Although our level of intimacy is similar and length of marriage is analogous to that described by Ben, my wife knew before we married that she needed a man to take her in hand.
Ben's reference to Laura Doyle's The Surrendered Wife caught my attention because closet feminists sometimes claim Doyle's surrendered wife to never be in need of spanking—a subject which Doyle conveniently avoids.
Moreover, I find Doyle's version of the surrendered wife is disingenuous on its face. According to Doyle's cult classic, the surrendered wife need not tell her husband that she has surrendered her will to his. Although Doyle offers many genuinely good ideas, this lack of openness allows the woman to retain power—power that she can withdraw at anytime. Thus, Doyle's surrendered wife is free to manipulate him in a new dimension.
Even ignoring the above, an equally troublesome issue emerges. Central to Doyle's concept is the belief that if the woman surrenders, the man will as well. It is as if Doyle believes that the invisible hand of mutual surrender will always keep the marriage upright. Marriages are seldom as neat and clean as Doyle portrays them. Those that are, all too often degenerate into roommate relationships.
The difference between Doyle's surrendered wife and the Taken In Hand wife is that the latter accepts her husband's natural inclination to take charge—even if it is over her objections. In this regard, she puts everything on the table—including the fact that she surrenders her will to his.
It follows then that her willingness to take a spanking is symbolic of the woman's new attitude. She realizes that spanking is as much about acceptance and security as it is about power.
When a woman is willing to truly surrender, a curious reversal occurs. What was once an inconvenient ritual to be endured as a child becomes a liberating experience. That which was once an article of faith in an angry politically correct diatribe is now little more than a stumbling block to intimacy.
Despite the objections above, Doyle's book is worth reading.