An excellent post in the blog, Learning and Living a FLR poses some excellent questions about the tricky topic of reinforcement. It’s written by the female partner in a Female Led Relationship (FLR). She digs into the challenges a woman faces when she assumes the position of power in a relationship. To be fair, FLR is not the same as a vanilla relationship where the woman assumes most of the responsibilities and makes the decisions for the family. Functionally, it looks like a FLM/FLR (Female Led Marriage), but there is a big difference: there is no consent for transfer of power. It’s just an organic distribution of responsibility. In a FLM, there is a consensual power exchange where the woman assumes authority as well as responsibility. Managing that authority over her husband opens questions about reinforcement of her will, both positive and negative.
I come to this issue having lived on both sides of the power exchange. I learned when living with a 24/7 submissive woman just how difficult it is to have full authority over my partner. This FLR power exchange is never totally clean. The male enters into it with a large set of expectations. Many of these expectations have sexual roots. In my experience, every power exchange has a large sexual component. In my case, I wanted to feel control from my lioness. We started with enforced chastity. This practice appears to enforce the absence of sex, but to me it is extremely hot. It seems to be the same to most men. So the power exchange in many FLM’s goes beyond transfer of decision making and extends into authority over the behavior of the male.
If the agreement tries to stick to the fantasy of the male being micro-managed by his wife, she will quickly find herself with a new full-time job. Most women are busy enough without adding another naughty child to manage. Since FLM is not the same as traditional BDSM where punishments and sensation play occur in scenes, but not full time, there needs to be a good strategy for positive and negative reinforcements. More importantly, there has to be a definition of exactly what behavior is under this power umbrella. The answer can’t be “everything.” That would be painfully unrealistic. In our case, we have a loose set of conditions that define what is subject to positive and negative reinforcement.
Mrs. Lion doesn’t want to prepare an exhaustive list of chores for me. I don’t want it either. We have always shared the work at home and continue to do so under FLM. So, day-to-day chores are not usually managed. If I am asked (told) to do something and I don’t do it, then I get punished. If I do extra work (as decided by Mrs. Lion) without being asked, I can get a reward. Generally the reward is a bonus orgasm. We do have some rules. Breaking one of them will result in punishment. Currently, Mrs. Lion spanks me if I require discipline. We have two scheduled “punishment days” a week (Monday and Thursday). It is my job to track infractions and remind her of the punishment days. I do get a lot of positive reinforcement for little things. Mrs. Lion sometimes says, “Good boy!” or just “Thanks.” Both make me feel good. Negative reinforcement is always physical. I asked for that. She wouldn’t do it if I hadn’t requested it.
We work this out on an ongoing basis. The idea isn’t to make life more complicated. We want to make life better. So far, we make adjustments on a regular basis. Mrs. Lion works hard to be consistent. As you know if you have been reading our blog for a while, you know that we continue to work our way through the challenges that enforced chastity and FLM present. I am very sure we will adjust our solution many times.
Going back to the post that inspired this, I think that reinforcement is required in a FLR/FLM. The reinforcement activities, both positive and negative, serve a significant purpose. They remind both partners of the power exchange and reinforce the agreed transfer of power. Both dominant and submissive partners require this reinforcement. In my experience it is a big mistake to make a power exchange so routine that it is easy to forget it exists. FLM is like marriage itself; it’s very easy to take for granted. Both suffer if that happens.