Letters from Women
I divorced about a year ago after being married for almost thirty years and unhappy for at least the last five. I have been dating a man for several months and I am growing very fond of him. I am writing to you because he suggested I take a look at this site and let me know what I thought about it. I did exactly that telling him that I liked the idea of a man being so devoted to a woman really appealed to me. However, I also doubted that this sort of intense devotion was sustainable as he got older. He and I are both in our fifties.
What do you think about starting this late in life and how realistic is it to expect it can continue into our seventies and beyond.
Bev in New York
I confess that I do not personally know couples that are in their seventies and eighties practicing a female-led household. I am sure that this is because these couples were raised in a different era where there was not openness to new ideas in relationships the way that there is today.
However, I will definitely say that the gentleman you are dating is entering into a time in his life when many men finally acknowledge their submission. A man in his fifties has a lifetime of experience to know first-hand the superior leadership skills of women. He is also becoming more comfortable with who he is and less concerned with fitting a stereotypical mold than he is just being happy. A self-confident, experienced man is always more likely to submit than a younger man still trying to figure out who he is. If this man wants to submit to you and you are ready to accept his submission, by all means do so. In my opinion, it is likely that this will only strengthen your relationship over time and make the future a paradise for both of you.
I have noticed that your site is incredibly conservative and really focuses on the emotional closeness that a female-led household can bring to both couples. I wonder what your thoughts are on incorporating some of the activities that are more often associated with the stereotypical view of men submitting to women. Do you approve of activities such as these between a woman and her husband?
Unsigned in Florida
You listed a number of activities in your email that I edited before posting on this site. These are certain activities that are symbolic of the husbands feeling of complete submission to his wife. While we don’t spend a lot of time discussing these activities on this site, they are powerful tools for building the loving bond between a wife and her husband in a female led household.
Keep in mind that this site is reserved as a safe harbor to introduce these concepts to individuals who have never been exposed to the idea of loving female authority. Therefore, I generally avoid these topics altogether. That said, there is nothing wrong with these activities and they can be a healthy part of any relationship between consenting adults. Likewise, they can be avoided by any woman that decides that they are not for her or are only reserved for very special occasions. It is, as always, her prerogative.
In order to address these topics more thoroughly, I will do my best to respond to individual questions, but only to women, and only those that will put their request into some context by sharing a letter of their own exposure and experience with a wife led household. Email me here and put “Request for Information” in the Subject line. I will respond to all the female requests as quickly as possible, but we are so deluged by emails as it stands now, that I will warn you that I will not be able to answer men that ask me to make an exception to my rule.
Letters from Men
I have just discovered your site within the last couple of weeks, and I have now read every word of it at least twice. I feel like this site not only perfectly reflects how I have felt for a very long time, but it adds to my own understanding of who I am and how I relate to my wife. As much as for therapy as for anything else, I want to tell you about my own lifelong struggle to come to terms with my own submissive feelings.
I don’t know how I ever came to have submissive fantasies. My own mother certainly was not overbearing, I have no recollection of a strong female authority figure from my early life, and all in all I had what would be considered a very normal and healthy childhood. However, I know for a fact that the concept of a man submitting to a woman has excited me for a very long time. I have very specific memories of being fascinated by this idea even prior to puberty. When puberty hit, the idea entangled itself with my sexuality and this combination has affected my relationships, consciously or unconsciously, ever since.
I have spent years denying and fighting my submissive feelings. It seemed to me as if no good could come from them. Describing it now, it seems harmless enough. It mostly just takes the form of fantasies that play in my mind. Living with it, however, it seems more like an addiction. There is an uncomfortable quality of not being able to stop thinking about it. Because it is so prevalent in my mind, I have incredible guilt that I keep the secret from my wife. It is such a strong part of who I am, and she is completely clueless. Nothing about my interactions with her could ever have been considered submissive. If anything, I have been a trying and difficult husband.
After finding your site, I am amazed mostly at how I have been missing the obvious. My wife, whom I love deeply, is the perfect outlet for my submissive desires. What an incredibly powerful way to express my love for her, by devoting myself completely to her happiness.
While she will probably never understand the depth of my submissive feelings, I have now resolved that I am going to begin a period of serving her (what you call stealth submission) and eventually get up the nerve to tell her about this site.
Unsigned in Georgia
I predict now that you will enjoy the beginning of your stealth submission immensely, but you will ultimately crave her conscious knowledge she is in charge. I see you becoming the loving, devoted, submissive husband that you were always meant to be.
Do you feel that the principles you talk about on your website would work if the gender roles were reversed? In other words, do you think that a man could be exercise loving authority over his wife?
Bill in New Mexico
My answer is a qualified, no. I won’t say that anything is impossible, and I am certain that there are many happy couples where the husband plays the part of the old-fashioned head of the household. However, I think there are a couple of good reasons why this is not right for most people.
One, women tend to be better decision-makers than men. They tend to more patient, less impulsive, and more empathetic in the way they dole out responsibilities. I think that they have many natural leadership qualities which make them the right choice to run the household.
Two, I think that for most men, submitting to the authority of their wives unleashes such a genuine and intense sense of well-being that will never be realized in a traditional relationship. Whether this is a natural, genetic trait of men I have no idea. I just know that it is an extremely common trait, even among those that never expected to experience it.
Just a quick note to tell you that I have never been happier in my marriage. I agonized for years thinking not being able to share my feelings with my wife and thinking that I was the only one in the entire universe that had these feelings.
I discovered your site about six months ago. Even having read every word on the site, I remained reluctant to come forward. Then one day, about three months ago, we were both watching a television show where the female character was dressed in leather. My wife noticed how my attention perked up when the character appeared. She joking asked me if I went for the dominant type.
Little did she know what she was unleashing. I told her that in fact my greatest fantasy would be submitting to her. She agreed that she would give it a try, but she still didn’t quite get what I was after. I still think she only wanted to role play with a leather outfit in the bedroom. If I did not have your site which I could immediately send her to, I would not have know how to truly express my feelings to her.
To make a long story short, I now do all the laundry, all the shopping and all the cooking. She still has plenty to do just to keep our head above water, but she really appreciates the new twist in our marriage. She is growing in comfort level to tell me what she expects, and I am growing in my comfort level for letting her lead me. It is absolutely the greatest time of my life.
Clark in California
Most women are so confused about this topic. We are glad that our site can offer some honest advice about the realities of a female led household and we are glad we were there when you needed us.
I have seen the move to mainstream wife-led households referred to as the Around Her Finger Movement on blogs and in forums. Do you feel like you are driving some sort of societal change and that it is important to grow the number of wife-led households.
This is the first that I am hearing of this, but I don't doubt that it exists. I think that many people who believe in a principle or idea feel the obligation to share that idea and advocate its practice wtih others. Emily and I discussed this, and I think that we both agree that our objective is first and foremost to provide a resource to those that already know that this is the type of relationship that they desire. To the extent that we believe there are many, many men that secretly dream of submitting to their wives and believe they are the only ones in the world with these thoughts, then yes, we would like to reach those men. In doing so we will clearly be driving growth in female-led households. However, we do not see ourselves as champions of a matriarchal society in the sense that the term movement implies. We know that loving female authority works for us, we suspect it could work for many if not most marriages, but we do not see ourselves as champions of any sort of grand cause. We are just one couple that wants to offer our experience to others that seek the same sort of success that we enjoy.
I got married ten months ago to a beautiful woman that I had been dating for about three years prior to our wedding. We had a great relationship from the start. The energy level of the relationship started out supercharged, like many do, as we were just sort of discovering each other. Then we went from the discovery phase to the wedding planning so the energy never really had a chance to diminish. It was only after being married a couple of months that we started to experience the withdrawals of all that energy. It’s not that we had any particular problem. It’s just that it dawned on both of us that the honeymoon was very literally over and now we had to get on with the reality of getting along together in a shared household.
About this time, unknown to me, someone made my wife aware of your site. She still won’t tell me who it was, but I have my suspicions. In any event, she started changing her behavior around the house. She was a little more playful sexually, but ultimately she was turning into an incredible tease. She was keeping me on edge constantly, and although I never would have predicted it, I loved it. She had me waiting on her hand and foot, doting on her constantly, and sexually it became all about her.
One night as I was kneeling in front of her rubbing lotion into her feet, she asked me if I had noticed any changes in our relationship. I had to confess that I had. She had become much more assertive and demanding of me, and I had never been happier in my life. She told me that she had very consciously made these changes, and she too was happier. She asked me to go to the computer and read through your site. When I was done I was to come back and discuss my reaction with her. I can tell you that my reaction was somewhere between confusion and euphoria. Even after reading your site, I didn’t understand why a female led household had such an appeal to me, but it felt so absolutely natural, that from that moment on I couldn’t imagine any other arrangement.
She made it clear to me that night that she had never loved me more. She would be in control in our marriage, I would be expected to obey her, but we would go on loving each other with just as much intensity as ever. Now, about nine months later, nothing has changed. We are the happiest couple in the universe. I owe it all to your site and whoever it was that first made her aware of it.
Carl, it sounds like you are off to a great start. Your letter is one of a handful that we have received from newlyweds. We have published some of these letters in Emily’s new book designed especially for new brides called The New Bride’s Guide to Training Her Husband. It is sort of a tongue and cheek title that repackages much of what has already been said in my first book along with some fresh content geared at women entering into new marriage.
Wednesday, August 03, 2005
Letters from Women
I love your site. I heard it mentioned on a morning radio show, and I had to check it out for myself. The ideas really appeal to me, but your site does little to counsel women like me that want to suggest something like this to their husband as opposed to the other way around. Do you have any ideas for women like me?
Mary Beth in Atlanta
You are right in saying that our site is more focused on men who struggle with introducing these ideas to women than the other way around. I think you will find our book more balanced on this topic, but that said, I want to offer you some insights and suggestions on how you can move toward a female led household in your marriage.
First, know that most men will subject themselves to the authority of their wives if the wife is patient enough to nurture the husband’s submission. The nurturing process begins in the bedroom. Tell him at the onset of an intimate moment that you want to try something new, that you want him to follow you lead. If he refuses, just make sure that you withhold romantic attention from him until such a time that he wants to cooperate.
Have him strip naked. Have him give you a long massage. Be very forceful and explicit in terms of your expectations from him. Get him used to the idea that you are going to tell him what to do. Tell him that you want him to make sure that you receive your pleasure first and only then you will take care of him.
When you are ready to give him his attention, go very slowly. Use your hands and some lubrication to bring him close to his orgasm, but do not let him release. When he is on the brink of his climax he will do anything that you say. Tell him that you liked the way that things go when you are in charge in the bedroom and you want to continue experimenting with him. Make him commit that he will continue to allow you to be in charge of how the lovemaking goes for the foreseeable future. After he commits, reward him by letting him have his climax. You can either choose to bring him to climax with your hands or you can then allow him to penetrate you.
The next time that you are intimate with him follow a similar pattern. Keep this up for at least several weeks. If he resists, you may have to withhold intimacy from him until he finally comes around. Eventually he will, believe me. After this pattern has become routine, select a night where everything goes according to plan, up to and until the point that he is about to climax. On this night, hold out on him. Make him commit to do something around the house that he has been reluctant to do. When he commits, reward him as you promised. If he fails to commit to your request, simply deny him his orgasm.
By continuing this association of his orgasm with his willingness to obey you in the bedroom, you are setting the stage for expanding your female authority to other parts of your life.
As you move along with these techniques, you are eventually going to have to have a conversation with him about how your newfound authority makes him feel. To set the stage for this conversation, you need to let him know that you plan on keeping him on edge for a few nights. Tell him that it will all be worth it in the end.
To set the stage, give him an actual hardcopy list of your expectations for three consecutive nights. Make certain that the list includes household chores, romantic tasks (pouring you a glass of wine as you sit together in the evening, giving you foot rubs, massages), and finally… sexual tasks. The sexual task can be whatever you desire, but they should be about your pleasure and your pleasure alone. Also, anything that you can do in constructing these tasks to emphasize his submission adds a wonderful addition. For example, don’t just tell him to go down on you for one hour, tell him to “kneel before you” and go down on you for an hour. Better yet, have him lay you on your stomach with a pillow beneath your hips and go down on you from behind. This is a wonderful position for emphasizing a man’s submission.
After three nights of this truly selfless and loving behavior on his part, so long as you can assure that he is not masturbating outside of your presence, he will be absolutely prepared for what you will tell him. Remember, as is emphasized throughout this site, you cannot mince words when you speak to him. You need to tell him what you want and what you expect. You will be, in no uncertain terms, the head of the household. You expect him to embrace his role as the submissive partner in the marriage. Outwardly, very little will change in the relationship. Inwardly, there will always be a shared knowledge that your opinions and wishes are to be respected in the home as the final say on any matter.
After he has heard you out, get him to talk about his feelings. Suggest to him that he look at this site. Grow together in your new relationship.
You have a lot of very positive stories on your site from couples that have followed your suggestions and put the wife in charge of their relationship. At the risk of revealing my skepticism, I wonder if you have any bad stories. My husband has recently approached me, and I am a little weary about trying this out.
Shelly in Rhode Island
You certainly don’t have to apologize for your skepticism. This entire site exists largely because we anticipate your skepticism about ideas that seem so radical given your upbringing and your understanding of how relationships are supposed to work.
Truth be told, we have never received a letter recounting a negative experience. That does not mean that there haven’t been any, but I suspect that it at least suggests that they are in the vast minority. Go back and re-read our site carefully. Nothing has to happen that you do not want to happen. You are in charge of everything, including the pace and intensity of how you implement your authority in the relationship. If you choose not to try anything at all, that is also your prerogative. In my opinion it will be a missed opportunity for your husband and more importantly for you, but it is your prerogative nonetheless.
My husband suggested that I look at your site about two months ago. It was such a casual suggestion on his part, that I ignored his request altogether until about a week later when he asked if I had yet had a chance to look at it yet. I finally took the time and was pretty shocked at what I saw. I wasn’t shocked in the sense that the content was anything over the top. To the contrary, it was pretty low key and it absolutely makes sense. I was shocked in the sense that he approached me with it. I’m sort of the typical soccer Mom, he’s sort of the typical suburban Dad. He’s out to work every morning with a “bye, honey” and home in the afternoon with a “hi, honey.” I never imagined that he was secretly keeping all of these submissive fantasies about me.
We talked about it for a long time. He has no idea why is he this way, but he’s had these submissive thoughts since before he met me. He’s just kept them hidden from me and everybody else. The night after I read your site was the best we ever communicated. I think I really understand where he is coming at with his need to submit to me, and I am totally convinced that our relationship (probably any relationship) will work better with the woman in charge. We have adopted the principle of loving female authority in our marriage with great success.
Ironically, I think I have always been some what dominant in our marriage. I suspect that my strong personality is part of what initially attracted him to me. As you have suggested, however, the dominant personality alone is not enough for my husband. My honey do lists used to annoy him, but not anymore. Before they were nagging, now they are something else entirely. I truly understand the benefits of cementing our roles with a formal conversation. Telling him that I would be in charge and he was expected to obey me was the greatest gift I could give him. Thank you so much for your advice.
Amy in California
I loved your letter and could not agree more with the sentiment you expressed in your last paragraph. I think you see how that is a recurring theme with the women that write into this site.
I am getting married next spring and wanted to share with you a success story that your website has spawned for at least one set of newlyweds to be. As part of what he called full disclosure, my fiancé confessed to me that he has had a very long-held interest in a female led household. I didn’t even know what he meant by the term until he gave me the confessional CD that he got off of your site.
I was initially shocked by not only the fact that there are men that genuinely want a relationship like the one you describe on your site, but also by the fact that my fiancé was one of them. I listened to your CD, I read your book, I read everything on your site, but I still remained uncertain that this was right for me. After all, this is definitely not the way I pictured my marriage working out. I was raised and still remain a pretty conservative Midwestern girl. However, my mind was open, and now I am completely sold on the idea. Let me share with you the process with which I came to be convinced that both I and my future husband will be happiest in a female led household. I think it will help to convince a lot of other skeptical women that this sort of a relationship offers everything you promise.
After getting myself educated on this topic, I finally sat down to discuss it with my fiancé. We agreed that we would try a one week, modified boot camp approach like the one you lay out in the book. If it worked out, I would continue to incorporate loving female authority into our marriage, if not, I would agree to indulge his interests playfully in the future, but only as temporary and very self-contained adventures in the bedroom. Otherwise, our relationship would be just like it always was. Honestly, I thought that there was no way it would work out. I fully expected to enjoy the week, but I also thought that after seven days of chasing his tail doing all of my errands and seeing to all of my comforts, he would have had his fill of it. Was I ever wrong.
We don’t officially live together, but just the same he practically spends all of his waking and sleeping hours at my apartment. For the boot camp week, I made it official that I wanted him to stay away from his apartment and spend all his time, with the exception of work, at mine. I gave him lists of things to do around my place. I really didn’t think he could follow through on everything as the list was so long, but on the first morning, he woke up at 4:30 to get started. He did everything I asked plus things I didn’t ask him to do. When I woke up on that first morning, all of apartment was cleaned, my laundry had been washed folded and (where it needed it) ironed. He also had made coffee, prepared breakfast, and laid out my clothes (which he helped me into after I got out of the shower). After work, I went out for a drink with a friend to give him a little extra time to get home and prep for me. When I got home he greeted me at the door and led me to the couch where he proceeded to give me a foot massage. When I was ready, I had him open me a bottle of wine and serve me dinner. The after dinner massages and the (extremely unselfish) sex that followed was icing on the cake.
The next day, and the next day, and all the days that followed during that week pretty much went the same. What’s more, he was opening up and communicating with me like I had flipped a switch in him. At the end of the week my decision was easy. Not only did I enjoy my week in charge much more than I imagined that I would, I would never imagine having it any other way. Just as you suggest, I told him in no uncertain terms that from that point on I would expect him to obey me and respect my authority. In the weeks and months that have followed nothing has changed. We have never been happier and I never would have imagined that this would have worked so well.
Pam in Ohio
Pam, on so many counts, you are an incredibly lucky woman. You are lucky to be marrying such a wonderful man and lucky he confessed his desire to serve you before you got married rather than after. So many men never confess their heart's desire, but his courage will lead to a better marriage for both of you.
On a related note, I have written a new book that is especially tailored to new brides. I’m sure it will make a great wedding shower gift for some of your friends! You can find it at our Lulu store by following this link:
Letters from Men
After reading through your site, I think I may represent the exception to the rule. My wife is the one that introduced these concepts into my marriage. I had no idea that men were happily submitting to their wives in the way that I now do to mine. She more or less followed suggestions laid out in the story-line of your book, and it worked like a charm on me.
In retrospect, it is so blatantly obvious that this is a better way to relate to one another. How can any relationship work when two strong-headed people are constantly negotiating over who will get their way. Now I concede that she is in charge and I just dutifully follow along. It’s funny that I’ve always been the guy at work that said just tell me what to do, and I’ll do it and do it well. At home, I was the guy that said tell me what to do and I won’t do it at all. It’s amazing the freedom that I have found since just acknowledging that she is better suited to be in control than I am. I have discovered a better way of living and a more fulfilling emotional relationship as well. Thanks so much for this site.
Miles in Nevada
Thank you, Miles, for the kind words.
My wife and I actually established a female led household long before we heard of your site. I am fifty-eight and my wife is fifty-two. We have been living this way for about eighteen years. For us, it has been an incredible joy. Nothing makes me happier than doing things which please her, which in turn makes her incredibly happy. It is the perfect relationship.
One of the things that I have noticed is that we have gotten older and more accustomed to our respective roles, she has become increasingly demanding of me. She now does virtually no housework. She busies herself with her hobbies and interests and I busy myself cooking, cleaning, doing yard work and all the other things that running the household requires.
I wanted to share a story that I think your readers might find interesting. Once a month, my wife invites a group of her girlfriends over to the house and I prepare and serve them an entire meal. She does not life a single finger. Although none of her friends know about the depth of my submission to her, they all know that she is clearly the one that is in charge in our household. These monthly dinners only serve to reinforce this perception.
As her guests arrive, I greet them at the door and offer them a cocktail and show them a place to sit down and relax. As they sit down I bring them our appetizers on a tray and refill their drinks. I let them know when it is time for dinner and pull out the chairs for each of them. They always make comments about how well behaved I am, but always in a playful sense. They have no idea how fulfilling it is for me to serve my wife in this way by putting my submission on display in front of all of them. After our meals, the women retire to the living room for after dinner drinks as I clean up and put away all the dishes.
I ordinarily retire to my room to read or watch TV after cleaning up the dishes. On one night, however, my wife called me back out to the living room. Most of her friends had already left, but her best friend remained behind finishing off a bottle of white wine with my wife. I walked into the room and asked my wife what I could do for her. She pointed to the bottle of wine sitting on the coffee table right in front of me and instructed me to top off her glass and the glass of her friend. Now this bottle was immediately in front of both of them, they would only have had to bend forward to reach it. Furthermore their glasses were nearly full. Calling me down from the bedroom to top of their glasses was clearly a blatant demonstration of her authority over me. I poured the glasses as requested and asked if there was anything else I could do. She shocked me by telling me yes, I could go get the lotion and give her a foot rub. Ordinarily, when we were alone together, this was a standard request. She had never, however, had me do this in front of someone else. I noticed her casting a glance at her friend that seemed to say, “See, I told you so.”
When I returned to the room I knelt before her and removed her shoes. As I began rubbing the lotion into her feet she confessed that she had told her friend about the nature of our relationship. She said she was doing it because she felt that her friend could improve her own marriage if she would only consider implementing these ideas with her husband. We have given her your book and talked about your website with her. I think it is now only a matter of time before her husband becomes the next lucky initiate into the world of loving female authority.
Gil in Ontario
We don’t typically advocate letting others in on the nature of your relationship, but it sounds as if they may end up working out for everyone involved. Please let us know how it works out. Also, I love the idea of the monthly dinner parties. There is nothing that makes many women happier than public demonstrations of affection and respect.