Being the Captain

Being the Captain is more work and responsiblity than being the First Officer.
There are no shortcuts to family leadership.
Too much?
Okay yeah, it is a little too much. Nothing in a marriage is 100% one persons fault and not the others.
But I do think if you want to play the “I’m the Captain” card, you accept both the benefits and the responsiblities that come with it.


  1. Crowhill says:

    One thing I find very interesting about your book is the parallels to what Evangelical Christians teach about the man being the head of the home. Your prescription of mixing alpha and beta has strong similarities to the biblical idea of a servant-leader.

    (Of course there are several points on which Evangelicals would strongly disagree with you, like your advocacy for porn.)

    The idea of the man being in charge and finally responsible for the home sounds so archaic and weird to our modern ears, which are tuned to egalitarianism, equal rights, democracy and so on.

    But the man would have to be the leader even if there never was a Bible (or Koran, or whatever). It's not the declaration of some ancient patriarch. It's simply the way we are.

  2. Athol Kay says:

    It is interesting. Particularly in the way the church as a generalized whole wants no part of a male led family.

    As a clarification, I don't advocate for porn anymore than I advocate for anything else. If it works and is functional for a couple, cool. If not, don't do it.

    I'm deeply pragmatic.

  3. Anonymous says:

    In the Robert Lewis book "The Quest for Authentic Manhood" Men's Fraternity, a Christian based teaching of how to be a better man, he has a very similar theory of Captain and First mate. I have taken the first part of his course, along with reading Married Man Sex Life on a daily basis. I find your suggestions more practical Athol, but they do support the theory by Robert Lewis.
    That being said, I would say the work you do is more Christian like than what most Christians do. Your helping a lot of people.

  4. Crowhill says:

    >Particularly in the way the church as a
    >generalized whole wants no part of a male led

    Yes, very few churches are actually willing to follow up on the implications of a truly male-led family because it threatens their power and ability to control things.

    About porn, I personally think it is destructive. I posted some thoughts on it a while ago.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I really like your blog, even though (because?) I'm a feminist, although it helps sometimes if I rephrase things and stop automatically associating you with the nastier parts of the Game blogosphere.

    I see your advocacy of male led families as simply telling men to take responsibility – I see exhausted wives everywhere who would love their husbands to act as the captain.

    Women's "inner slut"? You're just telling husbands to satisfy their wives. I also like how reciprocal you make the advice. I sometimes get sick of husbands whining about no sex, as though it's all the responsibility of their wives.

    Also annoying is the assumption that, if the male sex drive is higher than then female, she should suck it up, but if hers is higher than his, he has no obligation to do the same for her. You've completely avoided that.

    Anyhoo, no real point here. I just want to tell you how much I appreciate your work, and how we're already using some of it to great effect.

  6. Athol Kay says:

    Thanks Anon 9:46 and 10:15.

  7. Dear anon-feminist, obviously you´re not a totally lost cause, but do try to use the rational part of your brain a bit more.

    If hubby wants it and wifey says no, then it IS her responsibility. SHE said no!
    Mainly of course because she´s just not turned on by him and his whining, but Athol´s book nicely explains all that.

    If you find the "she should suck it up (NO SPITTING btw)" annoying, how annoying do you think men find it that the show is over when we come. While (most of) you gals can diddle along till the cows come home.

    Bitch at Mother nature, not at us.

  8. Athol Kay says:

    Hans – if the hubby wants it and she says no, and you see it as her responsiblity, then there's not much the husband can do but whine about it.

    Attraction is not a choice, so it's the husband's responsiblity to be attractive.

  9. 36a0cad8-02be-11e1-88d1-000bcdcb8a73 says:

    Late to the post here, but I guess the big thing about sex in general is that if you don't have time/opportunity/mutual desire to have sex, then it means the next best thing-masturbation!

    My husband has clinical depression. This means that sometimes, he does not want to have sex with me for various reasons. His job is not to please me at the drop of a hat. I, on the other hand, have PCOS, which unnaturally raises my testosterone levels, and therefore I have a really high sex drive, and have since a very young age. However, I generally fueled that heavy amount of sexuality into masturbation/intense fantasy stuff for myself so that it would not be directed outward, and it serves me well when he's not in the mood but I am.

    I've gone though "dry spells" where my husband would not have sex with me for more than 2 weeks at a time because of his depression problems, and I was climbing the walls while also trying my best to help him mitigate his symptoms. I understand what most men say when they want sex and their spouses don't.

    However, I honestly don't think that marriage is a contract that turns another person into your private prostitute, regardless how much you want to have sex with them.

    In our relationship, my husband is much less of a captain and more of a first mate, but it works very well for us. Perhaps this is because of my hormonal problems, but I don't know for sure. He takes care of things that I delegate to him (and I am good at delegation), and he is happy and I am happy-which I think is the preferrable situation.

    I think that the strongest relationships are not based in some objective "follow the rules" sort of organization that is handed down by societal norms. It is what works best for the people involved, and even though there are trends that may lie along gender lines, this is not necessarily specific to gender as much as the intrinsic socialization of our species and the dire importance and complexity of that socialization.

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