Monday, 24 February 2014

Sex, Housework, Domesticity: Is Domination and Submission "natural"?

One of the surprising things about our Femdom Sabbaticals is that we experienced the non-eroticized aspects of the temporary Female Led Relationship as utterly natural.

I mean that it felt perfectly right to let Xena control the intimacy and the housework. felt perfectly right to let Xena control the
intimacy and the housework.

This phased me somewhat.

In the past, whenever I read that kind of statement online, I immediately assumed that the author's feverish imagination was at work either justifying a kink, or creating a thrilling trap for themselves.

But, no, it really just feels natural. I didn't have a constant hard-on while deep-cleaning the kitchen, I was just relaxed, focused and industrious. Similarly, in the bedroom, though I did get delicious feelings of panic at not being able to get off, mostly my experience of one-sided sensuality was comfortable and warm.

I can think of several explanations for this, all of which might apply.

Do Submissives train ourselves to submit more generally?

I've had BDSM fantasies for years, but it's only in the last couple of years that I discovered the tranquility available through non-eroticized submission.

Sure, we start off with fantasies of erotic submission, but perhaps we're training our brains to submit in general, either by a kind of fallout, or because the comfort associated with the act of fantasizing transfers to some of the subject matter... when I see sexy boots, I am in my happy place.

Is MLR and FLR an emergent property of relationships (and cultures)?

...the FLR couples over on the At Her Feet
forum claim unparalleled levels of
domestic harmony
Last week we simply did not argue at all. Similarly, the FLR couples over on the At Her Feet forum claim unparalleled levels of domestic harmony. I am sure the same goes for MLR couples.

As relationship self help books tell you, the lower desire partner controls the sex. The opposite seems to hold for housework; the person with the higher standards generally sets the standards. In both cases, the other partner chafes against the control, wheedles, negotiates and generally puts stress on the relationship and on themselves.

It's also possible that one partner is always going to be more "dominant" than the other, leading them to second guess while the less dominant partner feels the urge to push back. Another cause of stress.

One response to this stress is resignation, either to giving up goals or embracing those of your partner.

As soon as that resignation includes a narrative - a positive spin - to make you feel good about it, then you have submission in one aspect of the relationship.

If all those submissions line up in the same direction, then you have a vanilla D/S relationship: the "surrendered wife" or the "henpecked husband" stereotypes.

If the couple are self aware about the dynamic, then you have MLR or FLR. However, it's the same dynamic as in the vanilla world.

(A shared pool of similar narratives becomes part of a culture, and in doing so each particular narrative becomes more comforting.)

Is Domination and Submission hardwired?

Humans aren't all about "who's alpha?" We're also good at cooperating, and there have been and continue to be societies which emphasize equality between the genders.

Even so, Patriarchy is very pervasive and ancient. It would be odd indeed if it were not in some way hardwired. The snag is that though Patriarchy "explains" MLR, it does raise the problem of FLR!

It would be fine if male subs were like those fetishists who cross dress for the transgression and humiliation. However, many of us just feel comfortable in FLR circumstances.

There would seem to be two obvious possibilities:

First, perhaps the D/S roles are not gendered. Perhaps we are adapted to feel happier taking leadership from somebody more dominant; it's more efficient if somebody is in charge, and submitting is better than being killed or cast out. Perhaps we are also adapted to feel happy in the matching dominant roles. If so, then MLR and FLR are just gender specific ways to get at these feelings.

Second, perhaps the D/S roles are gendered. MLR mirrors Patriarchy. What does FLR mirror?

Looking at human culture, I wonder if FLR is a courtship behavior that switches on in certain circumstances. We see it at work in traditional Western courtship styles, in exaggerated stories of chivalry and knightly love (this one was an eye opener!), and the men who meekly stay in the "friend zone" for months or even years and those women who let them.

Perhaps FLR switches on when a desirable
low status male comes into contact
with a desirable high status female.
I find it interesting that boys mature sexually two years before they do so physically.

In other words, our male ancestors had two horny years in which they could not take the sexual initiative without a higher status male ripping off their heads.

Perhaps FLR switches on when a low status male comes into contact with a desirable high status female.

I wonder if there are cultures where adolescent males habitually form relationships with older women.
(NB A couple of things now we've strayed into the dreaded Evolutionary Psychology.
First, saying something is "natural" is not the same as saying it's how things should be. Nor does it imply that there aren't equally natural contrary forces at work.
Second, Evolutionary Psychology tends to see behaviors evolving out of genetic self interest, as strategies for (i) reproduction or (ii) resource gathering. This stark vision sees only exploitation and exchange. However, that's not how these behaviors feel. The emotions associated with vanilla FLR include: chivalry, gallantry, playfulness, being flattered, romance... not cynicism and cost-benefit-analyses.)

Conclusion: Are MLR and FLR "natural"?

They feel natural, but there's simply not enough evidence to prove that they are. Given that our most compelling drives are our natural ones, I would be very surprised if D/S was not a natural human response to particular scenarios.  However, I am uncertain as to whether MLR and FLR are distinct behaviors.

While pondering this, why not introduce some part-time FLR to your relationship?

Friday, 21 February 2014

Second Sabbatical in Slave Land: Nearing the end of a chastity marathon - 6 tips for a chastity marathon

I am approaching the end of seven days of chastity.
It's tame by some comparisons, but I am approaching the end of seven days of chastity. To me that's a marathon, especially because it was preceded by fourteen days of device-free chastity, aka "denial".

Denial and Chastity, last time versus this time

Here's how it went last time, when we took our Femdom sabbatical over 2 weeks with an interruption in the middle:

  • 9 days of denial 
  • 9 nights total in chastity 
  • max 5 consecutive nights in chastity
  • approx 170 total hours of chastity 
  • Maximum 115 consecutive hours of chastity

This time we've had only a one week window, however I prepped by denying myself (or was she denying me?) for two weeks.

As of Saturday unlocking, the score will be:
  • 21 days of denial 
  • 6 nights total in chastity 
  • 6 consecutive nights in chastity
  • Approx 132 hours of chastity 
  • Maximum 132 consecutive hours of chastity

Which was better?

Rubbing Xena's feet last
night actually made me leak!
As a chaste sub, I would have preferred a two week stint. However, the sensations this time are actually better than last time.

I'm floating on waves of lust! Rubbing Xena's feet last night actually made me leak! (Bear in mind we've been married two decades - there's nothing mysterious about her feet, though they are very sexy.)

What's made the difference is the denial, roughly two and a third longer than I've gone without an orgasm since.... adolescence? It was absolutely well worth the suffering in order to enjoy the... er suffering.

Sleeping in chastity when denied for a long period

Last time, frankly, I didn't deny myself in the lead in because I wasn't sure I could handle nine days of denial with the chastity belt! It wasn't wimpishness on my part. I was worried I wouldn't be able to sleep!

However, the denial didn't make much difference. I think you either have the trick for going to sleep when horny, or you don't. Perhaps a long period of device free chastity teaches you the knack. It's also possible that after a certain point, you become more "leaky" so that actually you get a little relief.

Chastity Cage Security

Unless you are pierced, no cage is 100% secure. You can always pull out the back. Somehow, however, this isn't in the lexicon for chaste males.

In my case, the pubic hair anti-pullout fix adds an extra layer of mental security and seems to work fine; I'll know when I unlock

Comfort and chafing in my Chinese chastity device

I started getting chafing round about
the five-day mark.
Looking back, I started getting chafing round about the five-day mark. I also had bruising around my pubis from the A-ring.

The bruising didn't happen this time - I'd been wearing the device most days daytime, so my body got used to it.

The chafing happened again this time and at the same day. However, I was quicker of the mark with the Sudocreme which seems to have fixed the problem... though I guess I'll find out when I inspect next time.

What's interesting is that last time, I did a three day stint, had a two day break, then did another five days. That three day stint seems to have made no difference to chafing.
...the Mature Metal device I would
like to own.

Though mostly my device is fine - I even threw away my old DIY chastity belt - there are one or two flaws compared with the Mature Metal device I would like to own.

Cage Design: MM has extra bars that make it harder to stimulate the underside of the head. (It wasn't just self control that stopped me doing this, though. I don't fancy the resulting bruising if I do get off.)

A-ring (the first ring next to the body): MM has an oval A-ring with a rounded cross section. Much less chafing, more comfort.

Locking post: MM's locking post sticks forward so doesn't interfere with the body. The Chinese device's post sticks in every time I bend over. (The workaround is to lace the bolt through a strip of neoprene.)

Workmanship/Finish: I was lucky with my Chinese device. Even so, it has great piles of solder around the joints. MM's one is simply better.

Mental Experience of Chastity

she is certainly amused at my
Last time, the chastity was a kind of crazy thing I was doing and Xena got most from the slavery.

This time, she seems to be enjoying her control over me, and she is certainly amused at my plight.

That makes a huge difference, since any suffering on my part now feels like submission, rather than just erotic adventure.

Conclusions: Tips for a chastity marathon

These are in addition to my general tips on chastity marathons.

  1. As before, iron out all issues with your chastity device well ahead of time. Consider buying a Mature Metal device, or equivalent.
  2. Deny yourself in the lead up. This will make the chastity marathon itself more a intense experience, and also get you into the habit of sleeping when horny.
  3. Wear the device frequently during the lead up. Snag any if the issues, get your body used to it.
  4. Consider taking a break in the middle. A short break will  give your body time to recover. (No need to break the denial, though!)
  5. Sudocreme. Really.
  6. Find the real benefit to your partner.  It doesn't have to be kinky, it could just be they enjoy a break from penetration, or think the whole thing is a giggle. 

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Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Second Sabbatical In Slave Land: Lunchtime Demerits, Blurring Lines and Back Doors

Around lunchtime, I'm working away at an application for a contract job (I'm "on the bench" at the moment) when the doorbell rings.

...she sits at the kitchen table and talks a little distractedly
about work.... she's emphatically 
not in any kind of
erotic mode
Xena sweeps into the hall, every bit my high-powered executive wife. "I forgot my laptop... make me a cup of tea... I'll have my sandwich in the kitchen."

She sits at the kitchen table and talks a little distractedly about work; I just happen to be present at a busy lunch with herself. She's emphatically not in any kind of erotic mode.

I've learned the hard way never to try to blur the lines. Even when we were courting, an attempt to snog in these circumstances would have been met with an irritable brush off.

However... I notice that Xena is cheerfully giving orders and taking it for granted that I will run around after her. She also listens to my "interim report" like a boss - I've bought this for dinner, plan to do that task.

"What did you want me to do today?" I ask innocently. "Declutter that drawer then do the lounge, was it?"

She looks around the kitchen and frowns. "Did you dust the walls?"


It's rather more than I can imagine enjoying.
"What's that?" She points an accusing hand. There's a big strand of cobweb hanging from the ceiling.

"Oh. I missed that," I say. Then perfectly natural; "I think that's a demerit."

"I should think so!" she says. "And one more demerit for not having the bed made."

I produce the clicker and solemnly add two more to the count. "Thirty five," I say, ruefully. It's rather more than I can imagine enjoying, and I still wince when I think of the last time Xena gave me a whipping.

"That's mounting up. You'll have to schedule time for it."

"Yes I will," she says with a malicious smile, kisses me, and heads out to work.

And that is the glory of a demerit counter. It's not overtly sexual or erotic. It doesn't drip with sticky fingered fetish. It doesn't violate her practical  matter-of-fact mood. And yet it's a back door into Femdom.

And my god as I type this, I am hard in my chastity cage.

Let my books help you introduce some Female Centered Femdom to your relationship

Second Sabbatical in Slave Land: 3rd night in chastity, 17th in denial Chinese device
An uneventful evening. I finished deep cleaning the kitchen. Xena worked late. We watched TV while I rubbed her feet, then went to sleep.

Of course, I was sleeping in my cage: my 3rd night of chastity, my 17th in denial.

I drifted off tormented by mental images of Flappers in various states of undress, then slept like a log.

I drifted off tormented by mental images
of Flappers in various states of undress...
There are practical tricks to sleeping in a chastity cage: follow your normal bedtime routine; wear tight briefs to provide support and prevent abortive erections at odd angles; avoid spicy food and drink that will further irritate your cock making you need to pee every hour; let the thoughts come and go, don't consciously avoid thinking about sex, but don't dwell on it!; and, before all this, have a cage that fits without too much room to grow. (24 hour chastity marathons require more preparation.)

The first night is always the hardest; it's just too exciting being locked up! After this, routine sets in. Nocturnal erections aren't painful, but do wake me. I've started to find the tightness comforting - still there! I just squirm a bit and go back to sleep.

Meanwhile the denial aspects are interesting. For me, 17 days is a long time to go without an orgasm.

It's been easier than I thought.
she's also confessed to finding my longer term
amusing and pleasing.

Mental adjustment helped me to enjoy the sensual benefits.

Consciously, I let the feelings of lust come and go, acknowledge the hungry tingle in my groin, but don't engage with it (though it seems to give me energy).

Unconsciously... well, after a while - so I've read - your unconscious gets with the program and backs up any specific and practical conscious decisions you've made. Timelocks and anti-pullout systems are pretty decisive, and my unconscious has just given in.

However, what really made it easy was that more than ever before chastity and denial is a real act of submission on my part.

Xena long ago she admitted that she prefers me chaste in bed. Recently, she's also confessed to finding my longer term "plight" amusing and pleasing.

Since she sort of took control over my orgasms, I also detect a certain relish in her intimate power over me. (Not being kinky, I think she expected Sadism to feel different from other emotions, but of course it's not.)
however vanilla our interactions are - since I am time-locked
into a chastity cage - I'm 
always at a disadvantage.

Even without the sensual pleasures and submissive satisfaction, the denial and subsequent chastity has been worthwhile because it provides a foundation for our dynamic. It demonstrates to Xena that I really am serious about this and capable of making myself "suffer" and also ensures that however vanilla our interactions are - since I am time-locked into a chastity cage - I'm always at a disadvantage.

I'm really curious as to what will happen next... Will she start to tease me?

Use my self-help books to add Female Centered Femdom to your relationship!

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Second Sabbatical in Slave Land: The 2nd night - Sex and Housework

"You can put them on me."
"Fetch the socks, Giles," says Xena, buttoning on her pajama top. "You can put them on me."

My cock rears in its cage.

I know the socks she means - lovely Victorian-style thigh highs. I scurry over to her dresser, fish them out, then lovingly roll them up her legs while my chastity cage tightens like a vise.

It's Monday night.

We started a Femdom Sabbatical on the Sunday night, me being a "compliant husband", Xena calling the shots.

Last time we did this I nearly blew it. I fell over myself trying to share my new experiences, and spent much of the first few days fretting over whether this precious window into kink would meet my expectations...

This time is different.

As soon as I locked away my key, the roles became real for both of us.

This is the only way Femdom
arrives in my life, and - at
 the moment, the only way I
get any sort of sexual activity.
Xena merrily gave me orders and handed out demerits - so many that I am now a little nervous of the impending beating.

And I... I obeyed unquestioningly.

Partly it's because Femdom Sabbaticals look like being a regular thing for us. There's no pressure to get this one right.

Mostly, though, it's because I have no choice. This is the only way Femdom arrives in my life, and - at the moment, the only way I get any sort of sexual activity.

Sunday night, I unpacked the car, tidied the house, rubbed Xena's feet and then was banished from the room while she masturbated.

I just accepted it meekly. After all, it's not as if I was going to get an orgasm.

Monday night, she brought home a pile of work and set me to deep cleaning the kitchen. At one point I suggested stopping and tidying up, and she just ordered me to get on with it... and gave me a demerit.

Finally, quite late, we're both in the bedroom. of my favorite
Flapper Femdom photos...
I give her a late Valentine's card with one of my favorite Flapper Femdom photos on it and she has me riff a story out of it while I massage her.

According to that sex and housework study there's now almost zero chance of having sex.

Xena has spent the evening doing empowered traditionally masculine work, while I've been house-wifing in the kitchen.

My chastity device agrees. Sex is not on the cards tonight.

Slave assisted masturbation, however, feels like a distinct possibility.

Half way through she stops and asks about the state of my cock - a first! Normally she isn't interested.

"Considering I haven't come for more than two weeks, it's pretty much like the man in the story."
I get to reenact my own bit of kinky
Victoriana under the covers

"That pleases me," says Xena. "And amuses me."

The cage scrunches my cock. "I..." I begin.

"Carry on with the story..." says Xena.

Finally, she has me fetch the socks and I get to reenact my own bit of kinky Victoriana under the covers; burrowing between warm woolen thigh-lengths to lick her to orgasm with the aid of a small dildo that bucks against my chin as her vaginal muscles contract.

At last she orders, "Enough." Moments later she's in dressed in her pajamas and I'm in the bathroom cleaning the dildo.

I half reach for where I normally put the key. My cock expects me to unlock and get off... But of course the key is out of reach. I shall remain chaste until Saturday morning.

That thought is enough to make my poor imprisoned penis harden inside its cage.

No, we may be used to our roles, but none of this is routine yet.

 Read my self-help Femdom books to get a slice of this in your life!

Second Sabbatical in Slave Land: Did I accidentally lock myself up permanently?!?

We started a Femdom sabbatical on Sunday, so that evening I did the usual, set up my anti-pullout system, locked myself in my Chinese chastity device, then used a combination padlock to locked away the keys. Finally I used time lock software to encrypt the combination - easier than it sounds.

Only I must have got the wrong setting! Or did the software crash?

This is what the screen looks like two days later:

The progress bar seems stuck!!!

The progress bar seems stuck!!!

Obviously, I'm not really stuck. I can break the lockup box easily enough (it has other things in it anyway, so I can't leave it permanently locked).

Even so, I feel permanently locked up in my chastity device and it's not a bad feeling.

I don't mean I'm enjoying the dark "OMG!" thrill. Sure, I get that every so often. Last night after servicing Xena I went off to the bathroom and part of me expected to carry through with the normal routine; unlock, jerk off. But of course I couldn't... and that gave me an extra masochistic thrill.

Mostly though, I prefer my genitals this way.

...if she enjoys a massage then just goes to
sleep, that's fine - I just spent an hour
rubbing my hands over her oiled naked body.
I like what the chastity cage gives me....the sense of tingly aliveness down there, the way that just touching Xena's feet gets me hard, and the insane plateau phase created by not reaching an orgasm.

I also like what what the chastity cage protects me from.

Being chaste means never displaying a visible erection... neither feeling exposed in by my display of lust, nor under macho pressure to maintain one.

Being chaste means never feeling vaguely guilty about sex that might have just been Xena pandering to me, and never feeling disappointed in bed. I can't have sex, can't have an orgasm. So though I love it when Xena has me serve her, there's no instinctive primal drive urging me in one direction; if she enjoys a massage then just goes to sleep, that's fine - I just spent an hour rubbing my hands over her oiled naked body.

Finally, being chaste protects me from "sub drop", in my case those undignified, cold few moments where I leave the warmth of Xena's presence to slope off to the bathroom to shoot my unwanted load, and then in the come down regret that my penis wasn't inside her slippery vagina when it happened--an option that's not available at the moment.

So, no, I'm not really stuck, and we're not sealing up my chastity device anytime soon. However, it would not be a disaster if we did.

Dare to try my Female Centered Femdom self help books - what could possibly go wrong?

Monday, 17 February 2014

Missed FLR opportunities and second chances... Part 2

Xena isn't kinky... an odd thing to say about a
woman who can only relate sexually to her
husband when he's being her chaste slave...
(Part one here)
"I get to decide when you have an orgasm and how," says Xena as I rub her back. "If you've been OK, you can do it in another room. If you've been very good, then you can get off with me in the same room but I'll ignore you. And if I'm not satisfied, then no orgasm."

My penis rears against its cage. I thumb her spine in silence. "That sounds great in theory," I say. "But not very practical."

"Oh," says Xena hastily. "I meant when you're in this persona."

"Ah," I say. "But when I'm locked up, I have no interest in being unlocked..."

Yes, my mostly vanilla wife suggested something kinky and....

...I talked it to death.

I missed another FLR opportunity.

The reason I keep missing these FLR opportunities is that Xena isn't really kinky.

Yeah, I know that sounds like an odd thing to say about a woman who can only relate sexually to her husband when he's being her chaste slave, but hear me out!

...she doesn't see boundaries between kink
and non kink...
She's not particularly excited by the fact of BDSM, nor its paraphernalia, nor its culture. She is, however, comfortable being utterly ruthless about using the power I give up to her to get what she wants. Xena really is a Vanilla Dominatrix.

This is a problem because she doesn't see boundaries between kink and non kink--which is why I am using the term FLR (Female Led Relationship) rather than Femdom. Meanwhile, I've always tried to keep some kind of firewall between me-cringing-slave and me-vanilla-me.

For example, years and years ago when we started dating, I persuaded her to have me as a slave for the day. This suited her because she wanted to sort out her apartment. Well and good, but I insisted on dressing as a Roman slave(!) and was very very uncomfortable when she addressed me by name and asked my advice on hanging pictures etc. The end result was a row and no Femdom for a while.

What she really wanted was a Female Led Relationship for the day, with a strong possibility of wild Femdom BDSM in the evening. If only I had turned up in practical clothing and been myself except obedient, we could have had decades of quality Femdom between then and now!

I did eventually learn to accept my submissive side, and what we have now is essentially what we could have had back then: episodes of FLR wrapped around Femdom. The current project is to connect them up, which is why we've started using a clicker during and between sessions to count demerits. How embarrassing then that I didn't just say, "Let's give it a try" and trust her to let me get off at reasonable intervals.

I realized my mistake almost immediately, but it was too late backtrack; she'd gone to sleep. I didn't just need to say sorry, I needed to show I could make this happen for her.

The following week, I wore my chastity device whenever I was alone in the house and managed to the weekend without masturbating. Nothing happened that weekend--it was a busy one--so I hung on all last week.

This weekend we visited relatives. On the way back we were discussing this week's Sabbatical in Slave Land. When the moment was right I said, "Oh and one more thing. Remember you said you wanted to control my orgasms I waffled? Well I decided I should try it out. I haven't had an orgasm for two weeks."

Xena laughs--she finds denying me amusing rather than arousing, which is fine by me. "What a pity! I bet your eyesight has improved."

...she wants "alone time"...
So last night she has me deep clean the kitchen while she watches TV in bed. Then she has me rub her feet--an amazing experience, chastity makes me feel like a teenager again. Finally, she sends me from the room because she wants "alone time", her code for masturbation.

Sometimes when she's tired or out of sorts, she doesn't want my ministrations. I realize this is one of those moments. "The irony is not lost on me," I say as I leave.

Xena smiles. "Perhaps that's why I'm doing this."

Perhaps, I realize as my captive penis starts beating like a caged heart, it is.

Dare you introduce Female Centered Femdom to your relationship?

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Sex and Housework Study: But Femdom! is it that deep cleaning the kitchen, waiting on Xena hand 
and foot, then providing a massage, all while wearing a neutering 
chastity device, makes her receptive to oral service? 
So there's this sex and housework study and it shows that for husbands, not sharing chores is bad for your relationship, but doing "unmanly" things about the house is bad for your joint sex life.

The plausible explanations are differentiation (we don't fancy people like ourselves), gender scripts (women fancy manly men doing man stuff), and conflict (couples argue over shared chores.

Even so, Femdom, including Female Led Relationships, seems to lead to more rather than less sexual activity. How come?

Is it just that BDSM couples have more sex anyway? Either because they have a higher sex drive, or making a hobby out of it keeps it fresh?

Could be.

However, any sort of Domination and Submission tackles the differentiation issue since it divides the couple into clearly defined roles. If the D&S stretches to Domestic Service, then it also resolves--at least temporarily--the conflict issue since the dom gets the work done to his or her standards.

It's on the issue of gender scripts that Maledom and Femdom part company. Maledom, obviously, wallows in a very old gender script, which perhaps explains why it is so possible in vanillaized form in Romantic Fiction.

Femdom, especially the service-oriented flavor favored by vanilla dominatrices, utterly violates the gender scripts.
...could it be that FLR is as
natural as MLR?

For example, how is it that deep cleaning the kitchen, waiting on Xena hand and foot, then providing a massage, all while wearing a neutering chastity device, makes her receptive to oral service?

It's not kink. Like many of the wives of fellow Femdom bloggers, Xena isn't particularly kinky (though I suspect she enjoys beating me at times). For her, a fresh cup of tea is just a fresh cup of tea; there's no particular buzz being served by  a slave any more than by a waiter.

That leaves two interesting possibilities:

First, subs like me are really slipping in as masturbation aids. Our wives are receptive to us the way that they are to their vibrators or fingers.

Second--and this is one I am leaning towards--could it be that FLR is as natural as MLR?

Why not try one of my Femdom self help guides and find out?

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

So what does this housework and sex study mean for modern husbands

The more similar we are to our partners, the
less we fancy each other.
So I've had time to digest the housework and sex study. There are obviously issues with it; the data is old, and there are questions we'd like to ask. But, taking it on face value, what are the implications for the husband in a modern egalitarian - peer - couple?

The good news is; sharing the chores is good for the relationship! And if you don't share the chores, no sex, and probably no relationship (and quite right too).

However, sharing household chores is bad for your sex life. Since most couples have lives where "manly" chores are not required--no wood to chop, no roof to fix--this is an issue.

The implications depend on which explanation you believe:

Explanations for why doing household chores damages your sex life

Lack of Differentiation

One explanation is "The less gender differentiation, the less sexual desire.”  The more similar we are to our partners, the less we fancy each other. Lack of differentiation is supposed to explain why monogamous gay couples often run into desire problems. OMG! Are we all Lesbians?

Gender Scripts

Do couples where the man a
successful main provider have more sex?
Another explanation in the original paper is that whether through nature or nurture, sex is inextricably entwined with the old gender roles.

This has disheartening broader implications. Do couples where the man a successful main provider have more sex?

More to argue about

she hated waking up to a messy
room, and it was his
turn to vacuum
This is something I've experienced with Xena. We each have views on each other's chores and whether we are individually pulling our weight. This quote from the New York Times article inadvertently illustrates this:
“I’m very attracted to you,” she said earnestly. “You know when I really crave you? It’s when you’re just back from the gym and you’re all sweaty and you take off your clothes to get in the shower and I see your muscles.”

Her husband countered by saying that this very situation had occurred that morning but that his wife became irritated when he tossed his clothes on the floor, which led to a conversation about his not vacuuming the day before, when she worked late. He had worked late, too, which accounted for the lack of vacuuming, but still — she hated waking up to a messy room, and it was his turn to vacuum.

Three things husbands can do to make things a bit better

People are often uncomfortable with approaching sex pragmatically, as if it's somehow cheating to think about how to get laid. I think, though, the following is of the same order as "have a shave" or "wear clean boxers".

The three (vanilla) possible domestic responses that come to mind are:

#1. Do man stuff when possible

Don't make a fuss about it, don't flag up you're doing it, but if there's a traditionally masculine task on your to-do list, do it soon and do it properly, especially if it's a task that requires skills and strength not possessed by your wife. This potentially nails both the gender scripts and the differentiation issues.

#2. Have different areas of responsibility

Where possible, share out the responsibilities such that you don't overlap. This could help with differentiation and more to argue about.

#3. Do chores to high standards (but don't make a fuss about it)

If you do your chores to a high standard, then your "unmanly" responsibilities will be less obvious. Better, for example, if you are up to date with the vacuuming, then the messy carpet won't distract your wife during a potential sexual encounter. This fixes all three issues, especially more to argue about.

However, if you make a fuss about your high standards, then you are probably making any gender scripts issue worse!

Or you could just introduce some Female Centered Femdom to your relationship!

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Housework, Sex, Middle Aged Marriage and what the study actually says

Under Contract to My Wife asked; Do manly men get more action? He was responding to that New York Times article, Does a More Equal Marriage Mean Less Sex?

The article is about this paper that shows that in "peer marriages" where men and women share chores, they have less sex than in marriages where the men perform more manly roles.

Summary of Egalitarianism, Housework, and Sexual Frequency in Marriage by Sabino Kornrich, Julie Brines, and Katrina Leupp

The authors open by citing other studies:

  • Couples who both work and share chores are less likely to divorce than traditional marriages.
  • Where chores are shared, women's satisfaction goes up.
  • Peer marriages lack passion, and this is not explained by lack of time.
  • A small unpublished study links chore-sharing to sexual frequency.
  • However, other studies show peer marriages have less sex.

This study - the authors say - will take a closer look at chores: roughly "womanly" housework versus "manly" other tasks.

Less sex?
They present two competing models: Either (A) men doing housework buys or facilitates sex, or (B) housework transgresses gender scripts.

In other words, if I do the dishes, either (A) my wife will have time and energy for sex, or reward me with it, instinctively or consciously or (B) though she may be feel satisfaction at our relationship, on some gut level she won't feel like a shag from a man who wears an apron.

The authors want to know, which is it?

Obviously the study shows it's B, but why?

They dispose of the idea that "manly" men demand sex more and wives refuse it less regardless of female desire, since these wives report marital satisfaction.

That leaves two possibilities: traditional domestic roles are a turn-on, or at lease foster a feeling of being sexual people, and; Traditional domestic roles increase marital satisfaction, and facilitate marital sex.

The authors cite more research on Sexual Constraints and Opportunities:

  • Lack of marital satisfaction hampers marital sex (so men opting out of chores can be a disaster)
  • Practicalities like children hamper married sex
  • Lack of time when both partners are working has no effect on marital sex (if a couple want it, they'll find the time)
  • Couplet time spent on housework correlates to more sex--either "work hard/play hard" or else increased satisfaction leading to increased sex. However this doesn't differentiate between flavors of chores.

Then they move onto the data.

They're actually using an old survey: Wave II of the National Survey of Families and Households (NSFH) (Sweet and Bumpass 1996). (Yes, those really are the names of the authors!) They still think it applies, however--they'll get to this. They go onto explain all the clever things they did with the data to make sure it was useful and not full of errors.

At last we get to the results: Determinants of Sexual Frequency.

Some of what they found confirmed earlier studies: being healthy, wealthy, young and having time alone with your spouse means you'll have more sex. Duh!

Otherwise, the results confirm Option B: Peer marriages disrupt gender scripts, disrupt sex. Apart from Protestants and Religious Conservatives having more sex, nothing else seemed to make a difference, including religion, how macho and feminine the partner's jobs were, and the household politics--Feminists, it seems, still fancy firemen. 

Men doing chores does increases marital satisfaction, but it only increases sexual frequency if those chores are manly ones, and this holds good when the couple has a "modern" definition of gender roles.

Here's their graph:

Sexual Frequency is per month. If the man does all the core household chores, he has 1.6 fewer shags per month compared to his macho friends who do chores, but only the man stuff.
However, this is based on all the couples in the study. That number on the left may be substantially smaller for some couples. 
In the Conclusion, they summarize their findings, argue that they are still relevant despite the data being 20 years old, caution against applying the results to gay couples, and muse on workarounds: either couples must divide labor along gender lines, or women must be empowered or empower themselves to learn new scripts.

Why I think this matters

If anything, I suspect more modern data would paint a bleaker picture. Twenty years ago, people had peer marriages who positively wanted them. Now--quite rightly--it's the socially approved default. However, that means many more peer couples will have an underlying issue with equality.

I also wonder about the picture for middle aged people. When desire drops below a certain threshold, that doesn't mean proportionately less sex, it means no sex. Given that middle aged married couples report twice a month as typical, and that there are a lot of near sexless marriages - and judging from the Internet forums, I think these are under reported! - we need to take seriously anything that reduces desire by about 30%! 

So where does this leave Femdom and FLR couples?

I suspect Femdom and FLR couples have found their own workaround and embraced different gender scripts. However, I will have to think about this...

Why find your own workaround and introduce some Female Centered Femdom to your relationship?

Monday, 10 February 2014

Missed FLR opportunities and second chances... Part 1

"It's a work night so you'd better go into the en suite and do yourself," says Xena, reaching for her book.

She glances up. "Actually
I prefer you this way."
It's about a year ago.

I'm locked into a chastity cage. I've just pleasured her.

She's being so matter-of-fact that I'm terrified she's bored by the whole arrangement. "Are you still OK with all this?" I ask.

She glances up. "Actually I prefer you this way."

I realize she not only takes my chaste submission for granted, she also prefers it to normal sex!

My penis lurches against its bars. I can't find the right words so retreat to the bathroom.

It's not exactly a bombshell.

Xena is not a prude, but is fastidious. Penis-in-vagina sex is messy and like most women she comes best with oral stimulation. My wife needs to be very turned on to forget this, and we've been together something like twenty years, and she has a demanding job, so those high-energy romantic moments are few and far between. Meanwhile, erotic service has pretty much replaced all the mediocre sex.

A week or so later we have an over-nighter.

After a long massage and oral sex, she curls up next to me and says sleepily, "I don't suppose you'd consider always doing it like this?"
"I don't suppose you'd consider always doing it like this?"
"The idea's a turn on," I say. "But only because I like normal sex."

She mumbles something and drifts off.

A few weeks later and and we haven't had any vanilla sex, just me servicing Xena on a roughly weekly basis. I come to a horrible realization that not only don't I mind, I also prefer it this way too!

Sure, mutual, passionate lovemaking is awesome. However, it's very hard to return to the abandon of our youth. Meanwhile, meat-and-two-veg marital sex--get her off through foreplay then an orgasm for me PIV--feels increasingly shoddy. And there's this other thing; a sense of rightness about male chastity and submission.

So, why not just walk this path for a while? We're having more erotic interaction than most married couples.

And I realize that Xena gave me the things I most wanted--acceptance, permission and approval--and I hemmed and hawed.

I was offered more intense Femdom and I blew it. Could I get a second chance?

The snag is that Xena doesn't naturally do in-depth discussions about relationships and sex. Following BDSM culture's "communication communication communication" mantra will just irritate her.

"default mode"
I pick my moment very carefully. I wait until she's enjoying a massage and feeling chatty.

As I roll my thumbs down her spine, I open with, "I was thinking about what you said."

"What did I say say?"

"That you preferred me this way," I say, now working on her waist.

"Oh?" says Xena. "Did I?"

I laugh. "Yes you did. I'd like to go back to normal sex, but I'm in no rush. How about we assume this is the 'default mode' from now on."

"That suits me," says Xena.

"I like this..." I say.

"I know." She rolls over. "Pass me my pajama top."

A few minutes later, I'm under the covers doing what I do best. She falls asleep just after she comes and I'm left to slope off to the bathroom, unlock and "do" myself.

A good recovery on my part, but--as you'll see in the next entry--not a lesson learned

Why not introduce some Female Centered Femdom to your relationship?

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Counting down to another Sabbatical in Slave Land

"That looks like a clear week or so," I observe.

"It does," says Xena.

"...a week of mostly powerless 
frustration, non-communication, 
and service."

We're looking at our calendar and there are seven days in which work, social life and sporting commitments are aligned such that I'm neither in the office nor getting muddy with my mates, there are no parties or pub sessions with friends, no duties with older relatives.

I brace myself for rejection and then say as casually as I can. "How about we make that a 'compliant husband'

Xena smiles-not a grin, just a smile, as if I had suggested spending time on our garden. "I'd like that."

And so I've sealed my fate.

It is an odd feeling.

Our last Femdom sabbatical lasted two weeks with a break in the middle.

I get turned on just thinking about it. However, what was important was that the Mistress-Slave relationship became real. Xena stopped feeling any pressure to follow any sort of script except for the corporal punishment finale, which was tailored to me in form if not detail, and I gave up control and the need to over-communicate.

That reality is awesome.

At the same time, it's also scary.

"...last time there was a primal
scariness to her anger."
Most of the action was non-erotic. Xena still had to go to work, still arrived home tired and emphatically not horny, though up for a massage before sleep. I can expect a week of mostly powerless frustration, non-communication, and service.

The chastity itself isn't a challenge. I'll probably have a week of device free build up and that won't be a challenge either. However, I now know what it will feel like. It's like climbing a mountain for the second time.

Finally there's the whipping. Xena has been diligently applying demerits--I need to blog about that--not just for kinky things, but also one or two domestic and relationship hot buttons. I can expect another beating which tips over from "Funishment" for me to cathartic retribution for her.  Again the prospect turns me on. The nice thing is that I now know she will follow through; no more will she/won't she?

However, last time there was a primal scariness to her anger.

So I am contemplating the week with mixed feelings. And of course, the fact the week will happen regardless of my feelings is itself an intense turn on...

Why not introduce some Female Centered Femdom to your relationship?