Monday, July 31, 2006


You know, this "paying attention to what she says" thing shouldn't be that hard. But it is. I'm actually enjoying trying to pay attention, but finding that even in the smallest ways, it takes some attention.

Yesterday I was trying to eat a sandwich, hold a cup of coffee, and drive all at the same time. My immediate response to "Let me hold that coffee for you" was not "Thank you" or "Of course," but some lame-brained excuse. 3 seconds latter I figured it out and suggested the cup-holder unless she felt otherwise. I know she didn't notice, but at least it made sense to me that I figured it out and came up with a solution.

Today there were about four things I wanted to do after work, but as she was leaving for her meeting, she casually said, "You could smoke that chicken tonight." The first reaction: "Ahh, I'm not sure how good I'm feeling." Which was true - I'd just taken an hour nap after work, which I never do. But the second reaction was, "If I possibly feel well enough, I certainly will." Needless(?) to say, the chicken is in the smoker.

So I'll try to stay persistent and keep at it.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Who does the dishes?

25 years ago, I came across a quote that asked "Whenever there's a discussion about feminism, why does it always come down to a discussion of who does the dishes?" I thought it was from Marge Piercy, but I can't seem to substantiate it.

But it's a good question. All of the stereotypes I've seen of relationships in which the male is the submissive partner, he's supposed to take on all the household duties. This makes for some fine fantasy reading. I imagine that given the right personalities and situations, it could even work out that way; certainly "fd" represents his relationship that way. But it strikes me that:

A) This isn't something he got to overnight;
B) He has a partner who is willing to help structure the division of labor this way; and
C) for a long time he didn't work outside the home.

I've been particularly cheered by seeing more and more written recently by both men and women who, for one reason or another, are getting in to "power exchange" relationships (read LFA or wife-led marriages) but who aren't willing or don't want to, or don't think it's realistic to, end up with such a drastic division of labor. For whatever reason, there are women who want to be involved in running the domestic side of things, even if they have all the authority in the relationship - whether that's because they're still dealing with ambiguous feelings about having their partner do all that work, or they want the feeling of involvement or they just like the way they themselves do it.

And I don't think that doing so is in conflict in any way with a LFA or wife-led marriage. It's a matter of what you want to do and feeling free to do that.

On the other hand, having the conscious conversation about who is responsible for what, and holding the man responsible for doing what is expected of him is, in the long run, vital. The "stealth submission" model works only so far and for so long; it can, I think, be a valid way to get started, but in the end requires "the conversation."

So I'm saying it's not really about "who does the dishes" but what the conversation, expectations, and relationship is around "who does the dishes." I think there's a difference.

More on "the conversation" and on stealth submission later, but the point for now is that I need to realize that just doing what I can do, but doing so consistently is probably the best step I can take to get started changing from a submissive male wannabe to someone who actually lives this in his life. Certainly that realiztion has provided a certain frisson to last night and today.

Let's see if it lasts...

Friday, July 28, 2006

Just Submit

There are all sorts of good posts around on what it means to be a male submissive. The simple one, which I've read about for the past two years finally seems to be sinking in in some way:

Just Submit

With that in mind, today...
  • When she said, "Doesn't that undershirt belong in the rag bin?" , well after I said "I dunno, it looks ok to me..." I gave myself the mental dope-slap and put it in the rag bin...
  • Last night when she said, "You could pay the bills while I'm out", well after I said "I ought to work on that project for S" I did the dope-slap thing again and paid the bills - and did a little other home-office stuff...
Proactively today...
  • I managed a load of laundry and
  • Some errands downtown
Pretty bush-league by professional submissive standards, but hopefully sustainable. The thing I'm most excited about is cultivating the attitude of just doing the things she "suggests." That, and recalling an insight I had (which, for a change, I haven't seen anywhere else), which is that when she is talking, that's the most important thing that's going on in my world. So pay attention to it 110%. How hard is that? We'll see...

Weaving in the Raveled End

In so many ways, the last 50+ years have been full and rewarding. From what felt to a teenager like an implausible start, there has been family, community, work, travel, spirituality, and more ... all of which has brought me to a beautiful place, with a wonderful family, good friends, a comfortable job, a life in my community - in short, what ought to be a very satisfying, if unremarkable, life.

Though it all, though, there has been on end that refuses to weave itself into my life - or which I refuse to weave into my life. This is my exploration of this stubbornly unraveled end.

It goes by many names and has many faces - most generally power exchange in relationships, also known as dominance and submission. It's a big complicated subject that I've been wrestling with for years, not all that successfully. Recently, I came across the Wikipedia definition, and it's far better than any other that I've read - it really captures what this is about for me; you can read it if you like:

My flavor? Yet another of the legion of submissive males, trying to make some kind of satisfying life. But recently I've come across a handful of concepts that seem to start this making a little more sense to me than it's made before. They go by the name of "Loving Female Authority", "Female Led Relationships", and "Wife Worship".

I'm hoping that somewhere in here is a way of structuring my world that will let me accept my self, stop hiding from the woman I love the best, and weave that strand into my life. Right now that weaving takes a couple of forms: really working at accepting who I am, and trying to read constructively what other people are writing and living about this, while avoiding the temptation of unrequited male fantasies, a shoal upon which many seem to founder.

Forthwith, then, my attempts, observations, readings, and reflections. In short, my journey.