What women need to know about men

A number of months ago my wife and I had three couples over for dinner. They are aware that we lead a D/s lifestyle (it's no secret), but to them it's just about “whips and chains”. They have never asked for more information, and I have never volunteered it.

After dinner we were sitting around, and one of the women started a joke which was something along the lines of “What women need to know about men”. What followed was a set of man-bashing one liners that everyone (except myself and my wife) found very amusing.

Finally at the end I said, “Well, as far as I'm concerned, women only need to know one thing about men. Women have to do as they are told.” This was greeted by uproarious amounts of laughter, and when I said “No, I'm serious”, the level of laughter doubled. They could not get it into their heads that I was speaking seriously.

Life is strange that way at times.

Mackenzie Cross

Take the Taken In Hand tour


Not everyone is the same


Unless you have met, got to know well and discussed this issue with every woman on earth you cannot possibly say all women want to be led by a strong man. Apart from anything else, not every woman actually wants to be with a man, and not every woman even wants to be in a permanent relationship.

I've known women who would far prefer to be in charge of a relationship—and they have dated men with the sort of qualities you outlined. They just weren't cut out to follow. I've known women who like to take turns in being in control of a relationship—they seemed to have worked out some awfully complex guidelines, but they were happy. I've known women who were perfectly content to muddle along and let whoever reacted first take the lead when needed. In all these cases where I've known the partners, they were happy too.

BTW the qualities you list as being "masculine" seem to be to be qualities possessed by any decent person of either gender.


"There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so" Hamlet, somewhere.

Hadi's viewpoint

Hadi 77 you wrote:

I am sure that every woman loves a strong man and hates a weak man, so every women likes to be led by a man

Even through all your point/counterpoint with Pat and Louise, it still stands that a statement like the one above is a fallacy. If you write that statement because of a personal belief system that you have that is backed up by one or two personal anecdotes that you have seen..........well, get out and see the world and talk to people!! The world is so very vast and people's likes and dislikes are so very personal to them, broad statements like that just can't cover all of humanity. My favorite people are those who are different from me, I learn so much from them. An open mind is a wonderful, fulfilling thing and for me, an open mind is a tenet of my personal code of behavior. The reason I took a chance in writing this to you that you seem to have some sweetness to you and it sounds like you will be (or maybe already are) a fine head of the household one day. Take Care Adelle

True man

If you ask the modern women today if they want to be a dominant or an assistant in the relationship (I don't like the word submissive very much) a lot—actually almost all—will prefer the dominant role in the household in the relationship, and this is not because she doesn't like to be led by a man rather than being afraid of the typical modern man whom I like to call a male (except for few of course), or she might think that she needs to see a psychologist just because she wants to be under the wings of a man, because the society and the media present these women indirectly as weak childish women which is not true.

The problem is mostly in men not women, because they've let the society and the sex and culture define their manhood this is, in my humble opinion, is the problem of the modern society I call it: (mind castration of men). I am willing to reconsider all of my thoughts and take your opinion into consideration once I meet in my life a woman that fell in love with a weak man, (she might like him ooh he is nice, even she might marry him but will not fall in love with him).

If a women tastes a real man in her life she'll be addicted to real men. (by the way there is no real egalitarian relationship, what is called egalitarian relationship contains a leader and an assistant but it is showed or presented to the public as an egalitarian relationship but in real in its not it can't be, any two human beings have a relationship that includes commitment one of them will be the leader).

Best Regards.

"If a woman tastes life with a real man"...

Hadi, I have a lot of sympathy for what (I think) you are saying. I think there is a lot of truth in the idea that many women discover that they have a deep desire to be under the authority of a man when they first have a relationship with a man who has a desire to be in control in an intimate relationship. And it is certainly true that lots of women feel compelled to be dominant because they fear social disapprobation or because the men they are with are weak or simply prefer a dominant woman. And as you say, the idea that women who want to be under the authority of a man must therefore be childish and incompetent is decidedly off-putting to many, and some of those might one day get over that objection.

But that still leaves plenty of women who appear to have no such desire. I don't understand it, but it really does seem to be the case that some women really don't feel the way I do. 8-)

You say that you don't like the word submissive very much. You may have noticed that I too seem to have a problem with that word. ;-)

I agree with you that weakness is unattractive in general and (sorry, men) particularly unattractive in a man (though in the real world everyone has weaker moments, I think). However, submissiveness is not synonymous with weakness. The idea of being with a submissive man makes me shudder and is definitely not my cup of tea, but in no way would I suggest that a submissive man is in any way weak, necessarily, any more than a submissive woman is necessarily weak. Some are, but then, some dominant people are weak too.

Generalising a thought

You've said:

However, submissiveness is not synonymous with weakness

Well in my opinion if a man is submissive in a relationship he is weak. You might argue that a submissive man might be a CEO, a president or let's just say a male with high masculine rank. That is defined (the ranking of males I mean) by the modern society media and especially by the new culture I've mentioned earlier which is the culture of sex and money; in other words the top or powerful men in our days is the one who has a lots of money, or a successful career or any materialistic value, and/or sexually a person who has a relationship with different and lots of women and he changes women frequently.

This is the kind of male that is defined in our days as the true man. Certainly, such a male can be submissive in a relationship but I don't want to abide by this new morphed standard of ranking or defining a manhood or true qualities of a good man even if this man rides a sports car and lives in a castle. To me it's not being a man, and in my opinion he is weak.

A true man in my opinion has a lots of qualities that define him, some I did mention and lots I didn't. Such men are becoming less and less due to what I called mind castration by the society.

In contrast if a women is an assistant to her husband in a relationship (a strong one that he can depend on in helping lead the family) it is not weakness it is simply being a true women, and you women posting on this site are the greatest example of what I am saying.

You have defied what is common as for defining your womanhood by the same society and culture that is defining the modern man. To me that's bravery and strength. You did what some couldn't dare to do which is to embrace their manhood and take responsibility of and nurturing as you did with your womanhood.

A woman complements a man and man complements the women like two pieces of puzzle fit together and I am not talking physically or sexually but spiritually. The soul has a gender but society and lusts morph it and suppress it. And that's why I generalise that every woman loves only a strong man, and also the man has the similar instinct of protecting the woman and taking care of her emotionally and physically. Similarly, I could generalise a woman has a vagina and a man has a penis.

And this is to all:

I can throw all of what I've posted away if someone would tell me a case where a woman is in love with a submissive man, and please don t tell me a story of woman that's happy with her submissive husband: happy is something, and being in love and infatuated with him is completely different thing, as I've stated earlier.

To ConfusedOfHomeCounties

You've said that:

the qualities you list as being "masculine" seem to be to be qualities possessed by any decent person of either gender

Then to me you are saying you view a man as you view a woman, the only difference to you is the genitals. I happen to disagree with you; there are masculine qualities that makes that women fall in love with a man other than physical of course. I agree with that, a lot are common they have to or else how could she be a strong assistant but to what extent they are instinctively in a woman or in a man is something else but some of these qualities are for men only as some qualities are for women only.

And last I don't claim to hold the truth, and I am very aware of my age as I of my thoughts.

Best Regards to all.

Personal qualities


I view people as people first. I tend to judge people by those qualities you listed as being masculine—to me, they are the sign of a good, decent person, regardless of gender. I am not sure that there are qualities that are exclusively the preserve of one or other gender—although in my eyes there are some characteristics that I prefer to see in one rather than the other. But that's my bias, not a universal truth, and it has made for good debates. Of course, some characteristics typically seen as masculine or feminine may well be fuelled by body chemicals.

Furthermore, I believe those sort of qualities are as much to do with nurture as nature. I'm not convinced that either gender is born with an innate ability to have more of one quality than another.

I'm not saying my way of looking at things is right or wrong—it's simply how I was brought up.

I personally am attracted to strong men—in particular ones who are stronger than me. It was part of my attraction to my husband, although it took us a while to actually work out—or acknowledge—the best dynamics for us were for him to be head of household.

Submission and weakness

There are a lot of women on this website who are very strong, dynamic, forceful etc, yet they feel the desire to be submissive within their relationships. This does not make them weak, and I don't see that it necessarily makes a man weak either. A man who wanted to be submissive would, it is true, be a big turn-off for me, but I daresay there are women who would not be turned off by it.

In Love With a Submissive Man

Then throw away what you have written, Hadi, for I am in love with a (mostly) submissive man. We are both switches. He prefers the submissive role.

Strong? He's strong all right. He's strong enough to stand up and say he enjoys both roles and to hell with the people who would spit on him for enjoying going over a woman's knee. He's strong enough to say what it is he wants and to encourage and guide me in my dominant role.

I do not judge a man's strength by money or how many women he sleeps with but nor do I judge it by whether he takes the lead and she must follow. Nonsense. This is a man strong enough to take care of his family but without needing to command them all the time.

This is a man who sticks through thick and thin. At 28 years old, you know something Hadi? He's been married more years than you have been alive.

This is a man who has fears and worries and isn't too concerned about building up his masculine image to admit them. On the other hand he does what has to be done: fears or not.

This is a man who lived through an abusive childhood and learned to love despite it. He saw his Dad beat up his Mom on a regular basis and he knows very well the line between abuse vs. nonabuse: and that line is named CONSENT.

He's got a crippled granddaughter and he gives her his whole heart, even though he knows he may outlive her.

Yes, I'm in love with him, and most especially when he is on his knees before me, giving me his love and worship. What greater honor, than to be adored by someone who is such a wonderful man?

I guess now you'll have to kiss your theory goodbye, since it doesn't apply to all men and all women. Perhaps a theory that allows for individuality would be a better one.


I have kissed goodbye my theory

Dear "Pat"

I didn t say that a strong man has to order in every single detail or event that happens in real life ,a true man does not controls and diminsih other members role in the house especially his wife. I did talk about a strong reliable assistant.

You say that you are in love with your submissive husband, and I believe you, and as you said I'll kiss my theory away, I have no problem with learning and understanding from others, or else I wouldn't be reading on sites like Taken In Hand.

"Pat", you said :

I am in love with a (mostly) submissive man.

I assume thus that your husband is (mostly) under your authority and under your wings ,and when a bad or good times or incident happes in your family you are (mostly) to be the strong leader through bad and good times, and you get only his support, he s your asistant, by this you've let me kiss my theory goodbye, because to me this what I've been talking about for not being a true man holding his responsibilities and not embracing his authority, (my theory was to believe that a manhood and womenhood are like a small seed that needs be nurtured and trained to become mature and strong in each man or woman thus making them a woman and a man different and complementary to each other, and in the case of your husband he didn't get that nurturing because your husband had a weak father, because in my kissed-goodbye theory , I used to think an abusive man is weak like the submissive is ,but you've told the opposite regarding the submissive man.

So for a condition for a woman, any woman, to love a man ,not just be satisfied pleased or happy with, to be in authority over his wife—this theory is kissed goodbye by me with the help of "Pat".

I fear to share my opinion here...

but I have to say that I wish I could find a man who believed that women have to do as they are told.

Why do I fear to share this opinion? Because frankly, I don't know a single person on a day to day basis who holds the same view, and when I even voice a thought that touches upon the issue of male-led relationships in the way that this site does, I find myself ridiculed, pitied, dismissed, or hated.

The funny thing is that I am not interested in DD, spanking, M/s, BSDM, or any of a host of lifestyles that I have read about, even though aspects of these predilections have at times appealed to me. I cringe at the idea of my partner's spanking me, mostly because I abhor upsetting those I love and a spanking would mean that I had displeased him. Just knowing that I had upset my partner was enough to bring me to my knees, metaphorically speaking.

No, really what I seek, what I long for, is a truly male-led relationship in which I may defer to my partner. My late partner had leanings in that direction, as I did, so I experienced some of what is discussed here. I tend to believe that this sort of relationship is natural, probably because in my relationship with my partner, I felt more alive, more myself, more natural, more at peace, than I ever felt in so-called egalitarian relationships.

As a sidenote, I have also always preferred working under men. Tonight, I am working late at school, and several men affiliated with the school are meeting here. Simply being in their presence brings out something in me, a submissive streak, that I must hide most of the time. (I'm sure they don't have a clue how I am feeling, by the way, when I walk past the meeting...)

But it simply is not safe to voice these thoughts in the general public. I am a competent person who pays her bills, works a full time job, and manages a home, now alone since my partner died. I can be stubborn, controlling, and difficult, yes, very difficult.

Yet at the same time, I am quite vulnerable emotionally, and being attacked for having a minority view is painful. When I let my guard down and allow myself to speak my thoughts and feelings, I am mostly dismissed by other women. Other men seem confused and don't know what to say. They seem afraid to comment at all. (This was not the case with my partner, with whom I could be totally honest. His quiet strength and wisdom was my safe haven.)

So I sit silently listening to views that are, to my eye, too PC to stomach. I watch men dismissed as dolts, losers, and psychopaths. I watch women exalted as the future "saviors" of the planet. And what I really want is for the men to take back the reins!

Please do not throw tomatoes...

Sharon (ducking out fast...)

There are men who believe this

I married one. I recall an incident early in our marriage, when things were very stormy indeed between us. In the course of a row my husband suddenly shouted at me angrily "You're a woman, you should do as you're told" I reacted furiously to this, but at the same time something inside me responded, part of me agreed with him. I got a sort of guilty thrill when I thought about him saying this to me.

Unfortunately, my husband did not at that time know how to make me do as I was told, neither did I. He has always been a very dominant man, but he didn't know how to be dominant in way that would bring out the right sort of response in me. Nevertheless, when he shouted at me "you should do as you're told" under the indignation of my response there was that guilty voice that whispered "Yes".

no tomatoes


In the first sentence you write "I wish I could find a man who believed that women have to do as they are told."

Later you write "No, really what I seek, what I long for, is a truly male-led relationship in which I may defer to my partner".

What jumps out at me is the shift from have to may.

I believe that attitudes in the US are moving (slowly) in a direction that accepts what is called "traditional" relationships. But I think you press a hot button for a lot of people, including me, when you state or suggest that people 'have' to behave a certain way towards other people.


I wasn't clear then

Actually, I seek a male-led relationship in which, having chosen such a relationship, I must defer to my partner, a man whom I trust and have ceded authority to." I supppose there is a "may" in there, as in "having chosen such a relationship," but once in the relationship, it's not a choice per se. In stating this, however, I recognize and have always recognized that the choosing of such a partner is critical, for there are those who would take advantage of such a relationship. And then again, there are those who would not.


that's clear


Yes, a little rephrasing makes a big difference. When you write "I seek a male-led relationship in which, having chosen such a relationship, I must defer to my partner" that seems much different.

I think you express it well.


You are not alone

Hello Sharon,

But for a few minor details, your post could have been written by me. Being faced with ridicule, teasing and uncomfortable silence is a strong deterrent, but what I eventually learned, and what you must remember, is that such actions come from people who are jealous or afraid. Your strength and your beauty is your submissive nature.

Use your power, don't hide it. Please don't run from them or let them shame your beauty. If they say something derogatory, find a way to smile and nod. After awhile, when your confidence grows, you may even be able to add a lovely sparkle in your eyes and say "Thank you." Just please, don't continue to duck or hide or run because someone else doesn't understand what makes you strong. You might even be surprised that one day your peace opens the door for them to ask more questions.



"What followed was a set of man-bashing one liners that everyone (except myself and my wife) found very amusing." I hate that. I see it all over. I never take part in it. I always disagree. Probably why I don't have close women friends. It's so rare to find a woman praising her husband to others and so nice to see. Works the other way around too. My ex husband seemed to think it was good to criticise me in front of other people all the time. I think it just reflects badly on the person.

Sharon, you are by no means alone but the first post on this thread illustrates the problem—most people are not like this. I don't think it's even a "natural" norm. it's simply how some people are , just as some men are happily submissive etc.

However there are lots of dominant men if you know where to look.

To Sharon Sharing Her Opinion

Hi Sharon:

I'm very new to this site and to the Taken In Hand subject in general.

But after reading your post I felt as though we were kindred spirits. I hold the some of the same views when it comes to having a relationship. I don't want to be involved in BDSM, DD, or any of those acronyms, yet I do very much need to be a woman in a primarily male-led relationship.

I'm not sure I want men to take over the reins everywhere, that would make it impossible for me to have a professional career (which is important to me). But—if I ever find myself in a relationship again, I'd like much of the leadership to come from the man, because I'm simply not equipped for it. And as far as sexually, well, I'd like his leadership there too—with an option to be the aggressor once in a while—if he lets me...

I also agree that, apart from this safe haven of this site, I cannot tell anyone elsewhere how I feel about the kind of relationship I favor. I suppose I could at some web sites but they are often populated by fokls who are much too different from me and these are generally BDSM, spanking sites, and such.

I am quite sure my male and female friends would be appalled if they knew about my preference. They would surely suggest I seek therapy, or ask me how someone in my position could possibly want such a thing.

And, like you, I am vulnerable and very hurt by the disapproval from my friends—so I don't talk about this subject at all to them...

"I don't want to achieve immortality through my work—I want to achieve it by not dying."—Woody Allen

About male bashing

Just wanted to add that male bashing is rampant, and sanctioned, in the US these days. If the things that are said about men—in the hallways, on TV, on greeting cards, on the radio—were said about women, there would be hell to pay, heads would roll, and people would be tossed out on the streets. I am sick to death of male bashing. Again, I say I wish the men would take the reins back.