Taking her in hand is not a contact sport

Taking her in hand is not a contact sport

Taking a girl in hand is not about spanking (spanking's for kids) or discipline (let's face it, that's play-acting) and nor is it about whipping, paddling, or cropping (I pride myself on not needing any props). It's not about violence at all (I'm as civilized as the next ten thousand guys and don't understand some guys' desire to beat their wives up). It's a primarily psychological thing.

I don't believe in using violence to settle a dispute. No real man does that. You can call it spanking or discipline or taking her in hand but no civilized guy would use violence in that way—not if you mean real violence that is non-consensual. A real man can solve problems without resorting to blows. A real man uses words not a whip to settle a dispute. A real man can persuade using reasoned argument expressed without rancor. How does a whip get an argument across? You can't express much except displeasure with a whip.

I believe there are two types of leadership: authoritarian leaders, and natural leaders. Natural leaders have authority without having to force the issue using implements, violence, and/or threats. Natural leaders command respect without effort. Authoritarian leaders resort to using violence (spanking, whipping, paddling) using the fact that they are bigger and stronger than the girl to make her comply. Is that the kind of guy you want?

I'm not opposed to violence where it's a consensual part of the sexual act. I like to challenge boundaries and very violently too with a girl that can take it and wants that, but I'd never do that with most girls because most couldn't handle it or have no interest in it. I'm not going to raise my hand to a girl unless I know it's what she wants. But using violence to settle a dispute is to me a cowardly way out of a difficult situation in which reason should prevail. Taking her in hand is not a contact sport it's about natural leadership. A natural leader doesn't need to put a girl over his knee or mete out any other forms of “discipline”.

Eric

Take the Taken In Hand Tour

Comments

None of us are perfect

I would challenge anyone—and especially anyone who considers themselves a real man—to bring me out of a full-blown hissy-fit with words alone. Without making me worse, and without me needing to go off by myself for two hours or more to calm down.

If someone tries to use reason on me when I'm in that state, it makes me worse. It's not a side of me I like, but it's there. There is no obvious point at which I'm going to snap, and up until I do, I'm as likely to be using reasoned debate as my husband is. Once I'm in full-on bitch mode I hear reasoned debate as patronising put-downs. IF he can judge the point before I'm going to snap, he can stop me with a few words and the right tone (and his success rate is going up, and I'm taking longer to get to snapping point), but there are time when it surprises us both.

I have agreed to my husband spanking me in that situation (which only happens when we're rowing—or having a dispute), so it's consensual in that sense. Of course, at the time, I want nothing of the sort. But—it calms me down in minutes. And then we can have a sensible discussion, if one needs having—which is rarely the case (we only row over petty things like washing up, it never masks deeper issues—unless being tired/hungry/stressed counts as deeper issues, and we both know they're major triggers).

Yes, he's bigger than me. Strength is debatable given he has back problems and I don't. But I've proven several times (all accidentally!) that I can stop him dead with practically no effort. So he knows I'm not complying because he's bigger than me.

My husband would far prefer to talk me out of a hissy-fit if he could. He's long since discovered he can't, and is now happy to spank me til I'm being rational again. For that matter, so'm I. I adore him taking me in hand—he does so when we're not rowing too, and can do so with just a look or a word.

In my opinion, a real man uses what he knows works for both parties.

--

"There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so" Hamlet, somewhere.

It's all in the 'want'..

I have to agree. Violence has no place in relationships of any kind. And I also truly believe that authority can be had without spanking.
Yet I have never in my wildest dreams compared spanking with violence.
Now understand, I have first hand experience with both. My first husband controlled through physical violence, sexual violence and it was horrific.
Now I am with Gary. Different man. Different life. Gary uses my passion, his Authority to both love and protect me. And because of my explosions of passion, he spanks me as well. At first as a gentleman, he felt spanking only had a place as a means to an end. Yet with each spanking I pleaded for, he became more tuned into my energy, my passion, my connection to him. Impossible to ignore what brought me there. Had me clinging to him.
I also think that many women have fantasies that involve violence. I'm sure there are examples in the rape threads, although I've not read one word myself. Too many memories for me. I can't read it.
But when I am taken in hand, never once does it involve violence, in fact it doesn't even involve raising of voices. Yet I am spanked. And many times quite hard. Could Gary reach the same conclusion without spanking me. I would say so. But we would miss that connection that I crave so much. And for me there is nothing to compare that feeling of submission when I have to go over his knee to be spanked. Yet nowhere in the entire ritual is there an iota of anything more than love and guidance.
No violence to be found. Nope, not a drop anywhere....Blush

A man needs a strong hand

Eric asked: "...using the fact that they are bigger and stronger than the girl to make her comply. Is that the kind of guy you want?"

Speaking for myself: Yes, most definitely. What I want from a man is someone who is big and strong enough to force me to submit to his will, and who actually enjoys using his superior strength to dominate me. I am not about to submit to any man who is unwilling to do the hard work of actually conquering me. From where I sit, the man's sheer muscular strength and his ability to coerce me into submission is precisely what is necessary for his dominance to succeed. It's also the root of natural masculine leadership, if you ask me. A man's physical strength and forcefulness is the magic key that unlocks my sexual instinct to submit. If there's no fear there, then there's no submission either.

I find it a mystery how his dominance would work, otherwise. I don't really need a man who is 'wiser' than me to 'guide' me through life; I can pretty much handle that part on my own. What I need is a man who's much stronger than me. But his strength doesn't matter at all if he's not willing to actually use it. (On the other hand, I don't want him to do any serious injury to me, of course. But there's a whole lot of forceful physical contact that can happen without causing real injury. Not just spanking, but also wrestling, pushing, confining, etc. Let's just say it's a kinder, gentler, more loving sort of bullying.)

- Dee

strong hand needed

WOW, Dee, that was RIGHT ON TRACK!!! I can't even add to that; it was so perfect! I think you speak for most women in that sense—certainly for me! Thanks!

Not a Contact Sport

I absolutely agree with you that it should be consensual. And until recently I would have said that I liked being spanked for sexual arousal, and that that was all there was to it, the feeling of wanting to be disciplined, I would have said was just a fantasy.

But I have found that recently it has taken on a new dimension that I have found more satisfying. I find that if I am really being punished for something, the spanking is much more thrilling, and actually much more arousing than if it is 'just' being done for arousal purposes. It is still totally consensual, it is just that now it has a more serious disciplinary feel.

Before, if I was in a bad mood or something I would never let my husband spank me, and if I was sufficiently bad tempered he would ned up losing his temper and things would escalate. But under the new regime, he is much better at keeping his temper, and subduing mine.

There was an incident a couple of days ago. I was vaccuming the living room, and he came in having taken a break from work and sat down to watch something on the TV. I'd been cleaning for quite along time, and he said to me "Don't you think you've done enough vaccuming now?" I lost it completely "You've spent the last 22 years telling me I don't do enough housework" I snarled at him "How you're saying I don't do enough, when are you going to make your ****ing mind up?". He did not, as he might have done in the past, try to placate me, or lose his own. He just unplugged the vaccum cleaner and removed it, saying quietly to me. "We'll discuss your little outburst later" I knew perfectly well what he meant by 'discuss' and felt my anger ebbing away rapidly, to be replaced by the painful and delicious mixture of apprehension and anticipation tha always precedes such a 'discussion'.

I always imagined I had a very low pain threshhold, and that I couldn't take very much in the way of serious punishment, but I have discovered recently that I can take a lot more than I thought I could, and that as I've said, feeling that I've really been punished for something is emotionally and physically much more satisfying. Arousal is still the ulitmate result of being punished, but whereas before it was maybe 10% punishment, 90% arousal, it's gone to being maybe 50/50, which is actually much more exciting and ulitmately more pleasurable. Physical force, other than the strength of his right arm (which is formidable) is only minimal, he never drags me out to be spanked, I go voluntarily, if reluctantly, it's his force of will that compels me. That he has the ability to impose his will on me without yelling or anger, just with calm authority, is incredibly sexy.

What I do have difficulty understanding, and that i've come across quite a lot on this site, is women who claim they do not find being spanked arousing, but nevertheless they feel they need it. This is a concept I can't really get my head around at all, but it seems to make sense to those concerned. Yes, it should be consensual, of course, but it can be about more than just sexual arousal.

definitely arousing

I 100% agree with Louise. Being spanked, whether for discipline or sexual purposes only is ALWAYS arousing for me. I, too, don't understand how others feel oppositely. Maybe too much pain? No... I think TOO much pain would then be crossing the line to where these women would actually be harmed, and I don't believe for a moment that there are anything but loving, responsible husbands associated with this site. I guess it's simply a matter of to each her own.
In any case, I'm with Louise on this one. ALL spankings my husband gives me arouse me. Absolutely!:)

Real men?

I'm with the majority. If Eric's way works for him, then fine. But I wouldn't want to do without spanking myself! Actually, the thought of never spanking a woman again makes me feel very gloomy indeed, which must mean something.

My main issue with what Eric's written though is the way he refers to what a "real man" does. Like Baltazar, I have difficulty with this. What you mean, a real man, Eric? The world is full of real men of all different types, some of whom are interested in dominating women, and others not. While I can understand some women's tendency to call the dominant type of man they desire a "real man", I don't think it does us men any good at all to talk like that, as though somehow being sexually dominant makes us superior to other men. It doesn't. And thinking that way I think risks a kind of arrogance that doesn't really fit us for what we want to achieve with women.

I think there are two other reasons to avoid this sort of talk. First, if we're not careful we'll encourage men who don't really desire or need dominance to believe they ought to, which might attract men into Taken in Hand as a way of boosting their self-esteem, and landing lovely women with men who aren't really suitable.

Second, personally I don't see Taken in Hand as making any kind of universal claim about what men and women and relationships ought to be like. If we want to compete in a market of oughts, we're no better than those who think women ought not to choose to be dominated and ought not to be allowed to. Better for us to stand firmly for free choices for us all, and not characterise some choices as the path to real manhood.

men

I agree completely. I do not think it is right to say a man is not a real man, just because he is not sexually dominant. I do not care what gender you are.

Reply to Carl

And thinking that way I think risks a kind of arrogance that doesn't really fit us for what we want to achieve with women.

Carl, find this comment intriguing. What do men want to achieve? It sounds so academic and sure. I can only wish for a man wanting to achieve beyond career goals and being an important part of the plan.

Gosh, well

I don't know what men want to achieve generally, of course. I suppose we all want different things, in life and in love.

I suppose what attracts me to Taken in Hand is that as well as having a need for sexual dominance, I'm also seriously after love, and want to make some woman very happy. I think that's probably what most of the guys here want to achieve!

What I meant by my comment was that I reckon to really offer a woman that kind of leadership, you need a certain humility about yourself: while the idea of the "naturally dominant man" appeals to a lot of women—fair enough, and I do like to think I'm like that up to a point, or in a way—all too often what we mean by that is a man who's so confident, and fancies himself so much, that's it's gone a bit over the edge. I doubt that's what it takes, really.

I've written in other threads about "being and becoming" what you want to be as a man, by which I mean seriously aspiring to be that hero she's after but at the same time recognising you have a lot of work to do to get there. I think this attitude is more what's needed.

The "PC" use of the word "Violence"

Sir:

I need to suggest to you that you spend some time looking at the differance between being "male" and being a "man". It is as great as the differance between "violence" and "use of force". A male uses violence. A man uses force. There is a differance, a profound differance.

Your use of the word violence combines the obvious connotation of evil with the new connotation of lack of intelligence. By doing so you attempt to negate much of human nature when you include all use of force in with the idea of violence.

The use of force is typicaly benevolent in nature, and many times includes the idea of sacrifice on the part of the person using force.

Good luck on the rest of the comments you will receive on this.

JAS

Real Man

You speak about a "real man". I believe a real man is one who's primary concern is the "wants/needs/desires" (whatever they may be)of their wife/SO. This will be something of course that is individual and unique to each couple.

GT

To Some, Contact is What is Needed

Eric said:

I'm not going to raise my hand to a girl unless I know it's what she wants.

Eric,

I do not think that any woman is in a Taken in Hand relationship if her husband is doing things that she does not wish. I think that is violence and a man should go to jail for that. That said there are some people who want exactly what you describe. Not only do they want it, it is exactly what they need. Women CONSENT to a Taken in Hand relationship that involves spanking in the exact way you describe. I do not think that makes their husbands any less manly or even more manly actually. Of course our husbands do not need to spank us because it is the only thing available to them and they absolutely need to have absolute control to feel like a man. My husband needs to spank me because he needs to do what I need. This is a circular way of talking I suppose, but we were married 10 years before we started down the Taken in Hand path. We could have gone another 10 years and more if we never decided to do this. We are happier this way. It may not be for everyone and it may be difficult for most people to understand but I need him to take me in hand. I crave that closeness and connectedness. For us it is a way to solve our problems in a way that is effective and nourishing to our souls.

Consent is a tricky business too. the boss and many others have written some good articles on this subject. I have given my husband consent to take me in hand even though it may seem that I do not consent at the time. He will continue with a spanking even if I am saying no, and this is exactly what I want and need. Part of thrill of a spanking, part of why it works so well for us, is that my husband is stronger than me. He is capable of taking me in hand when I resist. He would never, never lay a hand on me if it was not what I wanted. He has my consent to take me in hand even when I am saying no. Someone else has coined the phrase "consensual non-consent" and it fits what I describe exactly. He has perpetual consent to take me in hand, even when I make it seem like he does not have this consent. This was the part of this type of relationship that was the most difficult for him to grasp. He was taught from a young age that no means no, always, no exceptions. But I was telling him that sometimes no means yes.

You are right that violence has no part in a Taken in Hand relationship. Violence is wrong. The difference between violence and a discipline spanking is consent. Different people consent to different things depending on their needs. Sometimes we want a spanking to stop a bitter argument from spiraling. My husband obliges me, not because he is not able to solve problems and conflict without spanking, but because he knows a spanking is sometimes exactly what I want and need.

Take care,
Tevemer

Bravo, Eric

Good for you, Eric. As far as I'm concerned spanking is for grownups but it's about fun and fantasy and eroticism. People who go into hissy fits to the point where only a spanking can bring them out of one, are not quite grown up.

I think an authoritative person can get the point across without having to resort to any of this. And if the so-called adult throwing a tantrum can't control herself, the way to handle a tantrum is to IGNORE it. Works just fine with babies, too.

The spanking is about arousal and when it's about a real issue it can feel more immediate and exciting. And that's what this is all about. Sex. It clearly doesn't change anyone's behavior much, or one or two spankings would settle the whole issue.

A real man doesn't have to raise his hand or his voice. Just his eyebrow.

Ignoring it

Well, ignoring it might work for some people but definitely not for me. Being ignored when I'm pissed off about something does not have a beneficial effect on me at all, it just infuriates me more. I want him to notice if I'm upset about something, I want him to DO something about it ( and he does).

No doubt it would be nice if I was the sort of person who was never unreasonable, bad-tempered or petulant, but I'm not. Being told "stop that right now" has an immediate calming effect on me, the inevitable spanking that follows completes the job.

I haven't noticed that being ignored works with babies either, in my experience, ignoring them just makes them angrier, and I don't blame them in the least. Nobody likes to be ignored.

A raised eyebrow, that's all?

People who go into hissy fits to the point where only a spanking can bring them out of one, are not quite grown up.

Considering you do not know the situation how can you make such a judgment? A "hissy fit" can be related to a lot of different things, stress, depression, PMS, Borderline disorder. Whatever the cause the person is not in their reasonable mind at the moment. Every single grown up person goes into their emotional mind once in a while. If a spanking works for them then who are you to judge their maturity?

It clearly doesn't change anyone's behavior much, or one or two spankings would settle the whole issue.

It clearly does settle the issue because it stops the problem from escalating into a huge fight. Ultimately the couple feels closer something that cannot be achieved from raised eyebrow.

Being ignored

Being ignored when the problem is a communication failure makes matters worse, not better. In adults. In children. In infants. In men. In women.

The "hissy fits" I can throw when communication breaks down have no more than a superficial resemblance to attention-seeking tantrums.

Given the triggers for our rows (note the word "our"—I can only speak for myself, obviously), the breakdown in communication—and especially my fairly sudden inability to express myself, and the resulting frustration—is fully understandable, at least to me. (Actually, it's only from this thread that I've made some links that, really, should have been glaringly obvious, to me.)

--

"There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so" Hamlet, somewhere.

Ignoring

It worked great with my son. The minute you stop feeding a tantrum whether by sweetly reasoning or by spanking, it stops. All I'd have to do would be to point to him as he lay kicking on the floor, and firmly say, "I'll be back when you're finished with THAT." Over! Done!

I bet it would work great on hissy fits in adults too. And it won't involve as much energy expended as swinging the arm.

Ignoring

Well, like I said, being ignored has never worked for me, just makes me angrier. "Why doesn't the fool NOTICE I'm upset about something" is the thought that is usually going through my head if he does ignore me. These days, however,he mostly doesn't. I want him to notice, and I want him to use his authority to put a stop to my anger or sulks or whatever, and he does. This has greatly increased domestic harmony. Ignoring me would not, it would make me much, much worse.

As for the energy expended in swinging the arm, I have not personally noticed that my husband grudges expending energy in that particular fashion. I suppose if you regard it as some kind of tedious chore then it might be tiresome, but I don't think that's quite how he views it, it's not something he's noticeably reluctant to do. And he's very appreciative of the after-effects.

On Ignoring

To the anonymous poster,

You appear to be confusing attention-seeking with a genuine breakdown in communication.

Until you work out the difference, I'll follow your advice, certainly as far as your posts are concerned.

--

"There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so" Hamlet, somewhere.

Retreat vs dominion

I'm puzzled by these comparisons between children and grown women. The dynamics of a parent-child relationship are very different from those of husband and wife. I think some children do throw tantrums just as a way of getting attention; and if the aim is to stop them from doing that, then it makes some sense to ignore their tantrums and give them more attention when they're being good. But the whole point of a MaleDom/femsub (or "Taken In Hand") relationship revolves around the erotic intimacy of domination and submission.

The point of a Taken In Hand romance, in my book, is not to make the wife behave and "be good"—but rather for them both to feel the man's dominance over her. And when he just goes away sulking, retreating into his cave or whatever, that seems the very *opposite* of domination; it makes him seem like a wuss, who is unable or unwilling to actively dominate his wife. I would think that a strong alpha male would *relish* an opportunity to demonstrate his physical dominance. Why else would he even want a submissive wife?

The comparisons with children's tantrums seem inappropriate here, because the parent's domination of the child is not central to the relationship; it's there only as a concomitant to the parent being able to protect, raise, and provide for the child until s/he reaches adulthood. In a healthy parent-child relationship, parental dominion is downplayed; it only becomes an issue when the child's wishes conflict with what is in their best interests.

But for a Taken In Hand marriage, the husband's domination is a central and desired feature of the relationship. If the wife is deliberately 'misbehaving' or even throwing a 'tantrum'—then the chances are she's doing that because she is not feeling as dominated by her man as she wants and needs to feel. In that case, his retreat from the situation can only make things worse; and it will earn him nothing but contempt from his wife, for his being such a wimp. If his only goal is to make her even madder and push her away, then retreat is the way to go. But if his goal is to increase the intimacy and the eros of their relationship, and to powerfully reestablish who's the boss, then he must provide the direct, masterful, physical domination that she needs.

Consent, violence, and real men

Eric wrote:

Taking a girl in hand is not about spanking (spanking's for kids) or discipline (let's face it, that's play-acting) and nor is it about whipping, paddling, or cropping (I pride myself on not needing any props). It's not about violence at all (I'm as civilized as the next ten thousand guys and don't understand some guys' desire to beat their wives up). It's a primarily psychological thing.

So, let me get this straight, any man who takes a woman in hand in a CONSENSUAL mutually agreed side of their relationship is a violent abuser who does it because he wants to beat up his wife? Whoa there, isn't that just a rather HUGE sweeping generalisation? What next, "all men are rapists?"

Of course whips, paddles, riding crops etc are props. Outside of the Taken In Hand side of a relationship, had you not considered that some folks might enjoy a kinky sex life as well? Of course, I've never met Eric, so can't comment on whether he and his partner enjoy S&M play as part of their sex life.

I don't believe in using violence to settle a dispute. No real man does that. You can call it spanking or discipline or taking her in hand but no civilized guy would use violence in that way—not if you mean real violence that is non-consensual. A real man can solve problems without resorting to blows. A real man uses words not a whip to settle a dispute. A real man can persuade using reasoned argument expressed without rancor. How does a whip get an argument across? You can't express much except displeasure with a whip.

Right, let me think. Am I a "real man?" Hmmm. *zip* two testicles, one penis. yep, all present and correct. ;-)

I don't believe in violence to settle a dispute. You wouldn't find me settling a dispute with fists. I'm 6'7" tall, heavily built, and am acutely aware of the damage I could inflict if pushed.

Inside the Taken In Hand facet of my wife and my marriage, you won't often find me spanking her to resolve a problem or conflict—for us, a spanking is the absolute last resort when all communication has broken down and words and a look aren't getting through. And it's utterly consensual betwen us. Can I resolve a conflict or problem with just words? Too right I can. Would I like to never have to perform a discipline spanking again? Too right. When I spank her for that reason, it hurts inside that things have deteriorated to the point that we've had to come to that.

Would I want to never spank or cane her again as part of our sexual play? Not on your life! Spanking & CP are a pleasurable and highly erotically charged part of that for both of us when done for pleasurable reasons.

I believe there are two types of leadership: authoritarian leaders, and natural leaders. Natural leaders have authority without having to force the issue using implements, violence, and/or threats. Natural leaders command respect without effort. Authoritarian leaders resort to using violence (spanking, whipping, paddling) using the fact that they are bigger and stronger than the girl to make her comply. Is that the kind of guy you want?

So, I cannot command respect without spanking etc and relying on the fact I am bigger than my wife? OK, let me point out one MAJOR hole in that argument... I am a head of department, and I manage a team of staff and outside contractors. Do my staff respect me and my authority because I use force/threats/implements on them? Hell no!

However, because my wife and I apply CONSENSUAL "discipline" spanking to resolve a problem or conflict between us, you are saying that I cannot be a natural leader; and yet here I am in a position of authority and respect in my job exhibiting the aspects of what you would call a "natural leader". Not once have I used force / threat whatever against my staff, I'm sure you can imagine what would happen if I did!

I'm not opposed to violence where it's a consensual part of the sexual act. I like to challenge boundaries and very violently too with a girl that can take it and wants that, but I'd never do that with most girls because most couldn't handle it or have no interest in it. I'm not going to raise my hand to a girl unless I know it's what she wants. But using violence to settle a dispute is to me a cowardly way out of a difficult situation in which reason should prevail. Taking her in hand is not a contact sport it's about natural leadership. A natural leader doesn't need to put a girl over his knee or mete out any other forms of ‘discipline’.

I would never have entered into the Taken In Hand side of our relationship without being 200% certain that it is what my wife wanted. In fact, it was her that initiated the Taken In Hand side of things from out of our mutual enjoyment of spanking as a sexual act.

I think Tevemer put it very well when she said:

You are right that violence has no part in a Taken in Hand relationship. Violence is wrong. The difference between violence and a discipline spanking is consent. Different people consent to different things depending on their needs. Sometimes we want a spanking to stop a bitter argument from spiraling. My husband obliges me, not because he is not able to solve problems and conflict without spanking, but because he knows a spanking is sometimes exactly what I want and need.

Like Tevemer's husband I too will "oblige" my wife by spanking her if needed, exactly because she has told me that in certain instances that is both what she needs and what she has told me she wants. Discipline spankings are for us an infrequent occurance, but when they happen they draw a line under a conflict between us, give closure to it and let us continue with our normal lives back on a stable and even keel.

So, let me just sum up: according to Eric, I'm a cowardly, violent domestic abuser who just does this because I want to beat up my wife. Ask family and friends about our relationship and about me, and that's definitely NOT the answer you'll get.

Regards

B.

A real punishment is more thrilling than a make-believe one

So far, the spankers have it. But that's only to be expected on this site.
For my money, spanking is sexual but reasoning isn't. People want to be sexually aroused, and a real punishment is more thrilling than a make-believe one, and certainly more thrilling than a reasoned expostulation. The woman who wants to be spanked wants to feel her man's sexuality—and that's right and good. She wants to feel her own sexuality, too, and spanking does the trick. The fear makes the adrenaline rush. Punishment for a "real" offence can be far more deeply erotic than one aimed at arousing only.

Malcolm

Being right

Why is it that people read of others' ways of doing things (spanking, ignoring, etc.) and feel that they're doing it wrong and/or take offence? Isn't it better to just agree to disagree? What works for one couple doesn't have to work for another...that's the beauty of DD or D/s, whatever. I guess it's reading the cold written word versus watching someone's body language and listening to the tone of their voice as they give their views in real time. Perhaps I'm the only one who has felt the undercurrent here...let's lighten it up, please!

The relationship between sexual and non-sexual settings

First, thank you for your article, Eric. I feel pretty differently than you do about most things you discuss, but it sure has prompted an interesting thread!

Two things that occur to me are:

-- “Natural leading” and “authoritarian leading” are both desirable behaviors, but in different settings. Natural leading (by charisma, character, integrity, etc.) is great in a non-sexual relationship (a team leader at work, a commanding officer in the military, etc.) Authoritarian leading (using force, fear, spanking, etc.) somehow or another—for some of us—seems to just make a sexual relationship fly.

Believe me, I have no idea what psycho/physiological mechanisms have fused sexual arousal, fear, pain, pleasure, and submission to a dominant man in my being, but the fact is they're fused all right.

And it's for this reason that I consentually (well, the “consentual non-consent” thing probably applies more...) but anyway, it's for this reason that I submit to authoritarian behavior like being put over my man's knee whenever he feels like it. Whereas I would never willingly put up with that kind of behavior from a boss, commander, or leader in a non-sexual setting.

-- The other thing I'd like to talk about is the spillover between what happens in and out of the bedroom in a sexual relationship. This spillover is why, for me, spanking isn't just a sex game. What I mean by spillover is that the experiences you have with a person in one area of life are bound to affect how you feel about that person in other areas of life, and the domination thing is no exception.

For example, years before I was really conscious of the dynamics of what was going on, I noticed that my man was rougher with me in bed if he was annoyed with me for something that occurred out of bed. And spilling over the other way, after a hard spanking, there's no question that I feel a different kind of sweetness, submissiveness, being owned and protected by a dominant man, as well as (of course) the erotic fear/thrill running through my out-of-bed interactions with my man.

By the way, domination isn't the only thing that flows back and forth in and out of the bedroom. So many other things do too—like the tenderness, intimacy, vulnerability, openness, joy, release, and some sort of “shared communion with the life force” (or something) that also characterizes what makes a sexual relationship different from a non-sexual one.

Anyway, my two cents. Light and love to all!

To Crystal

Crystal—what I've objected to are the "this is how it is" type of remarks made by Eric and the first anonymous poster. Especially the comments concerning what a "real man" and a "natural leader" does and doesn't do.

I would have been less, erm, hostile had the post been about what worked for him. The way it was written, however, was very insulting to the way a lot of people here choose to live their lives and run their relationships. Suggesting there is only one way of doing something, and that if you do it any other way you are not civilised, not a "real man", or are not fully adult is not being tolerant of others.

I realise the above amounts to pointing my finger at Eric, stamping my foot, pouting and saying "but he started it", but what d'you expect from some-one who's been told they're not fully adult? ;-)

--

"There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so" Hamlet, somewhere.

Generalizations diminish and dilute

It does seem that Eric ruffled some feathers with his personal interpretation of what Taken in Hand involves, but most folks seem willing to allow that his view is not theirs and doesn't limit them. The notion of true and abusive violence doesn't exist in most people's view of Taken In Hand due to the implicit consent involved, but it might be hard for the casual observer to differentiate.

The real tragedy here is that Eric's partner may well and truly be waiting for him to make this leap of comprehension, or they may both be working towards it and be comfortable with their pace to date. I would hope we might hear from her at some point and she might well have a message she wants to share with Eric that might help him see things in a different light and gain new insight into the concept of consent.

Good on you for posting Eric; I hope you read the comments with an open mind.

Agreeing to disagree

Hi Crystal,

I don't think there's anything wrong with heated arguments and people taking offense. It makes for more interesting reading than 'I don't agree but you're entitled to your opinion'. If every thread was like that, they'd all be very short ones.

Rowena.

Spanking vs violence

Kat

Concerning Eric's article:
How interesting. I can respect your individual belief system as it is yours for you. However, the relationship my husband and I have is different from that.. Both of us hold leadership roles in our employment positions. Yet our relationship is totally traditional. I love it this way! When he takes me in hand physically he is NOT violent! There is a difference between abuse and spanking! When I think of a man who is violent I think of one who is raising his hand with intention to harm the woman. When my husband puts me over his knees and spanks me he ISN'T beating me to a pulp! I have total TRUST in him to take me in hand when I get out of line.

If he chooses to ignore me it makes things ten times worse! That really makes me mad and we have gone that route before.It isn't pretty. Things just escalate. It is easier for him and for me if he just uses his BLANKET CONSENT and spanks me! Nothing calms me down like that does. It settles things quickly and we can then cuddle and talk about what went on. I am a woman in perimenopause and these days my moods can escalate with very little to set me off. During these times he has shown me great compassion but ya know what? Taking me in Hand works really well.
I love our relationship the way it is now and I wouldn't change it for anything!

When I think of my husband he is a solid rock for me. He loves me with his entire being. But I also know that when I really mess up he will say "We have a Meeting tonight!" I know what that means and I know that he will not raise his voice to me he will come and get me, hug me then put me right across his knees and it does hurt! I am happy that my husband has so many wonderful attributes and that he also will not take any lip from me!
I don't think it is fair to judge a man because he has the BLANKET CONSENT from his wife to spank her when it is needed.
This wife is grateful that she has a man that knows what to do at anytime.

Discipline & force

Eric wrote:

A real man can persuade using reasoned argument expressed without rancor.

And what about a real woman? Could she not equally use a well-reasoned argument to persuade? What if she wins the argument?

Using violence to settle a dispute is to me a cowardly way out of a difficult situation in which reason should prevail.

And what if it's the woman who has the advantage in reasoning? Does that mean that her will should necessarily prevail over the man's?

One of the problems I find with this point of view is that it seems entirely skew to the theme of male dominance in a relationship. Males have no advantage in intelligence; their only advantage is in sheer masculine strength. The only way this "reason prevails" model could work in a MaleDom/femsub relationship would be if the man deliberately sought out a woman who was not his equal in intelligence and reasoning capacity; and that's hardly a prescription for true and lasting romantic love.

Some of the points that Eric made about 'natural leadership' are indeed perceptive; but they apply equally well to women as to men. Women can be natural and persuasive leaders, if they have some intelligence and rhetorical skills; maybe even better leaders than men, because women seem to have an intuitive edge in terms of insight into what makes people tick. But none of that relates to a romantic relationship where both parties want and desire the man's dominance over the woman. There, what matters is not who's 'right' but who's got the 'might' to assert their dominance.

It's not that old saw of "might makes right"—it's just that who's 'right' is often irrelevant to the dynamics of dominance. In that case, trying to figure out who's 'right' by engaging in some cool logical debates can be a distraction and a waste of time; and it can undermine the heat and erotic intimacy of the relationship. Sometimes specific non-romantic situations do indeed call for well-reasoned discussion; but in that case there's no guarantee that the man will prevail. So there needs to be some mutual understanding of when and how and in what circumstances it is justified for him to assert his dominance even if he's not 'right.'

ConfusedOfHomeC wrote:

If someone tries to use reason on me when I'm in that state, it makes me worse. There is no obvious point at which I'm going to snap, and up until I do, I'm as likely to be using reasoned debate as my husband is. Once I'm in full-on bitch mode I hear reasoned debate as patronising put-downs.

Yes, I can totally relate to that. When emotions are running high, and someone acts as if my emotions are utterly irrelevant to the discussion, that just seems extremely disrespectful. Even patronising and insulting, as she just said. Because it implies that I have no right to be feeling the things I'm feeling, unless they can be justified by logic; and that attitude reflects a complete misunderstanding of human emotion and how it works. Much better in that case for the man to quickly reestablish two important things: (1) he loves me more than anything, beyond whatever battle of the moment is going on; (2) he is the boss, and he is willing and able to powerfully demonstrate that, by forcing me to submit to him. I'm not saying that he should use his physical strength in a dismissive way, to suggest that either my anger or the points of my argument are irrelevant; only to assert that any discussion that will take place will happen within a context that includes both our love and his romantic dominance.

What I can imagine is something like this: We get into an argument, and it gets heated on both sides; at that point he does something to forcefully demonstrate both his dominance and his love. (Maybe spanking, but not just that; there are other options as well.) Then later on we resume the argument, and I happen to prevail in the logic department, and he is willing to honestly admit that. But the outcome of that may be either than my position 'wins' and I get my way; or else that he decides to use his authority to override me, even if I'm right. (And I can see that happening occasionally; but if it happened all the time, I think it would threaten his authority due to his frequently misusing it. Just as would happen at work if your boss always demanded his own way even when he was wrong.) But even if I win the argument, he can still toss me on the bed and wrestle me into submission to reassert his dominance.

- Dee