The erotic power of the unshackled man

I have long thought that separating sex from the rest of life must logically tend to make the rest of life less sexy than it can be if you don't. Going through life energised by a frisson of sexual charge seems like a very sensible idea to me. So when I first read this—

I am not a crypto-submissive; I am dominant in sexual games, and my fantasies are as you would expect given that fact. However, I do think that there are other things in life than sexual fantasies, and I can tell the difference between reality and fantasy.

—I was struck by how profoundly I disagree! The idea that there is more to life than sexual fantasy is true only in a sense so obvious that it does not need to be stated. In another sense, it is completely untrue. In a Taken In Hand relationship, the couple's sexual connection is a unified, integral aspect of their lives together rather than being separated from the rest of life.

The fellow quoted above clearly sees the man's authority and dominant control as something to keep firmly locked in the bedroom—merely a sexual role-playing game having no significance in any wider sense. He sought to reassure the female reader that his authority is strictly fantasy only—that he is not a puritan but a “Dom”, and that in life in general, he believes firmly in equality. Indeed, who but a handful of misogynists, feminazis and frowny atavistic traditionalists would argue that men and women are unequal? Well, in the sense relevant here—couples freely choosing to be in a hot Taken In Hand “unequal” relationship in which the man has authority over the woman to her great joy—I would!

In her BDSM book, Erotic Surrender: The Sensual Joys of Female Submission, Claudia Varrin says something similar to the chap quoted above:

These playtime characteristics are just that—playtime, pretend, like a child's game to be put away when the mantle of adulthood and its responsibilities are again around your shoulders. Enjoy the playtime and pretend world you and your partner create for yourselves. … Although it is sometimes tempting to blur the line between fantasy and reality, the distinction must always be made. (p. 16)

The trouble with locking the man's authority firmly in the bedroom toybox and only bringing it out at “playtime” is that there are never enough playtimes, and between them, the fun is given over to all these grave and weighty adult responsibilities. If a man's dominance is thrilling during playtime, hey, call me greedy but why limit it to playtime?! Why not bring a little excitement into the whole of life? If unshackled male authority can infuse even the most ordinary interactions and mundane tasks with sexual charge, why deny yourself that pleasure? Couples who have a good sexual connection are happier, healthier, more energetic, less likely to split up, more able to solve problems together, and they are having more fun!

So who is the puritan here? The Taken In Hand person for who welcomes and embraces male authority and dominance without lots of rules and limits—or the BDSM person who insists that it must be clearly labelled “fantasy”, that it is strictly for the designated playtime “scenes” only, and that it must be kept locked away otherwise? ;-) (My BDSM friends know that I am only teasing. To each his own. Forgive my little jest. The irony is just too delectable!)

Look at what Taken In Hand folk say about the effects of bringing male dominance out of the bedroom and into life in general. Do you see miserable, downtrodden women suffering under the weight of all that terrible unconstrained male authority? Men unable to cope with the freedom? Women wanting less male dominance in their lives? Or do you see women who are delighted? Louise wrote:

Since we started having a Taken In Hand relationship I have found that there is never an occasion when he wants sex when I don't feel like it too; I seem to be in a mild state of sexual arousal virtually all the time when he is around—it's fantastic. I really, really like feeling like this.

Race, who has been happily married for 30 years, says:

Taken In Hand has played a very big part in the success that GT and I have had. Never has our communication been so alive, never has sex been so erotic and steamy, never have we had so much confidence—I could go on and on

And Stephen says:

The benefits have been profound. Even after five years we still behave like newlyweds. She feels secure and more feminine in knowing that I am in charge and I proudly, without shame or self-consciousness, am able to be true to my masculine nature. What a relief! I must also add that I have gained a loving and caring wife who spoils me rotten. Who would've ever thought that something so seemingly simple could have such profound impact on our union?

Can you see why I so profoundly disagree with the statement I quoted at the beginning? Why separate your life into sexual and non-sexual bits, playtime and weighty serious stuff, exciting fantasy dominance and drab, boring authority-less reality, when you can have all this? Why not do as Taken In Hand couples do and allow the erotic power of unshackled male authority and real control to infuse the whole of life, making it brighter, more stimulating, a little more dangerous and a lot more fun?

the boss

Taken In Hand Tour start | next


Taken in Hand material?

But you aren't in a Taken in Hand relationship. And you're not into being spanked. And you admit you have a dominant rather than submissive personality. So what's in it for you?

The sexual connection as an aspect of life

I am not sure what you are asking or what point you are making. It's a bit like this: being a great big elephant is fine if you are with another great big elephant, but if the person you love is a dear little ant, you will find yourself worrying about stepping on him all the time, and if you love that little ant, that will be stressful. So while I may not consider myself the submissive type, I do have a strong preference to be with a man who takes charge and would not be intimidated or overwhelmed by me—a fellow great big elephant, so to speak. It is not that I think there is anything wrong with other men, it is just a preference of mine because I'd hate to step on anyone.

But what I mean by this elephant metaphor is not that I want to dominate, merely that I am a strong and confident woman. I do not consider myself dominant in the sense of having a need to control a man in an intimate relationship. I have zero desire to control a man.

I think that many couples might find life more full of delight if they didn't think of their sexual connection as being separate from the rest of life. People say that the sexual connection inevitably fizzles out over time, but what if they are wrong about that? What if that idea is itself part of the problem? My past experience totally refutes the idea that the connection necessarily fades over time. One of the things I have noticed that might be part of the problem is this separation of the sexual side of life from the rest of life.

Thinking of sex as being about the obvious physical activities and giving insufficient significance to what is happening in the mind is one of the ways people make this (to me) artificial and fizz-reducing separation, but perhaps I should save that for another post.

Fantasy is Fantasy, not Reality

Life, one big sexual fantacy? How does that square with the reality of life? You cant go around in a world of fantacy all the time, there's a time and a place.

Live the dream

"What works between two people is fine—there is no 'right' or 'wrong' if both are happy". I agree that bringing the dominance out of the bedroom can have a wonderful effect on the dynamic of the relationship (at least for me). To keep the dominance purely for sexual games might be enough for some, but for me, it would feel too much like play-acting—one would don a mask as one entered the room, and leave it behind as one exited.

I agree with the boss that bringing the dominance out of the bedroom (or better yet, let's say "bringing the sexual fantasy out of the bedroom") and living what you are fantasizing, makes life far more interesting (for me, at least). If you bring the fantasy out into the real world, and live it, then you are constantly living an erotic life, rather than just indulging in play in the bedroom. At some point, at some level, if you are just "playing", then emotionally deep down the odds are you recognise this for being what it is—a fantasy.

Why not live the dream, or at least try to?


Fantasy *IS* Reality

Reality is a figment of the imagination.
Imagination is a controlled form of insanity.
Insanity is reality.

Whose idea was it to remove fantasy and imagination from reality?
Reality, to the individual, is ultimately based on one's perception.
What's wrong with just a touch of insanity? Insane persons have the
enviable ability to blend imagination and fantasy with reality to form
a new, enhanced reality. The only difference between them and us is
they can't control the blend, but we can. Locking fantasy into a given
room in the house, or worse yet, into an inexpressable part of one's
mind is frustrating and dulls one's outlook on life as a whole.
Fantasy is important and the expression of it is essential to a whole
life, a *whole* reality. Many of the folk who frequent this site seem
to understand this. It's taken me over half a century to realize this,
and yet it is still a lesson I haven't fully learned.



Kros Roague wrote:

Reality is a figment of the imagination. Imagination is a controlled form of insanity. Insanity is reality.

What do you mean by this, Kros Roague?

Insane Reality

What do I mean? I mean reality is simply a matter of perception. If
you can think it you can do it. Have you ever noticed that some folk
can do whatever they set their mind up to do? That's because they have
a firm grip on *fantasy*, or, shall we say, controlled insanity.

The only thing holding anyone back from realizing a wholesome fantasy
is self-doubt, which is the opposite of self-confidence. Doubt is the
obstruction. Confidence removes that obstruction.


Well Said, KrosRogue

(The only thing holding anyone back from realizing a wholesome fantasy is self-doubt, which is the opposite of self-confidence. Doubt is the obstruction. Confidence removes that obstruction. )

The only place I am confident is at work where I know I am good at what I do and never think about it.

I am a person filled with self-doubt. There are things I truly want to do or try and I will find one hundred reasons why I can't do them, am not good enough to do them, may fail, etc, etc, etc. I have missed out on lots of things in my life due to this.

No longer. Not since marrying my husband. He builds my confidence every single day in little ways. I give him my hundred reasons why I can't and he will give me two hundred reason why I can and should. He's pushed me at times that really made me mad, but afterwards, I saw that he was right. I still have those obstructions, but my husband is strong enough to make me work through them, even when it's not always pleasant.

Working Through The Unpleasant

I believe confidence is like a muscle. Your husband seems to believe
this also. He pushes you out of your comfort zone so you can develop
your confidence and make it stronger. Moving out of your comfort zone
is never pleasant, but as you are learning, it is sometimes necessary.


Reality vs. Fantasy

My question is when did life get so long you had time to not feel sexy and passionate except at curtain times and proper place? The reality is that people make life what they want it to be by fantasizing how they would live it and making that fantasy a reality. Give me a big healthy dose of reality any time but don't mess with my fantasy.

If your fantasy is to feel joy in a relationship that never looses its passion. Why can't you have that in reality? I don’t see any reason reality has to compromise fantasy because if you embrace your passion in everything you do, you feel wonderful and natural. You might find that you gain a greater passion for life. I find that admirable in a person.

Okay, that's not saying go have sex on your desk at work. It's saying don't close down part of yourself just because your not having sex on your desk at work, at that moment.

Do what you want but harm none

Reality vs Fantasy, but....

This has been a very interesting post.

What if your (or my) reality/fantasy is NOT the same as my husband's? What then? No matter how much I may desire or fantasise about it, if hubby isn't willing or able, then what?

I'm a strong woman (although I'm definitely not a dom or anything like that, just strong character), who needs a strong man. Not a bully, but someone who can stand up to me, make me think, encourage me where I need encouraging and show me when I'm wrong (as I do for him and he appreciates).

My husband is a dear, kind, gentle man who seems unable to be stronger than me despite all the talks and explanations we've had regarding my needs.

His dominance does not come through in reality or fantasy, either in every day life or the bedroom.

I don't want to dominate or control a man, and I don't think I do, not my husband or any other man or woman for that matter. We are good friends, we talk to each other but we do our own thing as we each see fit (if that makes sense).

You can only carry out your fantasy (especially in a Taken In Hand relationship) ONLY if your partner is willing to participate. I cannot be Taken In Hand if my husband is not willing to take me in hand, no matter how much I fantasise about it. My own perception of joy in our relationship and my husband's perception, are on two different levels.

Grace :-)


I have never understood being able to keep sex in the bedroom. I am not saying that my husband and I are constantly having non-stop sex all over the house, but we have never been able to separate our sex life from the rest of our life. We are a married couple, so our life is based on the fact that we find each other sexually attractive. Why else would we have dated and married? I have a lot of male buddies, people I would never want to have sex with, but who I find to be good friends. I guess that without sex, my husband and I would merely be friends. Although we are very good friends, we are much, much more than that. We are sexual partners. I think for this reason sex is everywhere for us. The way he talks to me, the way he moves, the way he looks, the way he dresses, the way he smells, the way he knows how to make me laugh and especially the way he knows what I need all remind me of how sexually attractive he is to me.

I think that is why this Taken in Hand relationship works so well for us. My husband having authority over me is a real turn on sexually. Every time he uses this authority I feel attracted to him. It is like having little solid reminders all the time of who he is to me. That he is more than my buddy, he is my husband, my life long partner the father of my children.

I do not think that married couples have to accept that after a certain number of years you just do not feel passionate anymore. We have been married for 11 years and we are as passionate as we were as newly weds. I think part of that has to do with the fact that we are always aware of our sexuality, all day everyday.

Take care,

Sexuality Comes and Goes

It's great you are still as sexual as the day you married. Maybe for you and your husband it's the "taken in hand" thing that does it, but since being dominated never was on my radar, I know it wouldn't increase my attraction to my husband. I like things stopping at the bedroom door and not pervading the rest of life. It's like having a naughty little fun secret.

Also you have to look at people's ages and relative health when you think about how strongly sexuality is going to hold up. Today is my 17th wedding anniversary. I'm almost 50 and my husband is almost 53. Maybe some people our age are still swinging from chandeliers but let's face it, most aren't.

Secondly we have both been through a lot of health problems in the last few years. We are both cancer survivors. We're lucky to be breathing, let alone jumping each other's bones every minute. Sexiness all the time works..for a while. Let's all meet in 20 years, and some of you will have a whole new perspective on this.

Sex is great and fantasy is great, no doubt about it, but as you get older and health issues set in, you better be prepared to kiss some of it goodbye and not feel your whole relationship revolves around it.

Otherwise, your marriage would go the way of the unfortunate 50%. Personally I think it's the people who DO understand that sex is just one part of life, who can handle the longest haul.

Age and sexuality

My husband and I are in our late 40's. It will be our 25th anniversary this spring. We have both dealt with (and are dealing with) health concerns. We nevertheless experience a great deal of sexual attraction to each other. It is not just "in the bedroom" but permeating our lives. We have special ways to look at each other, code phrases and little gestures that might not be obvious to others, but we know that we are thinking about sex.

Age has not diminished our feelings towards each other yet and I see know reason to believe that it will in the future.


There is a lot more to sex than swinging from the chandeliers

Someone wrote:

Also you have to look at people's ages and relative health when you think about how strongly sexuality is going to hold up. Today is my 17th wedding anniversary. I'm almost 50 and my husband is almost 53. Maybe some people our age are still swinging from chandeliers but let's face it, most aren't.

Secondly we have both been through a lot of health problems in the last few years. We are both cancer survivors. We're lucky to be breathing, let alone jumping each other's bones every minute.

And this makes my point all the more strongly! Because when you see the sexual connection as being about much more than just the swinging from the chandeliers physical stuff, you stand a chance of retaining it when you can no longer swing from the chandeliers! Perhaps you missed Kathy's moving story, Dominant to the last, about what happened just before her husband died? Her husband was dying, he was not in any state to have sex in the physical sense, but yet he managed to surround Kathy with his loving dominance right to the very end.

When you don't separate sex and fantasy and dominance off from the rest of life and you don't view sex in the narrow, circumscribed, physical bedroom games/swinging from the chandeliers way, you can take pleasure (yes, even erotic pleasure) in the most subtle things—like a look, or a word—instead of viewing your sexual connection as being over when illness or other problems make the physical side of sex more difficult or impossible. There is so much more to the sexual connection than the energetic physical stuff. Thinking that you have to be fit and well to have a sexual connection is such a mistake. Many of us here are cancer survivors, as it happens, and yet still do not give up on the sexual connection. I am not saying that everyone should take this view, merely that for those who do, it can be a source of comfort and delight even in the darkest times.

Sex is great and fantasy is great, no doubt about it, but as you get older and health issues set in, you better be prepared to kiss some of it goodbye and not feel your whole relationship revolves around it.

Or, instead of viewing sex so narrowly that you think you have lost it when swinging from the chandeliers is no longer possible, think of your sexual connection as infusing the whole of life, as I suggested in my article. Then you won't actually be losing it at all.

It is that physical (or is it physicalist?) view of sex that results in the feeling that you have lost it when things get difficult physically. It is viewing sex and the man's authority as just a bedroom game that should be kept locked in the bedroom that can make life outside the bedroom seem sexless.

Of course you must live your life the way you prefer. This is merely to explain my own preference. I have not the slightest desire to impose my preferences on anyone else, and I think it would be wrong to try to do so. Whatever your preferences in life, as long as they don't harm others, I hope they give you pleasure, peace, and deep happiness.

Stay awhile...

You remind me of me when I first came to this site..... I was looking for resources for a workshop I was running. The workshop was for women seeking to get in touch with their dominant nature. I was in the lifestyle for .... oh I don't know, maybe 16 years... That's Femdom/malesub. lol! This website used to irritate me as much as it seems like it does you but I couldn't keep from reading it and one day it hit me that in my soul I'm not dominant, I'm a switch..... but I'm coming to think I'm not a switch..... I'm submissive.

Have any others here had this experience? If so, how did you tell people you were in relationships with? I haven't been able to tell my lover yet. It's like coming out as gay when you're married. He's going to feel betrayed and hurt. Help!


The Switch May Surprise You

I won't try to persuade you to do anything but consider an odd
possibility, perhaps even a dim glimmer of hope. You were dominant and
learned that you preferred to be submissive. You fear your lover will
feel betrayed by your new preference. But what if the opposite were
true? What if he learned of your desires and wanted to switch to a
dominant role? What would it be worth to you if that happened?


Tevemer's note: awareness

Tevemer mentioned awareness. I believe this awareness of one's sexuality is the key to an incredibly lasting sexual connection with your mate. Remaining aware of your sexuality all day in all that you do has amazing power. I know this from experience.

The paradox of viewing dominance as fantasy

If, like the man I quoted in the article (and Claudia Varrin) you take the view that the man's authority, control and dominance is just a sexual fantasy, strictly for bedroom games, not reality (because in the rest of life, we must have strict equality in every sense, whether we like it or not) then, for me at least, that control/dominance/authority would lose its erotic power. As I have attempted to explain above and before, not everyone is turned on by the idea of make-believe let's pretend fantasy games of dominance, some are more turned on by the real thing. My “fantasy” is the reality, not the fantasy, as it were.

Another thing I have noticed is that when you don't separate sex and the man's authority off from life and lock it in the bedroom toybox, less is more. That is to say, if it is all just pretend games, the games sometimes have to be a lot more energetic, hardcore, physically intense and extreme, and can require a lot more planning and equipment (as can be seen in Claudia Varrin's book, BTW) to get the erotic results desired.

Don't get me wrong—although I fully admit to being the mother of all pussies when it comes to certain types of pain (for example, even the thought of nipple clamps makes me feel queasy) I am not saying that I in any way rule out acting out wild hardcore fantasies and engaging in ultra-intense extreme sex, all I am saying is that one can be as intensely excited by a mere word or look when the dominance/authority being expressed is real, as one can be via difficult, advanced, hardcore sex, or perhaps even more so. (Is it clear that I am not disparaging extreme sex? I am not at ALL!)

At one point in her book (which BTW, despite how it might seem, from the comments I have made on it so far, I do think excellent for anyone with a more BDSM perspective) Claudia Varrin talks about how to get yourself in the mood for a sexual scene when you are not in the mood. Whilst when there is no male authority in my life my arousal levels can sometimes be such as to make me wonder whether I still have a pulse, the merest hint of real male authority can send them off the other end of the scale. When in a relationship in which the man wears the trousers, my experience is exactly what Louise said in the comment I quoted in my article above—in such a relationship, the idea of needing to do elaborate things to “get myself in the mood” is completely alien to me.

That part of Varrin's book reminded me a bit of those sex therapists who tell couples who go to them complaining that the spark has gone from their sex life, to try a new position, buy a new sex toy, do it on the kitchen table instead of in bed, etc. The advice is all about what to do to tinker with the symptoms when the sexual connection that could be infusing life with the glow of arousal is sick or dead. But tinkering with the symptoms does nothing to cure the underlying disease or bring the connection back to life. It is only a temporary measure; its results won't last.

What are you going to do when you've tried every position and every place, and every toy, etc? Then what? You are back to square one. Because sexual desire and arousal is not primarily about the mechanics and the overt physical aspects, it is about what is happening in your minds, and it is about the sexual connection the two individuals have. So instead of locking the sexual side of life in the bedroom, I personally prefer to let the sexual connection infuse the whole of life rather than shutting it away in the bedroom and labelling the man's authority as just a sexual fantasy to be rigidly distinguished from reality and kept locked in the bedroom.

Male authority and dominance doesn't turn us on

But what if male authority and dominance isn't the thing that turns either of us on? What if keeping it in the bedroom works, and neither of us is interested in thinking about our sexual connection 24/7?

We have a 17 year working marriage. You can't profess that one couple is happier than another in the absence of an obvious misfit or problem. Happiness is self-reported and not easily quantified.

For you, sexuality has to pervade everything. Not everybody is like that. I kind of doubt Einstein was thinking of sex every minute. Some people have other worthy things to do.

To each his own!

But what if male authority and dominance isn't the thing that turns either of us on?

Ummmmm..... then you are not the intended audience of this post and you are unlikely to enjoy anything I write on this subject. I have nothing against you; I do not want to convert you; I do not think you are crazy: I am just writing about my own interest, not trying to change yours. Is that ok with you?

What if keeping it in the bedroom works, and neither of us is interested in thinking about our sexual connection 24/7?

Then as I said before, do what works for YOU! I have stated over and over again that I have no wish to disparage anyone else's choices. How about taking that on board now? ;-)

For you, sexuality has to pervade everything. Not everybody is like that.

I have never said they are. And nor have I for a moment thought that they are. Indeed, I'd say most are not like that, just as I also think that most people would hate a Taken In Hand relationship (unfortunately!). That's just one of those things!

You know what they say about men with big brains ...

Somebody wrote:

I kind of doubt Einstein was thinking of sex every minute.

My wife sent me a postcard from Germany showing Einstein, with this quote:

Am Anfang gehören all Gedanken der Liebe. Später gehört alle Liebe den Gedanken.

Which I reckon means:

At first all one's thoughts are of love. Later all one's love is for thought.

But he did all his best work when he was young. So maybe he should have kept his thoughts on 'love'!


When I first realised

When I first realised that at least sexually I wanted the man to be in control and was to some extent submissive I consoled myself by expecting to be able to treat those feelings as purely sexual and therefore only to be brought out in the bedroom. I thought that was more acceptable than crossing a line into a Head of the house relationship, 24/7, complete submission or whatever you want to call it. That idea lasted about as long as it took me to get used to the idea of taken in hand and to rethink and merge it with my former feminist views—not actually very long.
Romance books are filled with portrayals of dark and commanding strangers seducing innocent virgins but the slightest hint of dominance out of historical context, light erotica or media in general is suddenly taboo. It seems like a lot of women do want men to be masculine in the sexual part of their relationship but that dominance cannot cross over into the rest of their lives. I understand why they feel that way but I'm sure for some women sexual dominance is a stepping stone to discovering what they would be most satisfied with. Personally I would feel that making a divide between a sexual relationship and the rest of it would be fake and to be submissive in only part of a relationship would for me, be a half measure. If I'm going to bother with taken in hand I want to go the whole way. For a man who was naturally dominant I would expect suddenly losing all that control in less sexual things would be frustrating too.

The Unshackled Man

I am tip-toeing and feeling my way toward a Taken in Hand marriage with my handsome husband of twenty years. I hope to soon talk to my husband about Taken in Hand. I want him to take charge, and I have told him that he may take me at any time. This is so erotic for both of us that it amazes and delights me.

He loves being respected, thanked, asked and obeyed, even if it is all unspoken at this time. I am trying to do this outside the bedroom as well. It makes me so happy to see him so happy, and I love his control in bed. Thanks for this gift of a website.

It is not a universal recipe

> I have long thought that separating sex from the rest
> of life must logically tend to make the rest of life
> less sexy than it can be if you don't.

Events of our lives usually have different meanings simultaneously. Sometimes we experience these different meanings as coexisting, but most of the time we suppress some of the meanings, and act or make judgment according to the meanings we don't suppress. Usually we automatically see one meaning as primary, and there is a good reason for it: it enables us to single out the most important aspect of the situation. However, we can more or less consistently imbue certain situations with a 'secondary meaning' (or maybe, just not suppress it). It has a benefit of allowing us to see some meaning that we like in the situations that otherwise would be boring or even unpleasant for us.

But it has a drawback too: the 'secondary' meaning changes our perception of situation so that we can underestimate the importance of or even completely overlook some very important aspect of the situation, partially because we can't deal with too many different meanings simultaneously, partially because this habitual 'secondary' meaning makes the situation look more familiar to us than it really is, and partially because when we really like something we tend to delude ourselves about the probability and severity of its negative consequences. So, when we habitually imbue the situations we go through in our lives with pleasant overtones of some 'secondary' meaning we like, it can make our choices and decisions different from what they would be if we did not.

Yes, the rest of the life can be sexy, that is, imbued with sexual meaning. We can 'sexualize' our lives just as we can 'aestheticize' them, or 'intellectualize' them, or whatever. But it is not a universal recipe for happiness. It is just a personal choice.

Is sexualized life necessarily better that non-sexualized? No. Is it better FOR YOU? Probably, although not necessarily. Only you can decide. Your decision may be right, or it may be wrong. It depends on your self-knowledge and knowledge of life in general. But someone else's decision will be wrong, because even if he/she knows you rather well he/she will lack the information necessary for it.

As the writer of this article said...

It is not for everyone. It is not universal. This concept works for some (much to our delight!) but maybe not so much for others. There is nothing wrong with this perception—nor with others, but simply a statement of her perception, and it is one I share, so it makes me smile and warms my heart. She is not ascribing it to every relationship that works, nor is she saying that relationships only work when this concept is put to work. She is claiming it for herself.

I also claim it. I love knowing that JohnB. is the leader in our relationship, that his is the final word—but that he also takes my feelings and thoughts into consideration. I love the feelings that it brings to the fore. His dominance and my submission are not locked into the bedroom, nor would I ever wish them to be. Infusing our entire relationship with the sexuality that this arrangement brings gives us both a spring to our step, a joy to our daily life.

Like the writer of this article, I don't think that this is the only workable means of conducting a relationship—but it seems to be the one that works best for us.


I had an 'unsexualised' marriage

It ended. All work and no play makes for a dull 24 year long marriage. Keeping sex alive in and out of the marriage bed is why relationships last. Should it be the focus of a marriage? Yes. Absolutely. Otherwise get a roommate, a dog, a cat, or a gerbil.