Thursday, July 31, 2008

Josie and Clemmie

I’m featuring passages from two writers, one famous, one obscure, both describing eerily similar scenes of a willful, authoritarian young woman laying down the law to her soon-to-be husband.

The first is from a short story called “Walter” by a gifted writer pseudonymed “Eosuchus.” You can find his blog here, along with a sampling of his short femdom fiction (though not “Walter,” which bears a 1997 copyright by Permian Systems). I’ve trimmed the passage slightly for space.

The second excerpt is from Clemmie, a 1958 paperback original by the late, great mystery-thriller novelist John D. MacDonald, author of the well-known Travis McGee series and a particular favorite of mine.

Wouldn’t it be delicious to have Clemmie and Josie meet and compare dominant notes? Or, alternatively, the men under their thumbs, Walter and Fitz?

Josie (from “Walter” by Eosuchus):
Josie [Brooks] knew she had work yet to do, before [Walter] would be worth marrying. She had a very clear picture of the kind of marriage she wanted. She would the Queen of that household, also the Judge and the CEO.

"You're going to be my lovely husband, Walter. You'll do what I want and you'll obey me in everything. I will take good care of you, my darling, but you will submit to me and serve me in all things… [You’ll] change your name when we're married… Yes, your male pride is gonna take a beating." She giggled and pouted those big red lips at him. "That's not the only thing that's going to get a beating, either," she said slyly and moved across the room and sat beside him, crossing her legs and smoothing her skirt… “You come here now and get over my knee. You know what I have to do."

"Josie, please." He was sweating.

"Walter, you are just making it worse for yourself. If we're late for the restaurant because you refuse to accept your punishment then I shall be very angry indeed."

Clemmie (from Clemmie by John D. MacDonald)
Clemmie stretched and leaned back and smiled at him. “It’s time I was married, Fitz. And you’ll do nicely. You can have a lovely time being Clemmie’s husband. But you won’t own me. If I want to go out, I’ll go out. And if I want to go on a trip, I’ll go on a trip alone. You’ll have no complaint coming, and no complaint to make. And you’re going to try in every way you can to keep me from being bored, because you’re going to learn that when I’m bored, I’m not pleasant to you. That will be a very simple conditioned reflex for you to acquire. And we will live precisely the way I want us to live, and there will never be any complaints, because you never had it so good. And if from time to time, you happen to feel any cute little horns sprouting, it’s because you’ve been boring and stuffy and tiresome. As you have the last few days.”

“Are you trying to admit what you did this afternoon?”

She got up quickly and walked over to him and stood with her hands on her hips, her face tilted up. “Now, you see, you’ve made me angry, dear, and that’s another thing. That’s a thing to be especially avoided. You’ll have to learn that…”

In keeping with 1950s American mores, MacDonald has this male character finally break free from Clemmie’s clutches (after she tosses him a soiled pair of her nylons and lectures him in the finer points of hand-washing them) and reassert his manhood, albeit shakily.

Eosuchus has no such qualms about female supremacy. Josie Brooks utterly triumphs over poor, broken Walter, as is made clear in the last seven words of the story: “…he bent before her in complete submission.”

Both highly recommended.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

You Rang?

Two posts ago, in “Boys Night Out, Part One,” I mentioned a husband whose demanding wife gave him a pager for inside the house, so she could call him on a moment’s notice.

While a pager obviously does the trick, the more traditional domestic summoning device is the bell—or bells, according to one husband: “My wife placed small bells placed throughout the house to summon me. She didn't think this was even an unusual arrangement."

One devoted husband took the initiative and gifted his wife with a bell for a Valentine’s present. “She has used and enjoyed it very much. Her eyes still twinkle each time she has a guest and picks up the bell and shakes it to summon me for some service… and it still makes me melt each time I hear it, reinforcing her superiority in an admirable way.”

The bell makes an excellent gift, this husband advises, for the wife who is not yet into ruling her house and husband, giving her innocent power that she will learn to love quickly.
“Tell her that she rings the bell in your heart and that you are giving her the bell so she can signal you to come without straining her voice. Be respectful and serious and don't make a joke of it. Hopefully she will soon learn the powers she has and how they can improve her life as well as yours.”

Regular use of the household handbell, according to this man’s wife, demonstrates that women can and do run households and that males can be and are trained to serve their wives.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Woman on Top

Women have been getting the upper hand for years on Madison Avenue, or wherever new advertising campaigns are incubated. It’s just getting edgier and more blatant, is all.

In the recent Cadillac commercial, "Khakis," a leggy young female exec revels in intimidating her male subordinates. The “climax” comes when her mere presence beside one of these guys in the elevator causes his ballpoint pen to spurt its load into his shirt pocket. You can see it here:

(“Khakis” was named by Adweek one of its Best Spots of the Year.)

Nothing new here. “The Girl Wins” has been the rule in advertising for many years. Which means, of course, the Guy Loses. Other rules follow, as in Rock, Paper, Scissors, spelling out who trumps whom, in terms of gender, ethnicity, social status, in a carefully constructed hierarchy of political correctness.

I’m convinced that these rules of precedence are spelled out somewhere, but if not, they are definitely followed, tacitly and exactly.

Nothing new, as I said. On Madison Avenue or Hollywood. It took Women’s Lib to bring us Thelma & Louise and Sharon Stone uncrossing her legs to make her interrogators sweat in Basic Instinct. But demanding (and drop-dead gorgeous) women have had a long and profitable cinematic run… Theda Bara, Mae West, Joan Crawford, Bette Davis, come quickly to mind.

And what is more titillating to a male moviegoer (of any age) than watching some cinematic love goddess manifest her sexually aggressive side on the big screen? Like Marilyn Monroe not only seducing Tony Curtis in Some Like It Hot, but climbing all over him to do it? (Of course, he's an exceedingly willing "victim.")

Or the Great Greta Garbo looking lovingly down on John Gilbert, before wrapping an arm around his neck and pulling his willing mouth to hers?

Sometimes it's fun to be looking up... at the Goddess on Top.

May the trend continue.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Boys Night Out, Part 2

As discussed in the previous post, many in-charge wives put the clamps on their hubby’s night out with the boys, for a variety of reasons. But having done that, establishing their authority over their mate’s time, some wives encourage their husbands to seek male company—of a less macho sort.

These new male companions are hand-picked by the wives, just as my bride-to-be selected the male invitees to my bachelor party. The number one criterion for the new candidates is that they also be in female-led relationships.

The idea is that any male bonding that takes place will be within the inescapable context of their mutual interest—being controlled by their respective wives.

One way of ensuring that the two husbands reinforce each other’s commitment to the lifestyle, rather than indulge in a gripe session, is to have the wives present to set the agenda. And sometimes this is done, as you’ll read below.

At other times, however, the husbands are allowed to interact without wifely oversight. Does this lead to mutinous masculine grumblings, hatchings plots to undermine their wives’ authority?

Hardly. Almost always (judging by the online discussions I’ve seen) the husbands in FLRs form an ad hoc support group, comparing notes and trading tips on ways to be even more devoted and useful to their wives. Even complaining may take the form of submissive one-upmanship, each trying to top the other with stories about how strict his wife is. A typical exchange:

Househubby No. 1: “I’m going out of my tree. My wife has teased me every night and denied me orgasm for two weeks now.”
Househubby No. 2: “Is that all? Try two months, like my princess does to me.”

And I came across this quote from a guy boasting about his wife’s “developing dominance,” saying it was “intriguing and also a bit scary”:

“For example, only this morning she said to me, ‘I think I need two husbands, don’t you think that would be a good idea? You’re so good around the house and with the kids but we need someone handy. Plus you could compare notes on me. Wouldn’t that be fun?’ Of course, she was only joking (I think).”

Online support groups fill obvious needs for both wives and husbands in FLRs—providing reinforcement, reassurance, feedback, occasional cautionary words-to-the-wise and a wealth of been-there-tried-that ideas for taking the lifestyle up a notch.

Some of these valuable FLR-related forums have vanished (Spousechat), some have migrated (Lady Misato’s from Yahoo to Facebook, the Venus On Top Discussion Group to the new SheMakesTheRules message board), the old Female Led Relationship Board now operating under new management at Yuku.

Elise Sutton’s Q&A resource remains in place, though in recent months she has been using recycled material on her free site (and perhaps saving fresh material for her subscription site).

All of these I have found to be, by and large, congenial gathering places, non-judgmental, with new members welcomed warmly by existing members, as in this exchange I saved from Lady Misato’s original Wife Worship Forum:

Old Member:
"Welcome! Get a cup of coffee, sit back and read all the posts to this forum from the beginning. You'll soon see you're not alone! Keep serving your wife, putting her first. Listen intently when she speaks and do everything she says. Encourage her to join the wives' forum as soon as she feels like it…"

New member (replying a day later):
“Thanks for the warm welcome. Having read through all of the posts on this forum (as you suggested), I have come to one conclusion that every man here feels almost exactly as i do….”

Here’s how my favorite wife-worshipper, Au876, explained how much the online ommunity of like-minded husbands meant to him:
“I too very much enjoy all the postings and knowing other husbands find joy in serving their wives. I am glad to be here and am thankful for our Founder [Lady Misato] having the grace to set up a site where men on the cutting edge can discuss, exchange and even daydream. It is great to have a place where I, and we, can get it off our chest and know we are understood by those that read our post.
“For instance, I have never told anyone that my wife sometimes punishes me by making me stand in a corner or write some mundane essay for her. Yet you guys understand why I comply and don't laugh at me or consider me a wimp (I hope) for doing so.”

Of course, Au876 was talking about a virtual gathering place, an online Cheers! bar where everybody only knows your pseudonym. A similar confession—about being stood in the corner by one’s wife, say, and submitting to it—would be much more difficult, embarrassing and unlikely in an actual support group, with guys sitting around in the same room. Or even two guys, face to face.

If or until the idea of female-led marriages becomes safely mainstream, most husbands and wives will wish to keep their domestic arrangements behind closed doors.

Yet some husbands express a longing, not to be publicly “outed,” but to share their experiences with other like-minded husbands—in the flesh, not just in cyberspace:
“It would be nice if I were able to develop real-life friendships with some other guys who are part of an FLR couple.”

This particular househusband, however, did not think he would ever have that opportunity, because his wife was very protective of their privacy, and he dare not do this without her permission.

Some FLR couples, however, actually are quite up front about their role-reversal lifestyle. At restaurants, for instance, the leading wife may take the power position, dealing exclusively with the waiter, ordering for her husband, paying the check, etc. “Ms. and Mr. Lynda BJ” were one such, who posted frequently on the old Spousechat message board. Here is a description by Ms. Lynda of one such “outing,” and how it led to Mr. Lynda making the acquaintance of another househusband:
“Mr. Lynda and I had decided to meet at a restaurant for supper. He arrived dressed in a nice pair of shorts and a polo shirt. I was late; I had a presentation to make and I was dressed in a dark blue business suit. I ordered for the both of us, unaware that this older man was watching us. He may have been in his early forties. He came up to us before we left and commented on what he had observed. He talked to Mr. Lynda while I paid the bill. He said, ‘She has you whipped boy, but, there is no better way to be! Just let her have her way. She is going far.’ He was on his weekly Boys' Night Out. The other friend he was to meet could not show up at the last minute because one of the children had gotten sick. He has been a househusband for over twenty years. He took Mr. Lynda's number; they are going to get together for a Boys' Night Out until we leave for my job later this summer.”

Somewhat kinkier forms of male bonding can take place within the context of FLR couple groups, if the wives are so inclined, as this husband explained in a posting:
“My wife and I recently had a business dinner in which our hosts were another Female Led marriage couple. After many drinks the women encouraged us men to discard our clothing and serve them naked. It was a very powerful first for us and I enjoyed it. It was my first time sharing ‘guy’ talk and tips with another househubby in a similar situation. The other hubby and I both agreed that sharing our nudity before our fully clothed wives and serving them was truly a powerful reminder of our place in our marriages… It was a thrill to be face-to-face with another submissive househusband.”

Another househusband reacted with envy: “You are so lucky! i wish i had the opportunity to talk with someone like myself who has assumed all the traditional duties of the 1950s housewife.”

What would two such husbands talk about? According to another posting, a typical interchange might start something like this: “Susannah's husband and I got to talk about being owned and controlled by such wonderful powerful women. How we both realized it was the best way and were glad to have found such loving knowing women to train us properly.”

A final word on the topic, from another husband:
“As we move deeper into our FLRs, some of our old lives will recede as our relationship with our Wives becomes our world. Perhaps one way to cope with these painful losses is to forge new friendships with their friends.”

Friday, July 18, 2008

Boys Night Out, Part 1

My wife never tried to break up that old gang of mine, or put a stop to an occasional boys’ nights out. I was just never one of those beer commercial guys. You know, those arrested-development homies, still wearing their caps backward and high-fiving over Monday Night Football.

Well, maybe it was kinda like that, once upon a time. There were a few guys—quasi-nerds, mostly, but we did sorta fun stuff. Before the bonds of matrimony got tied and double-knotted. For all of us. After that, it was Life with the Wife. And Kids.

But for some husbands, apparently, bachelor shenanigans never end. The revolving poker night. Friday night at the sports bar.

For others, it’s a last-minute invite as they’re leaving work. Hey, a bunch of the guys are heading to Hooters to watch the Big Game (and the Jiggle Parade).

Not in a wife-led marriage, though. Not with the wife in firm control—of purse strings, hubbie’s schedule and to-do list. A night out with the boys, if permitted at all, will be ground-ruled and time-limited—and probably about as tame as my bachelor party (which my bride-to-be actually planned for me).

A female-led husband won’t be hanging twenties on the strip-club rail, or buying a round of drinks for the table. He won’t have the cash. And he’d better not use plastic, because it’s her account, and she’ll be scanning the statement at the end of the month, line by line. “Hooters? $58.50?”

In fact, some women take firm control even before the wedding. Like this one:
“My fiance’s house was full of stupid things. I told him I planned to have a better use of our money. Of course, he will have a daily allowance, and even a credit card for emergencies, but he will need to justify all expenses. I will control his schedule. He has already curfews and I spanked him today for not coming home right after playing golf and not calling me.”

“You will be in charge of the finances,” another woman advises a bride about-to-be. “You will make sure you do not end up with $300 dartboards and have your husband spend $100 on a night out with the boys."

Here are a couple more wives explaining how NOWTBs (Nights Out With the Boys) have become a thing of the past:
Wife No. 1: "Theoretically, my husband could go out for a drink with a friend after work, but he does not have the ability to pay his tab so he makes excuses and comes home. He is required home by a specific time every night anyway, but if he does want to go out with a friend he simply has to clear it with me first and provide me with adequate notice so that his chores can be rescheduled. Obviously he cannot make arrangements, on the spur of the moment, as he will not have the means to pay."

Wife No. 2, you'll see, actually authorizes occasional but carefully controlled NOWTBs: "My husband commutes on the train (second class) on a season ticket whereas his colleagues go first class or drive their flashy cars and go out partying after work. He’s considered henpecked but very occasionally I’ll authorize him to go with them for an hour or so and buy a round of drinks, just to maintain his status. Afterward I check his wallet and, of course, check his credit card statement at month end."

“My wife decides where I spend my time and who I associate with when away from her,” one tightly leashed husband confesses. “I know if I'm as much as five minutes late home from work I'd better have a good explanation. When I'm not near a phone I carry a cell phone with the power on. She can and has called to test me.”

Another husband was issued a pager by his wife. Whenever she paged him, he had exactly three minutes to call in—or else!

Pager or cell phone? Either will do, according to female supremacist Julie Wilson (some of whose online writings are available here). Ms. Wilson advises husbands to “keep a pager or cell phone [in the car] so you can be called at a moment’s notice.”

Yet another husband was actually given a pager for home use. “Every time she needs something, she’ll page me to get it for her if I’m not in the room.”

That leading light of the FLR movement, Lady Misato (of Real Women Don’t Do Housework), suggests that wives consider allowing their mates a night out with the boys as a reward for sufficiently meritorious service (estimable gifts given, chores diligently done, intimate services performed, etc.).

But husbands denied NOWTBs also benefit healthwise, as this husband realizes: ”My midweek couple of beers after work drinking is really a thing of the past, and I told her that I really liked what her having control was doing for my fitness.”

In FLR marriages, however, “girls nights out” seem to be frequent events, whether regularly scheduled or spur of the moment. And left-behind husbands are not to question these outings. Not where or when, not how long or with whom. “What?” is permitted, if it pertains to what chores she expects to have completed during her absence.

I kid you not. Au876 tells a tale on himself:
“[My wife] goes out a fair amount of nights. I was all excited about her coming home from work this evening. I had her favorite dinner simmering on the stove when she got home. After dinner she went to check her email while I cleaned up the kitchen. When she came down she put on her coat and started out the door, saying she was going out with a couple of her friends to a movie. She saw the disappointed look on my face. As she left, she told me not to wait up for her. Guess I better go iron her blouse and maybe find some surprise chore to complete that she will notice. One thing is for sure, I can't complain to her because that isn't allowed.”

Another husband amens: “My wife and her friends often have ladies night out where the husbands stay at home with the kids or clean the bathroom.”

One female supremacist goes a step farther, requiring her stay-at-home guy to help her prepare for her girls nights out. “I prefer to have him naked when he’s helping me get ready... It gives it just the right feeling.”

That’s one aspect of boys-night-out role reversal as practiced in female-led households. There’s another, equally intriguing.

Which I’ll leave for the next post.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Remedial Chivalry

Even now, with my golden years in sight, I still yearn to achieve some goals left over from boyhood and teenage years. Oh, I’ve given up on running a 5-minute mile or bench pressing 300 pounds. But I still have designs on someday cruising the Danube from Vienna to Varna, on the Black Sea, and maybe learning enough Homeric Greek to work my way through the Odyssey in the original.

Near the top of this long-running resolve list is an item I should have accomplished decades ago, back when I pledged my heart to the girl who would rule my heart for the rest of my life:

Resolved: to be a better and more attentive escort to my wife.

Embarrassing Confession: Despite this sincere resolve, I too often neglect my wife at cocktail parties, wedding receptions, and similar social functions. There I stand, doping off, unaware that her wineglass is empty or that the waiter just forgot to serve her dessert.

Or maybe I just forget to pull out her chair or remove her coat or wrap. And, yikes, did I just say the wrong thing to the wrong person, or forget a name and face I should darned well know? Yep, and now my wife is having to rescue me again from appearing like a social ignoramus.

This is unacceptable behavior for any husband, let alone one who professes to worship, adore and serve his better half. By now I should be like Au876, a paragon of chivalry according to his years-ago postings on Lady Misato’s Wife Worship Forum:
“Showing Your Worship of Her in Public: I have been trying to make an example of our marriage in the presence of other couples by the way I treat my wife. Treat her like she is the most important and most special person in the world (after all, she is). Your wife will glow in that and appreciate the way you behave in front of her or your friends. There is a tendency among men to put down their wife in public. The exact opposite should be the case.”

Obviously, I need help. So I’ve been collecting some do's and don’ts from Au and other attentive husbands, like this:
“You will want to find out how she will expect you to comport yourself in public. She will likely expect you to open doors for her, stand when she enters a room, light her cigarette, and perform other acts of chivalry. She may have different protocols for you depending on where you are and with whom.
“When we are together I give her my undivided attention and I am usually always at her side and prepared to do her bidding. She prefers I stay silent unless spoken to.”

Is that excessive deference on the part of a husband? Well, how I wish I’d observed those strictures at a recent function. I actually interrupted my wife when she was talking to a woman across our table. She turned at looked at me in incredulity and annoyance, then snapped, “I’m talking, don’t interrupt.” I stammered back: “I just wanted to ask if you wanted another glass of wine.”

See, even when I’m trying to be chivalrous, I klutz it up!

But some guys get it, like the husband who called himself “Mr. Lisa” on the old Spouseclub message board (several years defunct):
“My job at the party will to remain at [my mother-in-law’s] side as her personal waiter for the afternoon/evening. Lisa thinks this will be a good experience for me, and that it should not be humiliating to me to have to serve in this manner, and I guess it isn't really.”

But no spouse, I think, gets it better than Fdhousehusband, who describes the instructions he was given by his executive wife when he escorted her to a corporate event:
"’I hate carrying a purse to these functions. Put these in your pockets.’ i dutifully found a place in my pockets for Her cell and all Her other odds and ends. ‘you will be my walking purse tonight. I want you close by in case i need anything, understand? Stay at my side, smile and look charming… your job tonight is to convince them that you are the perfect supporting spouse whose job it is to take care of My house and My kids so that I can focus on my job 100%.’"

Which is just what he did: “[As] She worked the room. i stayed at Her right elbow, slightly behind Her, just where Her purse would be. my pockets were bulging with Her stuff and i found myself getting hard at the thought of being nothing more than Her purse tonight. i fetched Her drinks and hors d'oeuvres and remained at Her beck and call all night.”

If you can locate any transcripts from the old Spousechat message board, you will be delighted to read the voluminous postings of Ms. Lynda, a dynamic young woman who launched herself into an upwardly mobile executive job right out of college, taking her boyfriend along for the ride, marrying him and turning him into a full-time “subordinate and submissive” househusband, whom she referred to as “Mr. Lynda”:
“Just as some men enjoy the public adoration of their wives, I think I will enjoy the very public adoration of Mr. Lynda when it becomes even more popular to do so… As people become more comfortable with our life, it would be nice to have Mr. Lynda admit in public that it is my earnings that supply our lifestyle, that I am the boss at home, and that he enjoys being a corporate spouse.”

On another FLR blogsite I found among the “10 golden rules” of proper gentlemanly behaviour one that I should absolutely commit to memory:
“You make sure that no woman remains with an empty glass! It is your duty to always keep an eye on it and ask a lady politely if she would like a refill or something else.”

Followed by:
“You do not eat in presence of women unless every woman has been served some food and is eating."

There are many more chivalric rules in the same vein, followed by this summation:
“Gentlemanly behaviour in a man for me has to express and radiate his genuine respect for womanhood. Just think of the good old days when a proper gentleman was throwing himself in the dirt so a lady could walk over him without getting her feet and shoes dirty!
“I told my darling that in his presence a woman should never have to do menial tasks such as carrying stuff (other than her handbag ), cleaning up dirt, fetch things etc.! All those things are his duty! Furthermore I expect him to do those duties with eagerness, thus expressing that he considers it a privilege just to be allowed to be in our presence!”

Amen! I mean, Ah, Women!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Give It Up to Your Queen!

There’s an oft-quoted bit of conventional wisdom that goes something like this: "Any relationship is under the control of the person who cares the least."

Where did I see that first? Ann Landers? Dear Abby? Dr. Laura? Take your pick. I check Google, and the miraculous engine shows me that psychiatrist Gordon Livingston has a lot to say about it in his book, Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart, and that the phrase shows up in the lyrics of at least one country-western song.

By whomever codified, the little truism certainly resonates, doesn’t it? Because too many of us have been there and done that, or been done that. A romantic relationship can be a very bumpy ride indeed for the person who cares the most.

So if you’re in that position, especially where there’s a large imbalance of power, take your foot off the gas and reach for the brake pedal instead! At least that’s what many relationship psychologists advise, if you want to avoid an emotionally devastating smashup.


In Female Led Relationships, 50-50 is out the window and everything is topsy-turvy. Here, where the imbalance of power could hardly be more extreme, with the wife often in control of every aspect of the relationship, you find results (based on overwhelming anecdotal evidence) that are rewarding and positive for both.

The greater the imbalance of power, when you’re talking female-led, the greater the romantic and erotic potential… and the fewer arguments or domestic disputes. Where the wife rules, and the husband follows, as one such wife put it, “things go well and love is in the air.”

This is why, on the issue of power imbalance in a relationship, the leading lights of the FLR movement all dispense advice that is totally contrary to that of most psychologists. Wives and husbands alike are urged to take their feet off the brake pedal and go full speed ahead.

For instance, Fumika Misato (quoted in Chapter 6 of my book) counsels a new-to-the-lifestyle husband to “Consider a true and honest confession of your feelings to your wife. Express yourself without reservation. Don’t be afraid to let your wife know how powerful she is.”

Or take Au876, also offering advice to a wife-worship newbie: “It sounds like your wife is on the road to taking charge. I hope you will not resist her or try to hold any power for yourself that she wants. Serve her with a smile!”

FLR couples counselor Paige Harrison explains: “My concept is to help the submissive male understand his role to worship, adore and obey his dominant wife or female partner. Learn how to lower yourself to your knees and worship her.”

For those of a certain age, this may recall the Surrendered Wife concept of Laura Doyle or the Total Woman of Marabel Morgan, both of whom held that the secret to a blissful marriage is for wives to cater to their husbands in the bedroom and out. With the proviso, of course, that FLRs turn that traditional advice upside-down.

“What better life [for a man] is there than to serve a superior lady?” Elise Sutton asks rhetorically. “A man’s masculinity is complimented when he humbles himself to serve a woman.”

And she proceeds to lecture another husband, who has voiced misgivings about certain aspects of the lifestyle, “Your life should be a life dedicated to serving your beautiful Mistress. After all, she deserves your love, devotion and complete obedience… [It is clear in your letter that] you revel in your wife’s power over you.”

And the formidable Ms. Sutton positively unloads on another husband with last-minute misgivings about relinquishing marital control: “What is your problem? You know you love submitting to your wife so just relax and get with the program… Why do you have to retain some control? Your wife has it right. Men should submit to women and the husband should submit to his wife… you should count your blessings. Forget your male pride and humble yourself before your wife. Tell her that you are eager to serve her as often as she desires. Cherish your wife and serve her like the Queen that she is.”

The Addisons, Emily and Ken, of Around Her Finger fame, jointly propose that, during an initial trial phase, wives make a formal declaration to their husbands of the power imbalance that is to be a cornerstone of their wife-led relationship:
“As you approach the last night of the trial period, have him write you another letter telling you his thoughts and feelings over the last two weeks. On the last night, have him kneel naked in front of you and read the letter to you.
“At this point you will make a decision regarding whether or not you want to continue with a wife-led relationship. I suspect that you will both have enjoyed it tremendously and that neither of you could imagine abandoning it. Importantly, if you decide to continue, make it very clear to him that you expect your authority to be respected, and that you expect his continued obedience.”

Might that naked, kneeling husband be having some chills along with his erotic thrills? Could be. It’s risky, handing over that much power to your wife, deliberately placing yourself in a classic posture of physical and emotional vulnerability. But aren’t risk and vulnerability part of the thrill of original courtship?

A husband comments on this delicious predicament: “Relinquishing total control to a loving trusted spouse provides a base thrill. Not the thrill of taking your hands off of the steering wheel while going 75 mph, but knowing that your life will be controlled by another, to such detail as decided upon by the dominant partner.”

As I wrote in my book (Chapter 6, “Daring to Be Known by Her”): "The goal here, of course, is not to hide one’s worshipful feelings from one’s beloved, but to reveal them. Don’t try to be the ‘strong, silent type’ when it comes to your adoration and devotion.”

I yield the last word to a professional domina, Dianna Vesta: “There is no greater sight nor braver man than one who melts to his knees, relinquishing control to the one he adores, doing anything that will please her.”

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Appreciating Your Life—and Your Wife

"Look at me one minute as though you really saw me… Doesn't anyone ever realize life while they live it? Every, every minute?" — Emily Webb in Thornton Wilder’s Our Town, Act 3

Try to recall the most intense desire you have ever had for the woman who is now your wife. Perhaps during courtship, or on your honeymoon or a romantic vacation interlude.

When this she-creature was absolutely everything to you. When you could see the whole rest of your life in her eyes.

Or how about the intensity of feelings if you ever thought you could lose her forever? Maybe this never happened, but if it did, you’ll know what I’m talking about.

Panic. Fear. A willingness to do anything to get her back, to change her mind, to make things okay again, the way they were before you screwed up royally (which I think we can safely assume you did). To crawl over broken glass, if that would do it, bearing flowers. To promise anything, do anything.

Even to give up televised sports. (Well, maybe not that far.)

Got it? That’s how you really feel about your wife. So why not live that way, every day—“every, every minute?”

Disagree? Perhaps you think your honeymoon or courtship phase was less real, sort of an embarrassing, make-believe interlude better left to scrapbooks, syrupy Hallmark cards and old wedding videos.

But you’d be wrong. Not being attuned to those core feelings is the illusion. Taking your wife for granted is the pretend phase, imagining that other endeavors outrank her and her needs on your daily priority list.

She is really and truly your No 1. In fact, she’s your perennial Top 10--and more.

And you don’t need to wait for a crisis to realize it.
“Courtship and reconciliation are clearly defined crises in a man’s life. He will do anything to win the woman of his dreams; should he lose her, he will do anything to win her back. Why, then, is he not willing to do anything, on a daily basis, to keep her contented? Because husbands don't perceive that a wife can be lost if never again wooed or won, that marriage is also a crisis, deserving of extreme efforts.”
—From the Introduction to Worshipping Your Wife

But, of course, sometimes it does takes a crisis for a husband to suddenly realize what matters most in his life – namely, his wife.

Such moments can be true “conversion” experiences, when the scales fall off one’s eyes and one is forever changed.

Like this husband's conversion:
“Once I realized my wife wanted to leave me, I knew I was powerless. There was no way I could make her stay. I knew the only way she would stay would be if she was happy, and so I resolved to do whatever it took to make her happy… Part of the process involved giving up control of the marriage… I discovered that making my focus my wife and her happiness, not only made the marriage better for her, but also for me.”

And this one:
“Our marriage had hit the deepest crisis in its history. I'm sure that if I had not found your site [Lady Misato’s Real Women Don’t Do Housework], my marriage would have been unretrievable… I realized that radical changes had to be made. I found myself about 3 a.m. looking at my wife asleep on the bed… and suddenly it dawned upon me what I had to do! I began kissing her feet passionately and found that I'd unconsciously totally surrendered and submitted my life to her in a split second of impulse. From that moment on I was her obedient, willing-to-please husband.”

No matter how incandescent the moment, of course, split-second impulses mean little if real and sustained change does not ensue, like this:
“I now take breakfast up to her every morning in bed, I'm doing all the house work, all the chores cooking for her every night, she now controls our finances, my sexual relief, and I'm loyally obeying her, I have never been this happy, not ever, and I mean not ever. Our marriage has taken a 180 degree turn. She is my reason for living now and I kneel at her feet.”

So, yes, it can happen. Happy-ever-aftering is possible. A husband and wife can really live this way.

Or not.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Feel the Power!

Some husbands and wives in long-term FLRs report that their daily life feels kind of vanilla, more or less as it was before the power exchange of putting the wife in charge.

But, then, you usually find that the power exchange is always there, a kind of subtle subtext to every conversation. A look, a word, a hint from the wife is all it takes for her to reassert her authority over him, and for his submissive side to snap to attention.

Or, in other cases, the couple may appear vanilla in social settings, yet with the ever-present threat of the wife playfully “outing” the husband’s submissiveness, to whatever extent she chooses. A case in point:
“My wife likes to keep our power exchange mostly secret, yet at the same time she loves to tease me by hinting to neighbors and friends about what a ‘henpecked’ husband I am. This ‘hen pecking’ suits her dominant nature and my submissiveness perfectly. By stretching my limits in this way, she has made our power exchange a reality. There is no turning back for either of us. She is as addicted to her current level of control as I am to my current lack.”

In other words, the female-male power exchange is always there, a palpable thing, whether cleverly veiled or revealed in all its glory.

This radical imbalance of power between the female and male is probably the defining quality of an FLR, more than the presence or absence of certain behaviors or rituals. Conversely, a couple can work their way through a daily checklist of D/s practices and be merely going through the motions, without the underlying reality.

This is what sets FLRs, or WLMs, (wife-led marriages), apart from the fantasy worlds of femdom. A wife-led marriage is not a make-believe dressup game until the novelty wears off. It is daily reality—at the breakfast table, watching TV, getting the kids to bed, wherever and whenever. Throughout, the wife never loses her mantle of power, her orb and scepter, her crown.

As Lady Misato (Real Women Don’t Do Housework ) has written, “Marriage is an institutional vessel within which the power exchange may occur. In effect, it makes the investment worthwhile.”

And in a wife-led marriage, or “wifedom” as Lady Misato has called it, no matter how trivial the pursuit or mundane the circumstances, the husband never loses his sense of healthy respect and even awe for who this woman is in his life. The power that flows from her is something he can feel whenever she is near, or speaks to him, whether or not she is even asserting her primacy over him.

As one husband notes, “For years I had read about the power exchange inherent in FLRs. Well, now I know what it means. I no longer look at my beloved bride the way I did. Whenever I think of her, whenever she is in the room or speaks, there is an aura of power that surrounds her. And, yes, it is sexy. And she knows it, too.”

Again, this is not some fantasy that an addlepated husband superimposes over his wife to spice up his life. And it’s not because the wife is swathed in furs, or sheathed in wet-look vinyl. It’s because the husband is seeing her, and valuing her, as she truly is—the goddess by whom, miraculously, he is owned.

He knows, of course, that her word is law, no matter how softly spoken or politely couched.

It is certainly so in my case. As with other wife-led husbands, I know that she controls all the money, and how it is spent, and all our schedules, long-term and short, and what we will do, and what we will eat, and, of course, all our sexual activity. I know that I must turn to her for advice on all matters, large and small, because her judgment and practical sense so far exceed my own. And that I will benefit and prosper from her wisdom all the days of my life.

So, yes, my wife has been owed deference and worship and obedience from me all these years. And now, finally, I'm starting to “get it.”

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Living With a Goddess

“The deadening scales of familiarity will dissolve, and you will see [your wife] her restored to full, feminine mystery and radiance.”
Worshipping Your Wife, Chapter 3, “Making Her Your Fantasy”

It’s a visionary experience almost to die for, and definitely to live for, one which will forever transform your marriage and your life.

What does it feel like to live with a goddess on a daily basis? I’ll let these wife-worshipping husbands supply their own giddy responses:
“A wave of profound happiness rises in me when I worship my Goddess wife. It is heaven for me.”

“Through my wife I am brought close to the center of the feminine mystery, intoxicated by it, overwhelmed by her.”

"[My wife] has arrived home and my heart is fluttering with excitement! I do not feel complete until she is home. I'm near the center of the feminine mystery, an intimate part of the life of a beautiful woman. So close to her, caring only for her comfort and happiness...
“I have just hung her silk suit in her closet when, whap! Her panties hit me in the face and she laughs playfully. I put them in my hand-wash basket and turn to gaze adoringly at my Mistress.
“Naked, stretching her beautiful body, absolutely comfortable in front of me, she turns her brilliant emerald eyes on me and smiles, knowing exactly what effect she is having on me and enjoying it…
“As she strides past me, all energy, grace and unselfconscious nakedness, she slaps my ass hard and, to her amusement, I squeal and jump and hurry to do her bidding.”

“I love to wash my wife's hair and scrub her in the shower, then dry her. Mostly because she loves it. If someone says it isn't important, I do not care. I know giving and loving are important to me.”

“My wife makes me worship her, pray to her and chant to her. Sexual service is a part of my ritual in worshipping her. It is a beautiful thing. I humble myself before my wife and pray to her. Then I kiss her feet and slowly work my worshipful kisses up her legs and eventually make my way to her shrine, the place where all life begins. Once there, I worship her by licking her to orgasm while she chants a lovely song about the superiority of women in her sexy and hypnotic voice. I feel so at peace and nurtured by her, as I taste of her. It is not uncommon for both my wife and I to have tears in our eyes during this sacred ritual.”

Maniac vs. Dilettante

I’ve posted about taking “Baby Steps” and incremental wife worship, inching along, ever so slowly, the way the snail climbs Mt. Fuji.

Because, unless the idea for entering into a Female-Led Relationship originates with our wives, we husbands don’t want to spook the objects of our adoration.

But, truth be told, Wife Worship is a form of psychological mania, not a dilettantish pursuit or hobby. The idea, after all, is not simply to like and respect your wife, but to fall crazy nuts in love with her all over again – maybe even more truly, madly, deeply than the first time around.

To become obsessed by her… while — and this is the trick — contriving to appear pretty much sane and semi-normal in the process.