Welcome to the December Updates
As we roll through into holiday season, we should all remember that the bonds between those we love, not the possessions that we acquire, are really what contribute the quality of our lives. To that end, be ambitious and creative in coming with ways to build the bonds of intimacy and communication with your spouse. It will pay rewards above and beyond anything you can buy him or her at the malls or department stores.
I hope everyone pays special attention to the first letter which offers a great suggestion of an exercise for wives to give to their husbands. It definitely will contribute to the greater degree intimacy and higher level of communication that we all seek to discover.
Merry Christmas and best holiday wishes,
As always, I encourage you to email me at (coded to avoid email bots):
Emily Dot Addison At Gmail Dot Com
Our books and CD’s are available at Lulu: http://www.lulu.com/aroundherfinger
Letters from Women
My husband came forward to me about being submissive about one year ago. While he looked at your site often, he did not tell me about it at the time, and I first assumed his interest in all of this to be unique to him. In fact, the idea that there are many men like my husband and that there is a site like yours really came as a surprise to me. In retrospect, his not telling me about your site and books was a mistake. It was only when I went to the internet on my own initiative, months after him coming forward to me, that I even discovered it. Knowing that this is a common issue between couples and being able to leverage your work and experience as a resource would have been very helpful early on.
We definitely struggled with this at first. While I was reluctant, I was still open to the idea of being in charge in the marriage, but it seemed like my husband and I could never get it quite right. Like many people who write to your letters section, he would drift in and out of his attitude towards me and his commitment to what he said that he wanted in the first place. I think that this stemmed from a lack of understanding from my perspective regarding what he needed from me. He would speak in generalities about wanting to serve me, have me moderate how often he had orgasms, blah, blah, blah. But he really wasn’t clear about the fact that he had very specific ideas about how I was supposed to keep him motivated that went way beyond generalities.
I was excited to see your recent advice to a woman to have her boyfriend keep a journal of his thoughts. I had a very similar idea shortly after all of this started with my husband. I had given him the task of writing me a story of what a fantasy day with me would look like. I did not intend to build my life around his fantasy, but I wanted insight into what he was thinking. I asked him to write down the hypothetical “perfect submissive day with my wife”. What I learned is that he wanted me to be much more over the top with my authority than I had been. So much so that it seemed to almost humiliate him. I think that for me this was the biggest thing I learned from the exercise. I was ok with the model of loving female authority that he laid out for me when he first suggested we try it, and I am also comfortable with it as you describe it on your site, but he seems to want a bit more.
For example, in his story, after serving me breakfast in bed, his fantasy version of me then rolls over and commands him to “worship my bottom”. My fantasy counterpart then tells him that if he does a good job, I might let him go down on me later that night. Then she (I) drift back to sleep for a late morning nap as he lavishes me with kisses on my derrière.
When his fantasy counterpart serves me dinner that night, he is made to do so without wearing any clothes, and then I have him kneel beside me while I eat. Only after I get up and leave the table does he eat. And when I do “reward” him by having him give me oral sex that night, I am described as ignoring him while talking to one of my girlfriends on the telephone telling her how obedient he has been lately. At the end of the evening, my fantasy self loosely ties a little ribbon around his penis as a reminder that I am in charge, and that he won’t get another orgasm until I allow it.
In one sense, having him write down his fantasy scenario was very helpful. I saw that he needed me to step up the frequency and level of demonstrations of my control. While I was not comfortable with the level that was laid out by my fantasy counterpart, I did become a little bolder, and I would occasionally role play outside of my comfort zone. This definitely had the desired effect of maintaining consistency with the dynamic and gives me the intimacy and communication in our downtime, the romantic vanilla aspect of LFA, that I was really after.
In another sense, however, I feel like I have become increasingly comfortable in stepping into my role playing. I have become more comfortable doing the things with him and to him that I had earlier described as humiliating.
So my question to you now is what do you think? What do you think of the fantasy scenario as I have summarized it? Am I going too far? I will admit that I have become very comfortable as the dominant spouse. Is there a point where I step over the line and begin to encroach on the “normal” part of our relationship? Keep in mind that the LFA part of our marriage is still small relative to the vast majority of our interactions and communication… which except for the fact that we now communicate better… is almost exactly the same as it ever was. Also, based on your answer, what do I do next?
Thank you in advance,
Janet in Dallas
Your assignment of having him write out a fantasy day is brilliant. I think that the fantasy scenarios of many submissive men would include activities and interactions very much like those that your husband described. For example, submissive men do seem to have a fascination with women’s tushies. Much like a foot fetish, a bottom fetish seems to metaphorically reinforce a man’s humility. His nakedness in your presence while serving you dinner does the same. Even if it made you uncomfortable at first, he wants to serve you this way, and it is an act of kindness on your part to accept it and to allow him to do it. I do not think it is too much to role play, as you say, and allow him to do this once in a while. I feel the same way about the ribbon. It is a way of reminding him always that you are in charge of his sexual pleasure. All of this has served to have the desired effect of maintaining that consistently high level of intimacy and open (vanilla) communication that a properly executed wife-led marriage offers.
I think the fact that you are growing more comfortable with his scenarios is only a good thing. Embrace your authority. Throttle this dynamic to your comfort level, and you will always be well within any pre-conceived boundaries that he may have. I suspect that the fantasy story that he wrote still found him holding back quite a bit, and that he nurtures at least a curiosity about activities even beyond what he was willing to share with you.
As to next steps, ask him to write down five activities about which he is curious, but you two have never explored. Then select from these the one or two with which you are comfortable and also represent a modest step forward. Use them sparingly and lovingly to nurture his sense of humility. Your relationship will only become stronger as a result.
Please excuse this letter if it seems rambling. I have never spoken to anyone about this subject and am very nervous sending this message.
I recently found your web site and was intrigued. I have been married to my husband for more than 20 years having married later in life so I am no spring chicken. On several occasions he has expressed to be, as he puts it, “my slave”. Unfortunately I am not very creative and usually this goes on for a few weeks at the most. He leans toward the more “overt” when it comes to his servitude (he loves me to wear boots, high heels, and more display traditional outward examples of the male version of domination), if you know what I mean.
Your idea of LFA seems more in line with what might work for me. Here is my concern: after the initial launch, what measures do I take when the newness wears off? What measures do you recommend to reinforce my "authority"?
Thanks for the web site. Now maybe I have a model that can work for us.
First, I applaud you for taking the right first steps in that you have kept an open mind about your husband’s submission, and you seek to understand how to reconcile it with what will work for you. This shows that you are a compassionate woman in that you take his needs into consideration, and it shows that you are committed to compromise when his needs and your own do not seem, at first glance, to align perfectly.
Understanding the next steps in maintaining the relationship dynamic seems to challenge many writers to this site. Let me reinforce the suggestions and recommendations from the last letter. Have him write down his fantasy scenario. Ask him to answer, in writing, the same questions you are asking me. Figure out what he thinks will maintain the intensity of his commitment, and use this as a starting point to explore new paths together.
If some of the items he mentions puzzle you, do not hesitate to write back to me or to do Google searches to find out what others, perhaps with more expansive boundaries, have discovered works for them.
I am getting married in the spring to a wonderful submissive man. We plan on living a wife-led marriage, and while we plan to be very discreet about the nature of our relationship, one thing does bother me.
My instincts tell me that he should take my name. Even the compromise position of keeping our own names seems to be insincere under the circumstances.
What do you think?
I am sure that many women who read my response will be shocked to hear that I actually have no problem with any of the options available to you including taking his name. Perhaps the day will come when loving female authority becomes a well understood and openly accepted custom in our society, but it is not likely to happen soon. Therefore, I prefer to focus my attention and concern on how the two of you relate to one another, and not how you broadcast your matriarchy to the outside world.
I have said before that as far as public behavior is concerned, a man should absolutely be expected to behave respectfully and with reverence towards his wife and other women. No other acknowledgement of LFA beyond this is necessary. Decide how you want to handle the name situation with this in mind. That your husband accepts and respects the decision, whatever it may be, is the only important factor.
Letters from Men
Dear Emily and Ken:
It impressed me (and consoled me in some ways) to see you post the letter this month from the husband who found a negative response from his wife to his overtures concerning a wife-led marriage along the lines of your website. I feel for him, and am concerned for his next steps with his wife and his own mind.
I too found such a response and have had to make my own emotional and mental adjustments to knowing an AHF kind of marriage will not come to be. It’s not from lack of effort. Nor is it from asking my wife to become someone completely contrary to her nature. She is a faithful, thoughtful, caring wife. At times she is also a lovingly-bossy woman who is used to my yielding to her on many things. Yet, it appears the shift that AHF asks of her is just too much.
I had discovered the site nearly two years ago while in a phase of searching how our marriage might deepen now that we are empty nesters. Discovering your site was both a breath of fresh air and admittedly an erotic attraction. For years my wife and I had been aware of the submissive tendencies I have, and it was not unusual for her and me to act upon them as a spice in our intimate relationship. Finding your site, reading the book and listening to the confessional CD and a lot of reflection since then has brought to me a peace that it is the loving kind of marriage relationship you describe that I have always wanted, but was unable to figure out.
When I did quietly (like so many, in a stealth submission) begin to live that out, and after a while gave my wife your book and CD and a confessional letter, I suspect the memories of the games we had played was what she thought this was too. There wasn't much response from her, in fact none at all. I'm not even certain she even read the book or reviewed the website. I kept up my caring and submission for some months, and was even optimistic when I wrote you an email (which you posted last year).
But the few times she accepted it did not make up for the basically negative, even indifferent response, she had to the concept. I gave it up after some months, only to return quietly and intentionally two other times since then for another couple extended efforts, ready to talk about it if given the slightest opening. But rather than accept the devotion and loving intimacy I offered, without words, it was clear it was a non-starter for her and a dead-end for me. I still have the book and my desire is still there, and I have a wonderfully honest confessional letter expressing my wishes for her as we move into this new phase of our marriage. But I am not at all hopeful.
So for you, I still say thanks for helping me sort through to understand myself and find peace with who I am and what I really wanted from a relationship. It’s not going to happen for me. But I know more of myself now.
For the writer you posted, I encourage him to ask himself some hard questions, the same ones I've had to ask myself. He made a commitment to her, and while he wants to change the style of marriage now mid-way, marriage is a mutual thing. She isn't interested, so can he instead find the positives in their marriage? Go ahead and give her the love she needs, even if the wife-led dynamic he would prefer won't be there. In other words, like I am learning to do, I hope he can find the positives that are there rather than the loss he feels.
And finally, I have some thoughts for the other more submissive men still thinking about introducing this to their wives or the younger men just moving into a relationship. If I can give any perspective now looking back, don't choose the games or the internet as alternatives. Be a man and tell your wife what's in your heart. Explain to her what you think would be a win-win for both of you, and how fulfilling it would be to be her devoted husband. Don't cloud the picture with anything less.
Thanks again for posting his letter and inviting our response.
Thank you for the kind words to the author of last month’s letter. I agree that he will struggle with this rejection, and I share your concern for him going forward. I have no doubt he can maintain a strong, positive relationship with his wife, but I also know that her decision to shut him down when opening up about something so important to him will have lasting effects.
I cannot help but notice that there is one thing that the few letters we have received where LFA was rejected have in common. In each of them, the wife was unwilling to discuss the husband’s request. His letter was no different, and neither for that matter, is your letter. There was no thoughtful consideration and heartfelt explanation as to why the wife does not want to pursue LFA, there was only silence. There is often, if not typically, not even a sense of certainty if the wife even bothered to read our book or open up our website. This really bothers me.
If I could ask one thing from these wives, it would be to engage their husbands on this matter. Understand the motivation and history behind their decision to bring up the topic. Find a way to at least acknowledge that the submissive expression is heartfelt and genuine and deserves a response. In other words, give a damn.
Emily Dot Addison At Gmail Dot Com
Our books and CD’s are available at Lulu: http://www.lulu.com/aroundherfinger