Hi Emily, This is Jessica. You may remember a couple of months ago when I wrote you and asked advice on a dispute my hubby and I were having considering whether our five year old would go the expensive private school that I wanted or the public school which my husband desired. Well I basically followed your advice and wanted to tell you the results.
A couple of weeks ago I simply made the decision for us and went to the private school and filled out the paperwork and left them a down payment. In the week preceding this action on my part, I had been playing the role of a tease to my husband, constantly giving him sexual innuendos and the occassional sensual caress and love pats, but denied him any real sexual intimacy or release. By about the 7th or 8th day of these actions he was really going nuts and eating out of the palm of my hand, doing anything to please me. The same night that I had been to the school I had him give me a sensual massage in our bed, while I wore nothing but a G-string.
While massaging me I made the comments about how I so loved being in control in our marriage, and that I had never been happier, and he agreed. When he finished I instructed him to pull off my G-string and as he did so, I told him how I had went to the school and made the down payment. He flinched for a moment but then looked lovingly into my eye and said, "Well of course it was your decison to make, Dear, and if that's your decision I will support you."
Well, right after that, Emily, we had the most wonderful night of passion we'd ever had. We made love with me on top and both felt afterwards like I had just merged him completely into me, and broken him of any resistance he would ever have to my authority. Words can't describe what we both experienced that night, it was simply awesome. Since then he has been servicing me on an unbelievable level, not only carrying out my instructions but not even having to ask him to do something in the first place.
On a completely different topic I want to ask you about a situation I have at my college where I am finishing up a degree. I needed to get a tutor for one of my classes and was assigned to one, but it was in a group session. I found that the tutor was not giving me enough individual attention, and felt he seemed irritated at my constantly asking him questions.
Well, last week, merely by accident, I went to the session wearing a sexy revealing tank top and short jean skirt, and his attitude was completely changed. He was constantly at my beck and call, almost to the point that I was embarrased for him because the others needing tutoring seemed to notice the disproportionate treatment I was getting. Several times I caught him staring at my legs or stealing glimpses down my top. Ordinarily I might have been offended, but it is an advanced math class and I really need the help!
I felt a little guilty about manipulating this man and told my husband about the incident. To my surprise, my husband encourged me to keep this up until the semester was over, telling me its just harmless fun and that I really did need to make sure I passed the class, so why not? He even took me shopping to buy a couple of sexy outfits to wear! Emily, my basic question is: Should I feel guilty about manipulating a man in this way to get him to do my tutorial bidding? I am after all married and have no real intention of giving him what he wants, but this whole experience has me feeling so empowered. I'm really enjoying it!
Should I keepit up, just to get the grade, or should I cool it out of principal?
Thanks in advance for the advice,
Jessica, this is a wonderful letter in so many ways. I have gone back and re-read your original letter as it was posted in the March 2006 letters section. I saw that you already had an established, if not perfect, wife-led marriage prior to this incident. I think it is wonderful that you used orgasm management techniques to achieve your goals with your submissive husband. We all forget at times that submissive men, like all men, can be moody. While submissive men know on many levels - intellectually, emotionally, and even spiritually - that they are happier when in a state of submission to their wives, they are still vicitms of their own male temper and emotions. While this is understandable, it is not acceptable. You took the right actions in bringing your husband back to the submissive role in which he belongs and most importantly that he desires. You did not make the mistake of misinterpreting his defiance as a sign that he was becoming less enthusiastic about a wife-led relationship. You interpreted it as a short-term frustration and dealt with it accordingly. Next time you may choose to deal with his attitude problems more firmly at the time he disobeys you. Either approach will work.
Secondly, the story of your husband's enthusiasm for your flirtatious behavior with this male tutor is quite interesting. It is very typical that submissive men are excited by expressions of their wive's sexuality outside the marriage. Many submissive men report that they become aroused and their submission intensified when they observe other men flirting with their wives and vice versa. Just be very, very careful as you are playing with fire and should keep the loving relationship with your husband as your ultimate objective.
I have a question for you. My husband had told me over a year ago that he wanted me to assume the position of head of the household. He explained, even if I still do not totally understand it, that he had been submissive all is life and that his submission to me is an expression of love for me. I read the Around Her Finger book, kept an open mind, and agreed to everything that you recommended.
For the most part, it has been great. It has been even better than I expected. He is more willing to talk and communicate, much more helpful around the house, less argumentative and overall, just a better husband. Sometimes, though, he doesn't seem to be with the program. Just the other day he snapped at me when he saw that I had purchased some expensive houseplants I had been wanting.
Was his submission a passing fad? What can I do? I was getting way too used to the new him.
Kelly in Virginia
As I pointed out in my response to the last letter, submissive men are just like all men, and their day to day lives can drive mood swings that can cause lapses in their submission. Recharge your husband's batteries by having him kneel before you and reminding him of your respective roles in the marriage. Tell him again how he wanted a wife-led marriage, and now he has one. Give him a long list of tasks to complete and explain that you want intimate massages from him every night until you, and you alone, decide that he is attitude is sufficiently repaired that you will allow him his own sexual release.
Dear Emily and Ken,
I've just read and reviewed a book called The Surrendered Wife by Laura Doyle. It's concepts remind me of Around Her Finger, except one major difference: Doyle claims it should be the husband who manages everything, and the wife should say, and I quote, "Whatever you think," to all his decisions. This, according to her, makes him feel more masculine and lets him know she values, trusts, and respects his decisions. However, since I've been using the Around Her Finger strategies, my marriage has been fulfilling for both my husband and me. And no, we're not going to give up our happy marriage to try this!
I'm just wondering how or why this author can claim such success with her Man-in-control-and-woman-following-along-like-a-puppy method. She claims over 100,000 women have tried being Surrendered Wives and found success. She also claims to be a feminist and "former shrew," as she puts it. She does say the wife should relinquish "inappropriate control," but also that "If you think you're going to surrender in every way but financially, think again." So she truly does want the man doing everything and the woman just going along with whatever he says. Sorry, but I don't think so!
But can she claim this because all marriages are different, and there might actually be men who can be the head of a household? Or is it just a crock of bull in the form of another author expressing her extremely biased opinion? (One more thing, she says this is Biblical, which it is, but who ever said the Bible wasn't open to interpretation!) I truly don't get it. Any help would be great.
Very disturbed . . .
Emily responds...I have passed on responding to Surrendered Wives questions on this forum for a very long time, but I believe that it is only right that I address the subject.
One of the central problems that wife-led marriages solve is that the burden of negotiating decision-making in a relationship is lifted when the husband surrenders control to his wife. Logic dictates that this problem could as easily be solved by a wife surrendering control to her husband instead of the other way around. Why then, do I believe that this does not work?
As Ken and I write about in our books, we believe that woman are more naturally suited to decision-making then men. They tend to be less impulsive and more apt to consider all sides of an argument before making a decision. They are much more likely to consider the longer-term consequences of their decisions and take the impact of those decisions on others into account. While there are exceptions to every rule, the general superiority of female vs. male decision-making and problem solving is well supported by contemporary research and is increasingly the consensus thinking on the topic of gender and its impact on leadership.
However, I strongly believe that even in marriages which represent an exception to the above rule, women should still occupy the position of head of the household. This is because the impat of loving female authority on a marriage represents a catalyst for positive changes in the relationship that male authority and female submission can never replicate. A surrendered husband will be more affectionate, more communicative, and more focussed on the relationship as a result of his role in the marriage. This has been documented time and time again in the letters to this site and to the growing body of anecdotal evidence on the topic. Loving female authority channels the sexual energy of the submissive husband into emotional intimacy that makes the couple closer than they could ever be in its absence. Submissive wives, on the other hand, are prone to be less communicative than a wife in a traditional, shared-authority, marriage. Male authority is autocratic and one dimensional. Female authority is a growth experience for both spouses.
While the success of this site is evidence that many men are seeking out wife-led marriages, the success of Ms. Doyle's book is evidence that many women also desire the submissive role. This is unfortunate. However, as the world around us continues to evolve, more and more women will become bold about their desire to lead, and more and more men will feel the confidence required to submit. I have said before that men, in overwhelming numbers and perhaps without exception, are born with an emotional predisposition to be led by women. For cultural reasons, many men never allow themselves the luxury of indulging this desire. I think the growing ranks of submissive husbands is a function of the fact that more and more men have the courage to face this reality.
As to the Biblical implications of these two competing marriage dynamics, I will leave that to the theologins. I know that Ken and I, both serious and avid Christians, see nothing inconsistent with our beliefs on wife-led marriages and our core spiritual values.
Letters from Men
Dear Emily and Ken,
Thank you for maintaining such a wonderful and comprehensive site for so many years. I am a long time visitor and an continually amazed at the effort you put in to your work. I have learned a lot from you.
Now I am hoping you can assist me with a situation that is years in the making. First let briefly me tell you about myself. I am a 38 y/o physically fit guy. I work in management for a large company, and have been with them quite a while. I am fairly well respected, semi-intelligent, and come across as confident.
In the years I have been with this company, I have become pretty close friends with one of the women who reports to me. We have become close enough that she often confides in me concerning issues outside of work. I do the same with her. This has been going on for years now. We go to lunch together, fairly often, and yes, there is flirting on both of parts. I think it is safe to say that I am much more attracted to her, then her to me. However, I do know that she likes me as a person and trust me as a friend and a boss. I do not for a minute envision ever having an intimate relationship with this woman. That is not the goal of all this. I greatly enjoy her company and want to make her life easier.
I think you know where this is heading. I have an overwhelming desire to serve this woman, on any level. I am not the type of guy who gets this feeling about every attractive woman I meet, either. I believe she is open minded enough that she could be shown the benefit in having a guy who would do anything for her. Even better for her, if that guy is her boss. When I say "anything", I am talking about running errands for her, doing paperwork for her, simple things for starters. Knowing her like I do, I think this is entirely feasible and is something she would really appreciate. She is the type of woman that deserves to be spoiled, and I feel I am in a good position to do my part in spoilng her. Further, I think she would take to it like a duck to water, if I could just get through the most difficult first steps.
My dilemna is that I have no clue how to approach this. For instance, when she is at her PC at work and I am nearby, and hear her say she printed something. I rush across the room to the printer, and hand deliver her printouts to her, before she even has a chance to get up. I get a thank you in return.. Once I got a "good boy:, and I took that as a sign of hope. My response was a sarcastic "yes ma'am" I figure if I do things like this enough, she might come to expect or request it. Maybe I'm off base here, as it hasn't happenned yet. The day she calls me and tells me (not asks) to go run this errand for her, is the day that I feel like real progress has been made. I am just not sure how to ever ensure that, that day comes.
I am limited by much if the general advice I have read here, because of the work relationship. I am her boss and I have to be very careful on how to approach this type of situation. Also, I should mention she is married. Not a perfect marriage and there is no female dom aspect in that marriage at all. I have a strong sense that she would really get in to a situation where a man would fawn over and spoil her on command. I think if the cards were played right, it could come to that. My problem? I don't play cards very well. I cannot just approach her one day and say "hey can I rub your feet:" or "can I take your dry cleaning in for you today?" I just can't do that. I need more little subtle ways of getting her to the point where she would be comfortable asking or telling me to do these things for her. I believe she knows very little about female domination and I would like to be able to anonsymously refer her to some articles that would get her mind in the right place,. Make no mistake, she is a powerful woman, just waiting for enlightenment, I don't believe she has any clue of the benefits she could easily extract from men like me. And I equally believe if she knew the power she possessed, she would love to use it. If she were to get to this level, I would really feel like I did her a favor.
So how can I pursue this gently and where my job won't be jeopardized? What little hints can I drop? What little things can I do to let her know: "I want to do what you say, you are the boss"???
I realize some women are just never going to realize the power they possess, but I believe this one wants too and would be a natural. It's just a matter of getting her there. Can you help?
Ken had originally written a reply to your letter, but I rejected it. As you know, I emailed you with some additional questions, and I now understand that you have taken no bold steps to introduce loving female authority to your wife. That said, I am ready with my reply.
In Ken's response, he had suggested a series of steps to slowly build toward a submissive dynamic with this woman. I reject that approach outright. You are free to fantasize about serving this woman, but your actions should not reflect these desires. Business is business, and I absolutely abhor any plans you may have to formalize a submissive role with this woman.
Instead, I advise you to be courageous in your marriage. Follow the lead of the many brave men that have written this site. Share your thoughts, feelings and desires with your wife. She deserves honesty from you, and this is the only relationship which will ultimately satisfy your very sincere sense of submission.
Dear Emily and Ken,
First, I want to thank you for your site. What you have done in providing this information is a wonderful service for men like me, and it has helped me beyond words. For nearly all of my 33 years of marriage I have been aware of my submissive desires towards my wife and we had role-played this at various times, but only in the bedroom. Once we became "empty nesters" about 8 years ago, my wish to submit to my wife's authority only grew in intensity. I made some bungling mistakes in trying to express this to her. These included my writing a letter which was rather sexually explicit. This ended up in some discussion, discomfort on her part, and no action. These attempts were several years ago, and I had all but given up on experiencing this kind of relationship in our otherwise strong and loving marriage.
I had been engaging in stealth submission, but found myself getting resentful because she wouldn't respond how I had it played out in my mind. I would give up for periods of time, or I would become distant for periods of time, and I'm sure she never knew why.
Then I happened across your site. I took a chance one evening and showed her. She read the site with me sitting nearby. She said nothing as she looked over the site for about 45 minutes, then turned to me and said, "So this is what you really want." I nervously and sheeplishly told her that I wanted this very much. She said she'd think about it. While she was "thinking" I did my best to show her I meant it and I began volunteering foot massages, handed over the TV remote, she began picking where we'd go when we went out, I went out of my way to do even more chores, make her comfortable in the evening, etc.
We talked about it again and she said she'd give it a try. That was about 6 months ago, and things are progressing very well. She has taken complete control in the bedroom, chooses what I am to wear if we're going out, decides what chores need to be done, maintains a chore list for me, etc. Recently we took things to another level when I told her that I craved being punished by her. I had told her this before, but she had told me that "I am a nice person, and I don't want to punish you." This time I had made up a list of what might be characterized as more symbolic punishments that I was look for her to consider. I gave her the list. Again she said she'd think about it. I did not pressure her.
Just last week (about 2 weeks after we had the talk about punishment) she surprised me by having me stand before her while she told me I had to be punished, and she had me tell her what I'd done wrong. She gave me the "sentence," telling me that I was not able to sleep in HER bed that night and I was to go to a spare bedroom. She did this very sternly. I am not able to explain this through my own efforts at self-examination, but I felt wonderful in accepting this discipline from her. The next day I told her how much it had meant to me, and I have felt even closer to her ever since--if that is possible. I cannot explain how important this one step was in our developing relationship, but it made me feel so loved by her to have her punish me. Since then she has commented about the possible need to punish me in the future. I have told her that on one hand I don't want to displease her, but on the other hand I crave being disciplined by her again.
I am so happy that I found your site and that the use of this site helped her understand me and this need in an altogether different manner than I had been able to express to her in the past. I am now so excited to see her every day and to be with her wherever we're going and whatever we're doing. I truly feel like I did back in our dating days. I asked her over the weekend if she was okay with where we were at in our marriage, and she said "Oh, yes!"
There are of course many other details of how things have developed and are handled now in and out of the bedroom, but suffice it to say that I believe that she is enjoying the authority and finding that it is a benefit to her. For me, I have never been happier.
A couple questions: Do you find that the discipline/punishment element is important to most submissive men? Do you reccomend certain methods or ways of handling this? Thanks.
I hope you will indulge me by first allowing me to share some of the philosophical ideas that drive the selection of letters that we publish on these pages and our responses to those letters.
We receive many letters from men that ask us to address questions for which the subject matter does not contribute to the principle reason for this site's existence, that being an introduction to loving female authority for women completely unfamiliar with the concept. For that reason we have made some effort to focus on positive terminology and avoid words with negative connotations. That is why, for example, we now talk about a woman's management of her husband's orgasms for their mutual benefit as opposed to her denying his orgasms.
The very word "punishment" would seem to have negative associations to many newcomers, so it is not a concept we have chosen to discuss. However, we cannot deny that the idea of being punished by one's wife has tremendous appeal to many submissive men. It represents demonstrable and highly satisfying evidence of her authority. I liked your letter, and have therefore chosen to share it with others, because the punishment that your wife has chosen for you is the very thing that you crave the most... her physical presence. This separation will only serve to heighten your desire to have her close to you, and will intensify your desire to obey her completely. Just be certain that the privacy that your separation affords you does not tempt you to seek your own self-release via masturbation. All submissive men know what an orgasm can do to take the intensity out of your submissive desires.