In that fraternity,
The great big Brotherhood of Man?"
from How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
Do secret societies exist outside the fanciful plots of Dan Brown? Well, I know of at least one, because I belong to it. It’s pretty secret. Unlike the Illuminati or the ancient Freemasons, Hollywood hasn’t made a movie about us. Maybe because the members of this super-esoteric brotherhood don’t plot the overthrow of anything, don’t dress up in silly costumes, don’t have secret recognition signals (or, if they do, I missed the memo); they don’t hold conventions, conclaves or covens. They don’t seem to meet at all, except in cyberspace.
I’m talking about the secret fraternity of submissive males—in particular the sub-husband chapter thereof.
It’s a huge cohort, I’m convinced. Maybe, all these years post-Gay Liberation, we’re the largest collection of guys still closeted and fearful of being outed.
Before the miraculous advent of the World Wide Web, who could have guessed at our number? Each potential member must have assumed he was uniquely deviant in his submissive-to-the-opposite-sex yearnings. Now we are discovering that we are part of a great submissive beta-male tribe, at least a statistical subset of normalcy.
Is it safe to come out of the closet? Hardly. Even those of us who blog about our desire to be female-led usually hide behind cyber-monikers. Like “Mark Remond,” or “John,” the admirable fellow who subtitles his blog, “I’m SubmissiveProud."
I doubt we could muster many foot soldiers of our hidden army to march down Fifth Avenue, say, under a banner proclaiming “Submale Pride” or “Henpecked, Pusywhipped & Proud of It!”
Yet, like gayfolk or other sub-rosa groups, we submissive guys yearn to be socially accepted. By our wives, first and foremost, of course, but also by society. We’re not militant about it—not docile us!—but wouldn’t it be awfully nice to stop hiding who we really are from everyone, including, often, ourselves?
As one submissive husband put it eloquently: “Closets are for clothes, not relationships.”
And another: “To have this special relationship that I have with my wife gives me a sense of pride. It's like our own little secret. But even though most people would consider this lifestyle to be deviant and twisted, I see it as a beautiful, totally normal thing, and therefore I don't have to be ashamed of it at all.”
So we even hide our pride, and shame prevails. We know too well the buckets of contempt waiting to be dumped on us, not only by other guys (many of them perhaps “latent” or “repressed” submissives themselves), but by too many women. We dare not reveal what we do, or dream of doing, behind closed doors. Yes, behind the bedroom door, but also in the kitchen, bathroom, and laundry room.
Sure, it’s acceptable for a guy to moon over a girl he’s courting, or make a romantic fool of himself as honeymooner or newlywed. But what about some long-married guy who fold his wife’s nightgown, warms her bath towels, paints her toenails?
We of the Secret Brotherhood may not practice the only love that dare not speak its name, but we’re definitely in the non-conversation. In fact, our married members often agonize for years before revealing our submissive side to our own wives. How or when or if to do so remains a perennial topic on our clandestine message boards, which serve as a virtual support group of wife-led husbands alongside those who wannabe.
I don’t mean this to sound tongue-in-cheek. Without the friendship and encouragement of my secret submissive brothers, via Internet groups or message boards and emails, I would not have been able to persevere and eventually succeed in my second courtship of my wife and win her heart anew.
In a follow-on post, I'd like to share a few testimonials from other husbands who have been helped by their secret brothers.
As one of my pseudonymous mentors, “fdhousehusband,” put it: “We are all in this together.”