Wife-Led Marriage?

A comment was left on this site regarding the post Honoring Women by a guy named Dave. He agreed that there are many different frameworks for successful relationships, then mentioned the concept of the wife-led marriage. In his comment, he mentioned the web site www.aroundherfinger.com. I reserved my judgment until I had the chance to read the web site.

Dave, I appreciate your comment and the fact that you read my post, I really do. It is great that you understood that there are different dynamics in a relationship. However, I can’t really see how this is healthy as a long-term relationship dynamic. I know I’m picking a fight — I’m noticing that I’m getting a few hits as a result of a search for “wife-led marriage” — but I guess that’s what this format is all about.

Reading aroundherfinger.com was sort of like reading L. Ron Hubbard’s Dianetics, one of the canonized books of Scientology. In the beginning, the site talks about the woman taking the control in what would be traditionally described as the male role. I first bristled, then caught myself, thinking, “Hey, I can understand a man-led household based on ‘traditionalism,’ why can’t I accept a similar arrangement with the woman as the lead?” Despite my open mind, I quickly learned that “woman-led” was a euphemism. You see, according to this site, a woman-led relationship means that the woman uses domination, including punishments/rewards, with her husband. She controls every aspect of the relationship, and those activities that she chooses not to control are “delegated” to the husband, who is kept on a short leash, so-to-speak.

The most disturbing aspect, I think, is the use of sex and “orgasmic rewards” as a major motivator, like a Milk Bone to a Jack Russel terrier. The web site says this outright in its FAQ section. Quote:

“While the wife is definitely in charge of the household, she needs to remain active in keeping her husband motivated and excited about this arrangement. She does this via the overt exercise of her authority, strategic orgasm denial, and aggressively flirting and teasing you during the course of the week. ”

Another FAQ Quote:

Ideally, the household finances should be consolidated and managed by the woman. The husband should operate under a budget that she approves, and he can appeal to his wife for exceptions to that budget. If, as a practical matter, the wife feels that she wants to defer the administrative component of managing the money (e.g. balancing a checkbook) then she can delegate this task as she would any other. If she decides to delegate this task, however, it is important that she get regular and frequent updates on the status of income and expenses in the home.”

Perhaps I’m a bit too new-fashioned, but I can’t quite see how this is a functional relationship, long-term. I’m sure that the concept of domination/submission, for those who enjoy that type of sexual experience, is a great thrill. But, the entire structure implies that sexuality is something to be used, rather than something to be shared.

This has to be the product of distorted thinking, of some sort of kiss-the-ground-she-walks-on worship that is damaging to both involved. If it works and is functional for those living it, then I can respect that it is keeping their relationships together. For me, however, I couldn’t possibly recommend this.


14 responses to “Wife-Led Marriage?

  1. Why does it always have to be about either the man or the woman being in control of a relationship? In my mind, both scenarios are ridiculous.

    Yes, people are entitled to structure their relationships in whichever way they feel is appropriate, however I think that the notion of one person controlling the other person like they are house training the family dog is completely absurd.

    I would venture to say that I am not alone in thinking that marriage (as well as the relationship leading to marriage) should be a partnership structured around the concept of mutual support and shared responsibilty. Challenges should be faced jointly, and experiences should be shared and enjoyed together.

    How can you have respect in a relationship that is built on domination and manipulation?

  2. Oh my dear. This whole “around her finger” thing seems as though it could backfire greatly. Denying orgasmic pleasure? Ordering someone to get up and do my LAUNDRY? I’ll say this: if anyone treated me that way, I’d be gone, gone, gone so quickly. It seems to me that this method would not only NOT ensure my man’s placement around my finger, but would solidify that he’s out of my life, as well.

  3. As one currently in a wife led marriage I must venture to say I am ecstatic about it. At work I am the one in charge and am constantly under pressure to do or say the right thing. Coming home to know I don’t have to make decisions is a relief. I truly love and adore my wife and was actually the one whom suggested this. She doesn’t leave me out of the decision making process and we do share the responsibility of everyday life but I defer to her to guide how the household is managed. And yes, I love that she controls my orgasms and I have no qualms about doing the laundry, making breakfast in bed for her or any other duty she wants me to perform. She’s in control and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

  4. I too am in a wife led marriage. You don’ t have to subscribe to everything at aroundherfinger. We use it as a template.

    If you are honest, in many (most?) marriages, the wife is the boss of the relationship. Think about it. We like to please. Just think back to your earliest sexual encounters and many of you have ask the girl, “Was it good for you?” Your first dates had you holding doors and being the ultimate gentleman. Why, duh, to get into her pants. LOL You have stopped because somehow you feel that she is obligated to provide you with sex now that you are married.

    The only difference between my marriage and most others is that we have openly acknowledged that she leads. It’s made us both happier and our marriage better and she is much more comfortable from a sex standpoint. Is it perfect, no. Of course not. Ups and downs like any marriage.

    In a society where 50% of marriages fail, why not at least try it?

  5. I agree w/ Steve, that most relationships are already controlled by the women. Most men just don’t want to accept this reality. In an openly ‘wife led relationship’, at least there is more honesty, which leads to better communication, hence a better relationship…

  6. Aroundherfinger is only the gateway to a whole cesspool of “loving female authority” lifestyle sites that are anything but. Aroundherfinger is downright sane and genteel to their approach, even considering the degrading “orgasm control” aspects. This is part of the feminization of America, and guys, its our own fault for abdicating our responsibilities and integrity. We need to change the whole way we look at the world, from the redneck humor stuff that makes us all look like idiots(is there a TV show that doesn’t make all guys look like infantile morons or predatory monsters?) to the way we influence sons, grandsons, nephews, little brothers, etc. Because basically, these aroundherfinger types are self-described female supremacists, and the nice ones like aroundherfinger simply advocate that you turn over your will and ability to acheive orgasm to your wife. It only goes downhill from there- as you head down the slippery slope, you’ll find sites that advocate what basically amounts to male slavery, from orgasm denial, complete with enforced denial via mechanical chastity devices that the dominating wife holds the key for, to forced homosexuality, feminization, removal of the husband in his role in the household to make way for the other lovers that dominating women have the “right” get involved with, to even more dangerous practices that basically put men and women in danger of contracting sexually transmitted diseases and produce children from sexual relations with the other “lovers” the wife decides to have sex with.
    The only men who would submit to these practices are ones who have not had the benefit of positive male influences in their lives. Given the rise of one parent housesholds and the accompanying number of those households led by women, its no surprise that these sites proliferate, fueled, for the most part, by interest in them from MEN. The men that subject themselves to the even more depraved lifestyles are mentally and emotionally sick and damaged, and the supposedly “morally superior” female supremascists are more than happy to take advantage of their weakness and subjugate them in dehumanizing and heartless ways.
    Wake up to the reality that these people are out there, taking advantage of our lack of awareness and start taking stock of your part of it, and decide how you will change your behaviors and attitudes to prevent any further erosion TODAY!

  7. This last response appears to me to be that of your typical male that feels the best place for a woman is in the kitchen. I think it is time for you to wake up a little. The numbers are there. Almost 70% of college graduates today are women. As a professor myself I see the drive and determination of these young women as opposed to their male counterparts that are more interested in video games and drinking. Very very soon a majority of women will be the breadwinners and the dynamic of the household will change. No longer will the husband be able to sit around waiting for his wife to wait on him hand and foot.

    As for positive male role models….I am assuming you are talking about the machismo, ‘do as I like’ attitude that the traditional family structure holds. A positive male role model would be one that respects his wife enough to help with everyday duties around the house, is mindful enough to seek her opinion on all matters regarding their life together and is not selfish in bed, that is, doesn’t expect her to lay on her back whenever he has the urge and take him so that he can roll over and fall asleep when he’s done.

    Yes, you are right there are extremes to this lifestyle, like any lifestyle. But what is important to remember is choice. These men, more often than not, introduced this lifestyle to their women and chose to go down this path. If it is a respectful marriage of open communication (which most seem to be in this lifestyle) then the brakes can be applied at anytime by either party.

    Wake up and smell the estrogen. A female boss is coming to your business soon and she’s not going to put up with slacker men not getting the job done.

  8. Your assumptions about my post reflect more stereotypes than a whole season of “All in the Family”. I am not someone who thinks that a woman’s place is in the kitchen, I have been surrounded by and involved with strong women all my life. I have been married for 30 years to a strong woman with whom I have a partnership, one that operates from equal status for both spouses. She could no more dominate me than I her, and in my book, that’s a good thing. We all need someone to hold us accountable, husbands to wives and wives to husbands. When this occurs, each spouse gets the most out of the relationship.
    When I speak of positive male role models, again, your assumptions show your bias. A positive male role model is not a Rambo- style “machismo” stereotype, he is a mature, responsible heterosexual male who provides for his family, loves and respects his wife, and teaches his children what they need to know, not what they want to know.
    What I am sick of and speak against is the continuing denegration, marginalization, and destruction of male-ness in our society, mainly driven by our media and pop culture. In today’s culture, there is no more widely reviled creature than the straight white male. It is reflected in literature, music, TV sitcoms, movies, news, and the internet. The recent rise of “loving female authority” websites is only further evidence of this downward slide in the status of the white male.
    I always find it instructive to turn the tables on any gender specific situation to reveal double standards and bias. Imagine what any woman would say about a husband that requires that his wife obey him unquestioningly, serve him hand and foot, and agree to be punished in humiliating and sometimes painful ways should she be so bold as to displease him. Additionally, he requires that her sexuality be completely under his control, to the extent that she must wear a chastity device that not only prevents her from any sort of sexual activity but also painfully prevents her from any sort of sexual stimulation, and he holds the key to this device and allows her sexual release at his pleasure, sometimes as little as once a month? I think you would agree that a husband of this sort would be refered to as a sadistic bastard, whether his wife freely agreed to this “lifestyle” or not.
    I smell the estrogen, and I am trying to wake up the rest of the male world the smell as well, as it is the smell of female supremacists(of the same ilk as white supremacists) taking control, and not to the benefit of society.

  9. The first thing to understand is that the “aroundherfinger” concepts are not for everyone. They are for men who have some submissive sexual desires. Now, the internet is full of junk aimed at separating these guys from their money, by selling fantasies to them. The AHF ideas allow these men to find a real world way to be satisfied.

    That many men have these feelings may make others who do not have them uncomfortable. Actually, such feelings make the men who have them deeply uncomfortable, until they decide to confront them. But the feelings can be very strong in these men, and a wife-led marriage lifestyle can give them great satisfaction which they could not have in a relationship in which they are not in some way overtly required to submit.

    The orgasm control idea must seem incomprehensible to men who are not submissive. Obviously, it is a profound act of submission, which creates for the man intense feelings that are in effect pleasure. It amounts to a full-scale game of tease and deny. More than just being an event of submission, it maintains the man’s high level of sexual excitement, which seems to be something submissive men very much crave. That energy remains focused on the wife. It is kind of a feed-back loop.
    In contrast, the effect of an orgasm on men is a period of satiation. This may or may not be accompanied by warm feelings toward the woman (a real man will show that warmth, of course), but the submissive man won’t feel that sexual frisson for a day or two. It is like having a huge gourmet meal: For a day or two thereafter, the pleasure of eating is diminished. This effect or orgasm may be more pronounced as men age.

    For a man with a nature such that he gets sexual pleasure from being submissive, orgasm denial is a choice of one form of pleasure (long-term arousal) over another (orgasm). His wife accomodates him by deciding on the denials.

    Realistically, these men do have orgasmic sex, just not every time out. If the life-style makes their wife more sexual, the net effect may be a better sex life than us “every-timers” have. Within their own marraige, the sex may be a lot better than what would prevail where every night is a small negotiation.

    Although it is not my own experience, I understand that in the real world it is very common for one partner not to experience orgasm in a high percentage of sexual encounters — that being the woman when having sex with many “real men.”

    There is validity to the core idea of wife-led marriage, although it would be impossible to defend the overwhelming amount of nasty stuff that is out there on this topic.

  10. People in relationships can form whatever type of relastionship they desire and mold it to what fits. Aroundherfinger is simply a guideline of ideas that can be molded. Pick and choose what fits for your life. All i am saying is we are all different people with different insights of life. There is a lot of generalization going on here, its not just men without a trong father figure in their lives that live this. My father was the dominant figure in out house. You can beleive this wont work for you, but do not say it wont work. Again generalized statements. We are all wired differently. What is the problem if a man enjoys doing things for his wife and taking over chores and she plays along with teasing and denying? For my wife and I, It is done with love, care and respect. She had reservations about it and told me to make sure I tell her when its been too much. I can tell you we have been experimenting with it, its bee ngreat, its been fun and has brought us closer. ITs called spicing things up a little, something a bit different, sure, but who are you or anyone else to say it wll not work? Who are you to judge that it is only certain trypes or groups of people into this. I will tell you, i find it sexy when my wife uses sex to get me to do things, she enjoys it, doesnt take too far and I enjoy it. Where is the harm? what are the issues with it? Yes some people, to me that is, take this too far. where the wife does anything and everything she wants without regarrd to the husband or he relationship, ours is not like that. The key is loving female authority! Love, respect and trust is key in this as is any relationsip of any kind. I know some women that want dominant men and those men choose submissive men, i see nothing wrong with that if both are willingly particapating, same goes for the dominant woman submissive man, or partners that prefer equal setting. Too much generalization and how you think ohers should live and w hat will and will not work.

  11. I too am in a wife led relationship. She controls my orgasms, has me on an allowance, and I am to do all the chores in the home. While we do discuss big decisions, she always has the final say. She lectures me sometimes or gets short with me, but I am not allowed to talk back or yell at her. We have been married for over 18 years and with the exception of the first couple of years, I treat her better then ever. She loves me so much more now that I am under her control and not yelling etc. The orgasm control is necessary because that is what keeps you motivated and it feels good. All I can tell you is that we are closer then ever and this is a great long term solution to marital problems

  12. My wife loves controlling my orgasms. I agreed to building her a deck in the backyard after not having an orgasm for 10 days and her teasing me. She assumes the dominant on top position during sex, and then she stards riding me while listing next months projects she wants done. My agreement keeps her moving, and any protesting on part will cause her to stop for a lengthier discussion. I get a lot of things done around the house!

  13. Whether we (men) like it or not our wives control our orgasms. She says when, where and how long. “How about just a quicky”, Not to night I am tired”, “How about this weekend”. Unless you are forcing your self (rape) on your wife she controls the sexual relationship. If you are of masterbating behind her back or where ever you choose to do it, is that not deciet – could also be considered cheating. A wife led marriage is the acknowlegement of her control. It is an open and intentianal commitment from the husband to serve his wife, to put her needs and desires above his own. Sounds like marriage vows does’nt it.
    I personnaly like the flirtinga and the teasing, it is acknowledgement that she is aware of my needs. I love to make my wife happy, to fulfill here needs and desires. Even if that is me doing the chores or changing a light bulb or fixing her car.
    Men who don’t value their wifes and long to please them and put there needs above their own arn’t married long.

  14. My wife and I have been married for 16 years. The first couple years were difficult, civil but difficult. As my wife asserted more influence, and I deferred to her influence, we’ve grown to be a very happy couple. The last 10 years I’ve openly accepted my wife as the primary authority in our marriage. So I investigate a site like this to offer some insight or direction, but I find some of the extreme stuff silly. My wife is naturally in control of our union, and I will attest that her direction has served our family well.

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