Friday, December 11, 2009

What Do You Mean By Being In Charge?

Ancient History

I will take a side trip here to present my past. I married a woman barely of adult age who had absolutely no experience with men or being in charge of anything. Although she was college educated, she was "raised to be a wife". She was not at all dominant, and liked to shirk responsibility. To her, excuses were the way to handle things. This was basically the fault of her parents whose home had a hostile environment to anyone showing resistance.

I, on the other hand, even as a child, was used to being responsible for my own actions, and also to support those who relied on me. My parents taught me that, because all members of my family’s life depended on it. I did not believe in excuses other than, “I couldn’t do it on account of I was dead.”

My bride and I were complete opposites. Given this situation, one might guess that I was in charge in the marriage. You would be right. The problem was, that I did not really want to tell her to do everything. I figured that we each take responsibility for some of the household tasks, and just do them. I would also handle what she absolutely did not want to do, be it dealing with the dogcatcher or the Sheriff. I handled our meager finances, and I worked while going to school.

Under these conditions I was often angry when I had to do shitty things that she could have done, and it took an hour out of my four-hour-a-night sleep. Therefore, I ask you, “Who was in charge?” and if I was, “Did I have to tell her to do every damn thing?” and “Did she do what she was supposed to do as an underling?”

This did not last, of course, she learned, and I began to relax especially after getting my degree, finding a full time job, and getting maybe five hours of sleep a night. However, that did not end there. I still had to manage things otherwise they were not done.

Later on we figured things out, and this thing about who is in charge was no longer an issue: she did what she wanted, I did what was necessary, which is still the way we do it. What became different is that at some point I acknowledged her being in charge of me. She did not need tell me to do anything. I did all I could, and then some. I also loved to serve her. Once in a while she punished me for slacking on some of my assumed duties, and I had no objection. I became temporarily corrected, and life went on.

What we never did was to pretend that either one of us was a dummy who should have no thoughts or rights. It did not occur to either of us to change titles of our possessions to the person in charge. That would have been stupid, and a legal debacle in case one of us died, or in a divorce.

The General View

Most adults have worked for someone who “was in charge”. Some of us have been "in charge”, so we more or less know what that means. Still, I can ask ten people to define what it means to be in charge, and will get ten differing opinions with some overlap. It’s not because of disagreement of the basic understanding. It’s because we each have different expectations of the meaning.

I picked this topic because even though we speak the same language when it comes to FLR we seem to be going off in different directions. Female Led Relationship should have a basically simple definition: “The female is in charge.” But I already messed it up. Now I have to define what it means to be in charge.

With Respect to FLR

I challenge you to write in one concise sentence the meaning of “being in charge”. You can’t do it justice except in general. You need to write more. If you say, “My wife is in charge,” we have only a vague notion of what you mean. Let’s assume that the wife or female partner is in charge, and you, the male partner do what is expected.

  • Does she take away your rights in general?
  • Does she assume ownership of your community property?
  • Does she limit your behavior to the extent that you must ask her to do anything, like using the car to buy groceries?
  • Does she make financial decisions and leave you out?
  • Does she take away all of your money and give you an allowance of a ridiculously small amount?
  • Does she go out with friends of either sex and forbid you to do the same?
  • Does she deny you time off?
  • Does she discipline and punish you?
  • Etc.

All of the ideas covered by these questions have come up in the FLR blogs many times. Most of them are a man’s idea of his partner being in charge, as opposed to the woman's idea of what it takes.

Much of what goes on between couples is stylized role-play, although in some cases it is real. As long as they have an understanding of the basics of the FLR, there is no need for a contract or extreme rules. We each know what we are expected to do, and we do it. She may give you daily or weekly chores, a special list of chores, and set some rules of behavior for you. She may expect personal attention of sorts as part of her position. She does what she wants, but not in vacuum.

My Case

In case you wonder, of the questions above, only the last one applies in our relationship. If I get no acknowledgment for my services, I become testy and belligerent. A discipline session may correct me temporarily, but not on the long run. This relationship must be a give and take on both sides. However, I don’t need for her to be the person who does all the things I asked in the questions above. We do what is proper under the circumstances.

I also don’t need to be told explicitly to do my chores in boring detail unless she has some unusual requests, or unless I consistently do something that is against her expectations. Then I change my method, and she is happy until I mess up something else. The point is, that she delegates her power for me to execute. That includes investments, finances, home projects and repairs, and dealing with the law and occasionally with the vermin. For example, she accepts my leadership in investment and finances. She knows that I have a talent and the discipline to do it right, and that I am honest about it. When I decide something, it is because we have discussed the issue, we both know what is involved, and we agreed on what to do for our common good.

I could benefit from her scrutiny of some of the things that I do. For example, I tend to spend more on wine than I should. If she were to give me a rule to limit it or to stop entirely, and enforce it, it would be difficult, but I would comply.

As much as I love to be sexually dominated, things like my chastity, oral service to her, D/S sessions, and even some more kinky things are not the rule, but the exception. Well, maybe discipline and occasional punishment are the rule, but not in a rigid way.

To me the best part is the sexual domination, but I also get my kicks from discipline, and just doing nice things for her. And yes, the other things too that I have mentioned that I do.

One might say that ours is a vanilla relationship with an occasional kink. I like to think that it is an FLR with no contention and arguments and fights that a vanilla relationship often has, and we used to have. The reason is, that when she is finished telling me what to do, I do it. If her decision ends in undesirable outcome, well, she is in charge, and she is responsible. Of course, I would not follow her order to do something that I knew would hurt us. Other than that, she is the boss. We have not divorced over irreconcilable differences, and it is unlikely that we will. That may speak for our relationship.

Back To The General Case

I did not ask other questions (above) mainly because most would delve into sexually related subjects, and those are not really part of being in charge. They are more of personal preferences in power plays, and not necessarily requisite of FLR. They can certainly be part of FLR, and most men wish it. Then again, most women don’t seem to wish it. They may get some joy out of it on and off, but it does not drive their lives, like it does men’s.

In conclusion I want to offer that a woman being in charge means different things to different people. To me it means, “Having the authority and the power to command” in general. In FLR one needs to say more.

In FLR, occasionally, or for short periods of time she may take on the entire range of dominance. But it is rare, or maybe nonexistent, that she would want to be completely in charge, and have an essentially mindless slave to kick around. See my treatment of one at Owning And Training A Male Slave which is a totally unreal (as in FAKE!) scenario. Other than that, we come up with a balance of who does what to whom, and change it as necessary over time.

I realize that many FLR blogs are interesting because they show an ongoing tension whether benign or malign. Sex play is a great source of such tension. However, being a dominant in a sexual D/S scenario is not the same as being in charge in an FLR. The same goes for doing irresponsible things because one is supposedly in charge and can do it. Being in charge assumes that one has the authority to back up her orders, but she remains responsible for the outcome. That is how it is in real life. Anything else is role-play.


BOB said...

it's late so i can not leave a long comment.But i would like to say that your past 2 posts have been extremly interesting .Thank you for discussing these types of issues.

i like reading FLR blogs that arent just about role playing or whips and chains.There is nothing wrong with these things.It's just nice to read about the real life everyday aspects of a FLR.

Kathy said...

Men don't appreciate the responsibility that comes with being the mistress in a fem/dom marriage.

Do you remember last October and November. I was too depressed to blog. I was the one that made all the investment decisions for John and I.

As our investments tumbled in value, I thought what did I do wrong. How did I fall into the trap. It was a heart breaking experience for me. Love, Kathy

Susan's Pet said...


Thanks for checking in. When you have time, please pitch in, I would like to hear your view.

Mistress Kathy,

I think that men who choose to be lead by a woman want out of the responsibility, and put all that onto the woman's shoulders. It is not all that black and white, but an indication that men are under stress to be the provider, caretaker, warrior, and at the same time, the gentle lover to her. It is too much for some.

About your decision on the family investments, please stop blaming yourself. If you should have consulted John and you did not, we don't know whether things would have turned out differently. We all lost some at that time. I am not an expert, neither a professional in investments. What I know is that investment is not an exact science, not completely predictable, and one is always at the mercy of the politicians who are currently ruining or enhancing the economy. Unless you went into some weird scheme to make lots of money, I am sure that you will be all right on the long run.

Her Majesty's Plaything said...

Hi SP:

Her Majesty is in charge in our relationship because she is naturally dominant. If she were ever in a relationship with an alpha male there would be constant friction and it would not last long. I on the other hand am pretty laid back and more of a B (B+?) type personality. I can take definitely take charge and be "the man" but I tend to get irritable when life requires me to be in this role for too long at a stretch. She loves to be served and will ask anyone in the vicinity to "step and fetch it" even if the object in question is little more than arms length from her. I on the other hand love to serve her and am more than willing to bring her anything she desires. She loves to have her feet pampered, worshiped and adored. I originally started out with a fetish for ladies high heeled shoes and boots but Her Majesty soon trained me to translate that fetish into adoration of her bare feet. Now I became inordinately aroused by touching, smelling and kissing her bare feet or even by seeming them crossed on the coffee table in a relaxed pose awaiting my adoration. We are very complimentary in our temperaments. What we have just works.

As for the whipping and the sodomy and the blatant BDSM that is a very small part of our relationship and something she mostly does for me because she knows I need it. She enjoys doing it in much the same way she might enjoy whipping up a tasty dinner menu. That said she loves to cook and is a master chief so I guess that's not so bad! :-)

The only contract we have governs our sexual relationship and my allowed number of orgasms per week. This was put in place because it was a source of friction in our relationship and we both got tired of having the same distressing scene over and over again. Now there is a boundary around that part of our relationship and we both know what we can reasonably expect. Like any contract it is nothing more than a formal agreement that ensures the needs of both parties are addressed.

The answer to your list of questions would be "no" to all of the above. If she wanted to enforce any of those rules I would be open to discussing them (within reason) but she has no interest and neither do I. Our relationship works just fine as it is. It flows very nicely on it's own. We are best friends and still have that sparkle in our eye when we look at each other. That is the most important thing!

Susan's Pet said...


Most men who crave a Female Led Relationship have to try to convince a wife to be in charge, and most fail on the long run because the wife does not really want it. Your wife is a rare woman, and you are a lucky man.

Her Majesty's Plaything said...

Thank you SP! Coming from you that means a lot! And I know you are 100% correct! ;-)

BOB said...

MR Susan's Pet
I enjoy your blog ,especialy the last two posts.My own opinion is that in most marriages the women genrally are in charge.The terms femdom,WLM,FLR and Matriarchy are rarely used though.Most wives simply call the shots .just as they always have.Nowdays they are just les subtle.

Many times i have visited friend's houses and found the husband doing housework while the wife relaxes or is out with her girlfriends.

Once i visited a friend who was in the middle of doing dishes.while i gave him a hand i asked him where his wife was.He told me casually that she was at a friends bacholerette party and that they were at a club that featured male strippers.Nowdays this is not unusual.

Needles to say he wasnt dressed in a maids uniform and i doubt whther his wife used a whip on him .His wife was a very sweet woman who was lucky enough to have a husband that did all of the housework.He was a carpenter who definly wasnt a wimp.And i know that he had input in the family descisions.But i also know that she had the final word.

I am not saying that there is anything wrong with kinky sex play.Just that it is not the only way to have a Wife-Led Marrige.

BOB said...

MR Susan's Pet
I would have to disagree with your opinion that most women dont want to be in charge.I think that they do.But not the way some submissive men want.

Mark Remond at the "Worshipping Your Wife " blog has an excellent article called "Men at Work" this week.I even posted a comment on his article because i thought it was spot on.

Basicly he made the obvious point that most women like masculine men.And he made the point that you can be submissive AND masculine at the same time.

Most women generaly dont want their husband to dress up in a maids uniform[ a few may though ].And most women dont like dressing up in leather and 8 inch heels[a few may though].

But i'm sure that most women wouldnt mind relaxing on the sofa in a comfortable skirt,or jeans and tank top or t shirt with their barefeet resting on a coffee table while a cute half naked[or naked] hunk cleaned the house.

And many women would love it if they got to go out with thier girlfriends while their husbands stayed home and cleaned.

And if women could cancal their husbands PLayboy subscription and get Playgirl for themselves instead, i ll bet a lot of women would.

And most women would love to have the final say in the marriage. And most do as far as ive seen.In my experience most women want their husbands input.But they dont like their husband to argue with them.

But the Femdom images that most women probably see on the internet probably arent that appealing to them.These images are usually of overweight and ugly men being debased by angry ,snarling women.there is no displays of affection or tenderness.Generally this type of "Female supremacy" does not appeal to a lot of women.

But if you ever visit the sites that feature candid photos of bachelorette parties or sorority parties you will see photos of women squealing with joy and laughing as a male stripper strips for them.

I think that women like to be in charge while a man strips for them.And they likee the concept of "Nude Butlers" who serve them wine while dressed only in an apron.But i think that the women want these men to be atractive[unlike some femdom photos].And they want to be pampered instead of having to dish out violence[like whipping some guy.And i think that THEY want to call the shots.Insteaed of having the "Sub" decide how he is to be dominated.

In otherwards i feel that "dominant" women come in all shapes and sizes. im guessing that there are more " Dominant" women in flip-flops and long floral skirts than there are in short skirts and high heels. in my opinion the women who dress for their own comfort and are intelligent are usually more likely to be the type of woman who considers herself eqaul or better than a man, than the type you might find in Penthouse magazine.

As i pointed out in a comment at the blog"At ALL Times" ,the stock photo image websites are full of images of husbands doing housework while their wives relax.And they are full of women "conquering" their male rivals at work.Many even show business women planting their foot on a defeated male co-workers chest.

Since these images are usually used in womens magazines its obvious that this type of image must be very popular with women .Otherwise they wouldnt carry these images.Simple supply and demand.

You seem to write about the tender and loving side of Wife-Led Marriages.That is why i like to read this blog.

i also like to read the blogs" Sub Male " "Her Majestys Plaything" "Worshipping Your Wife","At All Times","Wifespanks" and "Whatever She Says" . They all discuss the day to day aspects of a FLR.And they talk about the love and tenderness involved instead of JUST the bsdm aspect.