Monday, June 29, 2009

May/June 2009

Welcome to the May/June Updates

I appreciate the many letters of concern that came in during our absence from the updates on this page. It is nice to be missed. We remain committed to finding a partner that can help shepherd the content for our site. We are still looking for that right person, or ideally, the right couple.

Our very mission requires that the content on these pages is carefully controlled so that it remains the soft-landing zone that is virtually non-existent elsewhere.

What we seek is someone who would be a true partner. Someone who would be willing to shepherd the content, contribute to responses, and effectively give us a bit of a break from the day to day. We are not sure exactly how this would work, but we would be willing to entertain suggestions.

Emily

Note: We are excited to note that the first book, Around Her Finger, can now be found at Amazon.com. Here is the link below:

Around Her Finger at Amazon

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

Dear Emily,

A very close friend of mine showed me your site. She said that her and her husband have been living a female led relationship for the last two years, and she felt she could not keep it from me any longer. She said it has been such a positive thing for her relationship with her husband that she had to share it with me.

I was absolutely shocked when she did. My friend and I grew up together in a small southern town. She met her husband in college, and I have known him myself for fifteen years. I would never have thought this was something he wanted. I will admit that my friend has always worn the pants in the family, so maybe I shouldn’t be surprised. It is just the extent to which she is now in control and the extent to which this makes him happy that I suppose is the surprise.

He opened up to her about your site and his feelings. She had no problem at all with any of it, and she read everything on your site and [others] because if this was something he wanted, she wanted to learn everything she could about how to make it work. She didn’t suspect anything, because she had never heard of anything like this.

The way she talks about what this had done for their relationship has me very jealous. I have always noticed, even before the last two years, that her husband doted on her hand and foot. Lately, however, he has been nothing but a saint around her. Also, he has lost weight, spends more time with their kids, and just seems happier.

I am writing now because I have decided that I also want this with my husband. How do I go about this? My situation is similar to the story told in your book where there are two couples and one learns about this from the other, but is this really the best way to go about it?

Unsigned

Emily responds…

While I think the duration and nature of your friendship make it ok that your friend shared this secret with you, I would advise that you not open up to your husband about your friend, but rather keep it self-contained within your own household.

Tell your husband that you want to try some new things in the bedroom beginning on a Friday night. Have him strip and wait for you on his knees in front of a chair in the bedroom or at the edge of the bed. Wearing something sexy, saunter back into the room and sit down with him remaining on his knees. Tell (don’t’ ask) him to rub your feet, kiss your feet and massage your legs. Have him remove your panties and as he begins to bring you pleasure, tell him that you want to try a two week experiment, and that he must be willing to commit to moving forward with the entire two weeks or it will all end now. Explain the experiment will put you in control of his orgasms.

Show him the world that you can open up for him when he gives you pleasure without climaxing himself. Embrace the emotional connection that this creates for the two of you. Insist that he channel his sexual energy into acts of service to you during the week. Have him spend his evenings on his knees in front of you and show him how loved and appreciated he is in this position. In other words, show him loving female authority at its best. Then, towards the end of the week, give him our book or show him the site. Allow him to make an intellectual decision based on his emotional satisfaction.

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Dear Emily,

I have a friend who has introduced me to your web site. I find it intriguing. At first I was kind of dismissive. The more I talk to my friend the more interested I am. He seems very happy and our discussions have given me a more open mind.

I would like to commend you on your web site and let you know that reading the letters gives me hope that when the time comes I will be able to have an FLR that will satisfy not only me but my partner. My friend shares with me his experiences and he also seems fulfilled. Thanks for sharing this wonderful view.

Sabrina

Emily responds…

You nailed it on the head when you talked about having an open mind, Sabrina. This is key to success in any relationship, but particularly in an Around Her Finger relationship.

Letters from Men

Dear Emily and Ken,

I apologize in advance that this email is so long.I am writing to you with an Around Her Finger success story. We implemented loving female authority in our marriage a little over three months ago. While I do not consider myself submissive in general, I do have intensely submissive feelings toward my wife. Your writings have been such a big help to me.

Our background is that my wife and I had been married for almost twelve years when I introduced her to your website and asked her to consider implementing LFA. We have two elementary school-age children and we both work fulltime in demanding, professional occupations. We already had a solid marriage with good communication, intimacy, partnership and trust before LFA.I was a little worried that she would find the suggestion of LFA weird, but maybe less concerned than some of the other men who write to you.

In some ways our marriage was already led by her – it was just unspoken. My wife went to a prestigious private college where she obtained multiple degrees and then went on to get a post-graduate degree and a professional credential. She has been successful in her career, often leading whatever she is working on. She is also a leader in our extended family, the kids’ school and everywhere else she is present. I have a bachelor’s degree from a state university. My career has been successful also, but I tend to work more in support roles. I earn considerably less than she does.

When we were married, she made sure that the promise to obey was omitted from her vows. She kept her name and suggested (but did not insist) that I take her name. We both kept our own names. She assumed control of our finances at the beginning of our marriage and we are in good financial shape thanks to her. I haven’t seen my paycheck since I was single and I give her all of my debit receipts. I have access to all of the accounts, but it is understood that I leave them alone. We have always discussed big purchases beforehand. She directed the conversations that led to our decision to buy a house and later to start a family. She has never been bossy or an autocrat, but she has a vision for our life together and she makes sure that things that are important to her and good for us happen in a timely manner. None of this constitutes a LFA dynamic, but in some ways it was not such a stretch for us.

Before LFA, we had a great sex life and I have always felt very lucky. We were open-minded and adventurous in the bedroom. She has never been shy about communicating what she wants and what her limits are. She introduced me to certain things early in our marriage and encouraged certain behaviors in me. I have become comfortable with these things, and over the years I have come to crave them (they are things that I think most submissive male readers of your website would relish). I would not, however, describe our pre-LFA sex life as one where she was completely in-charge. It was more give and take, and we often had sex more on my terms. I was not in the habit of offering her foot rubs or massages, and she never requested them. As you might guess, things are different now.

While I have always done a lot of the cooking, shopping, housework, etc, she has often done as much or more. In the past she would suggest household projects and I would often put her off. I recently learned that she would sometimes not suggest a project just because she did not want to have to argue with me about it. She would make our social plans and I would push back if I had other preferences. We would sometimes disagree on child rearing / discipline issues. I have mostly controlled the remote. All of these things sometimes resulted in minor (but upsetting) arguments that I usually lost. She suggested for several years that we hire someone to do our yard work (which I did myself); she wanted me to do more work inside. I finally acquiesced to her on this a couple years ago and now I wonder why I waited so long. There are many other past examples of unnecessary, low-level friction. With LFA, the petty bickering is virtually non-existent. She decides on the household projects and their priorities, our social calendar, etc. I put in my two cents and then she tells me what we’re doing. If I disagree, I try to just let it go and it always seems to work out fine.

When I brought up LFA, she was surprised and confused. She stayed open-minded however, read your website and a few days later told me that we could give it a try. We both acknowledged our roles and gave it a go. We both read your book and discussed LFA a lot. She later told me that one of her main concerns was that this was just a phase for me. I replied that she has a valid concern…I don’t know how I will feel in the future but I believe I am submissive toward her and she has authority as long as she is willing to exercise it. She seems to have accepted that answer. Except for a few setbacks, it has gone great for us.

Even if she had rejected LFA, I would have felt a lot better. When I brought this idea to her, she did not express any disappointment toward me and she did not act like she thinks I am a weirdo. It felt great to be accepted by her on something as personal as feelings of submission. It made me feel very open to her and I just love her for that. She did not, however, reject LFA and she seems comfortable with her role. In fact, shortly after we started the boot camp period she said that LFA is the “natural order.” She made this statement during an intimate time when she had my complete attention and the comment has stuck.

Our everyday life now is in many ways the same as before except I am busier at home, which I have found I like. When we were first married, she said I am like Hestia (the Greek goddess of the hearth and home). She wasn’t mocking me or calling me effeminate. What she meant is that she observed that I find contentment in the mundane tasks of keeping the house in order. I enjoy the process of cooking and cleaning and take my time to do it nicely. It is sort of a meditative time for me, whereas she is just trying to get it over with. With LFA, I have been reminded of her keen observation from many years ago, and I agree with her.

Here’s how a typical day might go since we implemented LFA: We wake up at the same time. After she indicates she has had the attention (if any) she wants, I get in the shower and she goes for her morning exercise. I then make the coffee and get the kids up. I prepare the kids’ breakfast / help them prepare it. When she comes into the kitchen I have her breakfast on the table the way she likes it. I serve her coffee and give her a soft kiss on the cheek (she established this little routine the first week we implemented LFA). I have my coffee, make our lunches, clean-up from breakfast and make our bed. We go to work at about the same time. I exercise at lunch. We touch base throughout the day, often with romantic text messages. In the evening I make dinner and do the dishes. If I’m working late or have some other commitment, she cooks and maybe cleans up. In the evening I’ll run a bath and make some tea or cocktails. After the kids go to bed I serve drinks and often lotion her feet and/ or give her a massage. I now do almost all of the laundry, including hers, and make sure it is put away properly. I also do any other tasks and errands she gives me (there are plenty) and I have some long-term projects that she gave me that I am chipping away at. She is by no means just relaxing all the time. There is plenty for us both to do, but she does have more down time than in the past and our house is cleaner now.

We also implemented orgasm management. We found that this requires a lot of candid conversation. After a few weeks, we became well-established in this. I had a very hard time sleeping during the first two to three weeks, even for just one night of orgasm management. I have now adjusted and I can (usually) sleep even when she keeps me keyed-up. For her I think it was difficult at first to deny me; she wants to make me feel good. She now thoroughly enjoys orgasm management; she has told me so. This may sound bizarre, but I usually do not know whether I want an orgasm. I become confused and feel conflicted about it. I want an orgasm of course, but I also love the vibe that orgasm management creates for us and I don’t want it to end. This is when I just trust her judgment. Trust is what makes it possible to do what she says without hesitation.

There is no denying the increase in intimacy and that is great for us as a couple. I have connected with her in a way that I simply hadn’t before. It is great. I feel like I have rediscovered how sexy and beautiful she is and I tell her all the time. We do not seem to have less sex (maybe more); we have different sex and it is wonderful. We are more affectionate, talk more during and after sex and we are unrushed. She is comfortable having the focus on her and I have found this to be deeply fulfilling for me. I also have a better understanding of what I really need from our intimate times. I will still initiate sex, but with the understanding that she may say no – and I don’t feel rejected at these times. Orgasm management is a big adjustment, but it really does result in increased closeness. It also reinforces our roles in this dynamic. I think that perhaps this is something that a couple has to experience in order to appreciate.

There are a few things I have found helpful as we settle into the LFA part of our relationship. Nothing new…most or all of these things are mentioned on your website and blog. I only mention them as they seem particularly relevant to me and my marriage: (1) I have to be patient. It is counterproductive when I try to set the pace. (2) I have made an effort to disregard my prior ideas of what I think a wife led marriage should mean for my wife. I realized the obvious: that this needs to go according to how she views a wife led marriage. I have also learned that I love doing this her way. (3) I cannot expect her to tell me everything she wants. That is unrealistic. It’s a hassle for her to try and it’s not her style. I am an adult and she expects me to act like one (and I want her respect). This means I need to read between the lines and keep her communication preferences in mind. If she says, “It would be nice to have some tea,” she means, “Go make tea now.” If she says, “I noticed that the bathtub is a little dirty,” she means, “You need to clean the tub.” She wants me to plan and organize my chores and then tell her so she can change my plans if she chooses. She does not want the burden of planning my schedule. She also appreciates it if I offer to do things or do them without any discussion. She generally won’t give orders, but she asserts her authority effectively on her terms. (4) I have found that it helps to read books on the things she wants me to do for her. I realize that she won’t take this seriously if I don’t. I try to do these things right, so she will be happy and inclined to let me do them again. When we started our LFA dynamic, she told me to learn how to do pedicures and massages. I bought books on both topics and am getting better at doing these things for her. This really paid off; she appreciates the effort. She let me know that I’m doing a good job, which made me feel fantastic.

I could go on for pages, but I’ll wrap-up. In summary, LFA has been great for us. I feel closer to my wife, we have rekindled romance and we have connected in new ways. We argue less and communicate better. There is a new sense of harmony in our home. I feel like I am being my true self with her and she accepts me. She knows that I love and adore her because I tell her so and demonstrate it by regularly doing things for her. She is very affectionate and giving toward me also. She seems sweeter and more feminine than ever. She is getting a little more relaxation time and some of the pampering she so deserves. For me one of the hardest parts of LFA is not telling other people about it. It’s not that I want to disclose my private life to everyone, but it is so great that I wish I could share my experience. That is one of the reasons for this letter.

I hope this letter finds you well. Thanks for everything!

Best regards,

Miles in North Carolina

Ken responds…

Your letter is one of the best success stories we have received in a very long time. Your relationship seems the model for LFA that so many seek to find. Your wife seems very secure in her role as a woman, and you are lucky to be able to serve her and work to make her happy. I am sure that many will read your letter and envy your success.

For others that share Miles’ situation -- where they already have a defacto FLR, but the dynamic has gone unspoken -- speak up! It is worth it for both of you.

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Dear Ken,

I want to share with you a story of patiently waiting (years) for my wife to finally embrace LFA and what it has meant for both of us.

I was an early fan of your site. I used to peruse the internet for any content on the topic of men submitting to women. In the early years of the net there was only pornographic content (on which I wasted many shameful hours), then finally intelligent content on this topic started to appear. When your pages went online, it was the first time that I felt anyone spoke to my specific situation.

I immediately started a campaign of stealth submission to my beautiful wife. She loved it, but despite her inquiries as to what was motivating me, I was very coy. I then worked up the courage to tell her that I didn’t feel that every time we were together that I needed to have an orgasm. She said she thought that this was silly, and she never once stopped me from climaxing despite my repeated, but tepid, attempts to discuss it.

After about eight weeks, the stealth submission began to frustrate me, and I gave up on it. While I’m sure she noticed, she didn’t really say anything about it. It was at least a year later that I made another go at it. This time, when she asked, I was prepared with a more thoughtful response to her questions as to what was behind my change in behavior towards her. I told her that I desired a higher-level of intimacy with her. By putting her on a pedestal, I felt like I could achieve that. I also told her that I felt like I felt like the more I did for her, the closer I felt to her, and it created a sense of build-up in affection for her. However, I felt like following sex and specifically following the orgasm, I felt like this feeling of deep affection receded. I asked her if she would at least be open to choosing some nights where did didn’t want me to climax. I suggested the red marble idea that was once suggested in these letters pages. When she put a red marble in the little candle dish next to our bed, I knew it was my signal from her to stop before I released.

She agreed to this, but only very reluctantly. She considered it very kinky, and made it clear that she did not want any part of it as she was not comfortable with it. She would try it for my sake only. Well, from my perspective, it was good while it lasted. We never got to the point where we discussed my submission and where we cemented a dynamic around her authority in the relationship, but I still felt the sense that she controlled something important to me, and the intensity of my feelings for her after being “managed” was wonderful. I felt like it aligned my brain chemistry (as you say) behind my true feelings, and allowed me to express my love in the way that my head knew my heart wanted to do.

Then one day, without any explanation, the marble disappeared from the little porcelain box where it remained when not in the candle dish. When I asked, she said that the whole thing just made her feel slutty, and she wanted no part of it. I was heartbroken.

Fast forward another two years. We were out of town on a vacation together, and both drinking way too much at dinner one night. That night we walked on the beach, and we talked about how perfect our lives were together. We were really lucky. We loved each other very much, we had a great family, we and the kids were healthy, and we were financially secure. She told me I was a great husband, a great father, a great provider and a great lover. Up to then, it was pretty a pretty picture perfect night. We held hands together and went back to our room together. I remember kneeling in front of her helping her out of her clothes. I was completely overcome with a sense of wanting to submit to her. We went to the bed together and I went down on her, only further intensifying my sense of submission. I pulled up and began making love to her, and I can remember so badly wanting to confess my submission.

Because I had been drinking, my stamina was much better than average. After some time and on my own initiative, I pulled out without climaxing. I lay beside my wife and began cuddling, playing with her hair, and generally adoring her. She asked me very pointedly why I didn’t want to finish. With my head still intoxicated, I told her I had something I needed to share with her.

At this point it all came out. I told her I had what felt like a very innate desire to put her on a pedestal, to worship her, adore her, and to actually obey her and to know she was in charge. I began to cry as I told her that I knew this was a strange thing for a man to be telling his wife, but that I felt it so strongly that keeping it inside didn’t seem fair. I knew this was not what she wanted, but I knew that it was what I wanted, and I hoped she would understand. I was perhaps stumbling with my words, but she did not understand at all.

“Do you want me to dominate you,” she asked. She had no frame of reference, and the word “dominate” was her grasping for context. I was sure she misunderstood, and I told her know. I told her I was not seeking some clich├ęd sort of bedroom play, I was seeking a more refined relationship style where she was in charge and demonstrated that in certain ways.

In the end, I was not doing a good job of communicating, and she was not able to get the picture you present on your site. The next morning was awkward, and thereafter we just didn’t talk about it. Sex was conventional in the following weeks, but to me it seemed that the elephant was always in the room. Out of desperation as much as anything else, I finally gave her your book. I had ordered the online version and read it, but this time I had the printed version delivered to our house in her name. I never saw the book, but I did validate (through Lulu) that it had been delivered.

It was almost eight weeks later that she first brought the topic up. Our kids were at her parents, and we had gone out to dinner. We got home and as we pulled into the driveway, she asked me if I had wondered if she ever got your book. I said that I did wonder a bit. She wanted to know if I had ever read the book. I told her that I had. “And this is what you want,” she said. I stopped the car at the top of the driveway.

“Yes,” I said, “I’d like you to consider it. It represents an opportunity for me to feel closer to you.”

That night our female-led relationship began. Perhaps it is not as intense as some of the people that write to you. It is very much structured around her comfort level and how it works to build on the bond between us. While I know that she did this initially to satisfy my needs in the relationship, I know she would not go back at this point. Once she got comfortable that this wasn’t sexual role playing but was rather a mechanism for relating to each other on a deeper level, it all clicked for her. I think the fringe benefits are also something she values. I do much more work around the house, I am often providing her massages on a table that I bough for her, and I have lost a great deal of weight as am taking better care of myself as well as her.

The most amazing thing about our new relationship is that it is 99% the same, but 100% more satisfying. That almost sounds crazy as I read it back, but it is true. We can easily go an entire day and our LFA relationship can be completely transparent. To summarize key differences, I would begin with the fact that she is much more open to telling what she want me to do and what she expects of me. This would be helpful in any marriage for a husband to have clarity on what his wife expects, and it is welcome in my own marriage. Secondly, I do more work around the house. This is largely a function of my first point and her openness to delegating more accountability to me. Third, there is more affection and communication between us. This is not my imagination, this is absolutely correct. I think of her ALL the time, and this is reflected in my attitude and interactions with her.

In truth, I think she is still building her comfort with the final differences in our relationship. She has still uses the green/red marble system for communicating whether or not she wants me to orgasm. She has just not gotten over the hump to where she speaks firmly and decisively in regard to her sexual wants, but I think that is all ok.

Unsigned

I love your letter. It is a testimony to patience on your part and understanding on hers. I am confident that she will recognize the benefits that this offers to both of you and grow in her comfort with LFA.

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Hi Emily and Ken,I

've written one or two letters to you in the past, and I've always found your site to be my best source of hope for introducing loving female authority to my wife. So, before I get to the point of this letter, I'll thank you again for the important non-threatening environment you provide for exploration of this topic. I read in your posted letters of couples that do find happiness and fulfillment through these ideals. Their successes have been inspirational to me.

I discovered your site more than two years ago, and soon after made a commitment to work for these ideals in my own marriage. It took me a year, but after several increasingly open and promising conversations with my wife I worked up the nerve to give her your book. That was fifteen months ago. I'm sad to report that I now wish that I had not started this journey. I'll explain.

First, any man who approaches his wife with this proposition needs to understand that there is grave risk of a spectacular misunderstanding on the part of his wife, regardless of sincerity or earnestness in his communication with her. Her reaction is simply not in his control. From my own experience, and from that of several men I have communicated with through online forums, some women are completely threatened by their husband asking for what is (essentially) a radical change in the dynamic of the marriage relationship. I guess I can't blame her: While I believe I was telling her that I would find joy and fulfillment in the two of us working as a team to put her needs first and foremost, she thinks I have been telling her that I'm unhappy with our relationship and that she needs to change. We've not had arguments about this, but she simply cannot get past this view no matter how I try to approach the topic. She believes this effort is an expression of my dissatisfaction with our life together. She's also afraid that I cannot be happy generally unless she accommodates these needs. That is not a happy result. The very last thing I ever wanted was to pressure her into uncomfortable behavior.

So, while I'm proud of myself for having the guts to open up completely with my wife about my feelings, I would take it all back if I could. I also caution other men before diving into the pool. My efforts have, ultimately, threatened the peace in what has been a decade-long, happy and contented marriage. We'll get through this, but I'm now with regret in the difficult process of trying to let all of this go and put it behind me as a failure. As you've often commented, something will always be missing for me - and I know precisely what that is. Ultimately, however, my wife seems simply unable to relate to the idea of my serving her needs and her expecting me to do so. It's just not in her wiring. My continuing to hope for more will only bring stress or resentment for both of us.

Thanks again,

Unsigned in Ohio

Emily responds…

While Ken typically responds to letters sent to us by men, I felt compelled to respond to yours.

You are not the first man to be rejected by his wife, and you will certainly not be the last. The risk of rejection is real, and that legitimizes the anxiety that men face in their decision of when and how to approach their wives. I will say that letters like your own are sometimes followed by much happier letters at later dates, but of course, some are not.

In your case, your wife feels that she alone cannot make you happy; she can only do so in conjunction with a female led dynamic. I think that she misunderstands your commitment to serve her, but I also think that she may not be open to an honest conversation on the topic. This is unfortunate.

My best advice is to serve her despite the fact that your sense of submission is not touched. We can all collectively hope that circumstances afford the opportunity to open this conversation once again.

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