning my rapid descent the other direction. Fear releases adrenaline. You can call it apprehension or call it whatever you want, but it's still a level of fear. (A rose by any other name...)

Personally, I don't see how it is possible to NOT to feel fear when you are about to be hurt, and face it, spankings are meant to hurt!

Fear and apprehension

Well, to me there is a clear distinction between fear and apprehension. I have felt genuine fear, for instance in the past when my husband used to fly into quite violent rages sometimes, and I used to be genuinely fearful that he was actually going to hurt me or something. I don't feel that way at all about being spanked. Although I feel mildly apprehensive before a spanking, that doesn't stop me craving the spanking, no matter how much it hurts. And usually I am having to bite the pillow to stop myself screaming, but I still don't feel fearful at the prospect.

Perhaps, if apprehension means fear, then 'apprehension' isn't the right word for how I feel before a spanking. In which case I don't know what it is. However, whatever it is, I can assure you it is not fear.


I love fearing my boyfriend

My boyfriend is never hotter than when he spanks me. It is never abusive; it is what I want him to do. After spankings for disciplinary reasons or just because I need them, I always want to have sex immediately and so does he. I was never this way with anyone else. I always wanted to be the one in control. He is the only one that could ever control me, and I respect and love that about him. To see him get angry turns me on because I know he will settle things with me physically rather than being cold, which solves nothing and lets the issues fester.

Clearing up

Hello all!

I believe a proper way of thinking about this kind of fear and to help clear it up for those still comparing it to actual fear (like if you were mugged) is like this:

I love the idea that my husband is very capable of physically overpowering me and causing me pain (where the fear comes in) but knowing that he would not actually cause me real harm (where trust comes in). They absolutely must be together, so if either one of these two ingredients were missing, the eroticism would be missing as well.

I believe I can speak for all those turned on by this when I say that an abusive husband is not a turn on but a loving and physically strong husband definitely is!