Thursday, June 29, 2006
Letters from Women
A friend of mine at work told me that her husband bought her your book and asked her if she was willing to give all your ideas a try. I have been hearing stories about their "Boot Camp" for the last couple of weeks, and it's apparently going very well. However, this is not the point of my letter.
One night, I told my husband about all of this. He doesn't know this woman, so I didn't feel too guilty telling him. Honestly, I just told him because I thought he would get a kick out of it and think that it was funny. His reaction really surprised me. He said that he understood it completely and was always turned on by the idea of being controlled by a woman. He had never mentioned anything about this to me in the past. We have never even done the handcuff thing in the bedroom.
I sort of let it slide, but he has kept bringing it up by asking how my friend is doing with it. My question to you is whether or not you think my husband might be submissive. I would love to get your thoughts.
I do think your husband is submissive. I happen to think most men have submissive feelings, some just suppress them more than others. In your husband's case, he is opening the door to you. The next time he mentions the topic, tell him you want him to read through the website (he may have already done so) and get his thoughts.
Assuming that his enthusiasm remains in place, take the steps that we recommend to assume a leadership role in the home. You should not have to be the one that initiates this dynamic in your marriage, but it appears to me that your husband desires it, and I think you will both be better off for exploring it together.
One final thought, you mentioned that your husband had always been "turned on" by the idea of a woman controlling him. It is important to realize that loving female authority is more than just a sexual dynamic, it is a relationship dynamic with a sexual component. While he is undoubtably turned-on by the idea of submitting to you, the desire to serve you is deeper and more comprehensive than you might even realize. As you grow into this relationship with your husband, you will come to understand this very well.
My husband and I married eighteen years ago. Up until three years ago, we had a very typical marriage and a reasonably healthy sex life. At that time I was diagnosed with breast cancer and went through a very difficult year before I was able to beat the disease and start to get my life back to normal.
During the illness, my husband was very supportive and very loving. After I was well into my recovery, he remained so. However, there was now very little sexual intimacy in our marriage. It was as if he had stopped thinking of me romantically during that time. This went on for a very long time, and while we did have sex a few times during this period, it was always because I initiated it, and it seemed very inhibited relative to our old love life.
At the beginning of this year, he presented me with the confessional CD and the Around Her Finger book. While I admit that I was totally taken back, I was very open-minded about the ideas, and was honestly impressed that he chose to communicate these feelings with me. We implemented the ideas that you suggested in your materials, and we were both incredibly happy with the results.
Loving female authority allowed us the opportunity to regain the intimacy that the long illness had robbed from our marriage. If anything surprised me by following your program, it was the degree to which the new dynamic served as an aphrodesiac to both of us. There is something incredibly sexy about control and obedience. It also opened up dialogue and communication in a way that I did not anticipate.
I have no particular questions, I just wanted to write to thank you for your site and encourage other women to be open-minded to these ideas. They have certainly worked for us, even under extraordinary circumstances.
Paige in California
Thank you for your wonderful letter. I am very pleased to read about your recovery as well as the renewal of intimacy after your ordeal. You and your husband are a very fortunate couple. It is important that others read success stories such as yours and know that these opportunities exist in their own marriages as well.
I have a question you can help me with. Our oldest son, who is attending college, will be home for several weeks before he returns to school. In the past, when our sons were home, my husband and I have been very careful not to reveal to much about my role as the head-of-the-house. But several days ago my husband asked me if I would allow him to be more open about his role. He would prefer our son know that their father willingly does all of the housework, the bulk of the cooking, and defers all the major decisions to me. I suspect both our sons know, and have known, their father is very submissive to me, but he has never been completely open with them about his household responsibilities. What do you think?
I am agreeable but wonder about any lasting ramifications. Both my sons are much more like me than their father -outgoing, self-assured, intelligent, attractive - but I do not want to embarrass them by revealing too much about their father's submissiveness. I would love to hear you opinion.
Wendy in Texas
Wendy, my instinct would be to not discuss these issues with your children. They should be able to see that their father respects his mother, contributes to the household chores, and treats all women with the dignity they deserve. Knowledge of the deeper dynamics of your wife-led relationship would, in opinion, only serve to confuse them. Consider all the care that most men undertake when introducing loving female authority to their wives because they are afraid of how it may be misinterpreted. I would be at least as concerned about misunderstandings and misinterpretations with your grown children.
If they should ever approach him with specific questions, he might choose to be more candid. However, under the circumstances, I can see no good reason to volunteer these details of your relationship.
Letters from Men
Dear Emily and Ken,
I am almost shocked at the existence of your website. I thought I was the only one that craved this sort of information. I have been VERY aware that I was submissive as long as I can remember. In my early twenties, years before the internet even existed, I would seek out pornographic material related to dominant female women as I thought that this was the answer to these feelings that I had. It wasn't. I soon became bored with it, and was left with no way to deal with these thoughts.
As the internet has come along, I have gone back to dabbling in the pornography, but I have a very definate sense that it seems to not only be out of step with my values, but it also does nothing but leave me feeling empty. This is why I say that I am shocked by the existence of your site. It is different from anything that I have ever seen before.
I bought your book and gave it to my wife to read. I guess I am surprised to say that she is willing to try the Boot Camp. We are going to start it when we get back from a vacation after the week of July 4th. Your other readers might be interested to know that I thought there was a very small chance that my wife would be open to these ideas. It was only the weight of thirty-plus years of carrying the burden of my submission in secret that gave me the confidence to share the book with her.
I will let you know how it goes.
Carl in Long Island
I think that there are very few men that have a high degree of confidence that there wives will be open to loving female authority when they share these ideas with them. Despite this reality, we have received letters every month since we have been running this letters section from men and women that have embraced the model of the wife-led marriage for the first time. Let us know how your Boot Camp goes and how it ends up resulting in long-term changes in your marriage. I have every confidence that it will be a positive experience for both you and your wife.
Thanks for your words of advice a couple of months ago (I'd made a financial mess and handed control to my wife - remember?). Everything is so much better now, and she has whipped our accounts into shape (and me in the process, and I love it!).
An online discussion raged hotly on the Sydney Morning Herald website here today that I thought you would be very interested in - it dealt with "Who Wears the Pants in your relationship?" and the number of clearly dominant women and acquiescent men who came out of the woodwork was quite a revelation!
Mark in Melbourne
Great news on your relationship with your wife, Mark. Your experience is more evidence that yielding financial control opens the door to marital control. I also loved the article for which you submitted the link. Maybe our readers will take a moment to email the author and let her know that resources such as our site exist to help the men that are actively seeking relationships like those described in the article.
Wow! Finally a site that discusses submissive husbands and their desire to serve their wives without all the hard core porn stuff. Thanks. I've ordered your book and downloaded your CDs and am figuring out how to proceed.
The difficulty lies in previous attempts at submission. I do all the housework, cleaning, bill paying, lawn mowing, etc so there is little reason for her to "control" me in an attempt to relieve her of household duties. A lack of sex drive doesn't lead to any extra benefits for her in the bedroom except me not initiating sex.In a nutshell, I really enjoy submitting to her and love it when she controls our sexual intimacy. The problem is that she has little or no sex drive which results in her not "thinking sexually" (her words) and virtually no desire to tease me and deny me orgasms etc.
On your site you state the following:
A submissive husband craves sexual energy (which you can feel free to read as sexual "attention") from his wife as much as or more than he craves physical sex. He can go without the physical sex for extended periods of time, but he needs the sexual energy to feel satisfied.
In my marriage, there is no sexual energy just a tension that she feels because I'm doing all these things for her. There is no "payoff" for me.
Thoughts, advice....help please.
It all begins with communication. It sounds like she is already getting a lot out of your stealth submission. Your service to her is appropriate, but as you realize, it is unsatisfying.
You need to make her understand what is missing for you in your marriage. Talk to her. Let her first know that you feel that there is a lack of sexual intimacy in the marriage that is leaving you unsatisfied. Make sure that she realizes that you are not merely talking about the quantify of sexual intercourse in which you engage, but something else entirely. Position loving female authority as an answer to this problem.
Remember that Emily and I do not advocate that you simply serve your wife and learn to live with the lack of intimacy that comes from doing so in a vacuum. We advocate a model that also makes her responsible for your very real need to know and sense her authority. This is the approach that will make you both the happiest in the long run.
I will say it again, it all begins with communication.
Note About the New CafePress Shop:
Many of you may have noticed that we put our logo on some merchandise available at the link that follows this announcement. We are hoping that some of you would be willing to spread the word by wearing the AroundHerFinger.com apparel that is being offered on the site.
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
Thursday, June 01, 2006
Letters from Women
I first want to thank you for your site. My husband and I have now been practicing a female-led marriage for about thirteen months. He sent me an email link to your site and asked me what I thought. My initial thought was that of course I would want something like this, but it can never really work. In the long run, I figured he would tire of the concept and it would have been a two-week fad. Now that we are into it for over a year, I really think it has the potential to last forever.
I continue to be amazed at how easily we have both adopted to our new roles. My question for you is how far I can take this? Are there any practical limits to what I can ask him to do and put up with from me? I love him and want us both to be happy, but I feel as though I have been reserved with some of my demands and expectations. I have this fear that the whole thing will blow up in my face if I push it too far. What do you think?
Jen in California
I wrote a fairly lengthy reply to your letter which discussed establishing boundaries based on love and your mutual best interests. While this was all very true, I have deleted that reply as I feel that the content in this reply was largely self-evident. I feel like your letter affords me an opportunity to make a more critical point by simply answering your letter in a more concise, emphatic reply. I will be happy to answer the question with more precision if you provide some more details as to your intentions, but for now you can consider the following to be truth given some reasonable assumptions:
No, there are no real limits to how far you can push your husband. Enjoy!
My husband and I have been married for two years living what was a very conventional, traditional marriage. He bought me the New Bride's Guide (originally claiming that someone had left it in the drawer in a hotel in which he was staying on business), and handed it to me to ask what I thought. Long story short, we just completed the two week boot camp idea, and have decided to go forward with this dynamic in our marriage. I remain cautiously optimistic that we can stick with it. I had no idea this would appeal to him, but after two years of picking up after him and living as if I was the submissive one, there is no way that I'm going back.
Here is my problem. During the boot camp, he did all the laundry, housecleaning, cooking, etc., but he did a terrible job. He has machine-washed clothes that are only to have been dry-cleaned, he makes the bed and it looks like it was made by a child, and his cooking and cleaning is just not up to my standards. Is this a common problem? Is there a way to fix it?
Unsigned in Indiana
It is a wonder that we do not hear this complaint more often. Household work used to be referred to ceremoniously as Domestic Arts, and this was not without reason. I think the quality of domestic work is often taken for granted by the men in traditional marriages, and you are living this pain in your current situation.
The important thing is that he is committed to your authority. Use the same techniques to manage improvements in the quality of his service to you as you would use to maintain his obedience to you in general. Set goals, provide him coaching, reading materials, class-room training... anything it takes to get his domestic skills up to the level you expect. It is not that he is incapable of doing the work at your standards, it is more likely that he is not aware of precisely what is expected of him. We did receive one letter from a woman that hired a professional housekeeper for two days to come in and work with her husband to understand what was expected. Maybe this is an option for you.
The following was not a letter, but was rather a review posted for Around Her Finger on the Lulu.com website (http://www.lulu.com/content/36837). We are reprinting it here because (in addition to being shameless promotion) the content is very relevant to those of you considering the ideas we advocate on the site:
I bought this book and read it after my husband (then fiancé) showed signs of wanting me to lead our household. After reading it by myself the first time, I talked with him about it, and then he read the book. Afterward he told me the book described just what he wanted, and our lives changed for the better from then on. We were happy before, but now we're both completely satisfied with our marriage and how we run our household. I'm the leader, but he's not just a follower. We consult each other, and I feel heard, listened to, and understood, not to mention that even my mother, who's been married for more than 40 years, has asked me what my secret is!
I highly recommend this book to anyone who's considering getting married or who's been married for quite a while, like my parents. It's never too late! All you need is an open mind and a willingness to try new things. You'll be glad you did; I guarantee it!
Letters From Men
What a remarkable site.
I wish this site had been around back in 1990 when my first wife and I struggled with my submission.
My question is about sexual intercourse. Should a submissive husband ask permission to have sex? Should he always wait for hs wife to establish when or if at all? Obviously I understand the reality that it's always up to her, moreover, how she establishes those guidelines is the law of the land, but what is the best way under all or most conditions to approach your wife about this subject?
This is a very good question. We certainly advocate that the wife be in charge of sexual intimacy of any sort, but not all women want to be responsible for initiating this activity. There are a number of very good ways to manage this issue, and you can choose from among those options or determine if there are other strategies that might work for you.
If a wife does not feel comfortable verbally dictating the sexual game plan, she can devise different "tells" that allow the husband to follow her lead. You may recall from a previous letters section where the wife had the pebbles in the two jars next to the bed which dictated whether or not the husband was to have an orgasm on any given night. You could also devise similar cues for all levels of intimacy. For example, if you are rubbing her feet in the evenings, she may tap your head, or even just lay back and open her legs to indicate that desires you to go down on her. She might pull on your hair while you are between her legs to let you know she is ready for intercourse. There may be yet another sign which lets you know you have permission to orgasm.
Alternatively, she may want you to initiate the various stages of sexual activity and exercise her control by rebuking your advances at any stage she sees fit.
While it seems in principle that she should be the one that initiates sexual activity, this is by no means a hard fast rule. In fact, I doubt that it is even typical in wife-led relationships. I would welcome feedback on this topic and will post additional letters from readers that add clarity to this question.
I gave your book to my wife as part of her Valentines Day gift. I sent it to her via email, also telling her how I wished to recapture the excitement of our early relationship, that I trusted her and that I love her. I told her I had already read the book and agreed with most of it and asked her to tell me what she thought of it. I haven't heard a word about it or any changes in her since. Can you advise? Should I take the lack of any sort of a response as a signal that she is unwilling to explore this subject?
I think your wife's lack of response is an indication that she is uncomfortable with the subject rather than a sign that she is disinterested. She may in fact be disinterested, but you owe it to yourself to know that rather than assume it. Communication is difficult in any relationship, and communication about subjects that take people outside of their comfort zone is particularly challenging. That said, you owe it to yourself to ask your wife outright what she thought of the material. Engage her in a discussion that provides you an opportunity to better understand her concerns but also a chance for her to better understand your deep interest and commitment to these ideas.
Some women, when casually approached about this subject, assume that their husbands are suggesting it as just another opportunity to temporarily spice up their love life. They do not realize that most submissive husbands take these ideas much more seriously than their wives can know.
Talk to her. Be active in your approach now that your passive approach did not achieve the desired result.