I was re-reading a Taken In Hand topic, How badly I want this; how difficult it is to ask for it. The topic talks about things that women find it impossible to say to their husbands and lovers.
Elle and I developed a partial solution that worked for us. Maybe it—or something like it—might work for other couples.
About fifteen years ago, I bought two sets of blank, half-sized stationery with envelopes: one red set, the other blue. They were the kind of note-paper that one would use to write thank-you notes or short letters to friends or family.
I gave the red set to Elle and kept the blue for myself. I asked her to use her set to write notes to me and leave them where I would find them, perhaps not right away. I told her I would do the same with the blue ones.
My original intent was for us to write love letters to each other and say things that are difficult to say on the spur of the moment. Writing it in a note would give us time to say it exactly the way we wanted to.
To be honest, I really was wanting to have a way of being romantic and sappy and sentimental, without having to say things face to face. I figured that if she had her own set to write notes to me, it would make it easier for me to get up the courage.
She added an idea to it. She suggested that we not talk about anything that we wrote in the notes. No, "I loved the note you left me," or "Did you really mean that?" I think she sensed my true purpose and wanted to give me the freedom to be as expressive as I wanted to be.
We started leaving red and blue envelopes in dresser drawers, stacks of towels, coat pockets, and other places that get checked occasionally rather than every day. One fun thing about it was that a note might not be received for days or even weeks.
In fact, sometimes I would check to see if she if a particular note was still in its place, so I would know if she had read it.
What resulted was more than we originally intended. Yes, we wrote love notes to each other, but she also started writing about things that she wanted to do, or have me do, that she couldn't ask for.
Sometimes her wants and desires were intimate and sexual—or even downright lurid and pornographic. ("I like it when you hold me down and XXXX. Just make sure I can breathe," or "What you did last night—XXXX—was nice. Next time do it harder.")
Other times, she asked for things that she felt were selfish, but that she knew I wouldn't mind doing. She even wrote, "I want a new car. A Jeep. A red one. One that I can take the top off and feel the wind in my hair." (A few weeks later, I decided she needed to buy a four-wheel-drive car so she could get around better in the winter. It was a jeep with a removable top so we would have a convertible for the summer too.)
Occasionally, she told me things that I needed to hear, but didn't want to hear. More often, though, she used her notes to say things that she couldn't say, things that "women just don't say".
We don't write notes like that too much anymore. We've since found other ways of saying things to each other, but it was an important step in our relationship that helped us open up to each other.
I'm not sure if this would work for a woman who wanted to tell her husband that she wanted to be Taken in Hand. Some women would still find it too direct if they had to address something directly to their husbands.
But... a more indirect approach might be to keep a diary and let her husband know that it's OK for him to read it—so long as he never discusses it with her and always puts it back right where he found it so she doesn't know that he read it (because she would absolutely die if she knew he was reading that very personal stuff!)
A diary has the advantage of being a third-person. A woman can write in a diary as if she were writing to a female confidant and talk about her husband as if he weren't listening. ("You wouldn't believe what my husband let me get away with yesterday. I think he's afraid of hurting my feelings or something. If he only knew what I would do for him if he just put his foot down and insisted on it...").
The particular form or method can be whatever works for her and him. The key is that women often need to say things indirectly. Writing it down—rather than saying it out-loud—means that she can keep it at arms-length. She can have some deniability.
If that's not indirect enough, there's always the possibility of using someone else's words. Maybe a character in a novel said something that rings true. If a copy of that novel happened to end up on his nightstand, with a bookmark and some text highlighted in it, well she didn't say it, some character in a book said it.
In many relationships between men and women, the man's need for direct, straightforward communication conflicts with the woman's need to be indirect—to not be too forward. Instead of speaking face to face and being cryptic, it might work better to speak clearly, but have some insulation so that the message is delivered at a time when she isn't aware of it.
That way, the indirect and the direct can meet halfway.