Men, show off your muscles! (We like it more than you think!)

In today's world, men don't have much opportunity to showcase their strength to women. While during the Paleolithic era men would, we imagine, demonstrate their physical prowess to their grateful mates every day by fighting and killing massive animals, climbing trees, carrying heavy rocks, wood and water and actively protecting their dwellings from danger, today's men have it, let's say, a little easier. None of the daily activities we do each day to survive are particularly physically difficult. A woman is unlikely to swoon when a man butters a toast or makes a coffee (unless he does it for her, but that's for a rather different reason) and hunts himself a lunchbox from the fridge before he heads off to sit in his comfy car in order to sit for another eight hours in the office in front of a computer, and then sits some more in front of a TV, flexing his thumbs on the remote. It's not quite the same thrill to see him do that as if he and his pals dragged home, say, a mammoth. Or even a deer.

Even though we live mostly in a physically low-challenge environment, men are still, on average, at least 50% stronger than women, at least where their upper body is concerned. The strongest woman in the world gets easily beaten by a man of average fitness. I watched in fascination this video. The woman, looking like the female version of The Incredible Hulk, loses three times to rather scrawny-looking men—wins only once on her first try. Yes, we are, physically speaking, the weaker sex, and that's fine. We should never compare ourselves to men in this department—we are just made differently. And we much appreciate knowing that the guy next to us has some muscle power, and that he'd protect us from any threat much better than we could do ourselves. Yet there are so few opportunities for us women to see how much stronger our male counterparts really are that we (at least myself) appreciate even the most modest display of muscle power and physical control, such as opening a lid of a tough jar or carrying a heavier grocery bag from the car. Is this why we like men with blue-collar jobs so much? Or men that are good with DIY, or men that don't drive an automatic? Manual jobs are, however, often not the best-paid jobs, so the more educated and wealthier the man, the less likely he is to show his lady any upper-body bulges. And I think we are all missing out as a result, because even though we sport a civilized veneer, we still have our caveman brains that react as strongly to the same stimuli as they did 100,000 years ago. Physical fitness still rules.

So what's the solution for the office-bound man? I think there are more than one might think. Sports, obviously, but pick those that your woman can also participate in, at her own pace, or where she can be a spectator. It doesn't help too much if you just bring home a bag with sweaty trainers and dump it on the floor! She has to see you in action. I fell in love with my man when we decided to go rock-climbing together on an indoor climbing wall. Up till that point, he was only a friend. I was somewhat interested in him, but there were no massive sparks, even though he was kind, very intelligent, funny and a true gent right from the start. But when I saw him climb up an overhang seven meters above me like a monkey while I struggled to even stay put on the wall (even though I am quite fit), boy, did it do wonders for our chemistry! I eventually managed to get stuck at about two meters above ground, and, afraid to jump off, I called him to the rescue. He swiftly and gracefully climbed down the seven meters and reached out to take me down, holding me firmly as he lowered me onto the floor. Damsel in distress was rescued, and falling head-over-heels. :)

Pick up your woman! Throw her over your shoulder, squeeze her, play-fight with her, pin her down. I've always really wanted all this, but there were not that many men willing to provide these things! Now I feel very lucky to have a partner who is happy to shake me around a bit every day. It's fantastic to be around such a fit and strong man. If your girl is too heavy for this stuff, spank her so that she loses a bit of weight! :) And if you're not fit enough? Well, another excuse to head to the gym. Or to the dance-floor—you don't need to be a weight-lifter to be a strong lead for your lady. You can be eighty years old and if you know your moves and hold her firmly, she will happily follow, relaxing under your control.

You don't have to be too overt with your strength display all the time—even subtle gestures work. I used to have a boyfriend who, whenever he was passing me in a narrow space (say, a doorway), would hold me firmly for a brief moment just to steady me as he moved along. It was a small gesture, but the meaning of it was big: I've got you, you are safe. This attitude permeated the relationship, most of the time, and I loved him very much. Why we split up is another story, but while it lasted, I definitely felt “taken in hand”.

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Very good article

Toyen, thank you for this very thoughtful article. I couldn't agree more.

Male muscles, or maybe a better word would be strength, is utterly sexy. (Mental strength of course is great too, but this is a discussion for another article.)
Male strength is just one more thing that has been ridiculed by gender feminists who argue that men and women are not in the least bit physically different.

Yes, they are and thank God for it.

"Pick up your woman! Throw her over your shoulder, squeeze her, play-fight with her, pin her down."
Absolutely. The display of raw power, maybe even force, is utterly irresistible. Most men have been taught nowadays that this is something to be made fun of or even be ashamed of. It isn't.

You're lucky to have found a guy like that.

Jessica Rabbit


Yes, the importance of a man physically cannot be overstated. Some women like more weight or comic book muscles, but I like definition, and my husband's got it. Just as important is the way he moves. I like to watch him work out of course, but I also love to watch him work. His whole body is engaged as he draws, always moving as he works, and since I'm active when I draw, I know how all that energy feels. I also like how dirty he gets.

In art studio, equipment and furniture need to be moved around, and my husband gives the guys in his classes a hard time when they hold back while the women jump in to help with the heavy things. I guess the guys would rather watch. Women's muscles are beautiful, too.

I love being carried, swung, and spun around past dizzy by my husband especially now that I'm pregnant and he still makes me light as a cat.


Nothing wrong with strength

Love this article. I'm certainly no Adonis but I know what my arm muscles do to my wife. Who can blame me for finding little ways to show them off ;)

I don't agree

Although, I admit that looking at a pretty face and body is nice, I’m much more impressed with someone’s integrity. If someone can’t support your feeling, thoughts, concerns and goals, then muscle is muscle. Just because someone can toss you around like a sack of potatoes doesn’t mean much if he’s a good person. And I don’t believe that someone should ever use physical strength against someone who is smaller or weaker. And being tossed around is embarrassing and demeaning and doesn’t show you respect or consideration. If a man needs to feel superior just because he’s a man and physically stronger then I don’t want to be near him.

Couldn't agree less

Of course muscle is just muscle if the rest of the personality is not good. The same can be said about looks in general, money, great jobs etc.

"And I don’t believe that someone should ever use physical strength against someone who is smaller or weaker."

We are talking about Taken In Hand relationships here, and one of the defining characteristics of Taken In Hand relationships is that the woman actively wants her man to be in charge including, in many cases, physically imposing his will. When a man uses his physical strength ‘against’ the woman he loves because she wants that, that is very different from using his strength against her will.

I understand if this is not your thing, but most women on this website seem to like it.

Jessica Rabbit


There is a huge difference between physical and emotional "imposing his will". One implies that he will physical force you into doing what he wants—if that's your cup of tea—well, alrighty then. If you are emotionally invested in a relationship and want him to be in charge, then there is no need to him to physically toss you about just to prove he's a "macho man". Real men don't need to use physical force to achieve the desired effect. His mere presence will achieve it.

Why not both?

First, in reply to the low blow "real men" dig, I suppose "real women" are timidly submissive, are they? I disagree. As others have said, whether or not a given Taken In Hand relationship involves physical taking in hand, there is nothing non-consensual about it, and it is nothing to do with being "macho", it is something the woman wants, that her beloved manly husband is giving her. For those into it, it's fun; it's exciting.

Men are all real, and they are all individuals with their own uniqueness, and it is disrespectful to call into question a man's manhood, just as it is disrespectful to make statements about "real women".

The Taken In Hand Site Owner and Creator

Oh, Try

I prefer ballerina to sack of potatoes myself. As Toyen mentioned, these antics show off a woman's fitness as much as a man's, and far from being embarrassed, I'm the much bigger showoff when it comes to woman-throwing. Women who like the sensations of being picked up, thrown, spun, and pinned tend to subtly signal this with the hanging on of arms, tackling, and playful shoving and punching. Usually, a man who exerts himself for an airplane ride has a clue or two that the woman won't find it demeaning. This isn't an example of someone using his "physical strength against someone who is smaller or weaker." There's no "against" about it.

My husband doesn't think men are better than women, or that he is better than me, though he is stronger and more experienced. I don't see why you would assume a man's joy in his strength would indicate sexism. That seems very sexist of you. Jessica's statement that "men have been taught nowadays that (raw power) is something to be ashamed of" seemed highly doubtful to me until you came along, Try.


I forgot

I forgot to mention the article Taking her in hand is not a contact sport on this website. Eric makes the point that authority and leadership are primarily psychological.

None of the commenters agreed with him. Neither do I.

A man asserting himself physically in a Taken In Hand relationship has nothing to do with violence (violence is always angry and uncontrolled) or non-consent. It can be forceful without being violent and doing damage.

Some women like force. I am one of them.

Jessica Rabbit

One more thing

Try, I think we live on different planets.

I agree that the "real men", in fact "real anything", definition is just plain wrong. "The real anything" is in general one's own definition—how I think something should be—and this definition is of course the only right and correct one. It doesn't work that way.

If you are emotionally invested in a relationship and want him to be in charge, then there is no need to him to physically toss you about just to prove he's a "macho man". Real men don't need to use physical force to achieve the desired effect. His mere presence will achieve it.

Of course there is need for him to assert himself, also physically. First, it's sexy. I want a man to use some force. What's the problem?

Second, I am the type to push boundaries, just to see what happens. A stern look alone is certainly not going to do it.

Jessica Rabbit

Different folks different strokes...

no matter how much else we have in common.

While I agree whole heartedly about the physicality in a man being important, what flavor that takes for each of us is bound to be unique.

I've always been amazed at my own capacity to be turned on by my husband tackling the most mundane tasks. Sheesh, I usually have to leave when he's working on a vehicle (stinky, messy, sweaty, grunt work type activity.) because I will get into trouble being to distracting if I stay around long. I can't get enough. I love to watch his strong, masculine, work hardened hands accomplishing a task, and marvel that they are the same hands that can be so tender and gentle(or not so *grin*)with me.

As our relationship has grown and changed we've added aspects to the physicality that "we" accept in our marraige. What I wouldn't give for him to have known when we were young that a crazy raging me would benefit from being *gasp* roughly yanked into his arms where I felt safe enough to burst into the tears that were really trying to come out.

I know that this article was talking more of a playful side of being physical, but the above example or me talking about having a kick fight with my husband in the backyard might horrify some of you. That is the beauty of feeling safe enough with our men and them with us to discover these things about each other.

Me, I love my husband grabbing a handful of me once in a while, or secretly pinning me to a wall in the laundry room for a thourough feeling up *lol* while the kids are in the other room. Funny thing is, I wouldn't have known it if he didn't give a try cause HE wanted to, and he knows me so intamately that he wouldn't have pushed it on me if it seemed to truly distress me.

So, guys please if you KNOW your woman, by ALL means don't be afraid to show of your strength.....

love this

After spending all day looking at this site for the first time, I think I like this post the best of all. Very liberating to read as a man, esp. regarding what you wouldn't give.... I want her to make me wrestle with her and tickle her until she slaps me or something. Meanwhile, it just reinforces my belief that DANCING is the best example of this at so many levels, and that the leading partner concept demonstrates the healthiest possible cooperative approach to control-based physical adventures....

Thanks Dagby!


It's about mutual needs

There is nothing demeaning about feeling safe and protected -- physically, mentally and emotionally -- by the man you love. Ever. It's the exact opposite.

Men ARE physically superior in terms of strength, but that doesn't define superiority overall. There is no place for that definition in a relationship, each person brings their own strength to the table.

The fact that women are drawn to men who make them feel safe and protected is a tale as old as time; and there's nothing wrong with it. It's a turn-on for a pretty basic biological reason.

Integrity is great, and any man who even visits this website likely has it in spades.

Be strong, be independent, be all you can be. Just accept that some of us want to come home and be able to fall apart if need be. Knowing not everything has to rely on us, because we are fortunate to have a partner in life who will take the lead.

It's how it has worked for eons, and there is nothing disrespectful about it, whether in playful displays or overt discipline. Both parties benefit immmensely, and you won't find a stronger bond.

Women are so tiny and fun to throw around!

Ha, nice. I'm surprised you weren't immediately mobbed by a throng of feminists insisting that you orient every word of your post to the lowest common denominator of possible rapists, pedophiles, sexual abusers, and general weirdos who might feel "enabled" by your ideas.


I agree Taken In Hand reader without a name. :)
But the whole website must be a constant irritation for those pesky PC feminists. Seriously, there is nothing on it that wouldn't give them an immediate heart attack. Actually, there have been a good many outraged posts about the site.

Funny thing is with them, if I were to go to Club XXXTreme every night (or whatever they're called) dragging home guys whose names I don't even know and racking up notches in my bed post, I would be applauded.

Jessica Rabbit

Internet Bogeywoman

I'm wondering, though, if the castrating feminist of male-led relationship sites is a bogeywoman. I've never met a Cath Elliot style feminist in real life, yet everyone I know is a feminist without discussing it. This bogeywoman is held to be very powerful and pervasive (or at least an irritant) but she may be keeping people from freely expressing themselves without even existing in any quantity. My grandma, a feminist Catholic, would judge attendance at Club XXXTreme harshly, but she's fond enough of my grandpa's still not retired workingman's muscles.


Very sexy

I don't like blue collar men but I do like successful men who are also fit and very strong... thinking of one who cut logs every day (quite rare for successful business men but it certainly added to the attraction for me ...mmmmmmm).

Most men like a reasonably fit woman too so it's almost nice mutual giving to stay fit for each other.