Taken In Hand is not about enacting stereotypical roles in stereotypical relationships. That is inimical to the progress, improvement, enlightenment, and growth of the individuals involved, and of the relationship. A relationship starts from nothing. The two persons begin as equals at a distance, and gradually, as they get to know each other and interact together, their interactions change them.

Some may enjoy enacting fixed roles; others prefer to behave in ways that come naturally to them given the person they are with. With one woman, a man might feel very much like taking charge from the outset, whereas with another, things might be different. He might never feel it with that woman, or it might grow as their relationship develops.

How two individuals are with each other changes over time. Stepping into a preconceived stereotypical role is definitely not everyone's cup of tea. You don't have to take any notice of “rules for submissives” or “advice to dominants” or anyone else's idea of what or how you should be. You don't have to feel inadequate if you don't feel inclined to kneel for every man who happens along. You don't have to act out a cardboard cut-out stereotype: you can be your unique and full and evolving self.

Perhaps some like the idea of enacting a stereotype, but those who find that abhorrent may well want to distance themselves a bit from stereotypes such as “dominant”, “submissive”, “a real man”, “a feminine woman”.

It is not a matter of denying our true natures, it is a matter of embracing fully our true natures. Our true natures are complex, dynamic, ever-evolving—anything but stereotypical.

Language is important. Words can define us. When we apply a particular label to ourselves, we start to view the world and ourselves through that label. This tends to push us into a stereotype instead of facilitating valuable personal evolution.

So if you feel uneasy about calling yourself X or Y, or if you do not think of yourself as Z despite others' protestations that you are most definitely Z, do not try to swallow your unease. Instead, listen to your inner voice, and allow yourself to grow and change in all your complexity. Allow yourself not to be forced into someone else's narrow box. They may think you fit into it perfectly and not see what all the fuss is about, but they are not you, and they can't see into your mind.

It does not matter if others don't understand. It doesn't matter if they think you are silly. It doesn't matter if they think they know best. It doesn't matter what anyone else thinks.

On the journey of life, you have to be honest with yourself. Ignoring such unease and pretending that you fit in a particular box is not being honest—either with others, or with yourself. On the journey of life, you have to start from where you are, and move forward together from there. You can't pretend to be somewhere you're not, just to avoid upsetting the stereotypical applecart.

If you do not feel comfortable fabricating a fake persona for someone who wants a stereotype rather than a unique human being with a unique perspective, personality, and ideas, don't do it.

If you don't want to be called “submissive”, you will be told that you must be dominant really but not know it, or that you are in denial. If you are a man who eschews the “real man” idea, you will be told that you must be a wimp, submissive or gay. If you question the idea of being “a feminine woman for him”, some will conclude that you are a hard, bossy, bitchy woman or a “butch dyke”. That's life! You have to live your own life the best way you can, maintaining integrity, including in terms of the labels you use to describe yourself.

If stereotypes do not sit right with you, you do not have to pretend they do. And you will make more progress in your life if you don't.

the boss

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Have you seen the following articles?
What is a Taken In Hand relationship?
Passionate conquest
Two years and counting
Never do without sex again
How to avoid making your life with your wife a living hell
Happy living in fear of a man?!
Power connectivity
Why she wouldn't talk about it—and why she is talking about it now
Forget 'ideal'—look for the real
Why do some prefer a Taken In Hand relationship to a conventional relationship?


Labels help describe but they should not proscribe

Well said, boss.

Labels are a necessary part of communication: "worker," "professional," "determined," all convey some meaning and help to communicate. Just because you—or anyone else—applies a label to yourself doesn't mean you have to fit every aspect of everyone's notion of what that label is. Any single label can rarely fit exactly because no single word can convey enough to explain the ever-changing complexity of a person.

So accept or use a label if it seems right but make sure it is the label describing yourself, not yourself fitting into anyone's concept of the label.


A point of reference

This article on stereotypes is very informative and I think one major problem is that we take our roles, etc. far to seriously. Maybe we should just go with the flow. Every man and woman has their own preferences about Taken in Hand relationships. When you read through articles on this website, some you strongly endear to, some conjure up images of experimentation and others leave you cold. So by making collaborative, consensual choices, you explore the different facets of your relationship. As for stereotypes, why get so hung up on them? Are they not merely points of reference—a blueprint that may (or may not!) pre-empt our choices? Have fun and if you find (horror of horrors) that you may subscribe to a particular "stereotype" then who cares if you're both having fun and not hurting anyone (unless, of course, that particular playful/physical/rough and tumble "stereotype" appeals!)

Stereotypes and tolerance.

Well, wouldn't not allowing the people who desire and chose to be more toward the "stereotypical" end of the spectrum be in itself a form of prejudice, discrimination, and intolerance of their "lifestyle choices"?