If you are new to this site, you might well be appalled by what you read, and may even think that we Taken In Hand folk should be locked up.
To minimise the risk of unfortunate misunderstandings, please keep in mind as you read that people on this site are writing about what sexually excites and thrills them. This is true even when it seems otherwise. There are many different ways of having a wonderful Taken In Hand relationship, and what thrills one couple will make another couple feel positively ill. The important thing is that the mere fact that something you read turns your stomach or makes your skin crawl does not mean that those involved feel the same way.
So what might you find on this web site that might disgust you? Well, no doubt many different things. But here is a small selection:
You might read material that seems to be suggesting that men are superior to women, or that women need a man's control to stop them going off the rails, or that a man, being a man, has a right to control and correct his woman, or that women should obey men, or that women are faulty and need correction, or that women can't control themselves without a man's firm hand, or that women are entities that feel rather than think, and that if women recognised that and stopped over-analysing everything and were more in touch with themselves as feeling beings and left the thinking and decision-making to their man instead, relationships would be a lot better.
You might read all sorts of distasteful stuff that seems to confirm that the men involved are utter jerks, that the women are down-trodden doormats, or indeed obnoxious brats, or that many posters are in serious need of psychiatric help. You might read material that gives you grave concerns that women are being enslaved, abused, raped, and mistreated in all manner of ways. You might think that people on this site are engaging in non-consensual actions, and that they should be brought to justice. You might conclude that this is a dangerous and nasty web site that ought not to exist.
If you are uneasy about what you read on the site, please take a deep breath and remember that the underlying purpose of all of this alarming-sounding behaviour is to create and maintain in the long-term an exciting, vibrant, connected, evolvable relationship that deeply satisfies both persons.
It is so easy to read posts as they are written and then feel appalled. Posters rarely state explicitly that they are excited by whatever ghastly-sounding idea they seem to be expressing. Some do not even know themselves that they would not be saying this stuff or doing these things if they were not on a deep level thrilled by it. If we insisted that male posters acknowledge that it turns them on to think of (for example) punishing their wife because she is faulty and needs a firm hand, or if we insisted that female posters acknowledge that (for example) the idea that they are out-of-control or otherwise in need of correction or control is a total turn-on to them, that would immediately spoil it for them. The insistence that it is not a sexual thing is functional in their psychology. For some, without that conviction that everything they are saying (no matter how egregious) is true and the real reason for their actions, the whole thrilling dynamic would crumble. Some need to think of what they are doing as non-consensual, even though, in reality, ultimately, in substance as opposed to the mere form, it is very much consensual.
I must admit that I myself have often made the mistake of taking the overt form for the underlying substance when reading posts on Taken In Hand and elsewhere. I was once completely horrified to read a post (on a yahoo group I had just joined) from a woman who seemed to be extremely distressed because, she said, she was being treated abominably by her husband, and used and abused as a sexual slave, completely non-consensually. It sounded from her post as though she was genuinely terribly distressed. But when I read many more of the posts on that group, and including many more by the woman herself, I realised that I had been worried for nothing. The more I read, the more it became clear that she was completely thrilled by her marriage, and by the ghastly-sounding things her husband was doing to her and requiring of her. He was giving her exactly what she wanted! Her apparent distress was all part of the thrill for her. She was not in the slightest bit harmed by any of it. She was not actually distressed—not on a deep level, anyway—she was wildly turned on. For her and her husband, this dynamic, with its abusive-seeming form, was precisely what connected them and excited their passion for each other and kept their marriage a delight for both parties.
If something you read worries you, like I was worried by the post I mentioned above, instead of concluding that highly immoral, non-consensual, abusive things are happening in Taken In Hand homes, try to remember that we really are all unique individuals with different preferences, and that others would not like what you yourself like in a relationship.
Keep in mind that however bad what you are reading sounds, this is what the writer and his or her spouse are into—this is how they connect—this thrills them—this is a way that those particular individuals create and maintain a terrific relationship, and that this is so no matter how revolted/disgusted/appalled/outraged you yourself are by what you read.
If that fails, why not simply ask a few calm, polite questions to try to test your conjecture that bad things are happening? For example, one way to check whether a woman is being abused in reality might be to try to find out whether she would actually choose to be in a relationship without those features if she could. Would she, for example, press a magic button that would turn her husband into a conventional man who prefers an egalitarian relationship without any thrashing? Would she really prefer that? When someone criticises her husband, does she sound genuinely down-trodden or make excuses for him like a battered wife sometimes does, or is the form of her defence more like: “How dare you say that! My husband is a total GOD! I'd never even think of leaving him, and if you shame him out of what he's doing to me, you won't be doing me any favours, so go away and stop trying to change my husband. I want him exactly the way he is!”? Asking a few questions can make it clear that the woman is not at all in the same state of mind as an abused woman.
It it helps, think of a person as having an inner, core self, plus a surface self, or selves on different levels or in different parts of the person's mind. Real non-consent, real rape, real abuse, etc., all affect the person's inner/core self. These things violate the person at her heart. This is very harmful and wrong.
Conversely, consensual non-consent, rape that the woman wants, “abuse” that the woman wants, etc., do not violate the person's core self, they are more superficial, or affect only a proportion of the person's mind rather than being an uncontrolled total violation of her core being.
The person is rendering “abuse” in part of her mind, and her core self is thrilled by the “abuse” rather than being harmed by it, as explained in this article. She might use this kind of dynamic to learn how to deal with scary situations, or it might simply be an extremely enjoyable and sexually exciting thing for her. It might be part of how that particular woman and her husband connect and grow closer. The point is that it is a good thing, despite how bad it sounds.
So when something you read alarms or appals you, keep in mind that you may be looking at the mere form, when the reality of the underlying substance is very different.
At this point, some readers will be asserting vociferously that if the form is different from the substance, that means that this is all one big game. Well, if it helps you not to get upset by the form, see it that way if you want to. But that is not how Taken In Hand folk experience what they are doing. It doesn't really matter either way. Whatever it is, the important thing is that both individuals want what is happening in their relationship, and for these individuals, what they are doing brings them together and makes their relationship an endless source of interest, excitement, good feelings and connection between them.
See also this article.