I hope my readers have been having, and are continuing to have, restful and rewarding holiday times. Okay, I just wrote “restful” because it’s alliterative, but what could I be thinking? “Hectic but happy” is more like it for most of us.
I haven’t had time to post, or do much else, with all the last-minute shopping and returning and light-stringing (we go nuts) and cruising for the last &%$#! mall parking place. But I’d better post something before you all wander off—especially since the blog counter not long ago rolled over to 200,000 page views.
So here are a few words about what “john,” a female-worshipping blog colleague, calls “submissive pride.” As he succinctly puts it:
“Men who are submissive—and proud of it—should be free to identify themselves as such and not worry about what others think. I’m a strong secure submissive man who thinks bowing to the authority and command of a strong dominant woman makes sense and is the right choice for me.”
The first time I encountered a husband openly boasting of his devoted and submissive service to his wife was about ten years ago, on Lady Misato’s original Wife Worship husbands’ forum. The mainstay of that forum, Au876, wrote often of how proud he was to cater to his wife’s wishes, even in front of others, as in this example:
“We went to visit some of my wife's girlfriends at a lake cabin a couple of years ago. We had to take our own sheets and etc. One of the first things I did after getting the car unloaded was to make up our bed and put her clothes away. Later we were all sitting around talking. My wife asked me ‘Have you made up my bed yet?’ One of the ladies started to laugh like that was a stupid thing to expect of a man. But I quickly responded telling her yes and I had hung up all of clothes too…
“My wife was real proud of me. The lady who laughed made some sort of comment about what a good husband I was, and my wife responded saying something like, ‘He knows what is expected of him.’
“I was not embarrassed. I was proud of myself. I had done what I was supposed to do. The fact my wife asked me was a sure sign she did not intend to keep my status a secret from them. The fact I had already done it was a sure sign to her I was not ashamed of my status… Even when others notice, I am proud to treat my wife as my Queen.”
Has the social stigma of appearing henpecked and pussy-whipped lessened any over the past decade? Maybe not. But certainly more and more guys in the FLR lifestyle are speaking out proudly, like this:
“I used to be ashamed or would hide it. If I was ironing, I would act like it wasn't me ironing. The same with laundry or cleaning. I've since grown up and said ‘you know what, I should be proud of helping out’ and I've stopped worrying about what others think. I beam with pride when someone makes a comment about how great my wife is treated. “
“Some people may look at our lifestyle and say we are henpecked. As for myself, I'm proud to serve and please my wife. I also think it’s great to have a sense of humor about these things…”
“I felt really good doing the housework. I felt happy knowing how pleased my wife would be, and I felt kind of proud of myself for being so productive.”
Here, from the Spouseclub Archives, is a young guy bursting with pride over his upcoming marriage to “a very high-powered partner in a large law firm.” She proposed to him, natch, and he still sounds giddy about being swept up in her orbit and at his impending role as her devoted househubby:
“I am so proud of her and her accomplishments and I would do anything to make sure that her needs are taken care of and that our lives run smoothly… I read in a post here about the husband taking the wife’s name… I would be so proud to have her name.”
A female Spousechatter strongly seconds that idea: “Today a man who takes his wife's name can do so with pride and respect for his wife's status and accomplishments.”
For all these guys, accepting and openly acknowledging their innately submissive side constitutes an “out-of-closet” experience, a first step toward psychological liberation that needs and deserves to be encouraged.
“You were probably born with the trait of submissiveness,” writes the female webmaster at Caring Domination to a submissive male seeking her advice. “You want to please others. That's good. You probably submit to a higher moral code, which is very good… Be proud of your submissiveness. You are a caring person who could make a wonderful husband.”
For a few men, “submissive pride” seems to come naturally. An example is this guy, who brags about being raised in a strongly matriarchal home: “I am proud to say that I have been Female Led my entire life. My Mother (a strong beautiful woman) made sure I respected women and understood a woman's powers and that I was accepting of female leadership.”
But for most men to accept their own submissiveness is not an easy step, and to “out” themselves proudly before others is harder still. Often it takes the strong, helping hand of a Loving Female Authoritarian to facilitate this important psychological rite of passage. Understandably. As Kathy, who writes the Femdom 101 blog, explains. “Many of the submissive men who blog, or email to me feel ashamed of their status,” she writes.
“A woman needs to learn to build up her man,” she advises, “to praise him for things he does good, to encourage him to be a better servant.”
She praises one of her female commenters for doing exactly this: “It sounds like Bella is perfect at this. Her husband still has an ego, but the source of his male pride has been changed. A quick little comment from Bella about what a good servant her husband is, and he beams with pride. It is especially pleasing since she made the remark in front of female friends. Bella's husband may be a slave, but she still managed to put him on a pedestal.”
Kathy’s observation about changing the source of a male’s pride by praising him in front of “female friends” for being “a good servant” is the precise tactic recommended in a recent article on the DreamLover Labs site by Kathrin Cohen.
The article is humorously couched in psychological jargon, titled “Identity Reframing: Pride and Shame as Powerful Means of Behavior Control.” But the author loses no time in getting down to brass tacks. “Make him proud to serve,” Ms. Cohen tells her female readers, “make it clear to your male that his submission is bettering him and is something to be proud of”:
“It goes without saying that, given the many beneficial effects, you should aim at letting everyone know about your male's obedience. Create a formidable reputation which he will be afraid of ruining by being rude or uppity. Present him as the most helpful, well mannered man you have ever met.
“As the male learns to fight to preserve his reputation as the ‘most obedient,’ ‘most attentive’ husband, or the ‘boyfriend who never ever talks back to you,’ something important will happen. The male will begin to associate his sense of pride to the quality of his service, which is key to long-lasting obedience.”
Ms. Cohen concludes her article: “You are sending a clear message to your male's subconscious that: serving females is good; everyone thinks so; you love him for it; people expect it of him; he's good at it; so he should be very proud of it.”
Think no guy would allow himself to be so nakedly manipulated by women for their own ends? You’d be wrong. Here’s one guy, for instance, who takes the manipulative bait, hook, line and sinker: “My willingness to obey and do any chore [for my girlfriend, her sister and daughter] to increase their time together relaxing, has earned me the title of being well trained, which I love to hear. Just a few words of encouragement from these superior females and I feel rewarded and refreshed.”
Ms. Barbara, who moderates a provocative FLR group on Yahoo!, is another enthusiastic proponent of Identity Reframing—transforming male submissive shame into male submissive pride. As she writes:
“I want [my husband] to be proud to be a trained pussy eater and worshipper. Pride and submissiveness are no contradiction. He manages to make me happy and I think that he's got a right to be proud of that. That is the kind of pride every man should strive for, i.e., making a woman happy, first and foremost, before his own satisfaction and pleasure.”
A wife wishing to show off her man’s dutiful status, as Ms. Cohen recommends, but lacking a female confidante may urge hubby to reveal his submissiveness online, as in this note to Elise Sutton:
“Ms Sutton, my wife is thrilled with the changes in our marriage. She is proud of what she has accomplished and she wanted me to share our story.” One suspects this husband shares his wife’s pride in his accomplishments and has bought into the new self-image she has helped to shape.
But is it really that simple? By acting proud of her devoted male, even bragging about him to her girlfriends, can a clever wife really transform her man’s embarrassment and shame to submissive pride, and a resolve to be even more devoted to her service?
The answer seems to be yes. The oft-quoted Au876 swells with pride whenever his wife “brags on him” to her girlfriends. For him there is no greater reward. “I am proud to be known to do her bidding,” he states flatly. “There is no dishonor in making the bed, cleaning the house, shopping for groceries, cooking the meals, washing the clothes. That is the way a husband should be.” Likewise, on the Spouseclub Archives, Charles (aka Mr. Lisa), confides to Ms. Lynda that every day one of his main motivations is to do everything he can to “make Lisa proud of me.”
“I want my wife to be proud of me in my service and devotion to her,” echoes another worshipful husband.
But what of the wife? Is bragging about a submissive husband merely a clever manipulative tactic to “reframe his identity”? Can a wife truly be proud of a husband who grovels before her on a daily basis, seeking only to do her bidding?
The answer, again according to Mistress Kathy, is emphatically yes.
Women often ask her how she can be proud of her husband, when his status in the marriage and the household is so drastically reduced. The answer, she asserts, “is that I am proud of him for all the sacrifices he makes for me. I am proud of him for living his life according to my rules and priorities. This is not easy for a man, but he does a wonderful job of it… He may not be a man's man in the John Wayne tradition, but he is every bit a man.”
Or, as Au876 once put it, he is every bit “her man.”
Seen in this light, the groveling husband becomes his wife’s loyal and loving knight, bending his knee to signal his devoted service. This aspect of male submission service as romantic gallantry is also touched on by Kathrin Cohen in her semi-playful article on “Identity Reframing”: “Though concepts of chivalry are by some considered obsolete, they still resonate strongly with most males.”
“Men are capable of tremendous service and sacrifice when we are truly committed to a goal,” wrote an anonymous and extremely articulate wife-worshipper years ago. “We are most content when we have a great adventure before us. We have that cause at the feet of our Goddesses. To lift them to their rightful roles as the divine inspiration to our otherwise sad and empty lives. To give our bodies, our minds and our lives to serve and defend these brave, beautiful, nurturing, challenging, life-giving, playful, wondrous women. With their guidance, our lives once again become real and connected to the natural world.”