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.”


john said...

Ah yes! The release of letting go is heady stuff in a number of contexts, why not relationships?

The specific issue of how power will be shared in the relationship is discussed here in a generic way, but it doesn't take much imagination to do whatever you want to with the concept.

The real challenge in doing this often lies in how you handle the inevitable second thoughts, doubts, counter thoughts, etc. that are stirred up when setting a new course.

These things are not bad and they do not mean that you are not really cut out for such a relationship, but they do require a plan.

We all have been programmed with a myriad of beliefs, desires, and habits that we may not even know we have until we set out to do something new. Then they rise up to say "no, we do that this way."

Generally, the best way to handle these pre-conceptions on any topic is to just let things keep flowing without trying to make anything happen or go away. Just watch and feel and it is likely to work itself out.

There are specifics skills and techniques that make this work better, but they are beyond the scope of this post.

Mistress Kiara said...

“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.”

How beautiful, I've never heard this until now. :)

Mark Remond said...

john & Mistress Kiara, I appreciate your acknowledgments, validations and comments. It's a pretty vague but highly charged topic, one that draws me back again and again. John, I'm about to leave for a 4-day family getaway, but I'll check out your reference and Kiara's website, too.

Susan's Pet said...

I feel your yearning to submit to a female. This "balance of power" concept is the fantasy of men mostly. But I disagree with a lot of what you claim (unless I misunderstood you).

"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.”"

That goes true for the bedroom. It fails in everyday life. I can see a balance of maybe 60/40, but not much more. The problem is that in a what I call normal relationship both partners need some satisfaction, regardless of what their needs are. Going deeper than 60/40, one of them is not getting enough. Give him or her time, and the relationship will break.

These so-called professional female supremacists have it all figured out. The problem with that is that it works only when it works! In general it does not work.

I am not saying that if the wife is totally sadistic and the husband is totally masochistic, this would not work. What I am saying is that if this totally masochistic husband is not getting his 100 percent mistreatement, he might not want to continue the relationship.

The bottom line is, whatever the needs are, on the average, a 50/50 satisfaction must be achieved regardless of who is whipping whose ass. FLR is no different: man wants woman to lead, woman must lead. If there is a disagreement over this, the thing will not work.

Mark Remond said...

Susan's Pet - Apologies for the long delayed response. I do not take issue with your analysis... typical of the insightful postings on your discursive and provocative blog, which I've been savoring, dipping back into the archives. (I've also enjoyed your MW's artful postings.) I'm not really an analytical guy... more a fantasy guy. The power imbalance that I've encouraged in our marriage is part fantasy, but part reality... I do rely on her judgment over mine. But the satisfaction and pleasure I derive from the FLR is probably more like 60/40 in my favor, though I hope hers will increase.