What you need to know about Taken In Hand

What is Taken In Hand all about? What are its background assumptions and premises?

As you may have read elsewhere on the site, a Taken In Hand relationship is a wholehearted sexually exclusive marriage in which, to the delight of both spouses, the man actively controls the woman. The degree of control and the way the husband retains control vary from Taken In Hand couple to Taken In Hand couple, but in all cases both husband and wife actively want the husband to have the upper hand. No matter how strong, tough and forceful a Taken In Hand wife may be, and no matter how hard she might try to take control in their marriage, she would be aghast if her husband were to let her get the upper hand. Likewise, no matter how loving, kind and considerate the husband may be, he prefers to keep his wife firmly in hand.

Given that the focus here is on relationships in which the man has the balance of power and control, is this site advocating a return to times past in which many women had no choice? Is it about lifeless, stereotypical relationships?

No, it is actually about feeling free to engage in the kind of relationship that suits you, the individual. I'd like to see a future free from prescriptions and proscriptions about the sort of relationships deemed acceptable. Not everyone would want to be in a Taken In Hand relationship, but this site is a supportive forum for those who do.

You may not like this site. You may have very different preferences. If so, do not view us as enemies, merely as individuals with our own preferences. This site is geared to my own preferences as its owner, so it won't please everyone. But it is in no way a criticism or attack on different preferences. To each his own.

That said, let me explain how I see Taken In Hand.

A good relationship is a harmonious one. It is one in which the spouses can talk to each other and feel accepted. It is one in which problems are solved and there is a lot of love and kindness and joy. It is one in which the spouses feel appreciated and cared for. It is one in which the spouses feel happy and vibrantly alive as opposed to flat and bored. It is a connected, deeply engaged, intimate relationship, as opposed to a disconnected, distant relationship lacking intimacy. It is one that is dynamic and evolving, as opposed to static and stereotypical. It is one in which important needs are met. It is one that facilitates improvement at the individual level, at the level of the relationship, and more widely.

I strongly believe that for a marriage to be good in the sense I have just described, a good sexual connection is essential. When the sexual connection goes awry, a marriage is in danger. When people feel sexually unfulfilled and bored with each other, they feel flat and lack energy, or they get their excitement elsewhere. When everything is going well in the sexual relationship, it makes people feel happy and alive. It makes them feel good about the other person. It dramatically increases the amount of positive feeling in the relationship. So for me, Taken In Hand is at least partly about creating the sort of relationships that instead of sliding into stale, sexless, platonic friendships (if they are friendly at all!), stay vibrant, exciting, passionate, and white hot in the long term.

There is no recipe for how to create an exciting long-term sexual connection, and what will work for one couple will not work for another. What will work for one couple at one time may not work for the same couple a year later. Individuals have different preferences, and their preferences evolve and change over time. How you relate best with one person may not be the same as how you relate best with another. But if you don't have a sexual connection, what you have is a platonic friendship, and that is not enough for a good marriage.

On Taken In Hand, we are, amongst other things, exploring the power of consensual control, dominance, and ‘coercion’ to foster an exciting sexual connection. This may not be your cup of tea. Or you may enjoy some aspects of this exploration but not others. If you think of yourself as submissive or obedient, you might dislike articles like this one, this one or this one. If you have come to Taken In Hand expecting to find a site focusing on spanking or domestic discipline (DD), you might hate articles like this one, this one or this one. If the way you maintain a good sexual connection in your relationship is through an on-going fun, exciting “battle”, or your ideal woman is the Amazon warrior type, you might have zero interest in articles about soft, submissive, surrendered women, and the gentle men who love them. And conversely, if you are here because you like the “surrendered wife” idea, you may well dislike articles like this one, this one, this one or this one. Just think of this site as an evolving exploratory entity and if there is anything that makes you want to stick your head down the lavatory or have me locked up, just ignore it.

Taken In Hand is about having the courage to be the person you really are, refusing to be cowed into being someone you're not—whether you are a tameable shrew, a civilised gentleman, a woman of valour, a man who yearns for a woman who is as strong as he is, or a hardcore high-intensity lover. It is about taking joy in being able to choose freely the kind of relationship you want. It's about love and intimacy and passion and excitement. And the occasional bit of forcefor those of us who like that sort of thing.

[Be sure to read the next article on the Taken In Hand tour, How to read this site.]

The Taken In Hand Site Owner and Creator

Taken In Hand Tour start | next

Comments

what is taken in hand about?

Interesting article, though I don't know about improving as a person etc, nor how seriously I really take the idea of my husband being head of the household, I think most of the people on this site take the bossing about thing more seriously than I do myself. Actually it isn't true that women had no choices in the Dark Ages, women in those days did have quite strong legal rights, to property ownership etc, and a wife could divorce her husband for a variety of reasons, if he beat her so as to leave visible bruising for instance, or if he was impotent or had bad breath. Medieval women were often very robust, look at the Wife of Bath!

gee, you folks are cool

I think that what you are saying here is quite reasonable. I do think that there is a lot of pressure on women in some circles to be very autonomous, and it makes me uncomfortable. I think that both kinds of pressure are bad, that is, pressure on women to be obedient, and pressure on women to be autonomous. I agree with you when you say that it should be based on individual choice, based on what feels good, and that people should not look down upon women who choose to be either autonomous or obedient.

Thank you

Hi there! For a long while now, I have been searching for information, shared experiences and opinions on what I have always felt is a part of me—this need that I feel to find a strong, protective, supportive and take-charge man.

I have at times felt that this is a psychological flaw in me, that there must be something wrong with my self-image or self-confidence. Talking with friends about it rarely helps—if you don't get it, you don't get it, it would seem. And most of them (mine anyway) don't. I have had several relationships where I have broached the subject of my desire for my man to wear the pants in the relationship, but it would seem that the men I have been with don't really understand what it is that I want—it is most probable that I didn't communicate it well enough. They cared for me, and were willing to play along with my "games" sometimes, but it left me feeling cold and more seperate from them than ever. It also left me wondering if I was an absolute disgrace to the feminine movement, and a bit of a nut to boot.

I have read several articles on this site, and am so very impressed with the level of sanity and reasoning that I have found in the arguments presented by the authors. Thank you to those who have subitted articles and opinions—you have reassured me and given me answers to questions that I didn't even know I was asking. Like so many of you have said—I am not a submissive woman. I am a performer and a saleswoman, very assertive, opinionated, confident and at times outrageous. This longing I have always felt to have a man assert authority over me seemed at odds with the person I feel I am, and left me questioning my sanity amongst other things. Thank you for sharing your experiences and feelings on this site. You have helped me more than you could realise. I look foward to reading more, and further clarifying what it is that I really want in myself and in my partner.

Bella

ThankYouThankYouThankYou....

Wow, you have no idea how thrilled I am to find this site.

I've known about my sexually submissive side for many years, but I never knew how to find the right man to match it. In fact, I didn't even know anyone else felt anything similar at all. I had at least heard about "whips-and-chains" stuff, but I didn't connect that at *all* with what sexual submission meant to me. With the internet I finally learned that 'BDSM' had something to do with D/s (Dominance/submission), but once again it seemed like so much of it was peripheral to my own interests and inclinations. (All the technical talk of equipment felt like a trip to Home Depot, and all the rules and ritualism sounded like liturgy from a Masonic Lodge. Not that all that's a bad thing, but it's just not my main interest.)

What I was looking for was something specifically MaleDom/femsub—something made the connection between *masculinity* and sexual dominance, and also between femininity and sexual submission. For me that includes fantasies of ravishment and erotic wrestling in a loving romantic relationship—not just bdsm "scenes" and "activities checklists" and trips to the hardware store for new toys.

I've only read a few of the articles on your website, but it seems like just what I've been looking for. I loved the article on masculinity and the alpha male, and also the one on the "gift of rape." I also like the fact that you don't confuse the sexually submissive woman with a woman who's insecure or submissive in everything else in life. (Like many sexually submissive women, I have a confident and assertive demeanor in general, and that has given many men the mistaken idea that I would rather be on the handle end of the whip. If only they knew.)

I'm so happy I found this site, but I just read that you're planning on "pruning" out the articles very shortly?? Please don't! Or at least maybe have a rotating archive so those of us who missed out on this at the beginning will get a chance to catch up. And one more time: Thank You!

- Dee

PS: And please stay online forever. :-)
(I don't ask for much, eh?)

Response to your post

I am new to this site but this post was wonderful. It really rang my bell.

I have always wanted to be in control of a woman and wow, did you get my attention.

John

Another grateful newbie...

Hello to all.

I discovered the Taken in Hand website only 3 days ago, and I am still reeling at the surprise of it. I don’t know how to express my sense of wonder at stumbling across such an intelligent, literate expression of the feelings and inner stirrings I now realize have been aching inside of me as long as I can remember. Until now, I have never heard them articulated, and I most certainly never knew to articulate them myself. So at the outset, I wish to say thank you. Thank you to every contributor who has shared the intimate details of how a Taken in Hand relationship works, and described what it looks like. Thank you for stirring my heart with deep appreciation for finally understanding important aspects of what I am about.

laughing my ass off

My husband has been trying to control me. He is a great man and father, he loves me and spoil me rotten. But he wants me submissive. Now I try, I really do, I want to make him happy but I accidently hit this site while typing in take one and I was shocked that he was here. I will never be able to look him in the eye again without lauging myself in a frenzy. I will try not to tell him and play dumb but I have never laughed so hard in my life then when I clicked on here by mistake...

in case your wondering, resistant women in the house.

Cheerio

Consensual nonconsent

Well, it is my understanding that a Taken in Hand relationship is about consensual nonconsent, so if your husband is interested but you aren't, he is probably out of luck. Then again, maybe you are more interested than you think you are ;-). Try reading the article about The resistant woman. (I think that's the title...) In any event, welcome to the site! I think you will find the ideas here interesting at least...and perhaps provocative...but always stimulating!

Sharon

laughing my ass off

How would you feel if your husband could not look you in the eye again without laughing himself into a frenzy because of an aspect of your sexuality or a philosophy you had concerning the relationship? You may not agree with him or share his desires; you may even be shocked, but is it a good response to laugh at him? Communication is primary in a marriage. If one party cannot communicate something they consider important (and if your husband has been posting here it indicates this kind of relationship attracts him) and expect to be taken seriously what does that say about the quality of communication in the marriage?

you are right

Most men don't like doormats (unless they are abusers!)

New to all of this too

My husband found Taken in Hand a few weeks ago. He showed me the site as we knew we wanted somthing but really were not sure where to get any info. We read different articles, together and apart. Then most importantly we had real heart to heart talks about all of our new ideas.

Both of us had been in bad relationships before,and realized that we both needed more from our relationship. I was also a little unsure of the male head of the household . As I have a history of being abused, health problems and depression that goes along with it all. I thought "sure here it goes again" out of a bad marriage and another getting ready to go bad. Oh How wrong I was, I have never felt more relaxed.

We have discussed all aspects of anything new we try before and afterwards. In some articles we decide that we only like one or two of the new ideas we find. So I don't think we are completely D/s or BDSM or any particular label. I do know that having a tender, loving , our kind of Taken in Hand relationship, has made our marriage more relaxed and harmonious. Enabling BOTH of us to be the kind of partners, lovers and friends that we have always yearned for in the past.

New to all of this too

Same here, I was familiar with the site, and admit to having 'lingered' I suppose, some while ago. There are many things to contend with, for us, the fact that we have not as yet found a way to communicate to our friends how we feel. I don't want to be put in a position of justification as it seems to me that this site and a Taken In Hand r'ship are commonly mis-judged through not being understood.

My girlfriend and I have decided to embark on our married life in this way, and while it is not without conditions and a few residual apprehensions, we feel that this will work for us and also wish to 'trial', with a view to fully embracing it when we marry. I certianly take it seriously, and while I often disagree with (mostly men) on this site, I am looking forward to the chance to develop my own conceptions, and with that become the best husband that I can be.

I am slightly apprehensive: as a 31 year old man, currently in higher education, it is, to say the least atypical, but but here's hoping...

Laughing your ass off

I can understand why this site would make you laugh if you're not into this kind of thing (there's a lot of stuff on here that makes me laugh even though I am into it).

If you don't really feel it then I don't think you can fake it; if being controlled doesn't thrill you then your husband is probably wasting his time trying. Perhaps you could try and get him interested in something else?

On the other hand if you trawl around here long enough it's possible you might find something that interests you, there's a lot of different tastes catered to on here. I, for instance, am not at all into the 'consensual non-consent' thing, but a lot of women seem to like it. Likewise the 'rape' thing doesn't interest me, nor the rough sex thing, nor the opening car doors thing, but something might ring a bell with you, who knows?

Better things to do with the axx

A truly good laugh!

I must say, your laughing back in time (Nov -05) still lingers through your words. Your comment made me smile at first and then I was laughing too. It was easy to see the humor in what you described and I could soo identify with your reaction. If one of my former lovers or husband had been "caught" they way yours was, it would have been hilarious. In fact, your comment made me remember one of them more clearly. This boyfriend of mine wanted me "back" after I broke up with him after two years, as I had found another man. He, then weighing about double my weight, extremely well trained physically and beyond a black belt in martial arts, grabbed hold of me, pushed me on the bed and started to grab my clothes. I started to laugh so hard I could hardly breathe. I was equally well trained but could of course not do anything to fight off this man. But, it did not even start to dawn on me then what he could have done, as I was laughing so hard I was more a danger to myself than he was. He could not continue this domination thing with me laughing so hard at him, so like a puppy he withdrew from his position on top of me. I sat up and could not stop laughing. Every time I met him after that incident I could not help but have a real toothpaste ad smile.

Several years later, and a few relationships wiser, I had come to the conclusion that I would not marry again. I was tired of not having men reach me higher than to my knees. I could have men a lovers as it suited me was my take, but life took me by surprise. I met a man to match me. WOW! That was a new one. A man I could respect and a man that had the intellectual capacity to do battle with me. I have never argued so hard with anyone. I loved him but was close to give up on our relationship many times, as he would simply not change what I wanted him to change. He was as upset about us arguing as I was, and he was heartbroken that we fought. But would he give in? No, he would add my demands as a request for change and if it made sense to him he would do them, in his own time. Utterly frustrating. I could not believe that someone sooo gentle, logical, loving and caring could be so "hard" to change. I had to take another approach to be successful was my conclusion. I thought long and hard. It took quite some time. Had I found my "Master"? Hell no! Growing up in an environment that not only saw women and men as equal, but actually saw women as better than men in almost everything, this was a truly tough one for me (Yes, I come from another country). As an entrepreneur, CEOing several international companies, financially independent, breaking in my warm blood 1400 lbs stallions on my own, I just don’t see the reason to be submissive to men. That has been a totally ridiculous though, or actually more of a laughable one. So you can understand when I say that my worldview is not of a typically submissive woman. I am more capable than he is—at a lot of things. Just as he is way better at some than I am. So, what was going on I wondered. I then gradually tried to let him decide more, and tried to let more of my female side out (felt very strange at first, both things….). Suddenly things clicked. I started to feel better in all aspects and our relationship greatly improved. At that time I did not know, nor care really, how he felt about it. But he seemed almost as if nothing had happened, my changes and all. He was too focused on dealing with pressing matters in our business on a daily basis to be able to think about this as much as I could, at the time. For him it just seemed to be natural to be in an alpha male position and have me respond accordingly. So, believe me, I can more than relate to your laughs, as I have had a my generously large share of such in my life . I am just hoping that you ever get the same opportunity that I have been given, to be married to a dominant man, one that is more dominant than yourself. It is a heavenly feeling. Even better than a seriously good laugh at a man who is simply trying, unsuccessfully, to climb on top of his woman.

Best of luck to you!

Marianne

Thanks to Cherrio!

Way to go Cheerio...I honestly think that this crosses the boundary on the issue...yes it is free will, but why can't you settle differences with verbal communication and discussion...sometimes you have to agree to disagree. Women have fought for years to gain economic and social independence, and this seems like a giant leap backward in my opinon...

Settling differeences

Of course people should be able to settle differences with verbal communication and discussion—but some people find other ways more interesting. It's not about what people 'should' be able to do, so much as what they want to do.

That is the appeal of Taken In Hand for me anyway, in spite of initial incredulity and hostility when I discovered the site, it was reading about women who lived this way because they WANTED to, and they LIKED it, rather than because they were being forced to, or because they thought it was the way things had to be. It was the evident hedonistic pleasure they got out of it that appealed to me, being a naturally self-centred person, it was the idea of making my life more easier and more pleasurable that appealed to me about the whole thing.

Also, some people are quite irrational and not susceptible to reasoned argument on some subjects. Me for instance. My husband could argue until he was blue in the face (and frequently did) that I OUGHT to be making more effort with the housework, keeping things tidy, keeping the children under control etc, and all he ever met with was sullent resentment and occasional grudging half-compliance. Whereas if he says to me "If I come home and find the housee in a mess you're going to get a good walloping" this invariably makes me feel more cheerful and eager to do what he wants me to.

It makes no sense at all to me, but nevertheless it works. You can spend your life trying to do what you think you ought to do, or you can do what you enjoy doing. My husband's attempts to get me to see that I SHOULD try and keep the house clean and tidy, because it was what I OUGHT to do, were failures, because I am just not suceptible to rational argument on this subject(not that he was always rational on the subject, he could be extremely aggresive about it), I simply do not believe that it matters, and no amount of rational argument could ever convince me on this point. But being told that I will keep the house clean and tidy because he says so and if I don't I'll be sorry, helps to concentrate my mind wonderfully. It is completely irrational, but it works with me where no amount of rational argument would.

Louise

Lack of respect

It is comments like this that really make me realize "why" men are so out of tune with their own instincts and desires and not in any rush to expose these things to their wives or girlfriends.

I can't help but believe that if men were "allowed, encouraged, supported and respected" (instead of laughed at) to be the men they were put on this earth to be, they would be more apt to respect who and what we are as women!

lack of respect... and more

I have had all these expressions of resistance to the Taken In Hand life... through the years, no matter how deeply I may have wanted and needed to give up all resistance and let "him," whoever he was, take over, I never could. I knew all along that my desire to have that happen was total; I was not unaware of my own needs, ever. I always _wanted_ desperately to be able to give in to the man, but found I could not, not completely, because I did not respect the men I was with, not enough to give up my control.

However, I have changed. I have, (not whinging, but truthfully), had my various ego-resistances broken, not by any man, but by life. Too many things have happened that were totally out of my control for me to learn how to do anything _but_ adapt and give in. This has been a slow process, but it has definitely happened. The good part, from my perspective, is that I cannot and will not deny my desires any longer. I therefore consciously chose someone who would be able to do TO me what I have always silently longed for, someone who would like the fact that I long to be told what to do, how to do it, when to do it, etc.

I have read much that helps me understand that yielding to another's will, no matter what it is, when it is the right person who you can love and trust implicitly, is key for me. I have read much that now helps me understand that I was always like this, always submissive, but with an intensely resistant streak, with an ego that wouldn't quit, that has gotten me into trouble numerous times. My ego issues have prevented me from getting jobs I should have gotten, have cost me relationships that might have worked, if only I hadn't been so damned determined to win. I now see how very miserable and lonely I have managed to make myself through my own resistance, my own desire to be "right," to win.

No longer content to limit my own happiness, life has conspired to teach me the things that some men are teaching women through sound stroppings, things I could not have learned except for profound and serious repetitions, on my own, partially, and also partially in the hands of someone who understands all of this about me. My background as a survivor of childhood sexual abuse got in the way, but perversely, also was part of why I was so resistant to being controlled by anyone, much as I also desired it strongly. That combination creates a mixed psychological message, very similar to those I read of on this site, women who say no, vehemently, but really mean yes, please.

The lack of respect comes from devaluing something that I have learned to value intensely, but it has only been possible through loss of personal ego, giving in to what I know is true about my nature, accepting it, and giving up my will almost entirely. Not to another person, not at first. But to the simple reality that I had no control, that I have no control. When I accepted this, my need for control, which is entirely fear-based, was clear to me.

Giving up control in general, realising that there is nothing you can do, and learning that lesson at the organic level deep in your bones, is very liberating, and it is step one in the process of learning how to give up control to someone else. It has proven fundamental in my learning how to trust someone, apparently something that does not come easily to me at all.

Needing constant control for me has been about fear; fear that I could not trust the other person's guidance, wisdom, judgement. In essence, believing the man to be an idiot, and to be of necessity, always wrong. I cannot give that sacred trust to just any man, I learned, but I have also learned that giving that up _is_ possible, I just had to find the right man. And be willing to yield almost all control, at least, control as I have defined it prior to this. And the result is that I do respect him. I respected him when I first met him, because of the work he does. And I have learned to respect him even more, because he has been gentle, firm, and commanding with me.

However, in sum, in my opinion, the woman's lack of respect for her man makes a Taken In Hand relationship virtually impossible. I would respectfully suggest that you not even attempt it. Taken In Hand will only work, I think, if you feel respect and a longing to yield, to make your man as happy as he makes you. Without those components, the rest is really difficult, if not impossible.

I finally found people who may understand

In the last month or so, I have been reading the articles in this site. I am very happy to find this site. I was beginning to think there really was no explanation for the feelings inside of me, the desire to submit to a man and have him dominate over me, the desire to be told what to do and the absolute need to give him control. I really thought there must be something wrong with me. I checked into different sites including BDSM sites, and I knew that was too harsh for what I was looking for. I can really relate to the articles and comments and look forward to reading more.

~Lady in the Dark

Thanks, finally

I feel compelled (finally) to let you know how much this site means to me. I've been here for almost two years now, but have just now worked up the nerve to speak up. Never before have a found a website, or a group of people, that does a better job of explaining the way I feel. At 36, I guess I'm finally coming to terms with the fact that I -need- this kind of relationship, and that I won't feel completely fulfilled or happy in a relationship that lacks this dynamic. I've been fighting it for too long, and that (in part) has already led to one failed marriage. I hope (by finally speaking out) that I will learn to accept this about myself. It helps so much to know that there are others out there that feel the same way.

Quiet no longer—Cori