What control means to me

What control means to me

My dearest and I were lying in bed last night talking about our relationship and our dynamics. In the conversation, what we really were trying to solve, or at least work on, is my hunger and my need to feel more control from him and how we could go about that. He mentioned that he felt like he took much control sometimes (not that it bothers him, but he knows he can be overbearing sometimes if he doesn't curb his... um... leadership skills). I explained to him that I personally thought he took very little control.

This was a pretty significant difference of opinion and we were a bit baffled at first. After about three years of talking about control, we finally were able to simply put a finger on why we felt so differently about the exact same situation.

Our definition of control was completely different. He makes many/most major decisions, and has the final say. This generally doesn't present much of a problem, and mostly, is quite satisfying for us both.

He handles the money (thank goodness: I love love love this). He keeps us organized and on track, and is always managing the bigger plan, be it finances, scheduling, work (we work together), family events and commitments, etc. I float from crisis to crisis, chore to chore, and am pretty darn happy that he has the skill and the knack and is willing to do the big-picture thing, so I gladly and willingly go along. I like his “management”, if you will, of our family, and it works well for all of us.

What I was missing and what he did not understand, and what I could not put into words before last night, was that I hungered for more control, but control specifically of ME. I guess you could refer to it as a sexual or erotic kind of control though that's not exactly what I mean, and that does not either ring true or false. I don't mean him demanding things in bed, or being forceful in that way, though I enjoy that too. It is something much deeper. I still have not quite put my finger on it, but it certainly is more than him making sure we get gas on the days that the local gas stations have their sales, or making sure if I receive a bill, to get it to him so it can be taken care of. It certainly does have something to do with him physically taking control, but it's emotional too.

I like to feel like I have no choice but to do as he requests. I like to feel vulnerable and a little afraid (of consequences) if I don't do what he expects. I like the intensity and thrive on the “being fearful of the consequences” part of it—and in turn—this really fosters the submissive feelings in me. One might think that because of this, I feed off the conflict and might be inclined to push to feel him push back—but I think that's why I am desiring of more—simply because I do NOT push to get the response.

When I get to that “fearful” point, this is when I can just naturally respond to him—and those submissive feelings just flow—and he explained that in those situations his dominance does much the same. If that fear, trepidation, dread, nervousness—if those feelings were absent—I wouldn't be able to get to that open, loving, vulnerable place that I have waiting for him, and for us. If that fear wasn't there, that absolute knowledge that I must do what he asks—and that ultimately, there is no other option—it would lose much—if not most—of what it does for me, and he would not get the raw, naked, soul-bared, completely engaged and into him ME that I can be.

He, even as open as we are, had no idea that I was looking for or needed more control in that sense. I want to stress that it need not necessarily be a knock-down drag-out, but the underlying threat that it WILL be if I don't obey—THAT is what does it. It is not fear that I will be permanently hurt or maimed, and not fear in any way for my safety, but fear that I will be in a long and uncomfortable situation as long as I am not obeying him.

He is absolutely positively without a doubt consistent with his expectations of me, when he has them, but it has been fleeting instances thus far...so we will see how the next level goes. We're quite intrigued about what this will mean for us, and it is really comforting that he sees this as good for us, a positive thing, and having the possibility to bring us closer together than anything prior. The times he truly has been in control of me—and I don't just mean when I was over his knee—are the times that I feel the most passionate towards him and open and receptive to him, and he responds much the same.

Techiechic

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Comments

RE: What Control Means To Me

Thanks Techiechic—this is an interesting post. A lot of women here have talked about how comfortable, secure, happy it makes them feel for their loved one to be, in various ways, in control. We're quieter sometimes about the flipside—the fear, dread, anticipation etc, the "must-do", of being controlled. I think a lot of the couples who have made a long-term success of Taken In Hand relationships have done so by setting definite limits to that "must-do" element in their lives. I know I'd hate to live with that as the all-day driving force—and I wonder if it's asking a lot of your dearest too?
I can think of instances where my man's expectations of me were different from what I would have chosen for myself—and found it truly fulfilling, not to mention great for our relationship, that I went with his way—sometimes with his firm instructions or even actual discipline to help me get there. I can also think of times, I've sat him down and talked him into changing his mind.
I guess for each of us, it's finding our own balance. I'm just glad you can be so open about the "downside" of being taken in hand, and upfront about how that downside can make for real excitement and satisfaction.

Fear and dread

I've never enjoyed feeling fear and dread, and one of the things that I like best about having a Taken In Hand relationship is that the fear and dread have been mainly eliminated from our marriage. When I do feel fear, it is because I am afraid of my husband responding in a pre-Taken In Hand way, i.e. by losing his temper and shouting at me, the prospect of being spanked doesn't frighten me at all. I feel apprehension and anticipation, but not fear and dread, those I can do without quite happily.

Louise

Fear

I don't think I could stay with a man I feared. I certainly can understand how erotic it can be to feel someone's strength occasionally although I'm not very resistant so I don't like to provoke. What about just more day to day control by him of you personally, what you wear, what make up, scent, even speech, may be a few rituals, that kind of things which can be a fun extra and isn't that hard for him to do from time to time.

The thrill of fear

Interesting article. I can't relate much to the whole "management" thing myself; I tend to get annoyed at men who try to take charge in that way. That doesn't mean that I'm great at being organized, because it's often a challenge, and I can be pretty chaotic with paperwork. (Oddly, it's something I can deal with at work, but I tend not to apply the same discipline at home.) Still, I think I'd rather develop those skills myself, than have a man treat me as if I need to be taken care of in that way. (But I'd love to be taken care of in other ways; I love it when a man does the cooking, for example.)

But I can really relate to the desire for more physical control, and the the erotic thrill that comes with being afraid of a man you love. It doesn't have to be a huge amount of fear; in fact, too much fear will turn off my sexual response instead of igniting it. But for me there is always at least some little aspect of fear involved in being sexually attracted to a man; if there's no fear there, there's not really much attraction either.

It certainly does have something to do with him physically taking control, but it's emotional too.

I like to feel like I have no choice but to do as he requests. I like to feel vulnerable and a little afraid (of consequences) if I don't do what he expects. I like the intensity and thrive on the "being fearful of the consequences" part of it—and in turn—this really fosters the submissive feelings in me. One might think that because of this, I feed off the conflict and might be inclined to push to feel him push back- but I think that's why I am desiring of more—simply because I do NOT push to get the response.

I think some of us need that fear so much that we can't help but push for it, if we're not getting it without pushing. But then, I don't see anything wrong with a little pushing; it can be very playful. Actually, I see the whole dynamic of male dominance and feminine surrender as having a playful aspect to it, because it's all about cultivating erotic love. It's really serious, in a way, the fierce and fearsome feelings it can bring about; but there is also an element of playfulness in love.

Where it can get confusing is when the man's dominance has to do with things other than romance and love play. If the dominance dynamic has to do with finances or how to raise children, or various other 'serious' issues, then it can create problems if the woman is constantly driven to challenge him, because she needs him to be more forceful so she can feel his power. But for me, all this dominance stuff is not about how to make my life work or financial security or blah blah—it's just about how to cultivate a thrilling romance. In that perspective, deliberate "misbehavior" with the intent of getting smacked a bit (or whatever) is no big deal. Likewise, sometimes a man enjoys giving orders or making rules that his woman could not possibly obey or fulfill, just because it's a playful excuse to "punish" her when she fails, as she inevitably will. Some women seem to resent that, but I think it could be fun.

If that fear, trepidation, dread, nervousness—if those feelings were absent—I wouldn't be able to get to that open, loving, vulnerable place...and he would not get the raw, naked, soul-bared, completely engaged and into him ME that I can be.

Beautifully put. It's so important for men to understand this—or at least know that this is how many women feel—because they are constantly bombarded with societal messages to the opposite, the ideology that says if you love a woman then you should never ever make her afraid of you, etc. For those of us who need to feel fear as an essential erotic component of romantic love, that whole anti-fear ideology just kills the romance and makes it SO difficult to find compatible mates.

I want to stress that it need not necessarily be a knock-down drag-out, but the underlying threat that it WILL be if I don't obey—THAT is what does it. It is not fear that I will be permanently hurt or maimed, and not fear in any way for my safety, but fear that I will be in a long and uncomfortable situation as long as I am not obeying him.

I don't think anyone wants to live in fear of being seriously or permanently injured; that's where it really does become abuse. I can only relax into the fear and find it erotic if I can also trust that the man would not seriously injure me. I do enjoy more forceful domination tactics than most women seem to like; I enjoy being pushed around and wrestled down, and other ways that I can really feel his strength, so long as I don't really get hurt. To me, some sort of prolonged discomfort would not be the same at all. But the trust that he will not seriously injure me absolutely has to be there; even though it's also important to me that I know that he could really do serious damage if he ever fully unleashed his strength at me in that way. Ideally, the only thing standing in the way of what he could do to me is his own will restraining him, and I know I can trust that completely. Then it becomes a complete surrender on my part. But if I'm the one who's supplying the restraint instead of him (like me having a safeword that he "must" obey, for example), then I would not feel truly conquered, and there would be no real feeling of surrender or submissive bliss for me.