Thursday, January 31, 2008
Welcome to the February Updates
February is our favorite month. What other month gives husbands the opportunity to fill a lovely Hallmark card with an open discussion of love and relationships? We have a free Around Her Finger t-shirt (available for purchase for your valentine here) for the most creative "confessional valentine" that anyone wants to share with us.
We have received many positive responses to our becoming involved in the FSG Charter Survey. If anyone would still like to participate in the survey, data collection still remains open. Just email me with your interest in taking the fifteen minute survey, and we will email you a link and password. Also, please email me with any questions, success stories, or comments about our site.
Emily (dot) Addison (at) gmail.com
Our books and CD’s are available for purchase at:
Letters from Women
I am really hoping for your advice, since I really have no one to talk to about this. I have read through almost every letter on your blog.
About eight weeks ago my husband of five years pointed me to the link to your website. My first reaction was no way, but I do know how in his fantasy life he dreams of being female-dominated. So we have been giving it a go. And we have been having some fun and he tells me he is the happiest he has ever been. But I am so confused, because I can't figure out how to balance this with the life we have. And I feel really sad sometimes, because I feel like there has been some loss of intimacy. Sometimes when we do [some of the kinkier things], I feel so disconnected and like it has nothing to do with me - or us.
The background to this is that we have a two year old and a four year old and our sex life had been dismal...probably due to the fact that I am constantly tired and always have a lot going on. Clearly I needed to pay A LOT more attention to my husband. The other part of our background is that while we have not been having regular sex, my husband had been spending A LOT of time on the computer on the many female domination websites out there. I am sure you know they are very graphic. I knew about this for a long time, and there were time I would cry to sleep because he was sitting in the dark with the computer and not me.
When he came to me with your website, he confessed he would stop all porn on-line if I would give this a shot. So after initial rejection I have been really trying to make it work. And like I said - I have been having fun, I am more relaxed, and I feel sexier. We have been talking in detail about what works and what does not work. Sometimes I feel closer to him then ever. Sometimes it is exhausting. And sometimes I feel like I cannot give my husband the complete attention he wants. Does that make sense? I have been working hard at not making him last in the line up of our kids and my work and our life in general.
Here is the thing - he tells me I am not giving him enough. He means [kinky activity]. I think he still wants what he saw on the computer and I am not there - in spirit or energy. We go along for a week and I think we are doing great - he has a list of chores, I egg him along, and I make him keep a blog so he remembers that I AM playing along. I am a strong woman and generally comfortable being in charge - and pretty much have been for our entire marriage except for our sex life.
This past week we were both away for work and tonight finally both alone and tired, but happy to be together. I just wanted to be with him and have some good, yummy inimate sex and feel close to him. Instead we got into a heated discussion about how he needed more. Here is what he blogged earlier in the day:
Funny how 3 days "off the wagon" makes a difference. I'm not really feeling the submissive thing right now. Definitely had no intention of stripping the bed this AM until she called me on it.
I feel like I am not getting it. I feel like everyday I have to have a plan of what I am doing with him to be in the mood. I feel very alone in all of this as I have no one to turn to talk to about this. I know I am rambling and not being very concise - I think it is because I can't quite put my finger on what is happening. We are having such huge highs and lows since we started. It seems so much more complicated then what I read.
Any advice would be so appreciated.
I think your husband is acting like a jerk, and I think you need to make this more about his submission to your authority and less about giving him what he thinks he wants. Around Her Finger techniques in a healthy marriage are not about fantasy fulfillment, they are about truly changing the dynamics of spousal authority to affect a better relationship. If the kinky stuff makes you uncomfortable, do not do it at all. If you are ok with, and even enjoy it, then do it as reward for his extended good behavior. Do not let him manipulate you as he is clearly trying to do. That said, if he is like most submissive men, he does need overt reminders of your authority. However, he does not need specific activities prescribed by him to you.
Be stern and very clear with your expectations. Make a list of what you want out of your relationship. Keep it short and high-level, and make sure that he is first and foremost serving your needs. Take whatever measures are necessary to make certain he is not cheating on your orgasm management, and when you want vanilla intimacy, you will get it. Keep him away from the computer. Keep him with you in the evenings after your children go to bed. He should either be on his knees serving you in some way, or cuddled up on the couch with you giving you what you need. When you go to bed, he goes to bed with you, or if he has been difficult, he sleeps on the floor next to you.
Tell him every morning and every night that you expect to be obeyed and respected, whether he is in the mood or not. Follow this by having him make some tangible, physical and intimate expression of his service to you.
You can and will improve your situation with resolve and patience.
Letters from Men
Thanks for your thoughtful response to a woman who wrote last month who feared she was having an identity crisis. I would add that while labels like "head of household" are a convenient code for discussion, we should avoid defining ourselves by them lest it lead to the very problem she's facing. My late wife and I had what we considered a wife-led marriage. She directed my behavior and assured my submission by combining orgasm management spiced with an occasional scolding or lecture. She could get me to do her bidding by calling loudly across the house or with a simple change in expression. I will never forget wandering into the kitchen to find her contemplating a sink full of dirty dishes. She cocked one eyebrow at me; I stopped what I was doing on the spot to tackle the dishes!
At the same time, she was warm, funny, tender, and appreciative. We had fun with all of this, and I don't think it could have worked if we hadn't. Also, there were plenty of parts of our life that she had no desire to control or take charge of. She trusted me with them, and I gave her no reason to regret it. Simple things like family vacations we planned together, and she wanted it that way.
My counsel to this woman is to do what is comfortable, makes sense, and is fun while -- as you say -- growing into her and husband's new relationship. Trust herself, trust the relationship, and the rest will fall into place over time.
What a beautiful letter, and one that sets the tone for what we try and accomplish on this site. This is the letter of the month, and the one that I am most proud to post and honored to respond to personally.
Dear Emily and Ken,
I found your website about six months ago and I am very intrigued by it. I would like to explore loving female authority in my marriage, but I have a few questions. How does one know when they are really ready to commit? Sometimes I think I'm ready and other times not? What does a typical day consist of for Ken? Does he have to have your permission to spend time with his friends?
I enjoy your monthly updates hearing from other people on the subject.
All good questions, but let me start my answers with the basics. I am submissive to Emily, but first and foremost, I am her husband and not some mindless slave. I make the vast majority of my own decisions, but for important decisions which involve her in any way, I defer to her judgement. She listens to me and values my opinion, but if she disagrees, she has final say.
On weekdays, I get up and leave the house before she does. I make the coffee, and I get her breakfast ready for her to make. (I would make it, but it would be cold by the time she got up if I did that). I do most, but not all of the housework. I give her foot rubs very often, but not every night. I give her massages less often, but still at least twice a week, and sometimes much more than that. I do sometimes go out with my friends, but I usually spend most of that time wishing I were with Emily anyway.
When we go out with other couples, I am respectful and loving to her, like any good husband should be. I very, very rarely give her any reason to be cross with me. I see keeping her happy as a one of my most important goals, and I work very hard at this. If she senses I am tired or very busy, she cuts me slack. She is a wonderful wife and cares very much about my happiness as well.
When do you know if you are ready to commit? If you know you are submissive, you already know you will not really be happy until you finally do. There is no better time to start than the present. Show her this site, writer her a letter, or buy her our book, CD, etc., but one way or the other, tell her.
I wish there was a way that fans of your site could connect with each other.
You have said in the past that you are not open to a forum or reply posts on your updates page because you feel it is important to control the messaging associated with Around Her Finger. I respect this and admire the fact that you and Emily have kept the original mission of the site in place after years of consistent updates. However, I have a suggestion that I wonder if you might consider posting in the updates section.
Because many of your readers have public profile on some of the [social networking] sites, I wonder if I could implore them all to post the words “Emily Addison” and/or “Around Her Finger” on those sites in some way. They could either do it in their profiles or in their journal updates. This way I could find them by doing a search and reach out to add them to my “friends” group.
What do you think?
Eric in Ft. Lauderdale
I like your suggestion. We can see how that goes, but I also promise to look into the possibility of creating a private Around Her Finger group that we can moderate to still maintain some sense of control over the content.
Dear Emily and Ken,
I have read quite a lot of what your site has to offer and it has left me feeling faintly disturbed. I can understand the state of mind you describe, where an unfulfilled submissive spends much, if not all his waking hours thinking about his submissive fantasies. The only problem is that, to me, this state of mind seems dysfunctional.
For years I suffered from obsessive compulsive disorder, where all I could think about was bacteria and hygiene. I would, consequently, wash my hands obsessively dozens of times a day. I have had it under control now to the extent that my hands are no longer almost raw from over washing. My point is that it is perfectly normal to be concerned about germs, but it is dysfunctional to be obsessed with them. In the same way, it would seem that it is ok to have these kinds of fantasies (I have them myself), but dysfunctional to allow your life to be dominated by them. Allowing yourself to be subjugated to the will of another merely to satisfy the libidinous part of one's personality would seem to be a willfully gross limitation of a human being's potentially far richer mental life. Freud had a term - 'redirected libidinous drive' - in which we use some of the sexual energy resident in our psyche in pursuit of other forms of creativity and spirituality. Sex, after all, is only part of what it is to be human.Regards,
Emily and I discussed your very interesting letter at some length. I hope it does not surprise you that we both agree with you on your key point. We should of course keep our impulses in check, and this is what separates us not only from the “dysfunctional” as you say, but also from the animals. Submission is an incredibly strong impulse, and controlling it is a precondition to a healthy, happy life.
We do, however, disagree with you in that I do not see submission as strictly a libidinous part of one’s personality. I see it having a very strong sexual connection, but being essentially an emotional and interpersonal dynamic. When misdirected, it expresses itself in sexual compulsions, and I think that many submissive men find themselves struggling with what might be called addictions to pornography with themes of dominant women, and some with even more concrete behaviors that are also essentially self-destructive.
However, in the context of a loving relationship, a man’s submission to a woman is an expression of his adoration, his love, and his desire to connect on a more intimate and emotional level. It is for many, decidedly “non-libidinous”. Perhaps you may think of this as redirected libidinous drive, but I prefer to think of it as an appropriately directed desire for emotional intimacy.
Maybe this is just a matter of semantics, but I have never totally bought into Freud anyway. If I have misinterpreted your point, I welcome you to write back. Your letter was a pleasure to contemplate.
I have posted Around Her Finger translated into Dutch on the Lulu website. If you proceed to mention this Dutch version in your blog next month, you could use the following data:
Name of the book:
'OM HAAR VINGER GEWONDEN', by Ken Addison. Translated by Maximiliaan Prins.
Ordering address: http://www.lulu.com/content/1858856
I sincerely hope that in the future the phenomenon of female authority will become totally common and normal. It's also my opinion that it is the very natural order of things. Have nice greetings from me and my wife and keep up encouraging so many people.
Max Prins, The Netherlands
Max… thank you for your efforts. I will certainly post the availability and location of your work. And ...for those of you wanting the good old fashioned english versions of our books and CD's:
Also, as we said in the opening, check out our merchandising link for great Valentines gifts.
Wednesday, January 02, 2008
I hope that you all had a great holiday and have made all the appropriate promises and resolutions for the new year. Ken and I visited some relatives out of town for Christmas and New Years (which explains the late update even if it doesn't excuse it), so we are especially happy to be back home and into the more routine swing of things.
This update is exciting for us because we are announcing our new partnership with Guy Stark who is conducting a research project to better understand the nature of male submission. The research will include descriptive analysis to profile submissive men and their habits and behaviors stemming from their submission. It will also make an attempt to unearth the root causes of the submissive man's desire to surrender to the authority of a woman. This final goal is a bit ambitious, but it will at least be a bold first step in the direction of understanding cause and effect relationships that undoubtably puzzle many of us. In the end, the ultimate goal of the study is to give the women that love submissive men better clarity into the nature of submission, and ultimately make them even more capable of nurturing intimate and meaningful female-led relationships.
The study has been crafted with the guidance of a trained survey professional and social researcher, but it is not part of a formal academic program. Guy describes the methodology as quasi-scientific, but having spoken to him on the phone, I think he is being humble. While he is soliciting responses from submissive men in a number of relatively uncontrolled ways, he is using certain statistical sampling techniques (well beyond my understanding) to balance the data after the fact and approximate a scientific, random sample.
I have been asked to sit on the Board of Advisors for his organization, and I have in turn volunteered Ken to work with him in analyzing the results. While he intends to present some of the results on his own website, he has also agreed to allow us to release certain exclusive content here on the Around Her Finger updates.
In return, we have agreed to solicit our readers to participate in the study. Therefore, I am asking that any of our readers that would like to participate please send me an email. Ken or I will reply with a link to take the study as well as a password. We ask that anyone taking the study please be over the age of twenty-one, be a current US citizen, and be an acknowledged submissive. We also ask that you only take the study one time, and that you do your best to complete the entire study, and that you answer every question with complete candor. Guy assures us that the study results will be kept completely confidential, and that only high-level, summarized data will be presented when the results are released. Note that the study does contain content that extends beyond the boundaries that we would typically set for this site.
To participate, or to send me a letter or question on this topic or any other, please send an email to:
Emily.Addison (-at-) gmail.com
As always, we ask that you help support our site by considering the purchase of our books and CD’s. They are available at Lulu:
Letters from Women
I must not be the only woman for whom an Around Her Finger marriage represents an identity crisis. Believe me, I love everything about my husband's new behavior. His temper is gone, he is affectionate beyond my wildest dreams, his help around the house is much appreciated, and I think that we are honestly closer than ever.
My problem is that this is just not how I see myself. I never really imagined that I would be the head of the household, and I really don't feel comfortable with it. Can I expect that I will get used to this and that it will get better wtih time?
First of all, you can definately expect to become more comfortable in your role as the dominant spouse in the relationship. You will become more accustomed to telling him what to do, and your expectations for him are likely to rise. This new level of comfort is likely to dispell any inhibitions you may have today in regard to how you relate to your husband as an authority in the relationship, and this will bring an even greater closeness in your marriage.
None of us could ever really anticipate how our relationships and even the world in which we live can change. Our grandparents and parents likely grew up with an expectation that the male would be the head of the household. Ken and I grew up believing that a marriage of equals might offer a better model. But a new era of openness has allowed many to look in their hearts and to look past what was expected of us, and instead adopt a model that will really work. For those men that have acknowledge their submission, a wife-led marriage is just that.
It sounds like your marriage is working very well. You are happy, he is blossoming in his service to you, and in your own words, you are closer than ever. Embrace your success. If you are having an identify crisis, do not think of yourself as a dominant wife, think of yourself as a successful wife.
I don't ever see many letters from younger women on your site, but I wanted you to know that my friends and I all know about Around Her Finger, and we would settle for nothing less than obedient boyfriends.
I am a junior [at a large, mid-western University] and live with three other girls. Our boyfriends do all of our cooking, laundry, and house cleaning. Sometimes at night, we will be sitting around watching a movie, and all of the boys will be down on the floor rubbing our feet. So not only are they all submissive to us, but they are all aware of each other's submission, which I know for a fact is a turn-on for my boyfriend. These are cute, athletic guys, and they could easily date girls that are less high maintenace than us. They are with us because we give them the loving female authority that you say, and I agree, men crave.
The new generation is definately going to contain more and more relationships like this. It gives everybody what they need, and lets everybody be upfront about it.
[Other content was included but omitted from this letters page.]
Your boyfriend's openness about his submission represents even a step beyond what we counsel on this site, and makes for an interesting example of how quickly this dynamic is evolving.
I hope that you do not feel as if I would be patronizing you if I were to offer you some advice. As a young person who is entering adult relationships for the first time, I think you should proceed with great care, if not for your own good than for that of the men you date. Just because these young men are so willing to serve you and your roommates, this does not release you from your obligation to treat them with the nurturing care that they deserve. Their perfect obedience gives you a great deal of freedom, but it also gives you a great deal of responsibility. Consider their interests and your best judgement as to what they are emotionally prepared to handle when making choices.
Just because something is a "turn-on" for your boyfriend, does not mean it is good for him.
Best of luck.
Letters from Men
Dear Emily and Ken,
I know that I am submissive, and my wife and I are trying a wife-led marriage. I love to work for her and help her. If she makes me a list of things to do, I love to do it. I also love giving her massages before bed and other ways of pleasing her. I feel great about serving her but sometimes have a hard time not talking back.
LikeI said, I love a list but when she just ask me to do things out of the blue, I am not as eager. I was wondering if you had any advice for us on this behavior.
Any help would be greatly appreciated,
Your submissive impulses are a function of how your wife nurtures your submission. Many men find that they feel more submissive and more willing to serve their wife when she is actively and expertly managing their orgasms. However, your obligation to obey her remains constant whether you are "feeling submissive" that day or not.
Talk to your wife about withholding your orgasms. Remind her that you may need dominant verbal cues to keep you motivated. Communication and ongoing improvement are always helpful.
In the meantime, get over your lack of eagerness and do what she tells you to do.
Congratulations on your site and your concept - it truly works.
It amazes me that from birth we are exposed to an authority system. As a young child we are told what we can/cannot do and what is expected of us. We go to school, and teachers tell us what we can/cannot do and what is expected of us. When we go to work the same process is in effect. In all of these our ability to negotiate is strictly limited. In school no one says, "do you think we should study literature or mathematics this afternoon?" At work, we typically don't get to negotiate what office we will occupy.
But marriage --- when we get married everything is supposed to get negotiated, and worse yet it is often done on some kind of barter system; 1 oil change = 6 loads of laundry and 2 dinners. There is no leader, and many marriages end up in the political equivalent of anarchy. Chaos prevails, selfish behavior becomes rampant, and finally something snaps.
So if we accept we need a leader - why should it not be the woman? I would say because of balance, the woman leader seems adept at balancing the needs of many --- friends, children, husbands, parents are all considered by her and she never seems to totally ignore the needs of any one group.
A wife led marriage is truly a blessing - I hope more couples discover it's joys.
Robert from Kansas City
Ken responds...Robert, your insight echos many of the points we make in our books. I think if most men made an honest assesment of who was the more capable leader in their homes, more would be happily serving their wives.
Dear Emily and Ken,
In one of your letters you said that you did not know of anyone in their seventies that are of a submissive nature. Here I am! I have had submissive feelings for about as long as I can remember.
My wife and I have been in and out of a female in charge existence for many years and have, under my direction, delved into just about any kind of submissive behavior that we could come up with (No bondage and stuff like that). Nothing really worked.
My wife bless her heart did her best. Eventually we would give up and go back to "You do everything around the house and I will go back to sitting and watching TV." Not a bad life. A bit dull for her and not fulfilling for me, but it was OK.
I ran across your web and all the bells and whistles went off, we're back in the game again. Thanks to you. By the way, I just downloaded your cd. My wife hasn't listened to it yet. I am sure she will enjoy it. My advise to any of your readers is that if your wife is receptive to being in charge, you should help her by doing whatever it is that she wants you to do. Do not back off, let her become comfortable in her new authority. She is going to be afraid at times in the beginning that she will do something that will make you angry. Men if she is to be in charge, make sure that she is indeed in charge. If anyone is going to get angry make sure it is her not you, then get out there and do the damn dishes like you were told.
With the energy I have now I should live for another twenty or thirty years.
Thanks again Emily and Ken,
What a fantastic letter. That was very good advice from someone that has definately had a great deal of experience with the same struggle shared by many of our readers.
And to find out that loving female authority is a tonic for energy, that puts the icing on the cake.
Dear Ken and Emily,
I am writing to thank you for me stumbling- thankfully- on your wonderful website, and I am compelled to thank you from the bottom of my heart for the honest emotional explanations your site offered.
Backtracking a little, but not too far just yet. Several days ago, maybe up to a week, lying in bed, confused, guilty and thinking there’s something wrong with me, I watched my wife sleeping; beautiful, peaceful and serene. I was troubled- we’d had, yet again, the most complete and fulfilling sex only hours before- but there was something missing for me. I had a desire to submit to her that sex did not resolve.
Then the guilt set in! Why do I want her to be in control of me, am I a wimp, a lesser man for my cravings? So, there I was, probably 3:00 in the morning wracked with guilt and confusion, so I picked up my mobile and began searching the web. I think I Googled something like ‘submissive husband’, ‘Wife in control’. I found several lists of sites and articles that immediately drew me in- female led marriages, Around Her finger, wives in control. Every word I read sending a fizzle of electricity into my spine.
I recall my hands trembling and feeling an intense rush of excitement as I realized what I had probably always known. I realized there and then that I must officially declare her status in my life. I felt free, like I finally realized who I was, who we were together, and that our overwhelming powerful dynamic had to be formally acknowledged.
Having offered, and had accepted, my commitment to be the submissive partner in a wife led marriage- on Christmas day- I have a contentment like nothing before and feel more in love than ever- EVER.
It is funny how the open acknowledgement and acceptance between spouses of a husband's submission seems to be the great divide between discontent and peace. You are brave to have so quickly acted on your new understanding, and blessed to have a wife that accepts you.