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!