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51 Responses

  1. Marissa
    Marissa March 4, 2008 at 12:09 am |

    Wow cool, if I can’t even decide for myself what I can eat at a restaurant, how am I supposed to talk openly about what I want out of sex?

  2. sigh
    sigh March 4, 2008 at 12:13 am |

    That is the grossest thing I’ve ever heard. If some idiot cannot be attracted to a women who orders her own dinner, I don’t really want to be in bed w/ him.

  3. Mnemosyne
    Mnemosyne March 4, 2008 at 12:23 am |

    “She suggests a date where the man chooses everything — her clothes, the restaurant, the food — as a starting point.”

    I showed this to my husband and his immediate reaction was, “What the fuck is she talking about? You’re a grown woman, I think I can trust you to dress yourself.”

    Of course, we tend to play the “What do you want to do?” “I dunno, what do you want to do?” game a little more often than is probably good for us, so neither one of us is really craving control over the other as it is.

  4. Jill
    Jill March 4, 2008 at 12:27 am | *

    You all have got to read Jess Wakeman’s article about domestic discipline in this month’s Bitch magazine. It’s like this times a million — husbands spank their wives in order to punish them and maintain traditional gender roles. And it’s not really sexual spanking — it’s straight-up treating your partner like a child. You should check it out.

  5. Jill
    Jill March 4, 2008 at 12:32 am | *

    Yes, except that some of them identify as feminists. It’s really fucking weird, but a great article.

  6. EG
    EG March 4, 2008 at 12:33 am |

    But how am I supposed to surprise a man with my sexy underthings and new smoking hot dress if he’s the one picking out my clothing?

    (I know you can’t see me, but my eyes have rolled so far back into my head that I can see my subconscious.)

    I really think, though, that I should not read that article in Bitch, because if my eyes rolled any further, they might have to pop out of my head and roll around on the floor.

  7. ellefromtheeast
    ellefromtheeast March 4, 2008 at 1:00 am |

    The “talk openly about sex” and “let one person have all the control for a night” don’t have to be mutually exclusive – combining them is what we call fun, healthy BDSM.

    What’s deeply stupid here – and what’s truly scary and sick about the Christian “domestic discipline” people – is the assumption that it has to be the man who’s in charge. For a straight couple who’s unhappy about their dormant sex life, a little negotiated kinky power exchange might well be just the ticket, or at least worth a shot. BUT they should probably try out him in charge/her submitting AND her in charge/him submitting to see if *either* of those scenarios gets their engines going.

    And, of course, if it’s not equally sexy for both of them (back to all that open communication), try something else.

  8. Jill
    Jill March 4, 2008 at 1:10 am | *

    The “talk openly about sex” and “let one person have all the control for a night” don’t have to be mutually exclusive – combining them is what we call fun, healthy BDSM.

    Definitely. To be clear, though, the DD people aren’t doing BDSM — they don’t identify their actions as BDSM, and the discipline isn’t sexual. It’s a totally different beast.

  9. enlightened
    enlightened March 4, 2008 at 1:17 am |

    God forbid you give your man a little bit of control for a night, that would tottally fuck up the relationship.

  10. Ghigau
    Ghigau March 4, 2008 at 1:21 am |

    Of all the tips she could have given, what an bizarre thing to choose. The other two tips are pretty much no-brainers, which makes “have a Neanderthal-themed date night” stand out like a sore thumb.

    I know how this would go with my husband. I can tell you exactly which outfit he’d pick and what restaurant he’d choose: my own favorite outfit and restaurant. Who, exactly, is in control there? (On the other hand, if I let him pick which video game we play, I’d be stuck in Gears of War all night long.)

    I say that if you’re in a long-term relationship and you want to rekindle the kind of sex life you had in the beginning, you need to return to what you and your partner enjoyed together back then. I thought my sex life was fine, until one Saturday afternoon a few weeks ago. The kids were out of town, and my husband and I got…drunk…yeah, drunk, and I started reading excerpts from Listen, Little Man out loud to him, and he started referencing Camus, and we just had to run down to the anarchist bookstore and pick up some of Bob Dylan’s early work…

    And the next thing I knew, I was having the best sex of my life.

    That was what we were missing – those deep, philosophical discussions we’d had back in the beginning, the very thing that had drawn us to one another in the first place. (We met as counselors at debate camp, for crying out loud.) No sexist date night could ever have sparked that kind of re-connection, because his respect for me as a woman and his feminist views were a big part of that intellectual connection we had.

  11. Holly
    Holly March 4, 2008 at 1:29 am |

    Yeah, what ellefromtheeast said. There are plenty of people who do this kind of thing all the time and find it’s just awesome for their sex life (and romance, since the article’s not just about sex)… without being gender-role-revanchist asshats at all! The big differences are:

    a) it’s not necessarily the man who’s the one in charge — but simply reversing traditional roles catapults the idea from something CNN will quote as useful advice all the way into the realm of kinky perversion. Huh. And it’s not even necessarily one person in the same role all the time — nothing wrong with switching it up!

    b) there’s no attempt to justify or naturalize what’s going on as “the proper order of things” with one gender having an inherent (or god-given, even) tendency towards domination or whatever;

    c) and although the CNN article doesn’t mention it, for some people who take this stuff far too seriously, of course it’s a principle to extend into all spheres of their life. I mean, there are 24/7 lifestyle BDSM folks too — but it’s based on the idea of consent, not the naturalization of “inherent” gender roles.

    Oh what a difference some slight shifts in perspective make, huh? Autonomy, self-determination, and consensual romance + sex practices — instead of following stereotypes and getting CNN or your holy book to reassure you that It’s The Way Things Are and Ought To Be.

  12. SoE
    SoE March 4, 2008 at 4:16 am |

    Wish I had the article at hand that found feminists and their husbands reporting higher marital satisfaction than “normal” people. There was also a scientific paper that put people in either standard activities (going for a walk) or unusual acitivities that both agreed to (climbing workshop) and they found that new experiences let people to feel like during the first date while the others were only content.

    But hey, let’s just hope your husband remembers all your food allergies and you won’t die from anaphylactic shock. Even though, then he would be really in for a new and exciting relationship. With someone else. Oh well, enough cynicism for a day.

  13. rorie kelly
    rorie kelly March 4, 2008 at 4:46 am |

    Reasons My Relationship is Better Than Linda Berman’s:

    I read my boyfriend this sentence aloud: “She suggests a date where the man chooses everything — her clothes, the restaurant, the food — as a starting point.”

    He said, “Sounds like an ending point to me.”

  14. Astraea
    Astraea March 4, 2008 at 8:03 am |

    Since they’re suggesting that a renewed sex life is not the goal in and of itself, but the connection it brings, it seems counterproductive to suggest a date that completely removes the connection for a stilted, vanilla role playing night. Which is just another way of saying what everyone else has already said.

  15. Thomas, TSID
    Thomas, TSID March 4, 2008 at 8:36 am |

    Well said, Holly.

  16. Marle
    Marle March 4, 2008 at 10:00 am |

    That was bizarre. Most of the article resonated with me, because my marriage has sex problems, and then out of the blue it’s wham, let him choose your clothes and your food and control everything you do, and then bam, we’re back to trying new things and talking to each other. The fuck?

  17. Jasi
    Jasi March 4, 2008 at 10:19 am |

    I just threw up a little…

  18. Olivia
    Olivia March 4, 2008 at 10:19 am |

    I thought that line was so out of place when I read it. The rest of the article was pretty good, but “letting him have control” ruined it.

  19. Bekka
    Bekka March 4, 2008 at 10:25 am |

    Oh dear god. Made the mistake of reading about this CDD thing… after ONE PAGE my entire body went cold and I feel a little nauseated. What year do we LIVE in? It breaks my heart that women grow up never questioning the idea that the wife must submit to the husband, that she is a child to her husband’s adult… I can’t even talk about it. Thank god for feministe.

  20. Hector B.
    Hector B. March 4, 2008 at 10:41 am |

    For all you evo psych fans, some lessons from The art of dog mating Note the importance of letting the male be in control, while accommodating the needs of the female as well.

    First, before you start mating dogs, it is advisable to pay your vet a visit. Have him examine your female dog (bitch) and get certification that she is good to mate.

    Second, get hold of a reliable breeder and make arrangements for a compatible dog for your bitch. Ask for certificates that will authenticate the claim(s) of the male dog’s breed as well as proof of the dog’s good health. Moreover, the mating process is best done in the place where the male dog resides rather than the reverse.

    Third, your dog should mate only when she is biologically primed for mating – dog mating should always be performed at the most opportune moment. In addition, you should hold mating sessions for your dog during the 9th, 11th, and 13th days for it to be most productive. It is also recommended that the mating process between the bitch and the stud last for a good ten minutes. If the bitch refuses, aid in the mating process by trying to calm her down.

    Finally, to check if the mating was successful you may visit the animal doctor a good three weeks after the mating of the dogs.

    Breeding dogs is not as easy as it seems to be, especially if you are a beginner.

  21. Dianne
    Dianne March 4, 2008 at 11:03 am |

    The kids were out of town, and my husband and I got…drunk…yeah, drunk, and I started reading excerpts from Listen, Little Man out loud to him, and he started referencing Camus, and we just had to run down to the anarchist bookstore and pick up some of Bob Dylan’s early work…

    Whoa. Now that’s hot. Excuse me everyone I’ve got to…uh…later everyone.

  22. Farhat
    Farhat March 4, 2008 at 11:08 am |

    How about adding another man or woman or couple into the relationship? Monogamy is so fetishized in this country.

  23. Bitter Scribe
    Bitter Scribe March 4, 2008 at 11:24 am |

    I was surprised to read that about Berman. I used to read her syndicated column, and she usually seemed like she has her head on straight. I guess anyone can have a brain fart.

  24. Astraea
    Astraea March 4, 2008 at 11:28 am |

    Bekka, I know what you mean. I first came across some of that during a big blowup on LiveJournal last year and it was so disturbing.

  25. Thomas
    Thomas March 4, 2008 at 11:35 am |

    Holly and Zuzu, I was going to let the 24/7 thing pass without comment but … I can’t.

    There are people who try to be “in role” 24/7, and some of those people are my friends, and I’m critical. I think that kind of boundless power differential becomes a habit of mind, and inherently turns the relationship into one where at least one of the parties is going to have a hard time finding an Archimedian place to stand so as to evaluate the relationship and get zir needs met. I’m not the only person to think it’s tough-to-impossible to do; I could cite Jay Wiseman (I know, “granny Wiseman” …) or Bill Henkin for that proposition. Others disagree strongly, and like I said, some of those people are my friends.

    About those relationships being about reinforcing patriarchal gender roles: those highly gendered dichotomies are out there, and they bother every feminist (even those who are pro-24/7 BDSM relationships, like Trinity as Let Them Eat Pro-Feminist S/M Safe Space. The Goreans and other folks who subscribe to the men are inherently dominant/women are inherently submissive ideology can absolutely not kiss my ass.

  26. DAS
    DAS March 4, 2008 at 12:19 pm |

    She suggests a date where the man chooses everything — her clothes, the restaurant, the food — as a starting point.

    Given my indecisiveness, if my wife and I tried this, it would end up being a disaster. ;)

  27. Kristen
    Kristen March 4, 2008 at 12:26 pm |

    See…and its articles like this that just completely ruin the idea of an equal relationship.

    Sure, sometimes I don’t want to deal with anything and I tell my husband that if he wants to do something its completely his responsibility…from where we go to what we order…I don’t want to be in control or think at all for the evening. And sometimes he doesn’t want to be in control or think at all for the evening (last Thursday for example).

    What was part of a natural, loving sharing of emotional responsibility gets turned into some sick sexist fantasy. You know what…people need to stop writing books on how to *improve* your sex life…they are inevitably wrong.

    Of course, we tend to play the “What do you want to do?” “I dunno, what do you want to do?” game a little more often than is probably good for us, so neither one of us is really craving control over the other as it is.

    We actually came up with a solution to this! Have some place you really hate as the default. For us…its the Waffle House and a movie. Works like a charm…Three years, no Waffle House.

  28. Betty Boondoggle
    Betty Boondoggle March 4, 2008 at 12:52 pm |

    God forbid you give your man a little bit of control for a night, that would tottally fuck up the relationship.

    And the award for completing missing the point goes to . . .

  29. Rachel
    Rachel March 4, 2008 at 2:12 pm |

    I went on a date with a guy about three years ago where he suggested where we were having dinner (suggestions are fine by me, and this place turned out to be my favorite type of restaurant: delicious food at a hole-in-the-wall location for low prices), and once we got there, he said (and this is a quote), “Now, you look at the menu, and then you can tell me what you think you want, and then I’ll tell you what we’re getting.”

    There was not a second date.

  30. MizDarwin
    MizDarwin March 4, 2008 at 2:47 pm |

    The idea of letting Mr. Darwin choose my clothes sends both of us into giggles. Maybe if I were going to a Hobo Party, but, er, NOT for a night on the town. I’d wind up wearing sweat pants and a leather bra and aviator helmet, or something. If clothing is a language, the beloved Mr. D. is aphasic.

  31. Charlotte
    Charlotte March 4, 2008 at 3:15 pm |

    I think the author cast the whole thing as power role-playing. I read it as if one day the Mr. gets to be on top, the other the Mrs. But then, maybe I’m too programmed to read an intention of equality into everything, unless the misogyny blatantly jumps out at me.

  32. preying mantis
    preying mantis March 4, 2008 at 4:05 pm |

    “I read it as if one day the Mr. gets to be on top, the other the Mrs.”

    What in the text supports that reading, though? Can you explain what it is about the wording that makes you think she’s suggesting the couple take turns assuming the traditional male role with the control, machismo, and sexual stereotypes that come with it?

  33. Astraea
    Astraea March 4, 2008 at 4:37 pm |

    I hope that someday in the future equality is so taken for granted that a date like she suggests is some weird, fun, 1950′s dress up thing like halloween that won’t reinforce sexist roles because neither partner will be taking it seriously.

    But today it still reads as suggesting this is the Way Things Should Be and that the man in charge/submissive wife is really the best way for a relationship to work. Hence, why she suggests that it will improve your sex life.

  34. bekabot
    bekabot March 4, 2008 at 5:06 pm |

    I don’t think this prescription is very realistic. Make no mistake, if I thought this would work with most people I’d be for it. But I’ve noticed that the reason men offload relationship-responsibilities onto women is that men don’t want to deal with those responsibilities themselves. I’ve also noticed that most men don’t derive great enjoyment from the process of picking out women’s clothes. I’ve also noticed that men usually (not always) like to have some kind of clue about what a woman’s likes and dislikes are—that way they aren’t flying completely blind.

    To me this sounds something like the Lori Gottlieb “Marry Him” business that cropped up a short time ago…there seems to be some kind of a feeling in the air that if women just haplessly toss themselves into strong mascuine arms, Father really will turn out to know best and the advent of the Magic Kingdom will be at hand. Sorry, folks, but I don’t think so. I like men and think that lots of them deserve gobs more respect than they get. That having been said, I’m too old not to know that men are only people; men are not solutions. To pretend otherwise is subtly to devalue men, though it might not look that way on the surface.

  35. Jennifer
    Jennifer March 4, 2008 at 7:06 pm |

    I’m currently involved in an argument on a private forum about the expectations that are thrust upon wives once they get married. The people I am arguing with are all, “You can do whatever you want in a marriage!” and I have been all, “You’re missing the point. I’m talking about getting loads of shit for not being traditional once you’ve got the ring and the vows.”

    This is exactly the kind of thing I am talking about.

  36. ahunt
    ahunt March 4, 2008 at 7:48 pm |

    She suggests a date where the man chooses everything — her clothes, the restaurant, the food — as a starting point.

    The look on the Laconic Hubster’s face was priceless when I read this to him…and he just now emerged from the nether reaches with my camo quilted overalls, the camping stove, and a pack of venison steaks from the freezer.

    Someone help me come up with a way to wipe that shit-eating grin off his face.

  37. preying mantis
    preying mantis March 4, 2008 at 8:56 pm |

    “The people I am arguing with are all, “You can do whatever you want in a marriage!” and I have been all, “You’re missing the point. I’m talking about getting loads of shit for not being traditional once you’ve got the ring and the vows.””

    You could suggest they try getting married, doing whatever they want, and cataloging the stupid amounts of shit they get for not being traditional. Or rather, the stupid amounts of shit they get that tries to herd them into being more traditional, or just reminds them that they’re doomed/not really in love/complete freaks for not being traditional. My favorite Wifely Failure moment so far was not being positive about precisely how my husband’s name is printed on his driver’s license.

    “Someone help me come up with a way to wipe that shit-eating grin off his face.”

    You could just roll with it in honor of those of us who haven’t had venison steak in almost a decade.

  38. Rebecca
    Rebecca March 4, 2008 at 11:33 pm |

    Since my sense of humor exists in a strange sort of place, I can see the whole ‘let him dress you/feed you’ as an evening made for the lulz. Come at in from a place of humor, I can see how it would be a way of inserting some funny into a tepid/too serious partner. Unfortunately, I’m aware I’m probably one of the few that would do this as a way of making people laugh.

    Though…the idea of any of my male friends/relatives picking out my clothes is a humorous one. My ‘evil twin’ would, but only so we could dress as evil twins.

  39. Mel the indifferent
    Mel the indifferent March 6, 2008 at 11:39 am |

    I may not agree with the methods suggested here, but the concept isn’t entirely false. That female surrender = orgasm has been stated by sex and marriage consolers for a while now. Of course the feminazis who serve the elite social engineering agenda will claim that this is false and is the construct of “Patriarchy” , the Sauron of the Feminist world view.

  40. Danakitty
    Danakitty March 6, 2008 at 3:59 pm |

    This doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me. Not just because I’m fairly happy with my sex life, but … because I don’t think your sex life and your relationship life have to be the same.

    For example… I’m really controlling, stubborn and independent. I would never feel right letting my BF choose what I wore, what I ate, what I did that night. I wouldn’t feel comfortable with him controlling MY life.

    But I’m a little submissive in the bedroom (not all out BDSM, but I don’t like to be in control), and for my boyfriend to see me being kinky, I have to be telling him what to do.

    I don’t think you have to entirely throw away an equal relationship just to improve your sex life. Nor do I think that problems in the bedroom are just that. Usually there’s something else going on in the relationship that needs to be fixed first. And maybe that thing is a lack of an equally respectful, caring partner.

  41. Betty Boondoggle
    Betty Boondoggle March 6, 2008 at 4:23 pm |

    Sauron fell, mel.

    :lol: excellent.

    It’s funny how he confuses trendy popularity with reality though, huh.

    I mean, there’s absolutely never been cases where scam artists will sell unhappy people a load of rotten baloney that doesn’t actually work or do anything positive at all just for cash, at all.

    Nah – it’s the *cue the danger music* imaginary femnazis!

  42. EG
    EG March 6, 2008 at 4:25 pm |

    That female surrender = orgasm has been stated by sex and marriage consolers for a while now.

    Heh. Heh heh heh. So when I come during masturbation am I surrendering to myself? Or is myself in charge?

    Actually I can totally see this being advocated by “consolers”–people who attempt to console you for terribly inequitable marriage: “Honey, really, don’t cry. It’s true–that shudder of revulsion you feel at having to do what your husband tells you is your orgasm.”

  43. Betty Boondoggle
    Betty Boondoggle March 6, 2008 at 4:43 pm |

    “Honey, really, don’t cry. It’s true–that shudder of revulsion you feel at having to do what your husband tells you is your orgasm.”

    I wish i could remember where I read it (some blog or other) that described a couple going to John Grey for marriage counseling – you know that douche who wrote the Venus/Mars crap.

    Apparently, the husband wanted to have sex more often then the wife. Mr. Grey’s “solution” was for the wife to give the hubby “quickies” – whenever *he* wanted them, and in exchange he’d give her “gourmet sex” once or twice a month.

    So basically, if she’d just let her husband use her so he can enjoy sex 100% of the time, even when she didn’t want to have sex, then he’d “allow” her to enjoy sex maybe 25% of the time.

    Why she didn’t fire that douche and demand a divorce right there, I don’t know.

    but something tells me Mel would think that’s smashing advice.

    Surrender to your husbands’s desires whenever he has them and he might get around to letting you enjoy it a few times a month. Just let him use you like a blow up doll and everything will be fine. This will bring you closer together, totally!

  44. Mel the indifferent
    Mel the indifferent March 9, 2008 at 2:46 am |

    “Nah – it’s the *cue the danger music* imaginary femnazis!”

    That’s a lot of damage inflicted on society by an “imaginary” foe

    ““Honey, really, don’t cry. It’s true–that shudder of revulsion you feel at having to do what your husband tells you is your orgasm.””

    Revulsion? There’s your Feminazi programming for you. Masculinity is about power and Femininity is about sacrificing power for love. Men who sacrifice power for love are weak, and women cannot ultimately respect such men. These are the natural instincts hardwired into us. Feminazi social engineering has reversed gender roles by neutering men and empowering women. This serves the elite depopulation agenda in addition to driving down wages due to the influx of female workers (Corporate America scores again). Only dysfunctional feminists would consider their natural instincts as “Revulsion.” I have not seen American style dysfunctional women in any other part of the world except well, Canada I guess.

    “but something tells me Mel would think that’s smashing advice.”

    No actually I don’t find that smashing advice, quite the contrary. If the woman did give it to her husband when he wanted it, it would significantly reduce the probability of him seeking it with somebody else. But of course, this is where Feminazi double speak comes in. If a woman is married to a guy who doesn’t want it as much as she does, he’s unable to satisfy her needs, is provably gay, and gets divorced and has his wealth plundered. If it’s the man who wants it more, the woman does not have to put up with such “degrading” behaviour and should divorce the man (with the eventual plundering of his wealth).

    Gotta love Feminazi style equality.

    “Sauron fell, mel.”

    I know, I saw the movies, but Feminazi ‘academics’ spew their own brand of fantasy.

  45. Astraea
    Astraea March 9, 2008 at 8:41 am |

    Oh, I just love the hardwired argument. If it’s so hard wired, why is it so easy to change?

    Men who sacrifice power for love are weak, and women cannot ultimately respect such men.

    Yeah, that’s why the idealized male romance hero sacrificing power for love is the plot of a good 75% of romance novels, because women find that so unattractive. And those aren’t even close to being a product of feminism.

  46. Mel the indifferent
    Mel the indifferent March 9, 2008 at 9:46 am |

    “Oh, I just love the hardwired argument. If it’s so hard wired, why is it so easy to change?”

    It’s not. It took over 40 years of Feminist brainwashing, and even now, the attitudes are shifting back towards nurturing and child rearing. Read “Nine in ten working women want to quit to become housewives” –
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=412178&in_page_id=1770

    I love it how Feminazis completely disregard science when saying that gender roles are ‘socially constructed.’ I suggest you wiki testosterone.

    Also see: “Modern Women ‘Happy To Be Housewives’”
    http://www.lifestyleextra.com/ShowStory.asp?Story=BZ227713T&catid=3&headline=modern_women_happy_to_be_housewives

    ““No woman should be authorized to stay at home and raise her children. Society should be totally different. Women should not have that choice, precisely because if there is such a choice, too many women will make that one.”

    – Interview with Simone de Beauvoir, “Sex, Society, and the Female Dilemma,” Saturday Review, June 14, 1975, p.18″”

    This has been confirmed by the above polls. SO much for your Feminazi ‘choice.’ No wonder you have a banner up on this page that asks incredulously: “A feminist and a housewife?”

    “”Yeah, that’s why the idealized male romance hero sacrificing power for love is the plot of a good 75% of romance novels, because women find that so unattractive. And those aren’t even close to being a product of feminism.””

    Yes, and the mainstream media also sells millions of copies of movies and Books that depict Black people as gangsters/dealers and Arabs as terrorists (Forsythe, Follet, Archer among others).

  47. Politicalguineapig
    Politicalguineapig March 9, 2008 at 2:36 pm |

    Could someone give me a link to the Bitch magazine article? I’d love to read it

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