The "surrender date" idea

Had to laugh at a relationship advice article on AOL about how to spice up your marriage that recommended “surrender dates”.

The wife allows the husband to control every aspect of an evening—what she wears, where they eat, what else they do after, and...shock...what happens romantically when they come home.

After describing the basic idea, the rest of the article enthuses about how sexy it is once the woman gets over her initial apprehension and discomfort at letting go of control. It goes on to say that after trying it once, many couples find they want to make these episodes a more regular part of their romantic relationship.

There is a similar article on the site that says:

Dr. Berman says a woman's need for control can be a factor in a diminishing sex life. “We're ordering him around and telling him what to do and controlling everything in the household, and then we wonder why we're no longer attracted to him,” she says. “It's hard to be attracted to a man that you don't see as powerful and competent and equal to you. If you see him like a child, you're not going to be attracted to him.”


Dr. Berman says surrender dates are a great way to get the sexual attraction back. “Even if it's just for one night or one afternoon, give the guy some control. Let him make some decisions,” she says. “When he rises to the occasion, you'll see how it really positively affects your perception of him, not to mention his own relationship satisfaction.”

I'm all for any suggestions that teach people to explore their feelings and give themselves permission to do what feels good and right to them even if it flouts what's conventional and ‘normal”.

This notion of a surrender date, now that it's got a pop culture name, might make it a bit easier to bring up the subject in conversation with friends. “Have you tried a surrender date?”?

Henceforth, in public, if my hubby needs to take charge momentarily, I can just explain to our friends that we're on a surrender date. The women will giggle and the men will be envious...


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Will Wonders Never Cease?

Is it just me or is this real? An ancient practice pops up after years of rejection under a new moniker and suddenly it becomes "in vogue"?

This "cycle" of acceptance, rejection, and rejuvenated acceptance reflects the same odd practice performed in the fashion industry.

We humans are generally so fickle when it comes to practicing what we desire.

Mick McCleod

Surrender Date eh?

You have posted a good description of every date my wife and I have.

I ask her opinion of what she would like to eat, but I always make the final decision. The same goes for how she dresses. (She actually doesn't own any clothing I don't approve of) Plus the agenda and outcome of the date.

She likes it that way. She says it makes her feel Loved and Protected.

The best date for her is the one were I have made 100% of the decisions and choices before hand, without asking for her opinion at all.
(of course I have already done all the ground work on her likes, dislikes, etc)

Joseph K

Honest Answers

Thanks for brightening my day! A "surrender date" would be a great cover story, and it’s honest, too, without embarrassing anyone. If you feel particularly adventurous and want to turn up the conversational heat, mention that the "date" has "no expiration." Just take care with the subtle revelation…

It’s a refreshing change of pace when the mainstream media somehow embrace healthy sexual behavior. Unfortunately, Dr. Laura Berman’s professional guidance falls short of the mark. Her theatrical presentation is titillating, yet barely hints at the true substance of a mutually-satisfying, male-led relationship. Yes, it’s a delicate subject, and she deserves credit for dipping a toe into the deeper end of the pool, but she's blithely ignoring the larger implications: "Just for one night or one afternoon, give the guy some control." Is this serious advice? Apparently, a man has NO CONTROL, unless it’s granted by a benevolent woman.

The good doctor continues: "Let him make some decisions." This is wonderfully magnanimous of her! In our opposite roles, I treat my Taken in Hand wife with far more dignity! I thought that qualified therapists were trained to be sensitive and circumspect Where are the weightier benefits, such as relationship improvement, individual growth, and a stable home? Neither I nor my wife approach marriage as a game.

Brushing aside this disturbingly naïve philosophy, we encounter more practical problems. Do men react well in contrived social scenarios? Can a detached, couch dwelling, pseudo child be transformed into an aggressive, hair pulling, garment rending, romantic fantasy in only one date? Perhaps, except that decades of social conditioning unwind too slowly. Various stories on this site help to illustrate the lengthy process of unlearning negative behaviors and relearning positive ones.

Eventually, everything old becomes new, again. This trendy idea of masculine control was vilified fifty years ago in the interest of women’s progress. Now, the results are in: Liberated and bored women are prompted to reintroduce sexual power play – under laboratory conditions. She can immediately terminate the limited trial, should it ever veer off course and threaten her proper and mature control. The pendulum swings both ways, and always to excess!

Compare the many sincere and insightful articles that describe how to introduce Taken in Hand, explaining the changes that are expected and required of both participants. Acting as if stands a far better chance of restoring properly balanced, complementary sexual roles. I’m deeply grateful to all of the brilliant contributors here. Their unique and honest accounts tell of renewed passion and respect; reaching out to others who are still struggling to escape the prevailing culture and reject the funny Kool-Aid.

I wonder how many women will summon the courage to try this "experiment," if only for a few hours? Will men respond, positively? If either partner gets a taste of true freedom and latches onto their buried nature, they won’t be able to stuff it back into the bottle and pretend that nothing happened.

Whatever the odds, I’ll keep hoping! Again, thanks for the great article. It really hit the spot.

Alan K