From Taken in Hand:
A Taken In Hand relationship is a wholehearted sexually exclusive marriage in which, to the delight of both spouses, the man actively controls the woman. The degree of control and the way the husband retains control vary from Taken In Hand couple to Taken In Hand couple, but in all cases both husband and wife actively want the husband to be in charge. No matter how strong, tough and forceful a Taken In Hand wife may be, and no matter how hard she might try to take control in their marriage, she would be aghast if her husband were to let her get the upper hand. Likewise, no matter how loving, kind and considerate the husband may be, he prefers to keep his wife firmly in hand.When it came to the word "conquered" I was almost put off, yet thoroughly intrigued. What does it mean to be "conquered"?
The woman is unlikely to identify with the word “submissive”, and especially at the beginning of the relationship may need to be thoroughly conquered. The man wears the trousers but he puts the relationship and his wife first. His control is active and ongoing rather than passive or a one-off.
From Taken in Hand: (with highlights from me on the parts that I find attractive)
There, in a nutshell, is what I long for. I am a strong, capable woman and will always be so. No amount of submission on my part with diminish that. But I want Hubby to take me in hand, conquer me... For me, this is romance. This is sweeping me off my feet.
Subjection: (noun) 1. The act of exercising lordship or control; dominion, domination, control. 2. Submission; obedience. 3. Subordination. 4. Subjugation. etc. (Source: an ancient OED)
Subjection: 1. forced submission to control by others. 2. the act of conquering; conquest. (Source: princeton.edu)
Conquest: (noun) 1. the act of conquering. 2. mastery of something difficult. 3. the act of winning the love or sexual favour of someone.
The subjection of women raises the ire not just of a few feminists but of all decent people. Women who want to be brought into subjection—and there are many such women—have a lot of explaining to do. Men who countenance subjection—are there any? Given the risk of being thought to be an abusive predator, is it any wonder that the idea of subjection—even if the woman wants that—is repugnant to most men?
Subjection is not for sissies. It is difficult. It is dangerous. It isn't the done thing. It sounds non-consensual.
Actively exercising control; dominating. Forced submission to control by others. Forced.
It is easy to get so tangled up in the words that we lose perspective. We forget that conquering the woman and bringing her into subjection wins her heart. We lose sight of the fact that after forced comes submission. We get hung-up on the form at the expense of the substance.
“Bring a woman into subjection? No! I must have consent, or I will not control. I abhor violence! I am a firm believer in fully equal rights for women.”
“What I want is a submissive woman who will willingly surrender, not a shrew who needs to be tamed.”
“Forced submission? If submission is not freely given, I don't want it!”
If a woman wants to be brought into subjection, ipso facto, she is fully consenting.
If a woman wants to be brought into subjection, that is not like The Subjection Of Women. It deprives no one of any rights.
If a woman wants to be brought into subjection, it is not like The Taming of the Shrew. She gives her submission just as freely and willingly as the one who surrenders.
The form may be non-consensual, but the substance is fully consensual.
“But why does she want this? If she wants her man to lead, why doesn't she just follow him?”
Some women want and need to be brought into subjection. They crave the man's control and respond positively to active control, but without active control on his part submission is impossible. These women cannot fake submission; it must be real. It cannot be a pretence, a role-playing game or a lifeless cardboard cut-out imitation. It must be from the heart and soul, no hint of artificiality, acting or mendacity. But when a man brings such a woman into subjection and thereby releases her delitescent submissiveness, the power and reality and unforced naturalness of her submission can be awe-inspiring.Do not be misled by a woman's need for subjection: it does not mean that she is dominant but in denial. It is often the most resistant women who are the most deeply submissive.Such a woman might feel the need to be controlled whether she likes it or not—constrained by an unstoppable force; restrained; bound, reined in; no choice; no decisions, hers; under his authority, his lordship, his control—not because of incompetence, emotional lability or any lack of desire to take responsibility for her own actions, and not because she needs a man to make decisions for her, but just because that is the way it has to be. Because it feels right and proper. Because primal forces compel it. Because she wants it and he relishes it. Because to worship his power and strength, she must feel his power and strength even when her own is undiminished. Her full self in all its strength, overpowered, conquered, in subjection. Resisting, and finding that resistance is futile, she can finally relax. She needs that safety. She needs to be sure that he won't crumble under her strength. She needs not to be in control, not to have a choice, not to place limits on the man's power. No lists of rules for the man to follow, no shoulds, no ifs and buts, no no's. In subjection. Letting go completely. Peace. Floating on air. Effortless flying. Paradoxes. Out of body and totally relaxed, yet so present and excited that the intensity is indescribable. Power in powerlessness. Freedom in chains. Deep autonomy in bondage. The self strengthened in subjection. She stoops to conquer. Force wins her love. Deep serenity. Surrender. Peace.Men who have brought a woman to that state—that melted, peaceful, dreamy state, that state of grace—have spoken of it with awe in their voices and echoes of ecstasy in their eyes. They have talked about the delectability of it, the life-changing power of it, the intense eroticism of it. They do not sound like burdened, resentful men who have grudgingly beaten a woman into subjection.
Nor should it be assumed that the force required to bring a woman into subjection is necessarily violent. It might be, or it might not be. It might involve physically restraining a woman, or physically forcing her to obey, or it might not. The force required in the subjection of women is not necessarily physical at all, but psychological: force of will. It might just involve a kindly quiet word here or a little firmness there. It can happen when a man merely looks at a woman, piercing her eyes with his until she is too flustered to hold his gaze.
The force only works to the extent that it reaches the woman's heart and mind. It only works if she wants it.
“Be that as it may, why would a man have any interest in fighting a woman for control?”
Whether physical or purely psychological, the subjection of a willing woman is not fighting. Fighting is sniping spouses lashing out at each other. Fighting is wounding words that can never be unsaid. Fighting is cruelty and spite, pain and distress.
If a woman wants to be brought into subjection, it is not like that. It is nothing like that.
“But still, the question remains, why bother?”
For fun. For the adventure. For the higher purpose of creating the conditions under which the two of you can scale the highest, most challenging mountain of life together, working together and supporting one another all the way.
Because not every woman is happy to pretend to be something she is not. Because not everyone feels right when she fakes submission.
Because not every woman can be submissive in the absence of subjection.
Because if the two of you behave in ways natural for each of you instead of trying to act out stereotypical roles, the relationship that evolves between you will be richer, deeper, and more genuinely suited to the two of you as the unique individuals you are.
Because if you can bring a woman into subjection without needing her to diminish herself to make it possible for you, you will have fully mastered her, and you will both know that, and it will inform all her actions in the future.
Because when such a woman is brought into subjection, she bonds so strongly and completely that there is nothing she wouldn't do for you.Because that is what it may take to make her totally yours.“Sounds like a lot of work to me. Why would any man want a woman who is so difficult?”
Most don't, of course. Most prefer the path (or indeed woman) of least resistance. Most prefer “easy”. And that's fine—for them.
But some of us—men and women alike—do not stick to the easy path through life. Some of us prefer “difficult”—because worthwhile endeavours are usually difficult, and that which is easy often turns out to be less valuable in the end. Sauntering along a well-travelled path doesn't take us where we want go. We want to scale the highest mountain.
And if you want to scale the highest mountain, you have to be sure that the person you are climbing with is up to the climb. It would be no good trying to drag someone weak or unwilling up the mountain.
Some men with “mountain-climbing” aspirations have no time for the idea of subjection. They are impatient to begin the exciting adventure, and understandably just want to get on with it, not have their ascent impeded by a resistant woman. To them, a woman who needs to be brought into subjection is a woman who is pulling in the opposite direction before they have even started the climb.
But, gentlemen, what that woman is doing is not impeding the climb but sensibly checking all the ropes and other climbing equipment, double-checking that they are both strong enough for the climb, and querying any potential problems she has identified so that they will be as well-prepared as possible when the climb gets tough. The better prepared they are for the climb ahead, the better the actual climb will be. If a man is too impatient, lacking in insight about what their intended endeavour entails, or unrealistic or blasé about the dangers, is it a good idea for the woman to put her life in his hands?
Some men do understand a woman's need to make these pre-climb checks, and (with a willing woman) enjoy the challenge and find it amusing that a woman might question or try to test their strength. They do not find it insulting or threatening, they find it a fun aspect of conquering a woman. It would never occur to these men to complain or ask a woman to be more submissive or obedient: they simply take action and handle the woman. They relish the contest of wills that brings the woman into subjection, just as those passionate about sword fighting relish their next fight. It's all part of the adventure!
These men inspire worship. Reverence. Deep gratitude. An overwhelming desire to kneel, to please, to obey. Passion. Peace.
In subjection. Mastered. Conquered. His.
A girl can dream, right?
Finally, I leave you with this link to an overview of Taken in Hand. There is so much to the Taken in Hand website; articles, stories, information, and a forum. I foresee myself spending many, many hours there!