Thursday, August 25, 2011

Bow and Vow, Part 2

A fatally smitten suitor down on one knee, or two, before his beloved—it’s the ritual most associated with courtship.

Once married, however, even if a husband’s “heart fills with a newlywed's happiness, there is no accepted ritual that permits him to display the intensity of [his] feelings.” (I’m quoting my own book here, by the way.)

Which is why a growing number of us incorrigible romantics, of both genders, have been practicing and advocating “courtship marriages” under various names, any of which will do:
Wife-worship marriages
wife- or female-led marriages (or relationships)
“yes, dear” marriages
Venus-on-top marriages
“Around Her Finger” marriages
“She Makes The Rules” marriages
yes, even “femdom” marriages, for the more adventuresome couples among us.

And what could be more natural in a courtship marriage than hubby playing the part of perpetual suitor and kneeling to profess his devotion? And, yes, by “perpetual” I mean doing this every day.

Yes, there are other good reasons to bend the knee to one’s beloved. For a pedicure, or as part of a weekly evaluation session by the wife. Or as preliminary to receiving correction from the wife. (While some of these may appear offbeat, they are all, to my way of thinking, essentially romantic rituals, opportunities for renewed intimacy between wife and man.)

But more frequently than any of these, I think this ritual obeisance is part of what I like to call a husband’s daily devotions. It’s obviously a supplicant, prayerful posture, and prayers may indeed be spoken—to God, or the Goddess, or to a deity seen as incarnate in the beloved wife. Prayer and worship are inherent in a husband’s daily devotions to his wife, though not, I insist, in an idolatrous way, all appearances to the contrary.

But what I think those husbands are really doing down on their knees, more than either praying or worshipping (or toenail-lacquering) is simply…


The ritual of confession is practiced not only in confessional booths, but on psychiatrists’ couches, on bar stools (and, alas, under totalitarian regimes in interrogation rooms and re-education camps). But in female-led relationships, confession is best practiced on one’s knees.

I know this because I’ve done it as recently as this morning, and plan to do it again tomorrow (though sometimes just the act of kneeling before her constitutes my “confession”). A perfect example of this romantic confessional was offered by a cyber friend in the following FLR-type posting:

“When I catch myself doing [insert name of bad deed here], I will usually kneel before her, place my head in her lap and apologize for being such a ‘pathetic schmuck’ (her favorite term for me). That usually dispels some of the tension. I will usually also specifically apologize for whatever specifically I had done.”

Is a husband’s contrition, then, solely for the purpose of wifely absolution—or wifely punishment? I don’t think so. Usually, I think, it’s simpler than that. The husband confesses for the purposes of baring his soul before his beloved. He does (again to quote from Worshipping Your Wife) because he years to “Be Known by Her.”

The clearest statement of this yearning (and daring) that I’ve come across was by another e-migo of mine, also a frequent commenter here. I quoted it in the first part of the Bow & Vow post, but it’s so heartfelt and inspirational that I’m going to repeat a bit of what I wrote:

“Every day he gets down on his knees and affirms his adoration of his beloved. ‘I honestly don't remember the first time I knelt in front of her and just adored her,’ he writes. It just seemed natural. Down on his knees he repeats a series of daily vows that he wrote. ‘I say these to her every day, no exceptions.’”

At the heart of my friend’s morning devotions is a confession of his soul to his beloved, along with a special thank-you to her for permitting him to reveal himself:

"I very much want to serve and obey you.
I want to belong to you. I want to be your submissive husband.
This is who I am and I adore you for accepting me."

“This is who I am.” These five words are the key to my friend’s daily confessional. He wants his wife to know who he is, this guy looking up at her in utter puppydog, tail-wagging adoration. He wants to be “known by her” and, yes, to be accepted by her for who he is.

Now, I happen to know this is a very macho guy, assertive and successful in many arenas, including athletics, fitness training and retail sales. Obviously his beloved knows this side of him as well, and admires these sterling qualities. But it is psychic and physical nakedness he seeks before her on his knees, a psychic surrender that (as I can attest) often leads to a level of intimacy and ecstasy approaching religious rapture.

This is the altered state that Elise Sutton describes as the “submissive zone,” more commonly termed “subspace.”

“I felt totally naked, totally known (and owned), totally accepted by my wife,” one guy describes it.

Another puts it thus: “My sub space is experienced when I am able to humble myself before my Wife. I love kneeling before her and being at her beck and call.”

On the old Spousechat message board (excerpted in 10 parts on this site, the newlywed househusband “Mr. Lynda” speaks proudly of kneeling before his bride, Ms. Lynda, “every morning as I serve her coffee and breakfast. She is the willing partner eager to face the jungle of the workworld. Thank you Ms. Lynda. I acknowledge you as my Head and Boss. Long may you reign.”

Clearly, for these guys (and for me), kneeling and confessing, or “bowing and vowing,” is not some bizarre or edgy behavior, but a basic act of daily devotion, needful to the soul and essential to marital intimacy.

If “needful to the soul” sounds like exaggeration, let me assure you it’s actually understatement. You can get a better idea of the pent-up emotional intensity involved from this anecdote shared by Kathy in her popular “Femdom 101” blog. It occurred when she was “volunteering” at a local femdom “studio” in order to learn more about her husband’s submissive yearnings and was introduced to an older male customer:
“[He} just wanted to kneel at the feet of a woman. All of his life he had fantasied about kneeling naked at the feet of a lady, and being allowed to kiss her feet. Even more than that, he had a desire to tell someone of his need for submission. This was the deep, dark secret of his life. Even his wife of over forty-plus years had no idea of his submissive needs.
“We spent some time talking. I then let him take off my shoes one at a time. I then gave him permission to kiss each of my feet, and then let him suck on my toes. This older man actually broke down and cried. I wanted so much to cradle him in my arms. I wanted to kiss him on the cheek and tell him that [I] understood. Then it occurred to me that there are so many poor men like this sweet baby.”

Any wife who is initially put off by the sight of the man she married down on his knees again ought to reconsider , and realize that this posture is really a return to and continuation of passionate courtship. One wife who discovered this shared her feelgns on the Around Her Finger blogsite:

“He looked so incredibly loving kneeling at my feet. For the first time, I felt empowered. I can't really explain why, but it made me feel so very close to him.”

Kathy’s experience with the older gentleman who wept as he kissed her feet gave her a special insight into submissive men in general, and to her husband in particular. She shares it beautifully here, so perfectly that I think I’ll end the posting with it:
“One of the special moments in my life was the first time John knelt at my feet, and we talked as mistress and [husband]. In my view the first time a man has the courage to kneel at his wife's feet is a very special occasion. This special little physical act often helps a couple transcend many of the boundaries that have kept their marriage arrangement from moving forward.
“This may seem strange to many of you, but that moment John knelt to me for the first time, was as much of a romantic occasion as our first kiss. [Now, five years later,] there is never a day that John does not get down on his knees in front of me… This is the most intimate time of the day for us. It is when we communicate the best.”


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the topic. I have been taking things slowly with my wife and at the beginning of the post thought that this would be too much to incorporate at this time - but as I continued to read along I was able to envision kneeling in front of her and can get a sense of how powerful that could be for both of us. Still a big step for me to think that I will go right home tonight and do it immediately but I will at least now be looking for the right opportunity.

Mark Remond said...

Anonymous, sounds just like me -- even to this day, I "look for the right opportunity." The time is not always right, or propitious, for both of us. What others have done in stealth submission is to also look for natural opportunities to be on their knees. For instance, I kneel at her bedside to wake her up in the morning, whispering, stroking her, even laying my head into her lap, gently. Curling up in front of her chair, sometimes, when she's watching TV, especially if the kids have taken the other chairs... to get her accustomed to the posture... Good luck! I had to be encouraged to try this by my email friend, whose devotions are quoted above. Actually, I had done it years before but then let it lapse. Never again...

Anonymous said...

This is an interesting post. Like many I'm yearning for a WLM, but haven't broached the subject, although practice many aspects daily in stealth mode.

What suddenly occurred to me from your post, is it is interesting how so many of us use the down on one knee in front of our love to ask for marriage. At that point, it is sweet, tender, loving, and fully accepted that we would propose that way.

Yet long after that "ceremony", doing it again as you describe, isn't always so accepted. It seems like such a a deviation from what is traditional in a marriage once its in place, yet why should it not be perfectly normal to kneel in front of your wife and express your love and devotion?

I have to give that some thought. Thanks for another interesting post.

ALL HERS said...

Great post! I do believe that in a WLM a husband should get on his knees at once a day and tell his wife his feelings.

Every morning I get up shortly before my wife. I am in the kitchen preparing coffee, washing fruit, etc. when she walks in, still in her little teddy or short nightie. Immediately we hug tightly and I rub my hands over her covered ass.(I am never allowed to touch her breasts without asking first and waiting for permission. Any time during the day. And it is only given maybe 25% of the time). Then I get down on both knees and place four kisses on her pussy saying, "today I will adore you(kiss), worship you (kiss) and obey you (kiss). I love you".(kiss) Then I get up and go back to work. She smiles and says she loves me so much. It just can't get any better than that.

So, yes, a daily routine is wonderful. But a man must be sincere, a woman knows when a man says only words with no meaning or intent. Say it to her, keep it simple but most of all, don't overdue it!!

I'm-Hers said...

Interesting post. My Domme knows without a doubt that I am there to serve her yet I wonder if she would feel awkward having me kneel before her as it is something that is so different from how she has known me.
Is I digested your thoughts I too felt feelings of awkwardness, and thinking 'now this would sure seem odd' as I read, yet I understant the intent of the act as an expression of ones' submissiveness to her dominance.
I don't know if I should just try it, or ask her first how she feels.

Mark Remond said...

I'm-Hers, To kneel before my wife was a deeply felt need on my part, so I was determined to get there, and my yearnings were definitely part of the persuasion kit. If you don't really feel it, but only see that it makes logical sense, I wouldn't pursue it. For my part, I also followed the advice I gave to Anonymous, and sought out plausible situations at which I could begin to sit at her feet, like many another stealth submitter, to accustom her to looking down at me from a queenly height.

I'm-Hers said...

Now I didn't say that I wouldn't love her smiling down on me when I knelt before her and expressed my love and devotion to her. I would love to do anything that would enhance our feeling and dominance and mine of submission.

Our relationship is probably more in line with yours where I want to submit - and do - but she is a loving dominant and very caring about me and about us.

The act of bowing interests me, I just know it would be awkward unless I go about it covertly - at least initially.

ALL HERS said...

Guys, go for it, just don't overdue it. Wives do not llke to feel that their husbands are smothering them. Give them some space after you knell at their feet. Once a day is nice my wife says.

Sandra said...

This is excellent, excellent thinking followed by excellent action. Every man should learn the pleasure of kneeling before the woman he serves, in love, thankfulness and worship.
This is a ritual my husband and I enjoy each day.

Anonymous said...

The time I spend at my girlfriend's feet, usually with my head resting in her lap, is probably the most intimate time the two of us spend together.

It does facilitate an open and honest discussion on my part. Not just for confessions, but for all subjects we talk about. Initially, I was hesitant to be as open and honest with her, but since she has taken the role of making decisions for me, it is important that she be fully informed or her decisions might be flawed or not really the best they could be.

Her elevation also seems to reinforce her ability to keep her thoughts personal and private. She says that since I'm not really in a decision making role, that I'm not entitled to all her personal thoughts.

Mark Remond said...

I'm really enjoying the comments, both honest and provocative. I'm Hers, I do realize that sometimes it's necessary to proceed with caution. And Sandra, I'm honored to have you comment here, and have enjoyed your frequent contributions to Mistress Kathy's blog. The comment by Anonymous just above, about his ritual confession to his girlfriend with his head resting in her lap set my boyish heart a-flutter. As someone once said, "You are well and truly whipped, and there's no better way to be! Do as she says!"

Anonymous said...

So anon #1 here. Thanks for the reply Mark. I agree in that using some natural positions to gradually lead into things may work to crack the ice for me - ie. giving her leg massages from my knees while she is lying on the sofa. It is actually the easiest way to give the massage. I just had another thought this morning in case it sparks an interest with anyone out there who is already kneeling. I was at the bottom of the steps this morning cleaning up a spill when my wife came down and stopped at the bottom step since I was kindof blocking her path. I was already on my knees and looked up at her hoping to be able to stall her if even for a few seconds. The dynamics here did not really play out too much but I was thinking that some people may really enjoy kneeling at the bottom of the steps so as to add an extra 8 to 10 inches to her so that you are really looking up. That may be something kindof gimmicky but thought that some people may like the sybolism. I was also looking for other opportunities to kneel over the weekend and a very interesting encounter. I had to get down on my knees to look for something in the bottom shelf of our pantry while my wife was running through the grocery list with me. It was just easier to look from my knees so I decided to see if I could stay there as she gradually ran through the list. We are beyond the stealth stage but such things like this I do not announce and I don't think she picked up on it even though she was giving me the grocery list. I have to say I did like getting my orders from her while on my knees. And then the kicker - at one point her good friend that lives down the street happened to pop in to talk about the possible hurricane. I assessed things and decided that as long as I could drop a line or two about the grocery inventory I was doing that I could push the whole knee thing - of course making 100% sure that there would be nothing to make the neighbor uncomfortable. For the 10 minutes that she was in our kitchen I was probably on my knees for 5 or 6 of those taking orders from my wife (even if the orders were just grocery orders). I know this would have been much better if my wife were 100% aware of what she was actually doing but in taking things slowly I can be patient for that day and for some things to still be slightly on the stealth side. As a side note - I am 99.9% sure the neighbor did not see anything out of the ordinary since I was just looking through our cabinent - except for one split second expression that she gave me. The quick look almost made me think that her husband was at their door on his knees waiting for her to return home.

Mark Remond said...

Anonymous, I love your anecdote, and the delicious feelings that developed as the neighbor woman popped in with you still on your knees.I DO believe in stealth submission -- even practiced while there is an understanding and acknowledgment that she is the boss, helping to ratchet things up a notch. But incrementally... I remember a similar situation when a female friend popped in while I was on my knees giving my wife a pedicure... delicious encounters! I stayed right where I was, proud of what I was doing, excited to be seen doing it, and by my wife's complacence with the situation. It was a regal position and she accepted it. Keep us posted!

Anonymous said...

I pamper my wife alot, and did before I ever knew about FLR. I long for the day where it is all acknowledged, but so far all stealth for the usual reason - afraid of rejection.

This thread actually has me pondering whether I should give your book (which I ordered some time ago) to her when I next give her a long foot soak and pedicure, and ask her to read it while I attend to her feet on my knees.

The big advantage of your book is that it doesn't mention the word submissive. That word as part of the intro would be an issue I believe. But flip it around a bit, and make it about courtship and making the marriage more intimate, and it would be much better received (I think and hope).

Pedicure typically includes champagne, with nice soft music, so it would be a nice atmosphere. Still a risk to ask her to read it on the spot, but I'm considering it because it seems like a rather nice moment/setup to do it with me on my knees treating her like a queen.

I will follow up if this actually happens :)

Mark Remond said...

Anonymous, I guess I've said this before, but I wrote the book for my wife--not only with her in mind, but to let her know how I think and feel about her and our marriage... and just maybe to legitimize it. So I very carefully avoided certain terms that could put her (and many other women) off. I've been less and less careful in these blog posts, as you will have noticed (many of which were collected in the sequel)

Anonymous said...

I can see a definite benefit of bowing each day is that it is a daily reminder of our new roles. As mentioned above, I have not yet incorporated this, however I do see that my wife and I both could use that daily reminder - or at least some daily reminder. It is not that I need a reminder to obey her, but that I may need a reminder to do those extra things without being asked. At the same time it is not that she thinks I will disobey any of her orders, but it may remind her that she is free to give as many orders as she likes. Just something else that makes me want to try to incorporate this or something very similar on a regular basis.