Friday, September 21, 2012


Nancy and her mother typically make all of the major purchases at our home, and it's rare that I'm included in the decision making process; I really don't need to be. Saturday was an exception, and one that I enjoyed since I had the opportunity to demonstrate my commitment to Nancy, to purchase something that I needed, and, as a bonus, do a bit of evangelizing. I needed a new iron so Nancy and Sue took me to see what was available.

Assuming that the women were going to use the iron, the saleswoman directed her presentation of the iron's features to them. Sue interrupted her well-rehearsed pitch and told her that neither she nor Nancy did any ironing and that she should direct her comments to me--since "he does all the ironing." The saleswoman seemed taken aback but, somewhat uncomfortably, began to direct her pitch to me.

I was proud to demonstrate a real knowledge of irons. When we made a purchase, the saleslady said that she wished her husband, now retired and at home, would do some ironing. All of us said that he should and would if she insisted. I told her that I enjoyed doing housework and that doing it gave me a feeling of accomplishment.While she initially saw it as unusual that a man would be the decision maker about the purchase of an iron, she seemed to appreciate the many possibilities of men doing housework and was very accommodating, telling me that she'd appreciate knowing how the new iron worked out.

One of the FLR issues raised by this anecdote is that men and, unfortunately, women adopt the gender roles assigned by patriarchy. There is a patriarchy-inspired focus on women when domestic items are involved, but this is just not the case anymore. We all need to free ourselves from these gender stereotypes.Especially in female-led relationships, men may well be doing the ironing. and the sooner everyone recognizes this, the better.

The same applies in other areas.Waiters and even waitresses, for example, routinely assume that he, not SHE, is picking up the check. In more and more cases women outearn men and will be picking up the check for a dinner out. By doing so, women send a powerful statement concerning gender roles. In the same way, by letting me select the iron and directing the saleswoman to address her pitch exclusively to me, Nancy not only addressed a practical matter but made a strong statement concerning male-female relationships.

There is a bottom line here; couples in FLRs need to "come out" with their relative roles and responsibilities.

Thursday, September 20, 2012


I have been asked how I learned how to sew on buttons—and became skilled in other domestic arts. I thought I’d share the answer as a separate post for the possible benefit of many husbands.

My initial instruction in the domestic arts came from Mom and my aunt. Raised in an all-female household, I was required to cook, clean, wash, iron and sew a bit; everyone had to carry their weight, and we all took turns doing the various chores that needed done to keep a household running.
Later, the women of Nancy's family took my skills to new heights. Anytime I visited I was put to work on some domestic chore. I was told what to do, how to do it, and my performance was critiqued afterward. A great way to learn!

I not only learned how to do various chores but found that I enjoyed doing them; this is especially true of ironing, but that's another story.

For those husbands or single men who are still untutored in domestic chores, let me point out that there are any number of places where one can learn sewing, knitting, crocheting, etc. Many fabric shops offer lessons on either a group- or private-lesson basis.  Many community colleges have non-credit classes in “bachelor living,” which is a home economics class for men and well worth taking. Otherwise guys can look to their wives, girlfriends or mother-in-law for instruction. These women will be only too happy to provide lessons as they realize that a man’s having domestic skills ultimately benefits women.

A final comment for now: Doing household tasks crosses traditional gender lines and is a power way of reinforcing the relative roles of Women and man in a female-led relationship.  Performing traditionally female leisure crafts such as knitting, needlepoint, floral displays, calligraphy, etc., are stronger statements still.  What Nancy and I find interesting is that most men are reluctant to undertake such traditionally female leisure crafts early in an FLR, but, after some time in a relationship, are much more receptive as they have immersed themselves in their domestic roles.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


Devoted Hubby, I enjoyed your comment on the post, "SOME THOUGHTS ON HOUSEWORK":

“I find it has increased her confidence at home, knowing that I want to take up the slack so that she can focus on more important things (she is a terrific organizer). She is also a very messy person, and where that used to drive me crazy, I love tidying up after her. I don't know if she consciously continues to leave her work clothes lying around for me to put away, but I like it!”

I agree! There are many rewards for men in a female-led relationship. Most certainly relieving her of housework is important as it allows her to focus on her job, education, or leisure activities.

I enjoyed your mention of "tidying up after her" and your suspecting that she intentionally is leaving things around for you to take care of.  I, too, suspect that, yes, she is intentionally leaving things around, and I love to hear about a woman doing such things because, when she does, she is affording her man the opportunity — no, the privilege – to be of service. She has likely noticed the satisfaction you derive from picking up and is responding accordingly.

Picking up is something I do, too, and it was the result of my wanting to do more for her; I just started doing it and now it is expected. When Nancy gets home, she kicks off her shoes and changes clothes, sometimes leaving her things in one place, but often dropping things here and there as she knows I'll pick her things up wherever they land. I serve as her valet by picking up her things and taking care of them. Her shoes are always cleaned and her clothes are inspected to see if buttons are loose, whether they need pressing or dry-cleaning, and so on. If they do, these items are taken care of before they are put away in her closet. The same inspection takes place with whatever she plans on wearing the next day; my wife has to go out into the business world looking like the demanding executive that she is. For her it's dressing for success; for me it's a rewarding part of my day making sure she is well  and properly taken care of.

Saturday, September 15, 2012


I keep a journal, actually two of them, and we feel it's a good idea for other men in an FLR to do the same.

The first journal is a day-to-day log of my household activities as well as comments, things-to-do, things-to-get, and so on. I can also put in comments and suggestions.

The journal is not private. Nancy and her mother, Sue, can browse it, make entries and so on. It's through the journal that I make suggestions that the women can either act on or ignore. Sue often takes my suggestions to Nancy for consideration. The journal is also a way of keeping track of my routine of housework, what I've done and what I've yet to do, our social schedule, and Nancy's business travel. What the women see in my journal often determines whether I participate in social outings or whether I have to stay home to complete chores.

This first journal also contains the dreaded “demerits” section. Violating rules, not meeting standards, missing deadlines, etc., are logged into the journal and an appropriate number of demerits assigned. When demerits accumulate to a level that is deemed significant, there is a reckoning and appropriate repercussions, the nature of which can vary widely. Nancy or her mother usually assign demerits, but I can recognize my mistakes and log them into the journal as an admission of guilt. Self-admitted transgressions accrue half the number of demerits, a progressive concept indeed.

The second journal is a “book of knowledge.” This book is constantly being changed to reflect our household situation. It lays out a typical week and month of housework as well as standards for each household task. The theory is, of course, that if I'm to do something, I want to do it properly; the journal tells me when and how. There is a right way to clean the living room, a right way to load the dishwasher, an appropriate way to scrub floors—and even the right way to light a cigarette. There is a chivalry section, long committed to memory, that needs no explanation. All of it has been learned over time thanks largely to the tutelage of Nancy, her mother, and her aunts.

The second journal also contains other important information. I have entries for more than twenty women who are either relatives or close friends, all of whom are aware of our FLR lifestyle. In these pages I note a number of things such as her:

  • Name and address for mailing cards, notes, and packages
  • Preferred form of address when being spoken to
  • Birthday (but not birth year!)
  • Occupation and position
  • Anniversary, if she celebrates this day, or, if appropriate, her divorce date
  • Favorite coffee, tea, and soda
  • Preferred mixed drink(s)
  • Wine preferences
  • Favorite perfume and dusting powder
  • Favorite chocolate
  • Favorite colors
  • Brand of cigarettes
  • Favorite dessert(s)
  • Favorite flowers
  • Favorite genre of books (e.g., romance novels, etc.)
  • Hobbies and personal interests
  • Husband’s/boyfriend’s name
  • Any comments, situations, opinions, events, challenges, etc., that she mentioned at previous meetings
This part of the journal is used in affording proper treatment to a woman visitor and also in my periodically sending her cards and things throughout the year, something I'll discuss later. I always greet women visitors to our home, serve them a drink, offer a cigarette (where appropriate), and engage them in light conversation. Women love it when men listen to and remember what they have to say. I think that listening and responding accordingly is a duty of a subordinate gentlemen. Being attentive, honoring her preferences, and being able to address her in meaningful conversation are important ways of worshiping women.

Women are worthy of our worship!

Saturday, September 8, 2012


We had a visit from a couple we know who are moving forward in a Female Led Relationship. She has long since completely taken over management of the finances and thus has a solid grip on power.

The problem? Housework.

We'd think that a man who has given financial control to his wife would fall into line on housework, but he hasn't.

At issue here isn't his doing housework but, rather, what constitutes housework. He considers that mowing the grass, changing oil in the car, washing cars and other guy-jobs are housework. She doesn't, and we completely agree with her. Consider the following:

 Men should be doing housework because it relieves her of some or all of the routine and drudgery allowing her to pursue personal interests, a career or just relaxation. It's all about female empowerment. Mowing the grass, changing oil and the like aren't the type of thing that she would be doing, so she gets no benefit.

Guy-jobs of the type mentioned are infrequent compared to the ongoing nature of housework. “A woman's work is never done” is a saying steeped in reality.

In many cases guy-jobs are more hobbies than actual work, excuses to run off for endless hours at the auto parts or hardware store.

And they are inefficient tasks, too. For example, one can have their oil changed for less money and way less time than doing it oneself. Mowing the lawn is also a task that can be outsourced, freeing him to be available for more work inside where his efforts will directly benefit her. And for home repairs it’s much better to hire a pro. Things get done more quickly and don't cause a husband to lose focus on what his wife wants.

Housework keeps men productively occupied, something he would unlikely be if left to his own devices.

And doing housework makes men appreciate just how difficult it is to keep a home neat, orderly and running efficiently.

In addition to the benefit it provides her, men doing traditional housework also benefits them. Our experience is that housework changes men’s perspectives and gives them a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment. Men may be hesitant about housework but once they understand what she wants, how she wants it done and establish a routine to do it, it will be very satisfying to him and empowering to her.
 A woman need to be involved and establish a routine for her man. Additionally, since men are not well versed in household tasks, she'll likely have to spell things out and do some training and exercise oversight, but her persistence will pay off.

In our case, I have a housework routine that includes cleaning, washing and ironing. Since Nancy and her mother enjoy cooking, I infrequently cook, but I do serve meals and clean up afterward.

Over the years I have taken on more and more domestic duties and am always looking to do more work and more in terms of looking after Nancy and her mother. Wanting to do more is a common feeling that many men have after settling into an FLR. I was doing so much inside that, at Nancy's direction, I abandoned the inefficient chores I was doing outside and in the garage, freeing up time for more inside tasks and interests. We're all much happier as a result.

Saturday, September 1, 2012


With the election rapidly approaching, those of us who'd like to see more women in political office have an opportunity to get involved and make a difference. Get out and support women candidates by donating to their campaigns, putting up signs, soliciting voter support, working the phones, vocally advocating women candidates at work and among friends, working the polls on election day, and, of course, voting for woman candidates. Women should see to it that their men get involved and support woman candidates. We feel by helping women attain political power men can atone for centuries of patriarchy that have limited women.

Nancy and I are active in a local feminist group that always campaigns for women. We not only support campaigns but encourage women to step forward as candidates and run for office. We have had numerous successes over the years with local and regional campaigns. Our most recent success was in mobilizing women to elect a female majority to both our school board and town council; after the next election this majority is expected to grow to an all woman membership as well as a woman mayor. How did we do this? By mobilizing women to come out and vote for change by electing women and by these women 'suggesting' that their men support the slate of female candidates, too.

Nancy enlists me to work the campaigns of specific female candidates. She runs a tight ship and home and insists that I keep up my domestic routine but at election time I get some leeway to allow me to fully participate in campaigning. For men who are new to FLRs or only exploring one, getting involved on behalf of a woman candidate will provide an opportunity to work with assertive and determined women.

There is a saying regarding the initiation of political change, 'think globally; act locally'. By electing women to local office we drive positive change and lay a foundation for women and their matriarchal values to attain higher office.