Mrs. Lion and I have agreed to a female-led relationship with discipline. We signed up for it several years ago. So far, her authority is expressed by making and enforcing a few rules. They are:
- Set up the coffee maker every day
- Do not spill food on my shirt
- Make sure Mrs. Lion eats first unless she gives me permission to eat before her
- Update the Days-Since-My-Last-Orgasm whiteboard every day
- Don’t interrupt or act like a know-it-all (very rarely enforced)
That’s it. If I break any of the rules 1 – 4, I get spanked. Mrs. Lion is absolutely consistent. She almost never enforces rule 5. We’ve struggled with why it’s so difficult to move beyond those first four rules. I’ve believed Mrs. Lion has trouble enforcing corrections to my behavior when it affects her. She agrees. But that isn’t all.
No matter how you talk about it, FLR is essentially maternal authority. A male-led relationship is paternal. As I see it, authority can either be parental or judicial. We want spousal authority, but there aren’t any models of it that Mrs. Lion and I have seen or experienced. We resist the idea that Mrs. Lion has a maternal role.
We both feel a bit squicked at the maternal concept. It’s true that Mrs. Lion jokes that I am her oldest child. Like most women, she likes to think of her husband as strong and protective. She doesn’t want the pressure of having to be accountable for every aspect of our lives. She may reason that if she has a maternal role in our marriage, then I would be a dependant child. That’s unappealing to both of us.
In a male-led relationship, the husband is a sort of father figure. His wife isn’t a child to him. She is accountable to him and expected to be obedient. That model feels acceptable and easy to understand. Why does the same power exchange cause us trouble when the woman is in charge? In the paternal model, the woman isn’t expected to be a mouse with no thoughts of her own. She is a smart, independent woman. The only difference from a vanilla situation is that she has agreed to be obedient and accept punishment as needed.
I am sexually aroused when Mrs. Lion exercises her authority. Her consistent enforcement of my rules has effectively trained me. I like that. I’m not sure she agrees. Accepting that she trains me is difficult for her. It may be the idea that training is a maternal duty, not one appropriate for a wife. I think embracing the idea that maternal authority is just as valid as the more-generally-accepted paternal spousal authority is important for us to succeed.
A paternal leader/husband doesn’t think of his wife as a daughter. He sees himself continuing the authority her father had over her. She left her father’s domain and now is in his. There is no implication that she remains a child. In the paternal model, the woman remains under the loving, paternal authority of her husband.
Why can’t we accept this in the maternal model of our FLR? My obedience and acceptance of Mrs. Lion’s authority don’t imply that I am a child. She is just resuming the maternal authority I should have lived under as a child. I suppose the most child-like aspect of this for me is my desire to have boundaries that Mrs. Lion enforces. If she maintains strict control in areas of my life that would benefit from it, I will feel it as love and will benefit from the stability it offers me.
Maybe thinking of our FLR this way will help Mrs. Lion expand her control. She’s already exercising this authority when she enforces my small set of rules. She has no trouble paddling me when needed to enforce them. I think that once she (and I) embrace the maternal authority model, my boundaries will become clearer and my bottom redder.