Is it real?

I wonder about this quite a lot, especially when people suggest to me that Taken In Hand is only about bedroom games for me, and I am wondering about it now.

On Tuesday night, my husband was discussing a subject that occurs to him from time to time—the possiblity of creating a spanking machine, for use when he's too tired or too busy to do it himself. “I could have a dial to adjust the hardness of the strokes” he said thoughtfully “It could go from “mildly irritated” to “extremely pissed off”.”

Well, yesterday morning I did something incredibly stupid, which made him really, really angry. He was so angry he did something he'd never done before, which was to give me a hard smack while the children were still in the room. I was slightly embarrased, but I don't think they noticed; if they did they didn't comment.

Anyway, when we got back from taking the children to school he said to me “You know I was talking about the spanking machine—where do you think the dial is now?”

“Er, extremely pissed off?” I suggested. “Correct!” he said grimly, and took me upstairs to demonstrate. And it HURT. Afterwards he was still livid. “I want the kitchen cleaned up,” he said to me, “and you are not to put the computer or the TV on until you are finished, and if any parcels come for you you're not to open them until I say you can. Is that clear?” “Yes,” I said.

So I went and cleaned up the kitchen, and when a parcel came for me I left it on the table. My husband came down at lunchtime and noticed that it was unopened. “I'm glad you're doing as you're told,” he said. “I'm feeling suitably chastened,” I explained. He raised his eyebrows. “You don't imagine the chastening is finished, do you?” he asked me. “No,” I replied meekly. Sure enough, I got chastened considerably more at bedtime.

This morning, when we got back from delivering the kids to school he said, “First things first, upstairs, knickers down.” “The dial isn't still on “extremely pissed off”, is it?” I asked nervously. “No, but I thought a warning shot across the bows would forestall any trouble today,” he retorted. It wasn't a particualrly long spanking, but in my already tenderised state it didn't need to be.

The thing is, his anger was real, and so was my contrition, and the pain in my bottom is definitely real. But all this is a massive turn-on. I would never deliberately do something to make him angry, especially not that angry, and what I did was incredibly stupid, but his way of responding thrilled me very deeply, and I think about it now with this very intense guilty excitement. So does being so turned on and so thrilled by the whole thing mean it isn't real, or that it is just a bedroom game? Would it only be real if I hated it? I don't know, and I don't really care; I just wonder.

Louise C

Take the Taken In Hand tour


I know what you are talking about here :)

It is the same with me: I desire my husband very much to be aggressive to me sometimes. At the same time I know that he really loves me and would not hurt me seriously, so that this is a desire that can never be really fulfilled. But last time when I did something really stupid—so stupid that we even mentioned that "d"-word in the ensueing discussion!!!—he really laid hands on my throat and if it had not been for his self-control, he would have choked me. As it was, he just touched his hands to my throat and let go after about three seconds, in which time his eyes were fixed to mine and he looked at me in terrible anger.

Now, as things are, I was not a second frightened—my trust in him is endless—just surprised... and thrilled, very, very much thrilled. In fact, in the following weeks I had tremendous orgasms just thinking of his furious eyes and his hands on my neck.

The problem is: I dearly love him, so I really would not want to cause him such a distress again, just in order to make him act in a way that thrills me. I talked to him about this, asking him to show more of that aggression in everyday life, not to be all too nice to me (which he is under normal circunmstances). We also talked about my fetishes (uniforms, men who fight, men who use weapons) with the only result that we got some laughing fits imagining him coming home in his former military uniform or dressing as Robin Hood in his free time just to appeal to me.

The reason for this, in my eyes, is that we now are living in a very peaceful era (thank God for that!) where only very sublimed masculine aggressions are allowed, e.g. to work on one`s carreer and stuff like this. I am very much afraid that we have to refer to bodice rippers for the rest of our wild romantic dreams for centuries coming.


Louise, what you describe sounds like a brilliant erotic and emotional connection between a man and a woman: of course it's real! Isn't it, in fact, the realest thing there is?

And Saskia: what do you mean when you say the desire cannot be fulfilled? It's obvious to me that it is being! You say you had tremendous orgasms just thinking of his eyes, and his hands on your throat... how fantastic! Seems fulfilled to me.

Saskia, if what you call his "anger" is an intensely masculine, sexual desire to dominate the woman he loves—the kind of desire many men feel, to force a woman, physically if need be, to submit—then I don't think you need worry about causing him distress. I imagine he feels just as excited about it as you do, and certainly if I were him, I'd want that kind of distress all the time.


Certainly Louise.
I can usually tell something that you have written even before I see your name. I didn't even recognise you.
Looks good on you.
I am sure your husband would agree.
Take care.



My opinion is that I think it is very real regardless of the fact that you get turned-on. In my experience the "turned-on" part comes from the intensity of the interactions between myself and the man I am involved with. The actual spanking is only part of the interactions. There are so many sensations and emotions that are also a part of the experience that even though the cause of spanking may be negative, I can't help but become turned-on or aroused by it. That isn't to say that I don't find the spanking extremely painful because I do. My gentleman can wield a wooden spoon or a bath brush with incredible effectiveness but afterward I feel closer to him, cared for by him and loved by him and what can make anyone feel more turned on than those feelings. Couple those feelings with the intense physical experince and just thinking about getting a punishment spanking makes me feel "warm & fuzzy" and aroused. As far as the question as to whether it would only be real if you hated it, here's my opinion. Spanking is a good thing for the couples who use it or else they would not continue to use it as a relationship tool. Good "things" create good feelings even if there is a negative aspect to them. I really don't think you have to hate being spanked for it to be real. If it is effective, it is real and spanking is effective in that it brings a resolution to issues within relationships and that is something that should always create good feelings. And why would anyone hate anything that makes them and the person they love feel good. I hope I made sense and I hope you never find yourself hating spankings. Spankings are wonderful!


Louise, your article as always made me smile. Real or not, who cares. You give people like me hope that relationships such as these exist and work! I'm envious.

Bows and sterns

My husband, who likes to get these details right, has decided on reflection that he should have said "warning shot across the stern" rather than "bows".

Anyway, after further warning shots last night and this morning he decided that what he refered to as "the course of treatment" was complete.

The last couple of days have been what you might call 'interesting times'. At any rate, after reading all your kind and encouraging comments I have decided to stop troubling myself about whether it is 'real' or not. As you say, the main thing is that it works.

Is it real?

"So does being so turned on and so thrilled by the whole thing mean it isn't real, or that it is just a bedroom game? Would it only be real if I hated it"?

It seems to me whatever works, including so called bedroom games, to bring a couple closer together in a more intimate bond, makes it real. The question is, does that make it a "real" Taken In Hand relationship? Since many people have their own definition of what constitutes a taken in hand relationship, for the purpose of this discussion lets use the one the boss created in her introductory article, What is Taken in Hand?

"The Taken In Hand relationship is a consciously and consensually male-controlled sexually and socially exclusive monogamous relationship in which the man's power is real and for the purpose of creating a deeply connected, fully engaged relationship with a white-hot sexual connection".

I don't think being "so turned on or thrilled" makes it unreal. I don't believe being turned on or not being turned on is the determining factor of a taken in hand relationship. I occasionally spank my wife just for the fun of it. Sometimes she will say something teasingly fresh and I respond by turning her over my knee(for us that would make it a kitchen game, but I digress) This bit of frolicking fun, although connecting in of itself, does not necessarily make it a Taken In Hand relationship.

For me at least, the determining factor is if the "man's power is real". Does he have the authority to lead? Does he have the authority to make decisions for her and their relationship? Does he have the authority to sanction her behavior? Does he have the authority to command obedience? Does she willingly follow his lead? These are only a few of the questions that if answered yes would, IMO, make one's relationship a Taken In Hand one.

From what you describe above, and in other articles you have written, it seems to me that you could answer yes to those questions. Your husband does not have to control all aspects of your life to make it real (I would be worried if he did). He only needs to control those things that are important to him. How much control the man exercises in the relationship is often determined by either an explicit or implicit agreement between the couple. Some couples will desire the man to exercise alot of control, others less. In each case, what matters most is if the control he exercises creates a deeply connected and intimate union. I do not know for sure if this is true for your relationship, but from what you write, I suspect it does.

What's real to you or I....

What I have found with a Taken in Hand relationship is this. It belongs to us. It is our dynamics. Not my friends', not my friends' on discussion boards, but mine and Gary's. And what we have is very real. What Louise has is very real. She and I respond to our husbands because of it. There is nothing fake or pretend how we do things. For Louise, she had done something to deeply upset her husband. And he took her in hand many times as a result. And she responded in a few ways. First was to submit. Secondly to be contrite and thirdly, if not the strongest was to feel the sexual energy and tension as a result of the combination. Sexual tension is not restricted to the bedroom.

I used to make this joke in my house. Gary used to introduce new ideas to me. In order to make them feel safe for me, he added a sexual element. Way back at the beginning, he told me I was to be completely submissive in the bedroom. Outside of the bedroom he expected me to be obedient, but totally submissive in the bedroom. Well, sometime he was very bossy outside the bedroom and he wanted more than obedience. He wanted my submission to the given situation. My quip used to be 'Everywhere is the bedroom with you'. So Louise, your feelings while are overpoweringly sexual...are in your head and that head goes everywhere you do..including outside the bedroom.

As an example of how a similar thing happened to me recently. Last week we were to go our daughters public school in the evening to sign her up for extra curricular activities. There is a small process where they hand out tickets, then 30 minutes later they call you in my the number on your ticket so you can sign them up. First come first serve. Gary and I were resting just before dinner. He had been away for some time and we were just chatting. But his hands wander and I certainly missed him. He started telling me how he expected me to behave at the school that evening. He told me if I became too active, he could control me by not laying a hand on me. He said if it came down to it, he would stand me in the corner until I chose to obey. Suddenly the thought of him doing that very thing just aroused me to the moon! Being so forceful, so strong. He vocalized it wouldn't be comfortable for me, embarrassing to say the least, but don't underestimate him. He would do it. It was like hot lava and I erupted in his hands in seconds after that. My point is only this. Our response to our husbands is real anywhere we/they are. It is all consuming and not restricted to the bedroom. And not only is it real, but fulfilling, secure and happy.

Is the authority real?

I think that is the real question. I think what people are saying when they say that it is just a bedroom game is this: if the woman wants it and the man is doing it because she wants, how can she really be under his authority? We have the idea that authority is only real if those under that authority have no choice (e.g. the government, the police, etc.). But everyone chooses. You choose to be a law abiding citizen. There are many people who choose not to. They choose not to live within the systems of the government at all, as a matter of fact, and they choose which laws to follow by which ones they believe are right. No one has authority over you if you don't give it to them. This is no different.

Now does that make it less real? I don't think so. Does it make the governments authority less real because you choose to live under it, because you decide that the payoffs and rewards of living under the government's system are worth living under its laws? No. Again, this is no different. You have just decided that the rewards and payoffs to your relationship of living under your husband's authority are worth living under his laws. So the authority is just as real as anyone else's authority.

As for the idea of it being a big turn on making it simply a "bedroom game". I think people say this because they are more comfortable with the idea of control and submission being a bedroom game. It is a hard thing to think about someone wanting to give up their control of certain portions of their live, when it seems like we fight so long to get control of our lives. We think of a lack of control as being a characteristic of childhood and why would anyone want to continue to be treated like a child once they are grown? So it is easier to think about Taken In Hand as just being a bedroom game, because people can understand that.

But here's another example. I am feverishly turned on by my husband being a good dad (or any man for that matter). When I see him taking time to talk and listen to our children or watch him teach them something or watch them having a wonderful time doing something, it drives me crazy! I love him and want him more than at any other time. I don't mean standard fathering, I mean really enjoying those kids and really taking joy in being a dad. Like when I was pregnant and he used to, without a bit of self conciousness, talk to my belly about how he couldn't wait to see the baby and he was so happy to be a dad. So because it turns me on that my husband is a good dad, does that make his fatherhood and his attitude about it less real? Does that make his fatherhood a game because it turns me on or because the feelings I have from watching him parent result in more heat in our bedroom? Seems pretty silly, doesn't it? If a woman is turned on by her egalitarian relationship and everytime they discuss something to death and he asks a thousand questions about her feelings, does that make their equality a game just because she is turned on? (Sorry about that, Pat, I will get my tongue out of my cheek now, LOL)

Thanks for your article, Louise. I often think about this too, because I know that this is something that a lot of non-Taken In Hand people think about Taken In Hand and other relationships of similar type. It can be worrisome. I mean, who wants to think that one of the dearest and most cherished things about their relationship is "just a game"? It's kind of like people who demean stay home moms by saying things like "oh, so you play house for a living?" It's just another way to attack what you don't understand. It's hard to remember that though when you realize how many people think that way. I mean, it is all well and good to say "who cares what they think!" it is another thing to really believe it. It's hard to live by your own rules and not feel insecure about it sometimes.

Very real

And VERY hot! I know this is an old post, Louise—but I loved it. The thing is, the reality belongs to you and him—not the rest of the world. What they think of as reality isn't necessarily THE reality, either. If it's right for you—it's right. The rest of the world be damned.



Thank you Kitten for your kind words! I think you are quite right that there are different kinds of reality for different people. I do tend to get quite a lot of people (not so much on here bu ton a couple of DD groups I belong to) saying things like "Oh, if you enjoy it then it's no real, you're not supposed to enjoy it, how can it teach you to behave better if you like it" et etc. I try to explain to them why it does work for us, and how it does, in a way, help me to behave better (help both of us to behave better in fact), but a lot of people just don't get it.