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.
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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/