There is often a huge difference in the way of thinking and behaving between men who embrace a D/s philosophy vs. men who embrace a Taken In Hand philosophy. Having been exposed to both types of mindsets and behaviors, I have been able to experience and observe my own reactions as a “submissive” woman to these differences.
My experience has been that men in D/s relationships are often terribly focused on and obsessed about their own needs. It's as though they are attracted to a submissive woman because they think they can train her to be exactly what they want. And what they want is mainly a servant whose life revolves around the man and his whims. They want total submission for the most self-serving of reasons, and they are not especially interested in what the woman wants. Of course, this is not true of all such men, but I've seen this far too many times.
For me, it just doesn't work. I cannot be “trained” like some animal or pet to be fit into some kind of mould. I am a passionate, caring and warm human being. I need to be cared for and nurtured. I need to feel loved and appreciated. Any discipline needs to be for my good and the good of the relationship in general.
This is where Taken In Hand comes in. Taken In Hand is about both people, not just the man. It stresses mutual enjoyment and pleasure rather than being all about the man's pleasure. It's not about rules, protocols, “training”, servile submission or slavish obedience. It's about two people caring about each other and creating a dynamic that works for both of them, that helps both of them to get their needs met, and it's more flexible. The Taken In Hand man nurtures, loves and appreciates his woman and always keeps the good of the relationship in mind, and this benefits him as well as the woman in the long run, because the relationship is better.
It's sort of sad that so many “dominant” men don't see this. In assuming that the woman is there primarily to serve the man, and thinking that they can just get what they want by enforcing it or micromanaging, they make it impossible for the woman to get her own needs met, This can stifle the woman's spirit. She can become weak, dependent and unhappy. In the long run, this will only become a burden to the man and probably cause the relationship to end.
Taken In Hand takes more work for the man than just thinking about himself and his own needs or enforcing a lot of rules because he is the boss or the “Dominant”. It takes dedication, persistence and sensitivity. But the results are so worth it!
I've experienced the nurturing, considerate Taken In Hand dominance I described above, and know what type of response this sort of nurturing/guiding engenders. It causes me to be soft, caring, competent and happy in all areas of my life. I flourish. The Taken In Hand man has no need to fear that he will not receive everything for which he longs! I'm like putty in his hands! I find that I naturally endeavor to please him in any and all ways. He has my respect and devotion. I have no need to be owned, or kept on a leash. He has already won my heart, mind and soul!
Why settle for a fleeting, passing experience only to go to another similar pattern or cycle of interaction? The Taken In Hand man will skillfully learn his woman's needs and minister unto her. Is it weak of him? NO! It takes a “knight in shining armor” to step up and master the course of a relationship. He needs to be discerning, wise and careful. He must be able to give and to love. That is never a weakness, it is the greatest strength one can possess.
As I said, I had it, in part. I know it exists. It may be hard to find. But the Taken In Hand dynamic really works.