Saturday, April 25, 2009

Caught in the Courtship Loop, Part One

The animating idea of my book, Worshippping Your Wife, is that the magic of first love does not have to wear off. And, darn it, if it does, it can be recaptured and perpetuated. Yea, verily, a husband and wife can reinfect one another with honeymoon fever even unto the happy-ever-aftering of storybooks and Harlequin romances, until death do them part.

I lifted this hopeful concept, with (I hope) appropriate acknowledgment, from the website of Fumika Misato (Real Women Don’t Do Housework), but abundant articulations of this idea can be found on FLR websites, repeated in testimonials posted online in newsgroups, bulletin boards (and in emails to me) by worshipful husbands their worshipped wives.

Perpetual Courtship, I call it in the book. Think of “Ground Hog Day” meets “50 First Dates.” The husband wakes up each morning with an overwhelming urge (and need) to resume his hormone-fueled courtship of his wife, to win her all over again, as if for the first time.

I prescribe various kinds of courtship behaviors ardent hubbie can keep practicing, in an endless romantic loop.

But, you may ask, can’t this get a little déjà-vuish? Yes, it can. And, speaking guy-wise, it is especially hard to wake up après sex and launch into a full-court, courtship press. “You mean, we gotta win her all over again?” the hormones are apt to complain. “We’re not exactly in the mood right now.”

This is why Lady Misato counsels wives to master the art of keeping their husbands sexually “on edge”:

“As a general rule,” she writes, “you will elicit the best behavior from your husband if you keep him on the edge between frustration and satisfaction… A husband who is sexually satisfied will have no energy to attend to your needs.”

The same prescription is given by Emily and Ken Addison of the Around Her Finger website, books and CDs. “My husband is the perfect man until after he has an orgasm,” a woman writes to Emily, “then he rolls over like the ape that he was before we discovered your site. Is this normal?”

Keep him on edge, Emily replies. “It is no great secret that after sex men become very sleepy and disinterested in affection and communication… [but] I promise that any man that is denied an orgasm will have no desire whatsoever to get quickly off to sleep after being intimate with his wife… He will dote on his wife, playing with her hair, rubbing her back, and kissing her neck and shoulders. He will behave as if he is just getting to know her. It will be as if the old flames have been rekindled.”

It’s the “uncertainty principle” at work, according to one one Internet couples counselor calling herself “Dr. Ann” (quoted in chapter 4 of my book, “A Playful Step Beyond”): “When my female clients add the uncertainty principle of arousal and denial to their marriage, a woman can bring her husband back to the days when they were first dating.”

“Forcing a buildup of semen in men should be the goal of all females,” another controlling wife says simply. “Your man's behavior toward you will change dramatically for the better as his semen levels increase. You should always deny your man an orgasm prior to events that might require his maximum male energy and aggressiveness.” This, by the way, is pretty much the standard advice boxers are given by their trainers on the runup to a big fight. To help enforce it, fighters often are sent to hideaway training camps, far from feminine temptation.

But does perpetual courtship require perpetual denial? The answer, thank God, is no, and I have it on the authority of those two leading lights of the Loving Female Authority movement, Fumika Misato and Elise Sutton.

Let's start with Misato: “You absolutely do not want to frustrate your husband for too long. If your husband becomes overly frustrated, he will be tempted to seek relief outside the marriage. On the other hand, you do not want to overly satisfy him either. A husband who is sexually satisfied will have no energy to attend to your needs. Finding the right balance of sexual desire is tricky.”

Which, not surprisingly, is exactly, chapter and verse, the advice from Elise Sutton: “You have to find the balance that works for your relationship. You have discovered that your husband is balanced when you give him an orgasm every two to three weeks. That is great. With my husband, once a month works. Why don’t I deny him longer? Because through experimentation I have discovered that it becomes counterproductive to go longer than that. Some women allow their man an orgasm once a week. Some women can deny their husbands for months at a time... It all boils down to what works with your man.”

The process works, even when the husband knows he is being manipulated: “My lovely wife has it pretty well figured out that much more than a week begins to be counterproductive,” a happy husband writes. “She also understands that, as Lady Misato advises, she must continually keep me ‘on the edge.’”

Some guys, as Elise Sutton indicated, are made to endure longer periods of enforced abstinence: “I have been denied an orgasm for four weeks and It has caused me to be in touch and in sync with her moods, wants, and demands. So far, I regularly do the dishes, the laundry, get the kids ready and out to school, and basically all of the kitchen chores. She doesn't have to hound me to do any of it.”

This husband exhibits other classic symptoms of the courting male: “I find myself going nuts to attract her attention. Over the summer I lost a lot of weight and am about 14 lb. short of my ideal. I almost look as fit as when we met.”

“I feel more focused, alive, vital, and sexual when I am denied regular orgasms by my wonderful wife. When I come too oftgen, I become torpid, disaffected, and disinterested in her. Far better to be kept tantalizingly on edge.”

Another teased-and-denied husband echoes this: “I do not perform for my wife as well when I come to often. I have been living this lifestyle long enough to know that denial by our dominant wives for us is one of the most effective things.”

“My wife has been keeping me on edge constantly, and although I never would have predicted it, I love it. She has me waiting on her hand and foot, doting on her constantly, and sexually it has become all about her, as it should be.”

So, is the ultimate happy-ever-after marriage an endless replay of courtship? Perhaps surprisingly, my answer is no. But I’ll save the explanation for the next post.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

In Her World

“[My wife] has arrived home and my heart is fluttering with excitement! I hurry to do her bidding. 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.” (“Near the Center of the Feminine Mystery”)

“Harry was transferred to the feminine department, where his life was little short of heavenly… He took a pride in servility to a beautiful woman; received Lady Vandeleur's commands as so many marks of favour… to pass one's days with a delicate woman, and principally occupied about trimmings, was to inhabit an enchanted isle among the storms of life.” (From "Story of the Bandbox" by Robert Louis Stevenson, posted here back on January 5, 2007 under “RLS and the Enchanted Isle”.

Not very macho, the giddy husband with his heart a-flutter on his wife’ s return home, or Harry, currying the favor of beautiful Lady Vandeleur.

Now here’s a macho husband. He comes back from a long sales trip to find his wife has redecorated their all-American bedroom in a Continental style, inspired by interior design magazines. He throws a fit, demands she remove every last ruffle and pastel what-have-you and put everything back the way it was. He’s not going to sleep in some "goddamned Parisian bordello."

Does that sounds like a sitcom episode of, say, "Married With Children"? Waiting for the chauvinist jerk to get his comeuppance? But sixty years or so ago, when this story reportedly took place, autocratic husbands could get away with stuff like that. These days, the guy could call himself lucky if his wife set aside one room as “an estrogen-free zone”—the den, say, complete with Laz-E-Boy.

While the rest of the house is the Lair of the She-Creature. Which is just fine with wife-worshipping husbands. We enjoy inhabiting “Lady Vandeleur’s enchanted island.”

Maybe we’re secure enough in our masculinity that we don’t need to have it constantly reinforced and reflected back at us. We’re not threatened by chintz and organza, bedskirts and dust ruffles. These are clues that we are drawing “near the center of the feminine mystery, an intimate part of the life of a beautiful woman.”

Now some quotes, staring with this one from Chapter 5 of my book, “Pampering and Pitching In”:

“Men are fascinated with a woman's body. They want to be a part of it and to understand it. Often sex is a type of adoration and respect for woman… He longs for her to teach him about the great mystery of woman.”

“She wrapped Her Arm around me and put my head on Her Chest. i was feeling much better now. In the silence, i could sense the relaxation spreading through my body. my life was once again back in Her capable Hands! A heavy burden had been lifted from my shoulders and i was secure in the knowledge that i was once again back in my true place in Her World.”

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

“A wave of profound happiness rises in me when I worship my Goddess wife. It is heaven for me.”

“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.”

“i am where i am supposed to be. i am a lucky man, and i live in the world my Mistress wants, to which She brought me. i am grateful to Her, and i tell Her so; i do my best to love, honor, and obey Her, to be as graceful as i am able in Her world.”

“i prefer being immersed in my Wife's life and serving Her more than outside work and long to be the barefoot househubby.”

And I’ll end with this loving tribute posted by a most worshipful husband:

“Last night my wife fell asleep on the couch. We'd had a busy Mother's Day, which included going to a baseball game and having Chinese for dinner. I was still up… and I went over to wake her up for bed. She was asleep in a sitting position, and I knelt before her (which I often do), and wrapped my arms around her. And before I tried to wake her up, I just looked at her.

“I looked at this wonderful woman—and I thought about just how lucky I am. And I could feel the love I have for her welling up inside me as I gazed at her face. And the longer I was like this, the more entranced I felt. She was so beautiful... and I was so fortunate.”

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Her Wish Is My Command

All teaching, I once read, can be divided into three forms:
1. Example
2. Hint
3. Impetus

The point I recall being made is that “Example” is most effective, “Impetus” least, with “Hint” somewhere in the middle. Teaching by example is pretty obvious; “impetus” equates to direct commands; while “hint” covers just about everything else, from harangues to hypnotic suggestion, lectures, textbooks, maybe even the unimaginable whole of Wikipedia.

All three styles are employed by good classroom teachers, of course; or maybe, in higher educational jargon, they’re called “pedagogical modalities.”

Of course, all three forms are equally in play in Wife-Led Marriages or Female-Led Relationships. Let’s start with “impetus.”

Prurient literature of the female supremacist genre used to favor the autocratic Victorian schoolmistress issuing directives, punctuated with well-aimed slaps from a ruler. We’re definitely talking impetus here.

Judging from the WLM and FLR forums and message boards I’ve frequented over the years, real matriarchal martinets do exist, but are more likely to be creatures of male fantasy than flesh and blood.

The extreme autocratic wife issuing arbitrary “Now Hear This!” commands is probably role-playing by mutual consent, with both parties reveling in the delicious topsy-turviness of it all. Full-time, non-stop role reversal tends to be derailed by the little distractions life throws our way, like holding a job and raising kids.

Far more common, and more powerful, I think, are wife-worship or wife-led marriages where the woman leads by “example” and “hint.”

How by “example”? Perhaps just by being herself. My wife doesn’t have to put on queenly airs to be a queen, in my view. She just IS one. In fact, she plays her regality down (in terms of the Power Distance Index, as described by Malcolm Gladwell in his best-selling Outliers.)

In general, wives are far more likely to employ hints than ultimatums, subtle cues than imperious gestures. The difference in Wife Led Marriages is that husbands learn to pay attention to these cues, to interpret these hints, and eventually to treat them as directives.

“Your wish,” the courtier-husband says to his queen-wife, “is my command!” Or perhaps: “Your hint is my impetus!”

A textbook example was supplied in the (now inactive) blog of fdhousehusband:

“In the early days, my Wife would say something like, ‘My carpooler went home early so I'll be taking the bus home today.’ i just accepted that like She was giving me a bit of information. What She really was saying was ‘I need you to pick me up from work.’ Once i understood the Female language, i learned to respond by saying things like ‘May i pick You up from work today?’ i found that She really responded to these ‘offers’ to do things for Her which She in fact had prompted with subtle ‘requests.’ i also think that it showed Her that i was really listening to everything She was saying.”

According to Fd, he actually taught himself how to decode “female language” by studying books by sociologist Deborah Tannen, especially You Just Don't Understand: Women and Men in Conversation.

Fd provides another example (using ultra-feminist spelling and capitalization): “Even with my Wife, i've had to read between the lines. Today, She called me at work to tell me that one of our daughters was at a friend's house and that it was getting late. If a Womyn gives you a piece of irrelevant information, look at it carefully and try to figure out why she would be telling you that. i immediately read it as ‘I need you to go pick her up.’ So i said to Her, ‘i'll leave now and pick Her up on the way home.’ She said, ‘That would be great Sweetie.’ Womyn speak in a different language and that is why such gender language books are so valuable.”

Another husband quick-on-the-uptake when it comes to wifely hints was the oft-quoted (by me) Au876. “I seldom if ever ask her what she wants me to do next. I know what she expects and I do it without asking. She often drops gentle hints which I respond to as though they were absolute commands. Our relationship is such that I consider any hint or suggestion by her as a direct order. She may is just as likely to say ‘Would you like to vacuum the den?’ as ‘Go vacuum the den.’ Either way I go vacuum the den.”

As such female-led relationships mature, of course, the wife may grow comfortable with a more direct communication style.

A current WLM blog, At All Times offers an example of a wifely progression from indirect to direct:

“Jane’s attitude is changing towards what and how she expresses herself towards me… we had been shopping together, and had forgotten several things. Jane called out to me, ‘We have forgotten this and that, do you want to go back to the shop?’ When I replied, ‘Not really’ in a less than enthusiastic voice , Jane was quick to add, ‘But you’re going, aren’t you?’ Realising my mistake, I said, ‘Yes, of course,’ and so it was that I had to go back, because Jane had insisted.”

Jane’s husband clearly could improve his female literacy skills, so that those “But you’re going, aren’t you?” reminders could become less frequent and things could go as smoothly as for this wife-led couple:

“We believe that she can be totally and really in charge without raising her voice at me (except when I really deserve it) and with her showing as much respect and affection for me as I for her.”

Pointed reminders, even schoolmarmish lectures, however, may be required on occasion, in the wife-led home as in the classroom, as this husband learned:

“The most satisfying and exciting part of my marriage is doing what my wife wants. I would not have been able to do that if she had not been willing to assert her wants and to coach me on how to best fulfill them. Men are dense. If my wife's ‘asserting’ and ‘coaching’ had come in subtle signals rather than explicit requests, I wouldn't know half as much about her today. We agreed that she did not need to pull her punches to spare my feelings.”

If you’re husband continues to tune you out, this matriarchal Ms. suggests, get in his face: “Sit him down, shut off the TV, get his undivided attention and talk to him until he is dismissed. While you are talking to him, remember that women and men think differently and it is your responsibility to be heard—to teach your [husband] how to hear you. Women like to give subtle hints while men need a flare gun shot at their heads to get the point.”

"Flare gun" may be a bit strong. A rolling pin is more traditional--right, Enoch?