Taken in Hand
A submissives journey
Taken in Hand (sometimes abbreviated as TiH) is a neologism that refers to a style of monogamous, heterosexual relationship which is male-led. The female submits to her male partner's decisions in matters of everyday life.
Most Taken in Hand
relationships exist between couples who are
married or at least highly committed. The root of
the idea of a Taken in Hand relationship is that
the female will submit to the male in matters of
everyday life. To what extent and which areas this
covers varies from couple to couple, from a
general avoidance of conflict by letting the male
partner 'get his way' to almost complete
submission to the preferences of the man in
matters such as clothing, friendships with others,
styling of hair and many other things. It is quite
common in TiH relationships for the woman to
generally curtail her social life significantly so
as devote more time to the relationship. Unlike
BDSM relationships, TiH relationships are strictly
'real life' rather than consisting of negotiated
scenes. Whilst many BDSM activities take place
mostly within the bedroom or the 'Scene' (parties,
clubs etc.) TiH relationships place a great deal
of emphasis on everyday 'vanilla' submission to
the authority of the male as 'Head of Household' (HoH)
in a committed and long term relationship.
Generally the male partner is expected to be the
final decision-maker in most matters, and the
female is expected to submit to him. This is
generally regarded as being for the ultimate
benefit of the relationship in reducing conflict
and fostering closeness and trust. In some ways
TiH could be and often is regarded as a very
old-fashioned marriage, and many conventional
marriages do fit unknowingly into the TiH dynamic.
Discipline is a fairly major aspect of Taken in Hand relationships and is used by the man on the woman to either punish a transgression (flagrant disobedience, arguing etc.) or as a means to end an unending dispute. The discipline rendered may be verbal scolding or loss of privileges, but is most often physical (usually a spanking). In this context it is intended to be un-erotic and not desired (though it is consensual).
Unlike BDSM Master/slave relationships, the woman in a Taken in Hand relationship is not regarded in any way as owned property. However many couples in TiH relationships feel that a strong feeling of possessiveness and protectiveness by the man for the woman is an essential ingredient of the relationship, which is also commonly accepted in western culture. This does not however extend to a concept of the woman being owned property. Although it is often said that not all TiH women are submissive, and not all TiH men dominant, it is generally accepted that a large proportion of both do regard themselves as such.
There are few cold facts or rules when it comes to TiH relationships, but speculation as to why this type of relationship has gained some popularity of late has lead some researchers to the conclusion that it is derived primarily from the sex life of the couples involved. The naturally penetrative and dominating sexual position of the man and the
submissive position of the woman, which leads to
fertilization, could indicate one reason for the
popularity of TiH relationships.
The sexual dynamic of Taken in
Hand relationships is seen as an extension of the non-sexual
dynamics. Although the female partner will almost invariably
be submissive and passive to the will and wishes of the male,
it is not a must. A Taken in Hand relationship may have both
authoritarian and cooperative aspects, and it is up to each
couple to determine how sexual power will be handled in their
Although corporal punishment is employed in Taken in Hand relationships literally as discipline for transgression, erotic spanking is fairly common as well. For Taken in Hand couples who also enjoy erotic spanking, a variety of ways to differentiate between erotic and disciplinary spanking have been developed, mostly having to do with the intensity and duration of the spanking.
The issue of consent
Consent is a major
issue in TiH relationships. Similar to some D/s
relationships in BDSM, there is often blanket
consent, when at the beginning of the relationship
there is an understanding that this is the kind of
relationship both parties really want, and consent
is given for all or most things that the
relationship entails, much like old-world marriage
vows. There is also a strong idea of 'consensual nonconsent', particularly when discipline is
involved. There is much debate over exactly where
the lines are drawn concerning this and quite what
it encompasses but the general idea includes both
'Consent through silence' (very common in TiH
relationships in the 'I actually disapprove but I
will say nothing so as not to be disobedient'
context) style of consent and the idea that
although on the surface a woman may say no, on a
deeper level and from the beginning of the
relationship consent genuinely was present, and on
that deeper level is still strongly given.
The issue remains thorny, more outside of the TiH world than within it however. To outsiders, TiH relationships are often regarded as old fashioned and sometimes even abusive or exploitative.
Although Taken in Hand relationships are generally defined as monogamous and heterosexual, there is some interest in the dynamics of the relationship being applied to same-sex relationships, where one partner is the dominant partner and the other the submissive partner regardless of actual gender. Not universally accepted within the TiH world the dynamic has nonetheless been exported, particularly to the butch/femme community, where D/s relationships have long been comparatively common.
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