How is this different from other male-led relationships?

How is the Taken In Hand relationship different from other male-led relationships?

Many male-led relationships exist that are not Taken In Hand relationships. In many cultures it is virtually impossible to choose anything other than a male-led relationship, especially if you are a woman. The Taken In Hand relationship is freely-chosen or it is not a Taken In Hand relationship.

Even in the West, where we have a legal right not to be in any relationship we don't freely choose, some women cannot be said to be choosing a male-led relationship. It is not enough to have a legal right to choose otherwise. It must be a fully free choice, not made under duress, threats, coercion or toxic manipulation. It must be something that both the man and the woman wholeheartedly want, and on an on-going basis. Whilst some Taken In Hand wives want not to have a choice and want their marriage to be irrevocably male-led, and act accordingly, taking responsibility for that choice and making it work, that is in itself a free choice on an on-going basis.

The Taken In Hand relationship is consensual or it is not a Taken In Hand relationship. Consensual non-consent is consensual, as has been argued at length on this site.

A couple chooses to be in a Taken In Hand relationship if and only if they both prefer this kind of relationship.

The Taken In Hand relationship is consciously male-controlled. There are many traditional relationships and other male-led relationships in which the man leads in the relationship but the couple are not aware of this as being in any way erotic. For it to be a Taken In Hand relationship, the couple must be consciously aware of the control in their marriage, and consciously choosing it. Both husband and wife in a Taken In Hand relationship actively prefer that the husband be in charge in their relationship, and find the idea erotic.

The Taken In Hand relationship is monogamous and sexually exclusive. It is between one man and one woman exclusively because that is what both wholeheartedly prefer. Taken In Hand couples tend to be exceptionally happily married, because being in a fully-committed, permanent, fully-invested, thoroughly and consciously sexually-exclusive and faithful marriage provides a concentrated focus that creates and amplifies erotic intensity over time. It also affords profound intimacy and makes any problems that arise much easier to solve.

In being in charge, the husband in a Taken In Hand relationship has a lot of power over his wife. Wanting to do no harm, he takes care to put his wife and their relationship first. This is a key difference between Taken In Hand and other forms of male-led relationship.

Some male-led relationships are all about the man. By contrast, Taken In Hand is for both husband and his wife. In taking that view, we reject the idea that either spouse should do x or y, as if it were a duty. Taken In Hand is not about gritting your teeth and doing your unpleasant duty or bearing a burden, it is supposed to be fun and sexy for both spouses.

The man's control in a Taken In Hand relationship is real, not just a game.

The Taken In Hand relationship is not about enacting stereotypical roles such as that of the 1950s housewife or the D/s “Dom” or “sub”. Human beings are complex entities and trying to make yourself fit into such boxes is likely to be stultifying and psychologically suffocating rather than conducive to a good relationship.

We don't believe there is a recipe for a Taken In Hand relationship, or that there is one true way, or that everyone should be in a Taken In Hand relationship, or that there are true men/women/etc etc, or that those men who don't want to be in charge aren't real men, or that those women who prefer to be in charge aren't real women. We reject all such statements.

The Taken In Hand relationship is evolvable, not fixed, and each person supports the evolution (growth of knowledge) of the other and of the two jointly in the relationship.

What other differences can you think of, anyone?

See also:
What you need to know about Taken In Hand
What kind of site is this?
An overview of Taken In Hand
Why do many Taken In Hand folk reject the D/s label?
Why do many Taken In Hand folk reject the DD label?
Could this kind of relationship be for you?
Power connectivity
What Taken In Hand is, and what it is not
Is this really consensual?
The erotic power of the unshackled man
The resistant woman
He's in charge. . . but I do it my way
Do you have a commanding presence?
A woman must know that her man cares

[Editor's note: This is an FAQ question; please bear that in mind when posting on this thread. Ensure that your post answers the question. Click here for the FAQ index.]

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Comments

How is this different from other male-led relationships?

In my experience, there are several additional ways that a Taken In Hand relationship is different from other male-led relationships.

One is that that the woman who chooses a Taken In Hand relationship is usually perfectly capable of being independent and self sufficient.

She may be a teacher, a lawyer, a doctor or a business woman, or she may have made a career of being a homemaker and a mother. She is usually intelligent, competent, successful in her chosen path, spiritually sound, and emotionally healthy and strong. She is more than capable of taking care of herself, her children, and anyone else God places in her path. But she wants to be in a committed relationship with a man who is at least as capable as she is so that she can take a break when she is with him.

Unlike the typical sub, if he became ill or lost his job, or needed her to take over for any reason, she could. But, having chosen this lifestyle rather than succumbed to it by default, she would surrender it all back to him at his request.

Another way it is different is that the man in this type of relationship is a uniquely caring and capable man who is not only not threatened by a strong woman but rather prefers a woman who will, on occasion, challenge him and help to keep him responsible for his choices and non-choices.

It is about two individual people, equally capable of not only functioning but thriving on their own, who have chosen to form a harmonious partnership that is beneficial to both, and in which the excitement and passion always remain at a high level.

Not so sure

While choice is definitely involved with a Western woman's embrace of a taken-in-hand relationship, I'm not convinced that it's psychologically so different from *loving* relationships in cultures that impose the dynamic.

In Geraldine Brooks' wonderful book, "Nine Parts Of Desire", a Saudi man is quoted as saying, "You think we hide our women because we're confused about sex. On the contrary. We hide them because we're *not* confused."

There is unquestionably much misogyny in that culture. There is unquestionably a trampling of human rights as we define them. However, there's a lot about how women in other cultures feel about their relationships that we in the West simply do not comprehend.

It is different

It never occured to me that Saudi men kept women shut up because they're confused about sex, I always assumed it was because the wanted to keep women under control, and stop them from running off with other men etc.

How Saudi women feel about it all I don't know. For all I know all Saudi women may absolutely love being locked up and going around dressed in sacks etc.

How Saudi women feel about their relationships is quite irrelevent to how I feel about Taken In Hand though. I like it because it is voluntary, not compulsory, and because it's a matter of personal choice, not social conformity. Saudi women may all be perfectly happy as they are, but I'm jolly glad I'm not one of them all the same.

The fact that Western women have a choice about whether or not to live in a Taken In Hand relationship may not make much difference to you, but it makes all the difference in the world to me

I always assumed it was becau

I always assumed it was because the wanted to keep women under control, and stop them from running off with other men etc.

This is a common viewpoint in the West. In actuality, women veil because the Prophet's wives did so and because modesty is a cornerstone of the Islamic faith. (So is marital sexuality for pleasure, this far more so than any major Christian religion.) The veil is religious and can have more to do with respect than oppression. Many Muslim women choose to veil through spiritual devotion. Still others choose it through political devotion. In those areas that the practise is also cultural, such as in the KSA, the concept of appearing unveiled before men while in-country is simply unthinkable to most women, mandated or no.

I find the ideas to be strongly erotic. I also would not care to give up my Western way of life. However, my original thoughts were not directed toward any particular facet of life in those cultures per se. Rather, they referred to my questioning that great differences exist in our emotional experiences. I suspect there are many similarities between loving relationships culturally male-led and those that are male-led through self-actualization/choice.

When the man is a caring one, and setting aside life outside the home, are our realities really so different inside it?

This is a fascinating question.

Respect rather than oppression?

Well, I don't find the idea erotic at all. I think there's something extremely weird about men wanting to cover women up and hide them away. And as for it being a matter of choice, yes well, I remember not long ago reading about a woman in Afghanistan who was beaten to a bloody pulp because she took her daughter's burqua off when the girl was having an asthma attack. Evidently it would have been more 'modest' to let the girl die.

Erotic my foot.

Re: Respect rather than oppression?

I remember not long ago reading about a woman in Afghanistan who was beaten to a bloody pulp because she took her daughter's burqua off when the girl was having an asthma attack.

Respectfully:

I am aware that this line of discussion has veered away from the original question. However, given the disturbing vignette portrayed in a previous post, I would like to be allowed an opportunity to respond with some truthful clarification.

One should be aware that the talking heads of mainstream journalism and radical feminist organizations can do no justice to extraordinarily complex problems. The reality is that Afghanistan is a nation reeling under some of the most devastating circumstances the world has ever known. It is not possible to discuss women's issues in that particular country without also discussing millions of war dead and displaced, low life expectancy, high infant mortality, violent electoral intimidation, contaminated water, warlords, disease, housing shortage, illiteracy (80% for women, 60% for men), poppy cultivation, destruction of the infrastructure, landmines, extra-judicial killings, kidnapping, torture, human trafficking, general popular rage, and general popular fear.

We must be careful extracting a single inflammatory image spoon-fed us by the media without understanding a whit of the larger context. As the minister of Women's Affairs for Afghanistan herself puts it: "The situation of women in Afghanistan is not the product of the Taliban. It's the product of 25 years of war."

A debate over the situation of women in this nation so needful of solutions on so many fronts was not the intention of my posts here. However, I could not let the image stand alone—it was not the image to which I spoke. Rather, the message in my posts was for reflection upon similarities or differences in loving male-led relationships. I continue to be keenly interested in discussing this aspect, as invited in the original question. I believe the ideas of male leadership and female following as described in Koranic verse are highly intriguing, highly emotional, highly erotic, and highly on-topic.

[MODERATOR'S NOTE TO ALL POSTING ON THIS THREAD: THIS DISCUSSION WILL BE DELETED SHORTLY BECAUSE IT IS OFF-TOPIC. TO ENSURE THAT POSTS REMAIN UP FOR LONGER, PLEASE REMAIN FULLY ON-TOPIC AND DON'T GET INTO CONTENTIOUS OFF-TOPIC ARGUMENTS.]

Taken In Hand

For me, the whole eroticism of a Taken In Hand relatioinship comes from it being voluntary, the idea of it being imposed by law or by social pressure or by religion is a big, big turn-off for me.

I do not find the things said about women in the Bible or the Koran in the least erotic. "Women be silent and learn in subjection" does not appeal to me, nor does "Good women are obedient, if they are not, admonish them and send them to beds apart, and beat them"

I don not find the idea of not being able to shake hands with a man erotic, nor the idea of having to go around dressed in a sack.

There is all the difference in the world, for me, between the voluntary and the compulsory, and I cannot see anything in the slightest bit erotic about living in a country where women can be sent to prison for leaving abusive husbands.

Re: Not so sure

While choice is definitely involved with a Western woman's embrace of a taken-in-hand relationship, I'm not convinced that it's psychologically so different from *loving* relationships in cultures that impose the dynamic.

In Geraldine Brooks' wonderful book, "Nine Parts Of Desire", a Saudi man is quoted as saying, "You think we hide our women because we're confused about sex. On the contrary. We hide them because we're *not* confused."

Whilst I am completely with Louise that this must be a choice, and I would never want to live in such a country or under such laws, I must admit that (from the comfort and freedom of my thoroughly Western perspective) there is something deeply erotic about this idea that women are so desirable to men that these extreme measures are necessary to minimise the risk of unwelcome sexual attention. That sounds so much more intensely and awarely sexual than the casual attitudes we have in Western society.

Here in the West, many men can casually look at naked women and barely notice. I am not at all sure that that is a good thing.

I am drawn to orthodox Jewish culture in part because of the separation of men and women, the modesty, and the awareness of sex (i.e., gender). To me, the idea that a man may not even shake a woman's hand if she is not part of his family, is exciting.

(Please don't think that I am in any way condoning the lack of freedom in countries like Saudi Arabia. I absolutely abhor it. I would not even want to visit such a country, let alone live there. But if a thoroughly Western man were to require me to dress modestly, etc., I would find that erotic, not offensive.)

RE: Not so Sure

Being a Muslim I can say that unless a country enacts a law based on the religion it is a woman choice to cover herself or not. When these countries enforce such laws they are underminding the practice of this beautiful religion. These actions are actions of people not Islam. I am proud to be Muslim cover for the sake of Allah and proud to be a woman who would love to be taken in hand. I am planning to be married very soon and i have directed my intended to this site to learn more of my desire to be in this type of male dominant relationship. Many Muslim men are taught to spoil women and bow to their every whim as to not incure their dissatisfaction. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said the best of men are those who are best to their wives and as some take the former mentioned to the extremes so do they also allow their women too many freedoms. I have experienced this loose hanging by the thread relationship where men do not have the ability to control themselves let alone their wife and it has no appeal to me at all... I dare say I am sickened by the idea that a man could allow me such as to get a way with even thinking to make a decision without his consultation. I realized this need to be dominated after being in many male roles. Like high power positions making lots of decisions or having authority over large responsibility. I first used BDSM and self asfixia as a release but saw it as a very temporary fix and as I learned more of myself I saw Taken in hand as a more logical and religious approach in which I could live freely without shame. Taken in hand incorporates all aspects of my religious beliefs and some of my erotic desires. Taken in hand for me is a choice as is the religion which I chose to incooprate with it.

Extreme control as a substitute for loving control?

Dear Muslim Reader,

When I first saw this in your post:

"I first used BDSM and self asfixia as a release but saw it as a very temporary fix and as I learned more of myself I saw Taken in hand as a more logical and religious approach in which I could live freely without shame."

I was horrified that you felt it necessary to go through such means (especially the asphyxiation—whether self or externally imposed) in order to "escape" your leadership roles.

Then I considered how the rise in such things has also paralleled the attitudes of feminism over the course of the last few decades, and wondered if there has been some misinterpretation of these social trends. What if, when the valuable thought that women have the right to live lives of self-reliance and climb corporate ladders became the very different obligation to do so—regardless of their own desires—something snapped.

What if the feminist social ideal of the supermom who "has it all" is just as unrealistic and as the physical "ideals" of the classic Barbie-doll and/or anorexic super models? Suppose the attempts (and failures) to attain them are just as psychologically damaging. Perhaps our natural instincts for male leadership and female submission could only be suppressed for so long before they started resurfacing.

Yet, because their "natural" manifestation—traditional familial relationships—was frowned upon by society, they had to find other channels. Channels which, because they aren't natural, tend to be inherently more hazardous and "disturbing" when seen from the outside. Thus, controlling and being controlled while playing a BDSM scene was clearly voluntary activity. Leading and following in a traditional relationship, whether voluntary or not, was always interpreted as repression. Therefore the BDSM "play" started gaining ground, and people who had the desire to live in a more structured manner on a full-time basis had to explain it away as making a "Gorean" or "TPE" lifestyle choice.

While such a choice might still rankle the powers that be, again there could be no doubt that such a relationship was actively chosen. That is why I am glad to see the rise of such sites as Taken in Hand, which clearly identifies the desire for a male-controlled relationship as a choice, rather than coercive.