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?