Monday, October 27, 2008

Weekend Update, Part Two

In many wife-led households, the weekly performance review (as discussed in the previous post) has a strong financial component.

The husband may turn over his weekly pay envelope (if it isn’t direct-deposited electronically into his wife’s account) along with receipts for every dollar spent in the past seven days—as prelude and prerequisite to his wife handing him his adjusted allowance for the week ahead.

But pocket money is certainly not the only thing a man may receive from his wife’s hand on such ritual occasions:

“When we first began our relationship,” one husband writes, “my wife kept a notebook in which she would record my infractions (not listening, giving her back-talk, not doing something to her specifications), and then she would administer a weekly correction, meting out whatever she decided for each bad behavior.”

Or, as described from the distaff side, “Each Sunday evening, I review my husband’s performance from the previous week and determine if punishment or reward is required.”

Now I carefully avoided certain “trigger” terms and concepts in my book, Worshipping Your Wife. Since the emphasis was on romantic courtship, I didn’t want to scare off potential readers with images that could conjure up strange rituals of domestic “punishment” and “discipline.”

Which is why I, with many others, have welcomed the much-needed rebranding of this lifestyle under more mainstream banners—e.g., “Loving Female Authority,” “Female Led Relationships” and “Wife Led Marriages.”

All the same, “corrective measures” such as spanking and paddling are employed by some couples who practice Loving Female Authority, et al. For example:

“My wife grades my weekly performance in my domestic chores as well as my sexual service of her. If I do not excel in her opinion, I may receive a painful encouragement with her hairbrush.”

Other wives prefer to correct their mates’ misbehavior with lighter methods—a stern look, an occasional scolding.

At the weekly reminder session other wives employ schoolmarmish methods, such as assigning corner time or having the husband write lines, or denying or limiting certain masculine privileges, such as watching the next Big Game or nights out with the boys (see my post on this).

One wife prefers to give her husband an occasional light tap on the top of his head with a rolling pin. It’s a most effective and economical reminder, he reports.

And what about rewards? A reinstatement of privileges is one easy option, but the reward of choice for many husbands is simply being granted “release.” And no, I’m not talking about a furlough.

“My wife and I are considering a point system where I am awarded points for completing weekly/monthly tasks (cleaning, taking the trash out, things like that). I must earn a minimum of 150 points before she'll even consider allowing me sexual release. Getting the 150 points isn't easy—but worth the effort.”

“If the score is sufficient then release is granted,” Fumika Misato explains this kind of system, where the husband is kept in wife-supervised chastity. “Otherwise not. Again, you wipe the slate and start over for the next period. In addition, you can vary his allowance and other privileges according to his score. Excel is a great tool for recording and computing scores.”

Another reward husbands may enjoy at a weekly assessment is an opportunity to speak more freely about any reservations or complaints they may harbor about domestic arrangements.

“It is my husband’s safety valve,” one wife explains, “as the rest of the time we have agreed that he is not to question or raise doubts about my control of things. During our weekly sessions, I of course acknowledge whatever my husband says, but he understands that I am under no pressure to act upon any of the requests he makes.”

“[These] weekly sessions,” according to Elise Sutton, “will ensure the power exchange and the power dynamics of the female-led relationship, motivating [the husband] for the week ahead.”

“My wife never raises her voice at our Friday weekly review,” explains another worshipful husband, “but simply, in normal conversation tone, admonishes in way that can strikes fear and sadness in me, if I’ve fallen short in some way. Fear, because I know there will be a punishment coming, and sadness, because I have disappointed her in some specific way. When she has finished her lecture, she always asks if I fully understand.”

One husband found himself under his wife’s scrutiny around the clock. She had been his colleague at work—until she was promoted to head of his department. Suddenly he was having his performance reviewed by her both at home and on the job—with the latter being the more embarrassing: “It humiliated me up to have to go once a week to her office and report on my weekly activities, with her sitting in her leather armchair, while I had to sit on a simple chair. It made me feel naked and impotent.”

Of course, he wasn't actually naked seated before his wife-boss at work, but he may well have been when being reviewed by her at home. A naked and even kneeling husband is a common ritual aspect in many of these weekly conferences. For instance:

“I will order [my husband] to undress and kneel before me. At that time, I will begin to critique his weekly performance of his chores. I will scold him if he disobeyed me during the week or displays a negative attitude. I speak in soft whispers, challenging him to be a better husband and informing him of my demands for the week ahead. He yields to my quiet authority and surrenders his will over to me. This brings peace to my husband and love and harmony to our marriage. In fact, our little sessions usually lead to a night of passion and sex.”

But even kneeling is not enough for this hubbie: “On Sunday evenings I lie at [my wife’s] feet while she reviews my performance, making notes on the calendar to track my performance over time. At the end of our meeting, she assigns projects for the following week, determines and administers punishment. This system doesn't take much of her time to manage yet effectively satisfies our respective needs.”

“We discuss my husband’s performance and other things during those conversations,” a wife comments in recommending the practice to other couples. “We have been doing this for several years and find the time very enjoyable.”

Here’s a husband who certainly seems to enjoy being “dressed down” by his wife (perhaps after being “undressed” by her): “Our weekly conversation was focused on my performance. She evaluated me in several areas, sexual and non-sexual. It was delightful and it turned me on to be taking a very honest look at my good points and bad points.”

A final quote illustrates how a weekly tête-a-tête can look beyond the husband’s behavior-of-the-week to take stock of the overall progress of the female-led aspect of the relationship:

“The other night,” a husband writes, “we were talking about the changes that we've seen in our relationship, and she said, ‘If I've changed you this much in a couple of years, imagine what it will be like in another 10 or 20!’ It's a thought that's exciting, but not without a bit of apprehension.”

Ready for your gold stars and demerits, guys?

Friday, October 24, 2008

Weekend Update, Part One

If you browse the female relationship message boards like She Makes The Rules or many others that have come and gone in recent years, or read the monthly Q&As in the Around Her Finger blog or on Elise Sutton’s Female Superiority site, you’ll find a dizzying array of opinions—on financial arrangements, apportioning of household chores, who initiates intimacy, methods of correction, you name it.

On one issue, however, you will find near total agreement—the necessity for continuing communication between both parties to the FLR (female-led relationship) arrangement. Hopes and fears need to be shared, agreements made, goals and timelines set, results evaluated. Or, if that sounds too biz-jargony, let’s just say they need to talk. A lot and often.

Emily and Ken Addison of Around Her Finger recommend a first foray into a wife-led arrangement be done on a two-week trial, a “boot camp” deal. (“During those two weeks, introduce him to loving female authority as described in the Boot Camp section of the book. At the end of those two weeks, have an open and candid discussion about wife-led marriages…”)

Fumika Misato of Real Women Don’t Do Housework prescribes intimate bedroom “conversations” where the husband, in particular, is encouraged by the wife (and erotically manipulated) into sharing his secret sexual fantasies.

Elise Sutton and others who advocate wife-led or matriarchal marriage recommend husbands keep a journal in which they records their daily thoughts and fantasies for their wives to read. “My wife has me keep a journal which she may read at any time,” as one husband explains. “The journal has entries like what she said and how I felt about it.”

“All husbands who submit to Loving Female Authority should be required to keep accurate journals,” according to one woman who posted under the name of “Grand Matriarch.” “This will aid them in performing as well as organizing and focusing their attention on their wives. She will then be aware of his mind-set and daily performance of assigned chores, tasks and appointments.”

“I have my husband keep a journal and every night at bedtime I go through it with him,” agrees another wife. “I want everything in our minds cleared.”

Sometimes the journal-reading review is part of a periodic evaluation, in which the wife and husband discuss progress in their FLR, or the lack of it, or share their thoughts on the process.

This seems most frequently to be conducted on a weekly basis (often on Sunday evenings), and is variously described as an “assessment,” or a “performance evaluation” or “performance review,” and, in one instance, even as a “weekly update.”

In cases where the wife has assumed control of family finances, the “weekly update” may be combined with the awarding of the husband’s weekly allowance. Other agenda items may include a discussion of weekly menus (for husbands who cook), or measuring progress toward an agreed-upon goal (like the husband losing weight).

And, of course, there are wives for whom the weekly performance review is the time to assess and mete out appropriate punishments for their partners’ shortcomings over the week past.

In many cases, the weekly review is a give-and-take discussion, in which husbands and wives share their concerns and work to reach consensus for proceeding. This is certainly the case when a couple meets to evaluate a trial FLR arrangement, such as the two-week boot camp mentioned above. But, judging by my online research, the longer the female-led dynamic endures, the more likely the weekly conference will evolve, by mutual consent, into a courtroom with the wife as judge and the husband as judgee.

It’s the Lady of the House who keeps score, in other words. And it may not be enough that hapless hubby complete his weekly honey-do list. There are other columns in the evaluation sheet. How well did he do his assigned tasks? Did he complain? Second guess her? Talk back? Sulk? Delay? Forget things?

Is this an unfair and one-sided tribunal? Of course. But almost without exception, the wife-worshipping husbands who share their experiences online indicate that they want their wives to keep score, to evaluate them, to give them feedback, and even to use training or discipline to improve their performance.

As one guy put it: ““I think this is a great idea for all husbands. We need to know where we stand, what we do well, and where we need improvements.”

To illustrate (and bolster) the point, let me offer additional examples:

“My new routine this year includes a weekly evaluation of my performance by my Wife on Sunday evening. She gave me praise during Her January 6th review; January 13th was a different matter…”

This husband goes on to relate how he received several demerits for not completing all his chores to her satisfaction in a timely fashion. But this was not the worst. His wife had discovered a speeding ticket he had failed to tell her about. His subsequent punishment (which I will not get into) was as much for the attempted coverup as for the actual offense.

Are such evaluations always negative? Apparently not. On a subsequent session, this husband boasts that “my Wife was so pleased with my progress that She awarded me two additional hours to play on the computer!”

Another husband writes: “My wife seemed pleased with my weekly work performance, although I was chastised for forgetting a few personal tasks she told me to do. Like yesterday, I was supposed to pick up her dress at the cleaners, but I forgot.”

There is a persuasive tone of sincerity in the accounts of these wife-following husbands. They really do want to learn to better serve their wonderful wives in as many ways as possible.

Hence, one devoted husband proposed to his wife that she evaluate his performance in much the same manner that she did her subordinates on her executive-level job. “That's a good idea for you,” was her enthusiastic comeback. “I'll come up with a form that YOU will fill out, then I will then critique your self-evaluation and we will institute some additional training to get you where I think you should be."

Lady Misato also thinks this is a good idea: “The mere act of keeping track of his behavior will have a profound effect on your husband. Not only is his every behavior subject to an indelible record avoiding any possibility that you might forget either the act or your feelings about it, but in addition the constant state of evaluation will elevate your power over him and further invite his surrender to your will.”

“The first step,” she continues, “is, of course, to keep track. Make a habit of keeping a notepad handy at all times either in your purse or in a pocket. The idea is to record your reaction to your husband's behavior at the instant of the behavior. If you trust your memory of if you simply do not enjoy keeping track throughout the day, you can simply make a mental review of the day each night.”

A semi-serious (and discontinued) online femdom magazine calling itself “Whap!” came up with a playful take on this weekly-wifely checkup:

“Setting aside one night at week's end is the easiest way to monitor and correct your husband's behavior before things get out of hand. I recommend that you make it a weekly ritual in your house. The procedure is simple. Make sure all your husband's weekly chores are done, including cleaning, laundry and kitchen duties. Are your shoes polished and in order? Your bras and panties laundered and put away? Your vanity table organized? Your jewelry cleaned and polished? Is his housework up to your high standards? Were the meals he prepared creative and delicious or just thrown together? What about errands--did he pick up your dry cleaning, do the food shopping and remember what brand of tampons to buy? Finally, did he take it upon himself to do any special projects? Don't overlook anything.”

The tone here, of course, is unmistakably tongue-in-cheek, but, in plain fact, for many couples this kind of itemized weekly accounting is routine reality.

“We have established tasks (chores & attitude adjustments for me) and a weekly review session similar to normal work evaluation reports,” a husband explains matter-of-factly. “I know in my heart we must agree to some penalties if I am to have any success complying with her directions and reaching the performance goals we agree upon.”

Another husband and wife codified the agenda of their weekly meeting into formal contractual language:

“Performance will be assessed once a week, normally Monday afternoon. Linda will review John’s goals and comment on his performance for the week. John will be given a chance to explain any transgressions and should take this time to confess anything that has not been discussed. At Linda’s discretion, John may be given correction via discipline so that his performance will improve.”

What other provocative little domestic rituals are observed during these weekly updates? I’ll save them for Part Two of this double posting.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Direct Report to the Boss Lady

In my book’s last chapter, “Happy-Ever-Aftering Takes Work,” I quoted wives and husbands who steer clear of arguments over money by the simple expedient of having the wife assume complete financial control.

It works, to promote not only domestic harmony but fiscal responsibility, judging from a great deal of testimony, from both genders. In that sense, according to one admittedly improvident husband, “men may well be the biggest beneficiaries” of these fiduciary arrangements.

As this wife of a spendthrift explains, “My husband has never signed his own paycheck and freely admits to anyone who will listen that he would have it no other way. Because without me in charge he would be in the poorhouse or a destitute alcoholic. Some men should never handle funds. All major spending is discussed between us, then decided on by me. He gets monies when I think he needs it.”

Of course, not all wife-led marriages adhere to this strict prescription. Many chief-executive wives prefer to have their husbands remain chief financial officers, or chancellors of the exchequer. But judging from postings on FLR message boards over the years, more and more couples are opting for the power of the purse over the wallet.

Here’s how it works, according to Ken Addison’s popular introductory book to wife-led marriages, Around Her Finger: “Ideally, the household finances should be consolidated and managed by the woman. The husband should operate under a budget that she approves, and he can appeal to his wife for exceptions to that budget.”

Fumika Misato goes into a little more detail on her Real Women Don’t Do Housework website, strongly advocating this system to wives starting out in the lifestyle:

“As head of the household, you control the family finances. He is required to justify his expenses to you. But there is absolutely no need for you to explain anything whatsoever about the family finances to him. If you give him a budget it is his duty to follow it; if you require approval for certain purchases, he must obtain such approval. You, on the other hand, are free to spend as you alone see fit whether, in your judgment, for the benefit of the family or merely for your own enjoyment. For example, if you want to buy a new car, that is your decision alone but if he wants to purchase a new shirt he must seek your permission.”

One of Lady Misato’s faithful followers, Au876, described how this dynamic operated in his wife-led marriage: “My wife now has total control of all our assets. My check goes by direct deposit into her account, and I am given an allowance which she sets and adjusts as she sees fit. I am not allowed nor do I ever question any decisions she makes about finances (or anything else for that matter).”

How, one may ask, does this unequal status reflect the courtship ideal inherent in wife-worship? It may be a stretch, but I really think it’s there. Work with me here, as they say on sitcoms, and conjure up the knight errant returning to court and laying some trophy of battle (the Holy Grail, perhaps?) at the feet of his queen or lady fair.

Or picture a caveman returning to his cave and throwing down his bloody kill at the feet of his cavelady. Perhaps he had to carve off a cutlet or two to eat en route, but I assure you he’d have preferred to lay the carcass intact at her feet. That’s the thrill of manly service to the she-creature who rules his heart.

That’s the same hard-wired macho impulse, slightly twisted, that has guys emptying their wallet onto the railings of strip club stages on Friday nights.

But, as I said, there are other working and workable FLR arrangements, some of which give the husband more discretion in family finances.

“In our house,” one husband explains, “it’s my job to keep up with the finances. My wife is the breadwinner and of course she has the final decision how the money is to spent. The way it works is I keep the books and if she wants to know some details, I report to her. I have some money for my personal needs, so I don't have to ask her or keep track of those expenditures.”

Another husband can buy whatever he likes without wifely permission, until he reaches a hundred-dollar threshold: “My Wife and I are both accountants, so it wasn't a problem when about a month ago she decided to assume full financial control along as part of her role of having final authority in our marriage. She decided I will receive a weekly allowance of cash from her to use anyway I wish, but I need to get Her advance permission on any purchases over $100. I'm not allowed to write any checks or making any savings withdrawals from our bank accounts.”

An interesting variation on these arrangements is where the wife controls the finances but relies on her husband for financial advice, keeping the books and handling all relevant paperwork. She just makes the decisions and signs the checks.

As Ken Addison puts it in Around Her Finger: “If, as a practical matter, the wife feels that she wants to defer the administrative component of managing the money (e.g. balancing a checkbook), then she can delegate this task as she would any other. If she decides to delegate this task, however, it is important that she get regular and frequent updates on the status of income and expenses in the home.”

Fdhousehusband (of the blog her househusband’s life) explains it how it works in his wife-led marriage: “In Her Household, my Wife earns almost all the money but i pay all the bills. i am really more of just Her secretary though. i prepare a budget every year that She then reviews and approves… i am to stay within the budget and advise Her whether proposed spending is within the budget. She can always change the budget and like a good secretary my job is to just advise Her of the choices She has to make.”

Another husband describes a variation of the same matriarchal theme: “The money is my wife’s, but one of my duties is to be the accountant. She is President and CEO, and as an underling, I make regular financial reports to her to let her know how her finances stand. As for big ticket items (cars, vacations, etc.) She has me do extensive research on all the possibilities. She will have me give a presentation to her, briefly going through pros, cons, options etc… In the end, though, she makes the final choice, regardless of whether I thought it was the very best one or not.”

Au876 is also privileged to be his wife’s financial advisor, financial secretary and, ultimately, accounts payable clerk: “Bill-paying is a chore as are many other aspects of financial management. I get all the bills ready for payment and she signs the checks. My wife often has me gather information on an investment she may be considering or do other research, such as comparing prices and etc. She often asks my opinion. When she does, she expects an informed opinion. However, after I present what she has asked for, she makes the decisions. Sometimes I never know what they are, but I have been asked for an opinion and that by itself thrills me.”

It was a decade ago in Lady Misato’s Wife Worship Forum that I first read Au876’s description of his wife’s stringent financial control. So I asked him, deeply puzzled, how he could buy his wife any special or expensive presents for Valentine's or Christmas or birthdays without funds? His answer came as a revelation:

“This is in reply to your question of how I could buy my wife expensive gifts. I can't. There is no way possible because I do not have free access to any remotely large sum of money. If she wants something, she buys it and I must say she does not hesitate to splurge on herself. Before she took control of the finances I would buy her expensive gifts from time to time. She appreciated them but often exchanged them for what she really wanted. Now she buys what she really wants. But the big plus is how much more she appreciates the gifts I do buy for her. It may be an inexpensive sweater, some new underwear, candy or even flowers from time to time, but she knows I have had to save back from my allowance to make the purchase and she knows I have given up some pleasures for myself to please her. She seems to appreciate them much more than she did expensive gifts that caused me little hardship.”

I was deeply impressed by the extent of Au876’s devotion. Now, after many years, I am privileged to confirm from my own daily experience the truth of what he wrote:

“There are very few things you can do without money. If your wife controls the money, she largely controls what you can and can not do. Meanwhile, she can do what she wants with no approval or permission from you.”

Yes, it’s a primal thrill for any wife-worshipper to relinquish all financial power into the hands of his queen, but I will whisper one teensy-weensy caution that others in the life have passed on to me:

Be careful what you wish for. Giving up financial control may be a point of no return on the road to wifedom.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Growing Into the Role

A friend told me about this girl he knew years ago in high school. A real “glamour-puss” (his word, not mine) who landed the lead in a school play about Queen Elizabeth I (by Maxwell Anderson, I think), and who got so caught up in the regal role, issuing orders to bowing and scraping boy-courtiers, that she started acting like an absolute monarch around campus. My friend remembers almost bumping into her one day, whereupon she thrust out an imperious hand and ordered him: “On your knees, vassal, and kiss my hand!”

My friend was having none of it. But while nodding at whatever point he was making, I was thinking, why couldn’t it have been me she ordered to grovel? I wouldn’t have hesitated—not back then, not ever. To the best of my recollection, my female-worshipping syndrome kicked in around the age of 3.

Okay, so why did I bring this up? Not to illustrate the foibles of method acting, overidentifying with a part, but to illustrate that our wives (or girlfriends) can gradually grow into the role of our sexy sovereigns, exercising more and more authority over us while accepting our passionate worship.

But here’s the deal. We may have to give them time, and encouragement, to help them get comfortable in the new role, to realize how regal and magnificent they are to us (their knights and courtiers).

Female empowerment psychologist Elise Sutton explained it this way to one devoted husband: “Your wife is still new to this lifestyle and you need to allow her to experiment with her female power so she can become comfortable [with it]. Your position is to encourage her and to support her. Let her know that you enjoy her power.”

Fumika Misato is even more emphatic: “Let your wife get comfortable with her new role, and you will be set for life.”

In fact, female-led relationship message boards are cram-full of postings by husbands sharing tips and comparing notes on how to encourage and empower their wonderful wives, like these:

“My wife feels a little guilty about being spoiled but stills lets me do it. She sometimes points out things that could be done but doesn't correct me much or complain. Yesterday she came home from shopping with some cleaning items that ‘you might want to use’ and some menu suggestions.”

“Last weekend my wife sent me out shopping for household things, telling me what to get. It was very much like the boss telling you what to do. It was fun. Later I think she felt a little guilty about it.”

“My wife is happy to be in control of my orgasms. It may take some time before she will feel comfortable to admit it, but I think she will make this arrangement more explicit in the future.”

Another husband says his wife is taking “this female-led thing” at her own pace, working to “de-program'herself from many years of conditioning as a traditional, non-assertive wife.”

“The key,” Elise Sutton instructs another husband, “is for you to be supportive and allow [your wife] the room to grow. Encourage her to be in charge and compliment her often… If she makes a mistake, be quick to forgive and be there to serve. Patience on your part is a must.”

How does a husband actively encourage his wife to blossom from commoner into queen? How about just start treating her like royalty? Here, from Chapter 2 (“Making Her Your Fantasy”) of my book, is the testimony of a wife on the receiving end of such nonstop adoration: “I'm in my fifties and gravity is winning more and more every day. But in the eyes and mind of my husband, I am beautiful—I am his queen—and he shows it to me every minute of every day.”

To paraphrase my favorite epigraph (“If you want our wife to be a goddess, worship her”): “If you want your wife to be a queen, obey her.” Remember, as Lady Misato said, once she is convinced of your sincerity and your passion, you’ll be set for life.

But what does that mean? What’s it like living with an emerging goddess?

“Very interesting” is this husband’s initial reaction: “It’s been very interesting to see how my wife is slowly changing the more comfortable she gets in the superior role within our relationship, the more she gets comfortable with the idea that she has all this power and sees what effect she has on me.”

For this husband, the elevation of his spouse into queenly status means that he is privileged to kneel in her presence, a long-cherished desire of his, as it happened: “I did not beg to kneel before my wife and worship her, but just expressed my feelings about it several times. All I wanted was to be heard, and felt that I should not push her. The sincerity did the trick. She no longer saw it as slavish behavior but as a deep-seated desire of her husband.”

The abiding gratitude this guy felt when his worshipful wish was granted is echoed by many husbands in wife-led unions: “Have you ever thought of what a wonderful gift our wives give us by accepting our worship? I pleasured her this a.m. and without a word she just fell asleep when she was done. It makes me feel great to see her relax that much and to know that I've contributed to it by not making demands on her for my pleasure.”

The more completely their wives identify with their queenly role, it seems, the happier their husbands: “My Wife/Goddess has gotten very, very comfortable with this lifestyle. After one bad argument, my Queen put her foot down and laid down the law! Today our marriage/life is lived the way SHE wants it to be. Even if I ever had 2nd thoughts and asked to go back to normal, this is something she would not accept. She is too comfy in her view on life as a Goddess and living a female led relationship.”

“I have never felt so much love and adoration for my wife. I surrendered our home life to her and it has only gotten better. I don't know when it happened exactly but during the course of releasing control to my wife, I realized that I could trust her with anything. That is a very powerful and wonderful revelation to experience but it is also fundamental, I believe, to a successful female-led marriage.”

“My wife is increasingly comfortable with her authority over me,” boasts another husband. He goes on to explain how, as he served her the dinner he had just prepared, she proceeded to outline his schedule for the next week and weekend: "’Yes Ma'am,’ was all I said, but her tone of voice and her certainty went directly to my heart—and groin. It was slightly embarrassing.”

And what of the newly crowned queens? What say they?

Here’s a spirited sampling:

“I have entered a whole new world of power. It took a few months for me to get on top of things, but I have him so worked up and attentive, keeping the house in order just the way I like it. I truly feel and know I am a Goddess now!”

“I love men who really care about, worship, adore, and submit to the will of Women, not caring about their own petty interests and hoping with devout sincerity to please the Lady of their affections. And I am so lucky that my husband is just such a man!”

“I can't imagine any woman not loving to be worshipped by the man she loves, especially seeing him having the guts to do it openly and publicly.”

“I just love the power rush!”

“I was always sorta shy, but now I'm confident, assertive and very comfortable with myself. My husband has given me all this and much more. I am in charge of lovemaking - I decide when we do it, how we do it, whether he can penetrate me and whether he can bring himself to a climax. This might sound very controlling, but in fact my husband says it has given him an aroused state of being for hours or even days. And I am certainly enjoying it!”

“The control I have over my man just floors me.“

“I’m 23, so maybe it’s a generational thing, but I can’t imagine any woman not loving this. In fact, the group of women that I hang out with are all determined that we will be in control in our relationships. I think the ideal of equality that women talked about in the sixties and seventies ridiculous. Why should women settle for equality? Why should they settle for anything less than being totally in control?”

“Remember that your husband craves your authority,” one wife counsels another, newer to the lifestyle. “Even if you think it sounds like a bit much to say it, tell him that he must obey you. Tell him you are in charge. He wants – he needs – to hear it.”

“Embrace your authority,” advises Emily Addison on the Around Her Finger blogsite. “Throttle this [female-led] dynamic to your comfort level.”

End result—"Happy-Ever-Aftering," as I titled the final chapter of my book. But with, perhaps, a cautionary whisper to husbands embarking on this journey from one who’s been there and done that: “The biggest danger is opening the Pandora's Box of possibility. A wife acculturated by a lifetime of deference and submission to men may discover an authoritarian role she didn't know she could have, and she might like it. And she may not want to go back to the way things were, even if you suddenly change your mind.”

Be prepared, in other words, once you have assisted your wife onto the household throne, to play your supporting role in a long-running play. Not “Queen for a Day” but “Queen for Life.”

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Girls Night Out

Awhile back I wrote a couple of posts about “Boys Night Out,” that sacred male-bonding ritual by which some husbands intermittently recreate bachelorhood with the kind of frat-boy behaviors celebrated in beer commercials.

Boys Nights Out can run the gamut from watching an occasional big game with one’s buddies at the corner sports bar to cashing out the weekly paycheck at the county-line strip club.

Wife-worshipful husbands, on the other hand, learn to forgo or at least minimize these adolescent excesses, either of their own volition or in compliance with the wishes of their spouses.

All things considered, they much prefer to bond with her.

Some wife-led marriages take things a bit farther. They practice she-he turnabout, where it is the wife who is at liberty to step out on the town with the girls, while hubby stays dutifully behind.

An example would be the FLR union of Nancy and Dennis, chronicled in an earlier post: “Nancy and her friends often have ladies night out,” Dennis writes, “where the husbands stay at home with the kids or clean the bathroom.”

Another husband similarly confesses his stay-at-home status: “My wife and her friends often have ladies night out where the husbands stay at home with the kids or clean the bathroom.” Do you detect a complaint there? I honestly don’t think so. It is, for these made-over males, the new status quo.

Some role-reversing wives actually take their husbands ALONG on their girls night out: “Of course,” as one such wife explains, “they had to walk behind us and they were not allowed to talk unless we gave them permission.”

“[My wife] goes out a fair amount of nights,” writes the oft-quoted Au876, a perfect poster-boy for this lifestyle. “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.”

At first I thought Au876 was bragging about the inequity of his domestic arrangement, but now I’m wondering if there isn’t just the slightest tine of resentment as he reaches for the steam iron. Just wondering, mind you. Certainly there is a tone of mild protest in this letter to Ken and Emily Addison, co-authors of the provocative Around Her Finger books and website materials:

“[My] wife and two girls from her work usually go out one Friday a month. They just go to a local tavern that has a decent happy hour and draws a nice crowd.” The husband gives quite a few details before getting around to voicing his complaints about these “girl's nights" after which his wife “almost always comes home much later then she says she will.” The husband admits “that jealousy is also a factor here,” but eventually talks himself into the idea that what he really needs to do is “to chill out and allow her more freedom.”

Ken Addison agrees: “Once you acknowledge that [your wife] is in control and that your first responsibilities are to obey and serve her, you will achieve both a peace of mind and a ‘peace of relationship’ that is worth many times more than simply getting your way on minuscule points… The next time [your wife] comes home from one of her nights out with the girls, let her know that her new freedom is permanent.”

“Social freedom was something I had insisted on even as an undergrad,” a young woman attorney writes about her own decidedly wife-led marriage, “but this was generally limited to a girls' night out two or three times each month until my senior year. But once I became a junior law partner and wrested financial control of my marriage, this situation underwent a fundamental change. As a partner in the firm I now had increased social contacts, and hence increased opportunities, with numerous prominent attorneys and clients. The exercise of my social freedom thus increased as a matter of course. In my husband’s complete acceptance of my new status, I saw there would never be resistance to me or to my authority.”

Some perennially lovestruck husbands even boast about the dramatic disparity between the liberties enjoyed by their wives versus the restrictions placed on themselves: “My wife can go and come as she pleases, do what she wants. She knows I will ask no questions, and while she is gone I will be home either resting or tending my chores awaiting her return. In my book that is the way it should be and she thinks so, too.”

Not surprisingly, perhaps, such unequal arrangements can slide into outright cuckoldry, consensual or otherwise. The varying results of these marital and extramarital experiments can be studied in the monthly installments chronicled online by female supremacist Elise Sutton.

Whatever else may be said about cuckoldry, it is risky business, on multiple fronts. Some people like to play with dangerous and combustible materials, others do not. It is decidedly not one of the current or even contemplated steps in turning marriage back into passionate courtship.

At least not in my book

But a loving and worshipful husband might well enjoy seeing his wife flirt a bit in public, or encourage her to spread her wings socially, to go out more often with her friends, especially girlfriends.

What I have found, in my own marriage, is that my wife comes home after such nights out happier and quite often more amorous. Alcohol may or may not have been poured.