Monday, December 29, 2008
I hope everyone enjoyed the holidays... although the season is not quite over as I post this. We wanted to get these up as Ken and I are off to go skiing, and we did not want to be late posting again this month. Enjoy the letters, and remember, we do all of this so that you can build courage to communicate and better relationships with the one you love.
Happy New Year,
As always, our books and CD’s can be found at www.lulu.com/aroundherfinger/
Send questions, comments and success stories to Emily (dot) Addison (at) Gmail (dotcom)
Letters from Women
Emily and Ken,
My husband and I are avid readers of your blog and appreciate your insights. Here is our story…
My husband and I have been together for 24+ years in total. Married for nearly 19 years. Even in the early days of our relationship there were signs of my dominate nature and his submissive nature. We explored some light role playing early on, but just a few times and only in the bedroom. Spicing up our sex life was how I looked at it. He may have seen it as more. In fact, looking back there were many signs that he was reaching out to me giving me hints of his desire to be submissive to me.
About four years ago he tried to communicate his feelings to me. He did a good job. But, what he said and how day to day life was lived were two different things. He struggled with and internalized his true feelings. I did the worst thing I could do, I didn't talk about it, unless he brought it up. I blew it off as him wanting a fairly typical male bedroom fantasy. This behavior from both of us, along with other circumstances, led our relationship into a very dark and troubling time. I doubted him. He doubted me. We closed each other off and we stopped communicating entirely. All of this led to a physical separation that lasted for thirteen long months. However, the emotional separation preceded the physical separation by about a year. It was truly a devastating time for both of us. Even after reconciling, and after having long conversations about his submissive nature and my dominating nature, we still we weren't fully connected until about six months after we reunited.
It wasn't until my husband actually started walking the walk and not just talking the talk did I take his submissiveness seriously. He started doing the housework, running the errands, all the things I had done for the past 24 years. He came to me one day and requested I own the finances, without any unsolicited input from me. This was a huge step. I knew if he was willing to give up access to the money, and let me make all the fiscal decisions of the household he was serious.
We are only three months into a full fledged FLR relationship, and it's gone well thus far. The key is WE COMMUNICATE DAILY about it. He has taken on all household chores. I'm attentive to his submissive needs, and not just in the bedroom. That is only a part of our relationship. I manage his orgasms. I can get him excited by a simple text, or comment in public or in private. I'm learning more and more each day, and more importantly BELIEVING more and more each day that he is happiest when he is taking care of my needs, be they physical or emotional.
He loves starting his day making my coffee and delivering it to me in bed. He loves ending his day naked and curled up to me looking for the warmth my body provides him. He gives me space when I need it; he gives me attention when I need it. He does this FOR ME. He has given up his selfish male ego, he puts my needs and desires above his own. He serves me well. And I've never seen him more at peace and more happy than what he is today. We work well together. Everything comes from a place of love. Even when I deny him orgasm release, he feels loved (maybe this is when he feels the most loved). We communicate openly and honestly. I am the decision maker. When I want his input, and I still do want his input on things relating to our kids, and our household, he gives his input, but he leaves the final word to me. He accepts it and we move forth in that spirit. I quite like that.
I do use discipline beyond just the orgasm management. My husband fears more the punishment of sleeping away from me, getting no attention from me, etc. than he fears anything else. That's an easy punishment as I see it. (Though I know many would disagree with me, and that's fine, it's what works for each couple, there is not a one size fits all approach to FLR.)
We both look forward to further exploring all the possibilities of a FLR. We are proceeding at a pace and a comfort level that works for me. Whatever we do it has to feel natural and compliment my already dominant personality. If it feels manufactured, it doesn't work for me. I'm always open to suggestions on ways to make him feel his most submissive to give him the most satisfaction in life. However, I decide what does and doesn't work for me, and he happily accepts that.
This is just one experience but I think it is shared among many couples that are in early stages of a FLR. I can only say for my husband and I the everyday changes we have made to our life, both in and out of the bedroom, have made us closer, more in love, and have bonded us in a way we've never bonded before. To all couples that are new to an FLR, I wish you as much success as me and my hubby have had the past three months!
What a well detailed account of your evolution to a successful female-led relationship. You make no bones about the absolute nature of your control. You make the decisions, you draw the boundaries, and you remain in complete control. This is how it should be. It is the willingness to step up and seize the head of the household role that makes your marriage work better, your communication more open, and your passions more intense.
Your comment about going beyond orgasm management, and restraining your affections as a means of punishing poor behavior is a good one. The fact that this serves as punishment is evidence that you are doing everything right. How else, one would wonder, could withholding your affection have any meaningful impact unless he valued it as he does?
I have always loved my husband, ever since the first day I met him. He’s the perfect man. He is a gentleman, he is a great provider, he is honest, open, a good listener, a wonderful lover and my best friend. I had the perfect life and did not want anything to change. When he gave me your book the day after Christmas, more accurately after I had read most of it, I thought it must be some sort of joke. I could not imagine that my husband could possibly have been keeping a secret like this from me. We are a very sexually adventurous couple, so kinky behavior in the bedroom is nothing new to our relationship. Interest in that sort of activity, however, was the only clue I had to his submission. However, I do now understand that this is much, much more than that.
I have now read the entire book, all of your website, and many of the letters on your blog, and most of [another website]. At my request, he has left me alone to spend some time adjusting to this new revelation from him. I have told him that on New Year’s Eve, I will let him know how I want to proceed with all of this. I write you now in advance of New Year’s in the hopes that you will get this email and tell me what you think of my plans.
The two of us had already planned on going to dinner and have a reservation at a local restaurant with another couple. We will leave early, and the two of us should arrive home (alone) around eleven. Upon returning home, I plan on putting on a leather outfit that he had (not ironically) bought me a few Halloweens back. I plan on stripping him, blindfolding him, and having him kneel on the floor in our bedroom until I am ready to approach him.
After reading your site, and [other sites], I want him to experience his surrender to my authority in some way more intense that what you typically suggest. I want to begin by taking the blindfold off and having him bow down and kiss my feet. I want him to kiss his way up my legs. I want his lips on my [bottom], I want to [assure his chastity] for no less than a full month. I want to reinforce my new role as the alpha spouse by [experimenting with something not mentioned on your site].
I write because I know this is taking it much further than you advocate. Others, however, have suggested that the more intense I make this first night, the better start we will have to our new relationship. As I said, we are a very sexually adventurous couple, so I am comfortable with all of this.
If it isn’t obvious by now, I really want to give this gift to my husband. His opening up to me about this represents a great treasure to me, and I want to honor that gift. I just want to make sure I do it right.
What do you think?
I think the things you mention in your letter are completely appropriate to introduce into your relationshiop, but I am not so certain that you should do so all at once. One month of his enforced chastity will be a wonderful experience for both of you. Initiating this at the onset is perfect. I have mentioned before that bottom kissing is something most women learn to treasure, and for many submissive men it triggers deep a deep sense of their place in the relationship. Again, this is a perfect activity to accompany the conversation where you formalize your roles.
I would not, however, say the same for the other activity that you mention. (Forgive me, readers; you will have to use your imagination as it is beyond the scope of what we consider appropriate material for this site.) If this is something you think you will enjoy, then I would encourage you to try it at some point down the road. Is this particular activity ideal for the first night of your new relationship? I will leave that up to you, but for me, it is not.
[Note that a more detailed letter was sent, and a more complete response has already been returned directly to the author.]
Letters from Men
Emily and Ken,
What a wonderful site!
I wish I had found it earlier as my submissive tendencies have increased the last 5-7 years. I'm a 53 year old male in Ohio who has been happily married for 27 years. I'm lucky in that I have submissive tendencies and my wife is naturally "bossy". I'm living a secret submissive life that seems to work for both of us. However, after reading your site and blogs, I realize there could be much more satisfaction for both of us. Kathy comes from a very traditional background and I'm not sure she really realizes how "bossy" she is. She is very organized so there are lists galore. We never argue because even after discussion, I will always accede to what she wants and as you know, that is what I want. I'm so happy to find a website with which I can identify.
I will order your book and read it and hope to present it to Kathy around Valentines Day. There is too much emotionally going on with the holidays and our family members to give it the proper attention.
I'm very nervous about her rejecting the concept but know that if that is the case, I'll do what I can to make her life better. I love her so much and now that are children are grown, it will be easier to make Kathy my primary focus of love and affection one way or the other.
Whatever happens, I'll let you know - once again, thank you for the time and effort you put into this site.
You can give the book with the confidence of knowing that an emotionally mature, loving wife will almost always recognize her husband’s willingness to open up about his submission as a gesture of the respect, love and trust that he affords her.
I can tell from your letter that you are an excellent communicator. You may consider including a heartfelt, and very candid letter when you hand her the book. Make sure she understands that you give this gift to her with an open and honest heart, and that she is sensitive to the emotional risk that accompanies the disclosure.
Dear Emily & Ken
Firstly I want to thank you for your wonderful web site which has been so helpful and informative for me.
I am yet another man who had been married for nearly thirteen years before finally plucking up the courage to leave your web site open for my wife to see. It all went a bit wrong in that I left a message down stairs directing her to the computer where the site was open. But somehow she managed to close the browser without seeing the site. She then phoned me while I was on my way to work.
Directing her over the phone to your site was the most exiting thing I have ever done. She expressed some excitement of her own at the name of the site and your introduction heading “A man is Happiest …..” and my hopes rocketed.
When I came home we had a very awkward chat, which left things in the air somewhat (I so wish I had your book then) but I sort of carried on with some stealth-like submission in hopes it would be considered a trial period. Three days later, she asked me for a massage and I braved a “does this mean were in a Wife Led Marriage now?” and she simply said “yes”, after which we formalized her control.
From there things have been going fantastically. She grows more confident by the day and I feel elated 24/7. We are so close now. It’s like when we first met all over again. I can tell already we will never go back to how we used to be (we are three months in now). The only difficulties are with some of the finer points like “Orgasm Management” but your book will sort that out I’m sure.
Once again many, many thanks for transforming my life for the better. She so deserves my complete devotion if only to make up for the last five years!
Steve - UK
Steve, it sounds like you are off to a wonderful beginning. The hard part will be the next three months, when the novelty of submission will begin to wear away, but the necessity of steady and consistent obedience remains in place. This will require self-discipline and constant communication on your part, but I know you are up for the task.
Dear Ken and Emily,
My wife and I are building a female-led relationship that wouldn't be possible without you. Thank you very much for this.
My wife told me to arrange a beach vacation for February or March and I was thinking that a place where women are in charge and men serve them would be nice. My wife doesn't like the leather, paddles, whips or extreme stuff, but maybe there is a place where I can pamper her in an environment where women are treated the way they deserve, where I can pamper her and she can feel comfortable showing that she is the head of the household (she is reluctant to show this in public, even when we don't know anybody). Do you know if there is such a place?
Oh, how I wish I did! I am not really sure I know of a place where women are in charge, but I do know that if you are out of town and in the company of strangers, this offers an opportunity for her to be more dominant in public with you. Depending on how far she wants to take it, this can be a tremendous growth opportunity for both of you.
Also… if any readers know of a place where women are openly in charge, be sure to email us and let us know!
Our books and CD’s can be found at www.lulu.com/aroundherfinger/
Friday, November 28, 2008
Our apologies for the delay in posting the November update. We have gone ahead and combined November with December into a single update. Things have been a bit crazy around the Addison household, but hopefully things will get back to normal soon enough.
As always, our books and CD’s can be found at www.lulu.com/aroundherfinger/Send questions, comments and success stories to Emily (dot) Addison (at) Gmail (dotcom)
Letters from Women
I recently graduated from college and soon afterwards began dating a man about ten years older than me. He is very attractive, financially very successful, and even though older than me, still very young in the grand scheme of things at the age of thirty-three. After only six weeks of dating I was really falling for him, and he told me that there was something he needed to share. He gave me your book, nicely wrapped, and a card in which he wrote a note including your web address. He said that this the book and web site “greatly interested” him and that I should be aware of this interest before we became any more serious. This was on a Friday night. He asked that I think about it all weekend, and call him on Sunday evening.
I spent the whole weekend reading your book, your website, and every letter on your updates page. I have to tell you that I found myself becoming extremely excited. This is the relationship that I would have chosen for us if I only I even knew that it existed. First of all, I really, really like this guy. Second, for him to open up to me about something so intensely personal, something that makes him so incredibly vulnerable, represented a major break-through in our relationship. The increase in intimacy that you talk so much about had already happened just by virtue of him sharing this with me. Thirdly, I like the idea of being in control. I don’t like arguing. I prefer to get my way. I don’t like housework. It if pleases him to do it for me then why should I do it? Finally, and most surprisingly, this has ignited an incredible sexual fire in me that has not quit burning.
I cannot believe how much his submission has aroused me. There is a certain erotic thrill that comes from just the site of this strong, successful man kneeling in front of me. He obeys me perfectly and he always thinks about my pleasure. His incredible enthusiasm for pleasing me has made me much more comfortable in allowing him to do things for me that are both expressions of his submission and bring me physical pleasure at the same time. We have [experimented with things that I have learned about on other websites] repeatedly. I would never have guessed that I would have enjoyed these things as much as I do, and he enjoys them even more than me.
I will confess that I did go too far and screwed up one night, and perhaps my experience represents a warning to others. I know that you suggest keeping the nature of this relationship just between the two of us, but one night after many drinks, I let it slip to a girlfriend of mine. She and my boyfriend were both over at my apartment (I have since moved in with my boyfriend), when after getting a bit tipsy, I started ordering him around in front of her. He was getting us refills on our drinks, rubbing my feet, and doing all of this with a very respectful and obedient tone like it was obvious he was used to taking orders. She started asking questions, and the more she asked, the more I answered. And I didn’t really just answer, I also provided evidence by [showing her something that I had read about on other websites and then bought off of the web].
Now, despite my politely asking her not to do so, she has also adopted a dominant attitude with my boyfriend. If she comes over, she will start telling him what to do. While he contends that he doesn’t mind, I do. Also, she has started introducing female led relationship ideas to her boyfriend, but I sense already that she will abuse her authority in the relationship, as she is already talking about [doing certain activities] that I believe are motivated more by her selfishness and thrill-seeking than by true affection and a desire for greater intimacy.
I really regret having pulled back the curtains on the very special relationship that I have with my boyfriend. I hope others can learn from my mistake.
Your warning is important. Some close friends are capable of handling this in a mature manner, but others obviously are not. Therefore, it is best just to keep this to yourselves. I don’t know how close you are to the friend you mention in your letter, but you might want to consider cutting back your ties with this woman. I agree; she sees female authority as an approach to manipulating men for her pleasure with no recognition of the great responsibility that the woman must take on in this sort of relationship.
You, however, seem to be on a much more fruitful path. Best of luck.
I was one of those women that rejected my husband’s gift of submission to me, and now having come around to accept it, I regret having postponed it tremendously.
I was a stay-at-home mother of three who was completely overwhelmed by years of home schooling our children. I admit to having let myself go a bit, and I believed that this was responsible for a sex life that was practically non-existent. When my husband first approached me about your web site about three years ago, I believed it was 100% an attempt to ignite our sex life with kinky role playing. I failed to understand that his desire to submit to me was much more deeply rooted than that. By rejecting his submission, I was rejecting him in a sense.
Also, I felt convinced that my initial reaction was correct because after saying I was not interested, his “stealth” submission ended. While he had always naturally deferred to my judgment and he had always done a lot around the house, he seemed to retreat on both of these fronts. Submission seemed to be the furthest thing from his mind. That’s why when following the last of our children’s move to college, his second appeal to me to consider your ideas was such a surprise. To be honest, I hadn’t even thought about this topic in over a year. However, with less of a hectic schedule and, as an empty nester, sort of a fresh outlook on life in general, I decided to be more open to it.
The second time around I actually read your entire book, having only skimmed the first chapter when he first gave it to me. Now I understand that his submission never went away, the only thing that faded (temporarily) was his hope that I could fulfill his submission with loving female authority. I considered this time that he seemed very serious, and I proposed to test him by telling him that I would be open to trying this under a few conditions. I gave him a number of things I wanted done around the house, some representing major projects and others representing ongoing responsibilities. I told him I expected him to do all of these things and lose twenty pounds. He had also let himself go, and while I had gotten myself back into the gym, he refused to do anything about his own health. Until all of these requests had been satisfied, it would be business as usual around our house.
I gave him these requests sometime around the middle of August. Within two months he had done everything on the list and having gotten himself back to working out and on a very strict diet, had lost the full twenty pounds. I kissed him when he told me, and I told him that the weekend would begin a new phase in our relationship. I told him that I had made dinner plans for Saturday night, but it would be a surprise. When Saturday evening came, I had him dress me in a new outfit that I had bought. Right as he was finishing, the doorbell rang. He asked me who it was, and I told him only to help me into my shoes. Then I told him that my plans involved going out with my girlfriends. His plans involved staying home and readying the house for our little “formalize our roles ceremony” in whatever way he deemed best. When I arrived home, we would we would have our little talk and things would be very different from then on.
You can imagine how much this little ploy excited him. I have to confess that is also excited me. I went out and had a great time with my girlfriends, but I couldn’t stop thinking about him at home getting ready for me. I also knew that coming home just a little tipsy would help with the nerves I had about this. When I opened the front door, I could see that the lights were off in the house, but there was the flicker of candles coming from the bedroom. He had moved a dining room chair into the bedroom and made a path of rose petals leading up to it. At the front of the path was him completely naked with a gift bag on the floor next to him. He first helped me out of my shoes, my dress, and all of the rest of my clothes. Then he handed me the gift bag which contained a very sexy silk robe. I put this on and then walked to the chair. I decided to appear extra dominant, so I grabbed a tuft of his hair and he followed behind me on his hands and knees.
I stood for a moment with my back to him as I considered that the chair, being a dining room chair, might be a bit uncomfortable for the sort of intimacy I was in the mood to experience. To my surprise, his head disappeared below my robe and he took to adoring my posterior in a way that, up until that moment, I had never felt comfortable with before. Perhaps due to the alcohol, or perhaps due to the fact that I now accepted his submission, I allowed him to continue. So this was the scene as I told him that for now and always I expected that he would be obey me, and that he would be my obedient loving husband, and I in turn would adore and nurture him with both love and authority.
Since that night our sex life has become increasingly less inhibited, involving vibrators, [other toys], and always symbolic acts of his humility. I would never have dreamed that this dynamic would have made us so much closer, but Emily, it really has. He is the love of my life and my new openness to his true desire has created something magical for both of us.
Cheryl, you have made my heart beat faster with your beautiful letter. It is easy to understand estimate how a husband's expression of his humility can reinforce his submissive devotion to you.
Congratulations on the evolution of your relationship.
Letters from Men
I have always felt like I had to hide my submission from my wife. I never felt like I had the words to articulate – forgive me for using this word—a normal explanation of how I felt. After discovering your site, I feel like the weight of the world has been lifted off of my shoulders. I also feel like you have taken my own thoughts and put words behind them that will them seem acceptable and even desirable to my wife.
I am telling her about this site tonight. Cross your fingers.
This letter then came the next day…
I showed my wife your site last night. Her first words to me were, “I think it’s sweet, of course I’ll try it.” Orgasm management started last night. I love this! Thank you so much.
That’s the sort of letter (letters) we love to get. Congratulations!
I just wanted to let you know that your website has opened a whole new door for my marriage. My wife and I have been married for twelve years now, and I have had submissive tendencies all along. I made the mistake of telling my wife about Female Dominance via another [more extreme] book, and she was not open to it at all. It was too “whips and chains” for her. She wanted nothing of that and told me it specifically.
Well that was six years ago, and of course as any man can tell, you that these feelings don't go away. My wife was totally unwilling to try it up until last month, she decided that compromise could be reached and she would give it a try. I showed her your website and she read it all. Since the beginning of October she has been different but in a good way, she has taken to the idea of giving me task lists. I am not saying anything to put any sort of expectations or pressure on her, but I do anything she asks. She knows I will, and I truly respect her and trust her. The other day she told me to take off my clothes and go down to the drugstore for her, are you serious I asked? She just laughed and said I know you would if I told you to. Just her teasing like that with her gentle jabs at her power over me is intoxicating for me as someone who has always been trying to live a FLR.
She notices that my submissiveness goes away for 5-10 minutes after I orgasm, and I think she is going to use this to her advantage in the future. I do not masturbate at all any more (even though every time I did before was to sites featuring female authority). Since she has opened her mind to even the idea of a FLR we have been closer than ever in our marriage. She always knew something was strained between us and she even thought I could have been having an affair, but once she saw your website she saw that so many of your female readers felt the same way about their husbands submissive natures, and after your website my wife has been so open to listening to me. I tell her everything.
Thanks for your website,
C in CA
Female authority comes with many pre-conceived notions, so many women will be skeptical when their husbands approach them about an Around Her Finger relationship. The first site you showed your wife is a wonderful site run by a woman who is incredibly knowledgeable on this topic and has the best interests of her community in mind. While Emily and I do not agree with everything she says, we admire her tremendously. However, even she concedes that her site is not the right resource to introduce women to these concepts. I am glad that our own site worked out for you.
Incidentally, Emily is often asked if she knows Ms. Sutton. She does not. Once, long ago, she sent her an email, but perhaps it was lost in the mix of the many emails that I am sure she receives each month, and a reply never came. Perhaps they will connect one day and share ideas.
Our books and CD’s can be found at www.lulu.com/aroundherfinger/
Saturday, November 08, 2008
Friday, October 10, 2008
by Rich Morin and D'Vera Cohn, Pew Research CenterSeptember 25, 2008
They say it's a man's world. But in the typical American family, it's the woman who wears the pantsuit.
On a different topic related to gender and power, the survey asked whether people are more comfortable dealing with a man or with a woman in a variety of positions of authority - doctor, banker, lawyer, police officer, airline pilot, school teacher and surgeon.
Who's the Decider at Home?
The responses to the four questions were then analyzed together to determine whether, on balance, the man or the woman in the respondent's couple made the decisions in more areas, or whether both partners played an equal role.
Here's a rundown of the specific survey questions and responses:
But among those couples in which one partner consistently takes the lead, it's the woman and not the man who most often makes the call on weekend activities (28% vs. 16%).
The Battle of the Budget
Overall, women are somewhat more likely than men to manage household finances (38% vs 30%). Fewer than three-in-ten couples (28%) equally share responsibility for making family financial decisions, the smallest percentage responding this way among the four areas tested.
However, comparing how men and women answer this question suggests that there is a good bit of gender disagreement over who ultimately controls the family's purse strings. By nearly 2-1, women say they and not their husbands control the family pursestrings (45% vs. 23%). But a narrow plurality of men say they, not their wives, are managing the family finances (37% vs. 30%).
One complicating factor: Perhaps there's relative peace in front of the TV because husbands and wives are simply watching different televisions, or watching their favorite shows alone at different times.
With one notable exception, patterns of decision-making by couples vary little among most demographic groups. The exception has to do with age: Older couples are significantly more likely than younger couples to make decisions together, the survey finds. More than a third of all adults 65 or older say they make most of the decisions with their spouses in at least three of the four areas tested - double the proportion of the joint decision-makers among couples younger than 30. Conversely, fully four-in-ten young adults who are married or living together say they do not make decisions together, with the majority saying they make most of the decisions themselves.
Among couples in which the man earns more than his female partner, women still are more likely to make the decisions in more areas, but by a narrower margin (42% vs. 30%).
The financial services and legal professions also are traditionally male, but increasingly populated by women. About half of Americans (48%) say they have no preference between a male or female banker or lawyer. This is especially true of whites, college-educated Americans and high-income respondents. People who live in the West also are most likely than Americans in other regions to have no preference for a male or female banker or lawyer. After "no preference," though, Americans' second choice for their banker would be a woman (36%), which is true for both male and female respondents. Younger people are more evenly split between expressing no preference and favoring a woman. Older people are somewhat more likely to prefer a man to a woman.
Some groups are more likely to prefer a woman to a man or to the no-preference option. They include blacks and Hispanics (47% of each favors a woman banker), as well as Americans who have not graduated high school or who are in the lowest income group. Notably, even Americans who say they believe women should return to their traditional roles say they prefer a woman (37%) to a man (23%) for their banker.
As for their lawyer, men (51%) are slightly more likely than women (46%) to express no preference. Men (28%) and women (30%) are about equally likely to prefer a male lawyer. Women (23%) are somewhat more likely than men (18%) to prefer a female lawyer.
There are racial differences in lawyer preference. Most whites (54%) say gender doesn't matter. Hispanics and blacks are more likely than whites to split their votes among men, women or no preference. A narrow majority of middle-aged Americans (30-49 and 50-64) say they have no preference, compared with four-in-ten of younger or older Americans. Younger and older Americans cast more of their votes for male lawyers than do middle-aged Americans.
In general, older Americans are most likely to prefer men in traditionally male jobs. Blacks and Hispanics are more likely than whites to favor men in some traditionally male jobs, but tilt toward women in others. College graduates are more likely than less-educated Americans to express no job preference for either gender.
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
The leaves have started changing, and many of us will be spending more time indoors as the cooler weather descends. This invites romantic evenings and opportunities for pampering and service.
Change brings opportunity… even the change of seasons. Seize the day.
As always, our books and CD’s can be found at:
Send questions, comments and success stories to Emily (dot) Addison (at) Gmail (dotcom)
Letters from Women
Dear Emily -
My husband first told me of his submissive nature about a year ago. He started doing wonderful, helpful things for me with no explanation which made me shake my head in curious amazement, but it was great. After two or three weeks of this he told me of his "stealth submission" (though he didn't call it that, as I recall) and explained to me some of his deep desires. At first I guess I was fairly resistant and, as many wives, feared this was solely about leather, chains, strange sex toys, role playing sessions, etc. He didn't pressure me too much, but occasionally practically begged me to do some role playing activities with which I was always extremely uncomfortable but tried to play along. Sometimes this was somewhat successful, sometimes it was not.
It was some time after that when he introduced me to AHF. I will say it was very helpful to me even though I have yet to grasp it all or make it work for me. Over the past year or so I've read your entire book, and have begun to read through all of the letters from the beginning. I think I've only read 18 months to two years, so I have quite a way to go. I've been reading straight through rather than skipping around, hoping to get the full picture, inspiration, understanding, a light bulb going on in my brain, something. Of course, some letters are more applicable to me than others, and usually after a reading session, I feel a little more confident and will make a fresh attempt to be the dominant wife he wants me to be. I understand the concept and the great benefits I could enjoy, and while it was new and foreign to me a few years ago, I've come to accept that this COULD work for us, although my attempts so far are weak and I can't seem to remain consistent for more than a few days.
As I see it, here are my basic problems or challenges:
1) I am very NOT dominant! I'm about the most compliant, easy to get along with, non-confrontational person you'd ever meet. This is true in all areas of my life, not just our marriage. Try as I might I can't seem to become more assertive at work OR at home. I fully realize more assertiveness would not only help in my marriage to a submissive guy, but in my job as well.
2) I have a deplorable lack of imagination which prevents me from comfortably inserting myself into any type of role playing, no matter how harmless and non-threatening. This makes it hard for me to even pretend to be dominant.
3) I have this nagging feeling that at the back of my husband's protestations that he just wants to serve me and please me, his overwhelming desire to submit to a dominant woman is making him try to coerce me into being something I'm simply not.
4) Oh, I almost forgot (which illustrates the problem!), it also seems I must be cursed with a very, very low libido as I rarely think of sex, while it's almost ALL my husband seems to think about. Or maybe I'm just a normal working mom of a young child who is exhausted most of the time.
The sad thing is, I do see it from his side too when we have real heart to heart talks, usually after a period of failed "dominance" attempts on my part. He just wants me to show SOME interest in making this work, some interest in him, in sex, in his performance - or non performance - of the tasks I give him to perform. As you have said so many times, a submissive man can go on submitting and serving for a while without the sexual stimulation, but it can't be maintained without the wife's role being formalized. As I said, I think I get the concept pretty clearly, I just can't seem to follow through with my end of the bargain.
No matter how many attempts I make to start fresh, I seem to quickly run into a roadblock of my own making and resulting from my extreme inhibitions. I only include my work related comments to show you that this is an overall personality trait of mine, it's not just that I'm resistant to the sexual nature of the D/s lifestyle. I realize it doesn't even have to be all about sex from my side of it, even if it is all about sex for him. Your little examples of things to say are mostly so innocuous I feel silly being reluctant to even use those lines spontaneously.
Well, I think that about covers it from my perspective. Is there any hope for me? Or is it simply impossible for some women? I hope to hear from you and will watch the new letters over the next few weeks in case you reply there only and not personally. In any event, thanks for listening. Even if nothing else, it's therapeutic to write this all down. I guess I'll go do some more letter reading while I have a little rare time left to myself this evening.
A wanna be,
Please do not despair. Your motives seem clear to me. You love your husband and want to make this relationship work for him. Let’s turn this around and figure out to make it work for you. In doing so it will work for you both. Let’s also figure out how to do all this within your own comfort level, but still let him feel as though his submissive nature is given adequate expression.
Think back to when he first began his efforts at stealth submission; what worked for you then? Make a list of things that you want. What about his submission could possibly be good for you? You claim your libido is low, so maybe having him please you orally on a more frequent basis is not an adequate reward for you. How about massages? At least it is sensual if not sexual, and more so if you are both naked during the massages. You say you are incredibly busy. Fix this. Have him do more of your current chores. Find a reason to embrace his submission or you will have no motivation to move forward. When it all starts to click, the intimacy will grow and provide its own reward, but until it does, you need reasons to remain engaged.
Second, you are, like many women, uncomfortable with active displays of dominance in your relationship. I certainly do not advocate role playing as you mention in your letter. You owe him nothing in this regard. If it eventually becomes a rare treat that you bestow on him as a reward for exceptional behavior, that is fine, but only if you are both comfortable with it and take equal satisfaction from the activity.
Furthermore, if you are uncomfortable with ‘acting the part’ of the dominant wife, figure out somewhat more passive ways to control him. I have recommended some of these to other women in the past. Write him notes as a general means of communicating your instructions, and use your verbal commands more sparingly. Written communications, for whatever reason, are easier for many wives.
Also, make the work of communicating his responsibility as well. Every day at first, then perhaps weekly, have him send you an email journal. You can give him topic suggestions, or he can just write about his day and how he feels about you on that day. The trick is to get him in touch with his emotional and spiritual side. At the end of every note he writes you, have him suggest three things that he would like to do for you the next day. Choose the ones that appeal to you or reject them all and respond with requests of you own. You will at least have ongoing insight into his desires without having to drag them out of him. Be firm and demanding in these written communications. Again, your more commanding tone should be easier to achieve in email.
Finally, use a non-verbal cue for orgasm management or even requests for service. Perhaps you could just set out the foot lotion when you want a foot massage. Perhaps you can have a little token object you set out when you want ‘unselfish’ affection from him and another when he is allowed intercourse and ejaculation. The important thing is that you develop alternatives to the activities and communication styles that today seem like a poor fit to your personality.
If I have missed something, please email me again with more details. I very much want to help make this work. Your commitment and effort is absolutely admirable. And finally, I know you were not enthusiastic about having your letter published. I took extra steps to hide details of your situation, and I hope you do not mind too much that I shared it with others.
Letters from Men
I have learned much from your site and book, and thank you and Ken for them.
I wanted to point you to a very interesting web site of a psychoanalyst with a lot of couples experience: http://www.psychnews.us/longterm_sex.html. Her name is Dr. Jean Hantman, and she makes a number of strong points that to me relate closely to your relationship ideas. For example, she sees three types of relationships (in which either man or woman can be found in either role): The "worst" she describes is one partner submitting to a partner who only wants control. This is not your model -- although Dr. Hantman presents in her discussion the dominant party as the woman, there is no loving in it, and submission is not an agreeable or rewarding state for the man.
Of more interest is what she calls the "hardest" relationship, where the overarching goal is equality of the parties. This relationship requires a lot of hard work by both parties to stay in balance and successful, and can easily go off the rails. This seems to be the predominant relationship model of our times, but has lots of disadvantages.
Her third relationship type she calls "the easiest." This is where one party willingly submits to the other. This works, Dr. Hantman says, if the dominant party is "nice and sane." Her examples here are a woman (who may well be smarter and more intuitive than the man) submitting to a man. She talks about how this can be difficult for a woman who believes in feminism, etc. Obviously, for a man to step forward to be submissive in the relationship has its difficulties too.
Elsewhere Dr. Hantman points out that the gender roles in her relationship discussions are interchangeable, although she does only discuss the woman submitting in her discussion of the "easiest" type of relationship. Your website and the success of couples following the AHF approach seems to be the missing discussion, the flip side. I would agree that it likely works better your way than the other way.
I was even more struck by Dr. Hantman 's points on the problems of long-term married sexual relationships. She says:
"When women get married they seem to expect that their husbands will be thrilled to get sex whenever she feels like ‘giving it’ to him. Most women don't have a clue how important the physical act of sex is to men. They look at their apparently reasonable, sane husbands, right track, not avant-garde, not eccentric, not living on the edge--husbands who are writers, truck drivers, psychologists, carpenters, businessmen, accountants, teachers, lawyers, etc.--and they imagine that this is correlated to their sexual fantasies. It's not. Most women have no idea what complicated, intricate erotic fantasies men have."
Later she points out that single women have a genuine, uninhibited sex drive that often is suppressed in a woman who has been long married, and that men often don't communicate their true desires to their wives:
"This is one of the reasons second marriages have the potential to succeed more than first marriages. The older man comes to realize how wild and how particular his [fantasies are], but he's comfortable about it, not ashamed. If he's willing to share this with the woman he's falling in love with, and if she is willing to have fun with it, they will have the most successful of all types of relationships.Uninhibited, unrepressed, shared, not kept a secret, wild and safe."
To me this is what is going on with men who introduce AHF ideas to their marriage. Their wives are shocked to learn of their husband’s deep seated desire to submit, yet they keep an open mind, which seems to be the single biggest barrier judging from the letters to your site. Women approached by their men seeking an AHF relationship who do get past the sense of "weirdness" can get to an acknowledged relationship that is the "easiest."
Anyway, I found Dr. Hantman's views -- based on a lot of experience with couples -- to be unconventional and refreshingly sensible, and quite consistent with things you have said over and over on this web site.
Mike in NH
I absolutely loved your letter, and I went on to read the entire article to which you sent the link, as did Emily. I know that Emily sent an email to Dr. Hantman earlier this week, but she has not yet responded as of the time that this update is being published.
As Emily and I have written here before, the charade of shared authority in a relationship works for neither party, and on this point, we seem to be in perfect agreement with Dr. Hantman. It is good to hear an apparently credible source reinforcing this point.
Dear Emily and Ken:
In the September letters, Pam wrote: "I also now see that managing your husband's orgasms is very important. Ididn't want to do it before because I enjoyed classic sex (I still do), but over the last several days I have become more comfortable with oral sex, and I can see how it can be very enjoyable too. Besides, if it helps the relationship, I am happy to have a little less classic sex and a little more oral sex."
As I proceed, please excuse me if I overstep your preference to avoid detailsor detailed accounts. It is not intentional.
I'm not certain of what Pam means by "classic sex." If she means penetration as we usually think about it, then I'm not sure why she has to have "a little less" in the interests of orgasm management. Part of my late wife'sapproach to orgasm management was to tell me that she wanted me to get in touch with my body, by which she meant that I was to understand myself well enough topause as close to orgasm as possible. In this way, she could have all the ‘classic sex’ that she wanted while still managing my orgasms. In fact, that's what she liked most about it: penetrative intercourse became first and foremost a matterof her satisfaction.
Were there "accidents"? Sure, and they had consequences until I learned toget in touch with my body well enough to know when to pause. I believe that my wife would have regarded this as a critical part of orgasm management had she been familiar with the term. I'm interested to know -- and I'll bet thatyour other readers are, too -- to what extent you see the husband's responsibilities in orgasm management.
Thanks for reading,
I believe that the husband is intensely involved in the shared responsibility of orgasm management, even as I believe strongly that the wife is the final arbiter of when and if he is allowed to climax. The behavior you described between you and your wife is one good example. When a submissive man engages in any activity with his wife that might lead to his own orgasm, strong communication and excellent discipline are absolutely necessary to maintain her control of the situation.
Also, men are responsible for sharing their thoughts on orgasm management and how their current schedule is impacting the intensity of their submission. As wise and thoughtful as our wives are, they cannot always read our minds. Honest communication is important.
On a more basic note, men are responsible for abstaining when their wives are not around to ensure compliance. We have often danced around posting solutions to this problem online, and we continue to feel that for now, in this forum, we will simply advocate self-discipline. However, women who write us with a sincere request for additional help on this topic will always get a quick but informed reply
Question: Is it possible to find a woman who would enjoy being in a Female Led/Wife Led relationship and who understands this part of my psyche or should I continue keeping my fantasy in my head?
My experience has been that most women are looking more for a dominant man. In my attempt to find advice from those who proclaim to have specific knowledge with Female Led relationships, all I find is that they want money and never give advice or never want to meet in person for counseling. In other words, they are trying to tap into the sexual high that people feel in the moment in order to get money. If this type of relationship is possible, how do you find it, and how do I identify these women?
I am a very athletic (run, bike, fly, lift weights), intelligent, financially (several homes, cars, retirement, no debt) stable guy. Well it is awkward to say, I do believe that I am attractive and have been told so by many women. I envision having a family and living a typical outward type of life (community service, raising children, and loving and adoring my wife). I've never married. Most relationships end relatively short. Most women I choose are very beautiful and intelligent and fall in love with me right away, until they sense something is different. They find me doing all the house chores and not being more aggressive physically. I've never broached the topic with them, primarily because when it comes to sex, I tend to be on the shy side.
Again is this type of relationship really possible for me?
George, I do appreciate your writing us, but with all due respect, you sound a bit like a whiner. I accept your letter at face value, so I believe that you have everything going for you that a woman would desire in a man. You have no trouble getting women, but you say you are unwilling to bring this topic up with them because of your shyness.
Most women do not enter into relationship looking to control a submissive man. However, most loving, open-minded women will accept the submission of the man that they love, and properly informed, they will work to make a wife-led relationship a success for both parties.
Will you ever find the woman you seek? I do not know. What I do know is that you will never find her if you keep your secrets locked up inside of you.
I am not sure how to go about solving our "problem". I am married to a beautiful woman for thirteen years. We are very happy together for the most part, but have some issues that need help. I stay at home, take care of our daughter, and go to school full-time. I also completely worship my wife. I do most of the laundry, dishes, cleaning, etc; although, I admit not very well at times. I've offered to learn how to do her pedicure, wash her car- anything. She has final say over finances and most things.
The funny thing is that she seems to like having control. However, she seems to have no interest in reinforcing that control with the verbal cues or the sexual behavior that you lay out on your site. I've tried giving her your book and she just dismisses it and says, "I already do make the decisions, and you do most of the work around the house."
I guess what I am trying to say is that I am willing to do anything, but she is not interested in even the most subtle version of AHF. I've expressed that I would rather her tell me to do things around the house than to ask me. It's all a joke to her. She likes making jokes about it, but would rather "nag" me than just tell me to do something with firm authority.
Maybe I want too much? And her lack of interest leaves me feeling very insecure. I don't know what to do. Please, any advice would be so appreciated. We have no sex life as she is not interested at all. We have discussions all the time about it. I believe I have tried everything
You have tried everything to communicate your feelings, but perhaps you need help in articulating them in a way that works for her. Show her your simple letter as I have edited it above, and ask her again to read the book. Also, avoid the overtly sexual language which was abundant in the original version of your letter. This is first and foremost about greater intimacy between the two of you, and the sexual techniques we teach are a means to that intimacy.
Until she is given clear reasons that make sense in the context of her needs, she is unlikely to come around. Tell her how important it is to you, and I suspect she will make the necessary effort.
Greetings Emily (and Ken),
I am one of those who has never had the courage to suggest a female-led relationship to my wife. The reasons are typical but ironic. Her reaction as a 50s born farm girl to something so far from her early concept of marriage is my greatest fear.
The irony is that she is also a 70s educated woman with strong feelings about equality for women and a chip on her shoulder about men who don't do their part. I believe she felt we were fairly equal in our domestic duties until the children were born, and she stayed home for a few years. We then seemed to slip into our parents’ role model for a while mostly out of convenience more than politics or ideology. When she returned to the workplace these habits brought out that old chip on the shoulder, except now it was directed at me. Understand that I've always cooked and cleaned and done laundry, but I also travel a lot on business, and if the bathroom needs cleaning she doesn't wait until Friday to get it done. I suppose it's easy for this to feel "same ol' same old" for her.
Much of our behavior, both in and out of the bedroom, seems on the verge of a female-centric relationship, but I just haven't been able to make an overt statement. Now with the kids finally away this fall, I'm reconsidering my strategy and would love to hear your suggestions.
Any thoughts from either you or Ken would be greatly appreciated.
Why do so many men who write us want us to recommend a path to an AHF marriage other than what we suggest on our site? I could see if you had tried to give your wife the book, and she refused to read it, or if you tried unsuccessfully to talk to her about your feelings (like the letter above), why you might write seeking suggestions. You, however, have done neither.
Does your wife not love you dearly? Do you not have a lifetime of shared experiences bonding you together? Do you honestly think you – not the ideas, but you – will be rejected?
Overcome your fears and open up to your wife.
Our books and CD’s can be found at www.lulu.com/aroundherfinger/
Tuesday, September 02, 2008
There was a letter in last month’s update where the wife in a newly minted AHF relationship summed up the impact of loving female authority by saying that it simply made her feel loved. I adore this sentiment, and think it is exactly the outcome that we expect. It might even make an appropriate motto for our site, if sites like ours should even have such things.
Ken had suggested to me that a better expression might be “I am loved”. I disagree. She feels loved not only because she is loved; she feels loved because he expresses his love for her. I think many women are loved by their husbands, but do not get enough validation to this effect. They may get a nice card on Valentines Day or a special dinner on their anniversary, but what does he do every day to let her know he loves her?
A woman whose husband respects her opinions, who works to please his wife, and who pampers her with foot massages and unselfish love-making… now that woman has few doubts. Women are very much creatures of our own emotions. When we can feel it, we know it is so.
As always, our books and CD’s can be found at www.lulu.com/aroundherfinger/Send questions, comments and success stories to Emily (dot) Addison (at) Gmail (dotcom).
Letters from Women
I am writing this letter for all of those women whose husbands have introduced them to your site, but remain doubtful as to whether the concept of a female led household would really work for them. I was also extremely reluctant when I first read through “Around Her Finger”. My husband can be a very stubborn man when it comes to his opinion on things. And because I am also naturally headstrong, we were constantly arguing on just about everything. So my first reaction to this was compete rejection of its premise.
But, as my husband pointed out to me, our relationship was already somewhat female lead. Although there was always a lot of loud debate, I did make most of the major decisions in our marriage. I have been leaving my husband weekly “honey do” lists since the day we were married. He eventually completes everything on the list, but not necessarily as quickly as I would like. And he has always been a very unselfish lover, making sure that I am completely satisfied each and every time.
Although this sounds like a pretty good marriage, there were other things about our relationship that were not so great. My husband is not the neatest person in the world. He is also a huge sports fan and an avid golfer. This may apply to eighty percent or more of all other married men, but my husband was obsessive. There is just not enough time in the week to watch all of the local teams’ games on TV and play 18 holes every weekend. This is all in addition to the time commitment of his high pressured, full time job. Something has to give, and it was usually the household, the kids, or me.
A few months after my husband showed me your site, I had gotten so fed up with his sports passion that I went back and read through it again, only this time it was on my own without him looking over my shoulder. And it was I who brought the subject back up, asking him if he was still interested in pursuing this type of relationship. When he said that he was, I asked him to tell me very specifically what he would want to get out of it, since it seemed like the only benefits from this dynamic would be to me, especially in regards to regulating his time.
My husband explained to me that his interest in this lifestyle was clearly from a sexual perspective. Although he did not expect any more sex then we have already had (which was probably more than most couples of our age), the knowledge of him being controlled by me, his sexual “goddess”, was a significant turn-on in itself for him. He was willing to give me this control, but he hoped that I would do three things in return:
- Verbally acknowledge that I am the head of the household who makes final decisions, with constant reminders from me when appropriate;
- Verbally acknowledge (as well as truly believe) that my body is irresistible to him;
- Use this knowledge to my benefit (telling him what to do) and amusement (verbal teasing), as well as understanding that he gets extremely turned on as a result of me doing this, thus motivating me to keep doing it.
“OK, that’s weird”, I thought, but I was sure that I could do it. I told him we would try it for a month, but we would not discuss our perspectives on the experience until the month was up. I limited him to viewing one sports event per week, and playing golf just once a month. This was difficult for him, but he abided by my restrictions. I also wrote down a list for him of all of the things I expected him to be more orderly about.
Although I felt a little silly at first, I tried my best to comply with his three requests. However, sexually teasing him while telling him what to do started to become a natural thing for me. Realizing how much a turn on my body really was for him, I started demanding foot and back massages on a regular basis, and he has become quite good at it. These massages almost always lead to oral pleasure for me, which he has always loved to provide. My “honey do” lists became longer and more frequent, and I even added a time frame in which I expected him to complete each item. Now that he was not spending so much time with sports, he was able to complete just about every task within the allotted time.
The biggest change from this experiment was that the arguments that were once so common in out lives were now non-existent. I will ask him for his opinion on something, which he gives honestly. As in the past, I do not always agree with his perspective on things, so I let him know what my final decision is. And that’s the end of the debate. He does not appear the least upset at any of the decisions I make that he does not agree with. In fact, he sometimes will offer to help me implement these decisions once I make my mind up.
Needless to say, I was very happy with the changes in our marriage, and my husband confirmed after the month was over that he also enjoyed this new dynamic in our relationship. We have been practicing this lifestyle for almost two years, and I believe it was the best decision I've ever made. My husband also seems very happy with the way it has turned out.
One thing I wanted to convey to all you skeptical ladies out there is to just give it a try for a test period like I did. If it’s not for you, you’ll know it and you can move on to the same old thing, or something else. Also, don’t feel like you have to live your lives any differently. You don’t have to be “the boss” twenty-four-seven. Three or four days may go by in our life where you won’t know anything changed at all, so there is no pressure for you to “perform”. Also, if you like the way your husband makes certain decisions for you and/or your family, you can tell him to make those decisions. If you want him to sweep you off your feet and make passionate love to you, tell him to do just that. If he is like my husband, he’ll happily comply because it is what you want him to do.
Thank you, Emily, for the wonderful advice you have given to us.
Julie, your account of how you successfully made loving female authority work in your marriage is one of the most straightforward and down-to-earth accounts that I have ever received. Your experience and wise counsel are the perfect summary for any woman on the fence about whether to move forward and how to do so.
Please accept my best wishes for continued success.
Dear Emily,My problem is solved!
About 3 weeks ago my husband told me that he wanted to go back to a marriage of equals because I had not taken control the way he expected after we agreed to try it last November. I answered that I would think about it but didn't know what to do. Last Friday he came back from work and told me that since I hadn't said anything, he considered us back to being equals. I didn't know what to say at first, but then I told him that I had made a decision and he would hear it later that night. I then told him to go wash my car, inside and out, while I eat my dinner. Then I told him to take a shower and come to see me in my bedroom. I said that he would not be having dinner that night. I don't know where this came from, but it's what I told him. I saw a flash of anger in his face, but then he just said "OK" and went outside.
After dinner I went to the bedroom, thinking what I would do. When he came upstairs, I told him to sit down and be quiet until I told him that he could speak. I told him that I am already the head of the relationship, and that I was not ready to change that. I told him that I expected him to obey me, show respect and always consider my wishes, not his. I said that his recent behavior had been selfish and that I would not permit that anymore. He would have to make up for that and reform his ways. I told him that from now on he would have chores every day after coming back from work, and that he would have a list the next day. I also told him that for the next two weeks he would come to my bedroom (I was careful to call it MY bedroom) every night at 9:30 after taking a shower to have sex with me, but he would not be allowed to penetrate me or to have an orgasm. I then told him that he could speak, and all he said was that he was sorry he had been selfish and that he would try to be a better husband!
On Saturday I gave him the list and so far he has been doing his chores as told.
I can see now that we should have had the conversation we had last Friday, and I should have given him a chore list at the beginning of the change in our relationship last year. I also now see that managing your husband’s orgasms is very important. I didn't want to do it before because I enjoyed classic sex (I still do), but over the last several days I have become more comfortable with oral sex, and I can see how it can be very enjoyable too. Besides, if it helps the relationship, I am happy to have a little less classic sex and a little more oral sex.
I wanted to share my experience with you because there may be other women out there that think that they have lost their chance to lead their marriages, as I did until last week. I want to tell them that you can take back your position as leader if you take the steps I did. Be bold and take charge!
I love your story as it demonstrates how decisive action can turn around a relationship for the better in an instant. Maintain your firm authority in the home and both you and your husband will benefit for many years to come.
I married shortly after finishing college and we were a typical couple in Spain. He was the main breadwinner and I took care of the house while he made all the important decisions (and some not so important). That first marriage lasted eight years before ending in divorce.
Not long after he divorced me, he married another woman. I see them fairly often because we live in the same area and have many common friends. I noticed that their relationship is very different from the one we had. She is clearly in charge and he seems to be happy doing everything she tells him to do. At first I thought it was because he loves her and didn't love me, but over time I started to think that maybe it's not that. I became interested in relationships led by women and after many crazy web sites, I found yours. I got your book through a friend in the United States, and your ideas made sense to me. I am now convinced that my mistake was to think that because it's socially accepted for men to take the lead in a marriage, that must also be what men want.
I married for the second time a little over two years ago, and from the beginning I have been the head of the household. Before we got married, when we started to get serious, I told my husband-to-be that if we got married I wanted to be the head of the household. We had a long conversation like the one you describe in your book and he agreed. He has never read your book, and as far as I know he doesn't even know that it exists. I don't know if I ever want to give it to him or not.
My personal experience and my observation of other couples here in Spain have convinced me that most if not all men want a woman to tell them what to do. Some have a hard time accepting it because of social convention, but I'm sure that deep inside that's what most men want.
I'm in a much happier marriage than my first one and I can tell that my husband is much happier than my ex ever was when he was married to me. It's never too late to find the way, but sometimes it's difficult to change your mindset, especially when you are going against what society accepts as "normal."
Laura in Spain
It is wonderful to receive your letter and know that female authority is alive and well on the Iberian Peninsula. I believe your observations and even your generalizations are very true. Men are happiest when wrapped around the finger of the woman they love. If most women do not learn this early in life, then hopefully others, like you, will get their second chance at happiness.
Letters from Men
I have searched the internet to try to find clues to make sense of my submission, but I'm only beginning to understand this aspect of my nature. I would often come across many sites, which don't appeal to me at all. As it is mentioned on the site, I was looking for an emotional "answer" more than trying to gratify a sexual urge. But I ramble...
Anyway, I'm still in college and not married, but I have a serious girlfriend, and marriage is a matter of "when" and not "if". We want to each set up our careers so we can have a stable future together. We want nothing more than to be with each other, but we're not looking to rush anything.
Sometime after we began dating I realized my submissive nature which your site helped me to understand. The only thing is that I'm not sure if she'd understand. I've done some "stealth submission" but it hasn't turned out too well; she just thinks I'm being cute and attentive. I want to know, should I wait or should I be more forthcoming? I have no problem with waiting until after we are married if that's best; any moment I spend with her is treasured so even if I'm not fully content, I'm still happy with our relationship. I'm just frightened that I might make her uncomfortable or even weaken our relationship if I time this poorly; scaring her away is unthinkable.
This will shock her. It is what I really want but in the end it ultimately comes down to her.
P.S. I'm not the best at writing letters. I tried to keep focussed, but my thoughts are going in so many directions right now...
Your letter is excellent… I think there is no lack of focus or clarity as to your current challenges. You want to share a part of you that reflects your true self, but you are afraid she will reject it. In this you have something in common with most of the men that come to our site.
Do not underestimate her capacity to understand you. Well I do not know your fiancé, I do know that women in general are more capable of understanding our feelings than we are ourselves. As you grow in your relationship she will be able to guide you as Emily has been able to guide me. This, however, does not make it any easier to reveal your feelings.
I suggest you buy a copy of the New Bride’s Guide to Training Her Husband and leave it lying around your home. Tell her that a friend gave it to you… as a joke or otherwise… because he knew the two of you were getting serious. Tell her that you read it (it is a quick read), and that it really triggered something in you. Tell her to read it and see what she thinks. It will be the beginning to a lifetime of understanding.
You do not want to marry and agonize over this decision after you are fully committed to a life together.
Emily and Ken:
I wanted to write and update you from my last letter in December. While our AHF relationship has not been acknowledged by my wife, I've been taking to heart the counsel found here. I've been giving it time and striving in general to take the focus off me and my wants more than ever.
As I have been more attentive, listening, affectionate and doing acts of service for her in subtle, quiet ways, she is responding. She’s more attentive to me as well and content to let me do for her whether its chores or intimacy, and I'm finding her more willing to make decisions of what she wants and choosing what we will do without checking with me first. There's some progress there.
It’s a slow process, and it isn't easy as the open acknowledgment of my submission is what I crave. In effect, though, whichever way she decides this to go, this her-centered caring is what is good for a more traditional marriage dynamic anyway.
Perhaps someday my wife will come to verbally accept the devotion I long to pledge her as a husband who will love, honor and obey her. For now, I am at peace with this and what I can do for her.
Thanks for what you do.
Roger… please just tell her how you feel. Is there risk? Yes. However, you understand perfectly the potential rewards, and this should be enough.
Dear Emily and Ken:
Firstly, to thank you for a really well thought out book Around Her Finger and its intelligent approach to modern marriage. My wife and I have been married for only four years, and we have just recently started to incorporate the Around Her Finger concepts into our relationship. It seems like a mutual fit to both our needs, so while I can claim to have started the effort, she is very supportive and appears to be enjoying it.
My last comment would be that it was challenging for someone originally not familiar with your Around Her Finger book to stumble on this wonderful approach. Maybe it falls on the community to develop more intercommunication between couples. Or maybe it should be a challenge to each couple to enlighten at least one additional couple...just a thought. Anyways, thank you again for your wonderful book.
Emily and I are really coming around to the notion that we could do more to spread the word on the virtues of loving female authority. Any suggestions would be very welcome.
Dear Ken and Emily,
My wife told me to share this email that I sent her with you and your readers...
You asked me the other night, after you had your orgasm, if I like to be denied orgasm, and if I prefer it to having one. I have been thinking about your question and would like to explain to you how I feel about this.
The simple answer is that I prefer having an orgasm than not having one. However, when I think about the way our whole relationship and our sex life has changed since you took control of our marriage, the simple answer doesn't really apply. I agreed without any reservations that you will make all decisions involving us as a couple, so if you tell me I'm not having an orgasm, whatever your reasons, I will accept your decision. If it's right for you, it's right for us as a couple and therefore it's right for me.
You wanted to know how I feel when you deny me an orgasm. The moment you tell me, I feel a rush of excitement. The feeling that you have so much power over me excites me. Knowing I'm not having an orgasm makes me more excited than when you tell me I will have one, and much more excited than before, when I always counted on an orgasm when we first started to make love. Now I can't take an orgasm for granted, so it becomes a gift from you, which makes it so much more valuable. Also, once I know that I'm not having an orgasm that night, my pleasure becomes irrelevant. It becomes 100% about you and I can concentrate better in giving you as much pleasure as I can.
After you are satisfied and send me to sleep, I feel a little down, but I also feel proud of having done what you asked me to do. I go to sleep still aroused and can't sleep well. I can’t describe it, but is a pleasant feeling. Also, the next day I am still aroused and thoughts of you come back to me all the time. I can't wait to see you again.
I also want to tell you that since I started focusing on you first, regardless of whether I am permitted to have an orgasm or not, the whole sexual experience has changed for me. I enjoy the fact that we take more time in order to ensure that you are satisfied. If I don't have an orgasm every time, that's OK. The quality of our sex life and of the orgasms that I do have is much higher than before.
I know sometimes it's difficult for you to make the decisions and lead our marriage, and I thank you for taking the trouble and the responsibility to take control of our marriage.
What a wonderful email. That very question you address lingers on the minds of women, sometimes long after they have adopted our suggestions. Your letter does a perfect job of articulating an honest answer, and goes a step further, proving an ample description of the shared benefits of orgasm management to your loving wife.
Congratulations on a job very well done.
Our books and CD’s can be found at www.lulu.com/aroundherfinger/
Thursday, July 31, 2008
Let the passions of your own summer turn into courage and action before the long days leave us and the cooler weather arrives. For those men who still aspire to submission to their wives, take the leap of courage and make it happen for yourselves.
Before I close, I wanted to make all of our readers aware that we plan on taking a modest price increase for our books and CD’s sometime next month. There are some programs we want to try with search engine optimization, and we hope that additional dollars can help fund these programs. I mention it here now as fair warning to anyone who is on the fence about making a purchase in the immediate future.
As always, our books and CD’s can be found at www.lulu.com/aroundherfinger/
Send questions, comments and success stories to Emily (dot) Addison (at) Gmail (dotcom)
Letters from Women
My husband has been suggesting that I write to you for some time. I am not sure my story is any different than most other women who write to you about their Around Her Finger marriages, but I told him I would write. We had been at this for some time before my husband showed me your site but I have enjoyed reading your ideas.
Like what I am sure was the case with the majority of women who write to you, I was shocked when my husband told me he wanted me to take the leadership role in our marriage. At the time we had been married thirteen years, had two beautiful daughters, he was a successful businessperson and I was a happy stay-at-home Mom. We had our share of arguments and disagreements over money, raising our children, and our sex life, but nothing unlike any of the rest of our friends. That is why I was so surprised when my husband talked to me.
At first I totally rejected my husband’s argument that this change would be the best thing for us. As he talked to me about the changes he wanted us to make in our marriage I could not understand how I was expected to become the head-of-the-house almost overnight. Neither could he explain to me how my regularly denying him an orgasm would ever work to improve our sex life.
I know I discouraged and frustrated him to no end as I dismissed everything he suggested. As disheartened as he was, he was persistent. Over the next several months he would talk to me about his ideas and whether or not I would at least try something different.
It is almost funny now but the first thing I agreed to do was control the TV remote. We decided that from a certain date on, I would decide what TV shows he and I watched. Most of the time he was very agreeable to me changing the channel to watch what I wanted but there were times, especially on Sunday afternoons, when I would switch to a romantic movie and force him to miss a football game. He grumbled, quietly, but he grumbled nonetheless.
Next I began to suggest he do more around the house. I boldly (for me at least it was bold) made out a daily housework schedule for him to follow. I listed the household chores I wanted him to do each day. Again he was generally very compliant but there were times when he did squawk about doing the laundry or cleaning a bathroom.
Next I had him begin to do some of the cooking during the week. He already cooked some but I insisted he cook dinner for the girls and I at least two times a week and at least once on the weekend. His cooking was pretty basic but he did try hard. He also grumbled at times about having to come home from a long day at work and then immediately start fixing dinner but I told him it was his idea and we would stop if he wanted.
The best part for me in this was experiencing the difference our relationship as I took more control over him. We have far fewer arguments. I noticed he had begun to ask my opinion about everything, and not act until I had told him what I would do.
Next, when I told him I was going to control our finances he did not blink an eye. I had him direct deposit his paycheck to a checking account I controlled. I was already paying the bills anyway but this way he had to ask me for spending money. He really did not like this but he accepted it. At about the same time I also told him that from then on, he was not free to play golf every Saturday with his buddies. I might let him play but he would always be required to ask my permission first. This was a real problem for him at first. He had to think up excuses why he could not play instead of admitting to his buddies that his wife had said no.
All this time my husband still talked to me about me being demanding in the bedroom. This was one area where I was more reluctant than any other aspect of our marriage to take charge.
Good girls just did not do this kind of thing. After almost twelve months of him doing the cooking and the housework and asking my permission to do things, I was finally ready to take control. I can remember the first time I told him no after he had orally satisfied me. We had already begun to have him satisfy me first before we had intercourse. That night however he was surprised when after he had satisfied me I told him I was ready to sleep. I was more surprised when he cuddled up against me and repeatedly told me how much in love with me he was.
I repeated this same routine for the next several nights. I would have him satisfy me then he would cuddle up against me as we fell asleep. Several days later when he began to get frustrated by not being allowed any release, I allowed him to masturbate while I looked on. I did not want to stop having intercourse at all but I did want to assert my authority. I told him that from then on, I was to always be satisfied first, and then I would decide what happened next. He was as happy as I had ever seen him.
That was over four years ago, five years ago since we began this change, and I am now firmly in charge of our marriage. I am the decision-maker, I totally control our finances, I decide what I will do and when, and even with whom. In the bedroom I rule. My orgasm is all that is important. My husband satisfies me almost nightly while I allow him release only every ten days or so. We still have intercourse but it is when I want it and how I want it. I am still a stay-at-home Mom but my husband does virtually all of the cooking and most of the housework.
I would encourage all married women to try this.
Your thinking certainly evolved over time, and to the benefit of both you and your husband. The transition for your new domestic roles in the marriage seemed to come easy. The rewards to you began to pile up one on top of the other. How could you not embrace these changes?
The sexual component, however, was more difficult. As you said, “good girls just did not do this sort of thing”. But you were bold and wise to adopt changes in this arena as well. This was the opportunity for the rewards to pile up one on top of the other for your husband. His loving devotion to your pleasure and his perfect knowledge that you control his own is his reward.
Continued good luck and wisdom for your path forward.
I don’t’ know how to thank you for hosting this site. My husband showed it to me two months ago, and it has changed us (I hope) forever.
I can sum up my experience with three words: “I feel loved!”
Janet in Minneapolis
You have said it all! And believe me, he feels loved as well.
Letters from Men
I’ve read your blog for years, but I’ve never written. I’m a success story in that I bought my wife your book and after a lot of discussion and some trial and error, our relationship has really developed into the prototypical Around Her Finger marriage. I’m writing now to share what has been an unexpected outcome of this transition. This is not a complaint; it is merely a head-ups to other men that look to have what I now have.
For background, I should point out that while I have well-understood that I had submissive fantasies forever, I did not understand that I was in fact submissive. This is not a subtle distinction. The more I learned about male submission, in part from your site, the more I realized that I could not escape this. It would always be part of me and I would need to embrace it to be happy. However, because I met, fell in love with and married my wife before I had this personal epiphany, I had never considered her openness to this as part of my decision to make a life-long commitment to her. I loved her then for who she was, and honestly, if she had been closed to this, it would not have changed one bit the intense love I still have for her now.
However, that said, she was not the best candidate for becoming the alpha spouse in our relationship. She was very quiet, not at all aggressive or even outgoing, and arguably closer to submissive than dominant in terms of her personality at the time. However, she loved me as much as I love her so she was skeptical but open-minded. Following a boot camp period she openly accepted my submission to her. We have been living in a wife-led relationship for over eighteen months.
What I did not expect were the dramatic changes in my wife’s personality for which this was a catalyst. She has embraced a dominant role not only in our relationship, but it has carried over to other parts of her life. She is much more assertive (in a good way) with others, be they friends, acquaintances or strangers. She might have let others push her around a bit in the past, but definitely not now.
However, there are some other things that were just a bit unexpected. For example, when we are together with others, there can be little doubt that she is the one that wears the pants in our house. In fact she is very open with me about the fact that she likes demonstrating her authority with me in front of others. If there is a group of her female friends at the house, I am serving them drinks, ordered around, and generally treated like a (much loved) servant. In front of men she has a tendency to flirt, and again order me around a bit. She tells me that she knows that it excites me to let others have just a tiny peak into our own little secret, and to a great extent, this is true. However, it represents a pretty dramatic personality reversal for her compared to before all of this started.
I wonder if you find that this is typical of wives that adopt this sort of relationship. Do you expect that she will continue to evolve in this direction and what do you see as the possible implications of this?
Great thanks for your site,
I spoke with Emily about your letter. It is hard to say that anything is really typical about AHF relationships, but what you describe as the growth in your wife’s self confidence is certainly not unique. Women use the strength that they gain in their relationship with their husband as a leaping off point to assertiveness and control in other parts of their lives.
As to where she might go, I would say wherever she wants. It is your role to nurture her strength just as it is her role to nurture your submission. Continue to obey her and accept her decisions with all the appropriate humility.
Should there be limits as to what a husband is expected to do in order to obey and serve his wife?
Yes, you are always bounded by your conscious and your moral framework, whatever its source. Beyond these basic constraints, there are no other limits. Communicate if necessary, but obey just the same.
This is why you enter into these relationships only with people you love, trust and with whom you share similar values.
Our books and CD’s can be found at www.lulu.com/aroundherfinger/