Jennifer is The Banhammer

Receive rabid email telling me I’m Jennifer’s oppressor.

Give patient reply explaining we are a team.

Receive follow up email saying I wasn’t listening. I am crushing Jennifer’s dreams and treating her like she’s an idiot.

Reply that Jennifer and I talked a great deal about all this before we started MMSL, and how it was going to be a major effort for us and something only possible to do as a couple.

Receive a third angry email that I am intimidating Jennifer and all but Force Choking her into submission. I am insulting and cruel.

Jennifer replies, “Don’t inflict your unhappiness on me.”

No further emails…

I post a “Yay we did it / last day as a nurse / can’t wait to spend more time together and be happy / our dream is happening!”

Jennifer adds her “Woo-hoo!”

Emailer leaves two angry jaded comments explaining how MMSL is about grinding wives into hapless submission.

Jennifer rolls eyes and groans.

*click* *click* *enters name* *click*

Then we ate grinders.

Jennifer: I haz the POWAH!


  1. haters gonna hate says:

    No matter what you do, the haters are always gonna hate

  2. Codeazure says:

    Jennifer can haz banhammer!
    Should I say “With great power comes great responsibility” ?
    Nah… ;-)

    Congrats on passing into the next phase in world domination!

  3. Grinding wives into submission? Sounds kinky.

  4. pdwalker says:

    Wow! That’s some Jedi Mind Control you have there. She thinks that her faux happiness is the way things should be! Thus she’s happy when she should really be unhappy because you’re oppressing her into happiness…. or, eh, uh… something like that. Yeah, that’s it!

    Seriously though, have the police arrived yet? Be on the watch for some “do-gooder” doing something stupid like that.

  5. Yesterday I was hit in the face with an umbrella because I was caught pushing an old older lady down and trying to get at her purse.

    The old lady covered for me by telling the umbrella wielding superman that I was helping her up because she “fell” on the wet stairs. I then rode the train for 15 min and received glares from him the whole time. He totally saw through my obvious domination of the woman and her forced proclamation that I was a helpful stranger.

    Or he glared because I broke his umbrella and nearly shoved it up his …

    God bless the righteously ignorant.

  6. Jennifer darling, you are a patient woman. God bless you! :)

    Really some people can’t be happy and can’t let anyone else be happy…

  7. I’m surprised the banhammer didn’t come sooner for that particular poster. So angry.

    Congrats Athol and Jen!

  8. “Don’t inflict your unhappiness on me.”

    That is a very good one to use when others attempt to assert dominance over your lifestyle. CTRL-S on this one.

  9. It doesn’t matter what you say, you cannot change a persons mind. They have to realise the truth for themselves and change their own mind. It takes a self aware woman to realise the truth of MMSL/game. Some women are simply not self aware, nor do they want to be.
    I have suggested MMSL to a couple of women unhappy in their marriages – but they are yet to read it, as far as I know.
    ‘You can lead a man to wisdom, but you can’t make him think…’

  10. I’ve seen similar attacks in several other quadrants of this sector just in the last weeks; reminiscent of Borg if you ask me. Good defensive manuevers Jennifer.

  11. Michael Maier says:

    “Grinding wives into submission? Sounds kinky.”

    I sure wouldn’t have thought of it that way… but now… yeah, it sounds kinky.

    Can’t wait to do that.

  12. Charles says:

    Married Man Sex Life, and especially MMSL during May 31, 2012, is not, was never, and will never be, about Jazzi, despite her efforts to make it so. Well played, well done, and good riddance.

  13. Flipper says:

    How did I miss this? I’m on the site all the freaking time. I knew I should have skipped my kid’s softball game….lol.

  14. um…. where did you learn that grinding submission thingy? Is there a school somewhere? I think my husband might want to learn…lol

  15. You know, it’s just like a post I saw over at Talk About Marriage the other day. People put their fingers in their ears and criticize without even understand the context of the blog. This isn’t an asshole PUA blog. It’s about create a fun, sexual environment with your wife, which SHOULD make every woman happy. Maybe it’s a power thing, who knows.

  16. Highlander says:

    The poster that complained sounds like someone in MLC with that “You go Girl” attitude, that husbands disposable unless they treat their wives like special snow flakes. They dump these same husbands for being too Beta after a while and hook up some loser Ex BF from highschool on Facebook. They get what they deserve…

  17. I missed the fun! It does make one wonder if there is a deliberate subversive effort going on. Some seem to be getting worried or something. Just remember…

    Don’t reveal female behaviour because it reveals truth.

  18. Sometimes it has to be done.

    You guys have always kept a fairly open forum without too much in the way of censorship, but when someone crosses a line it has to be dealt with appropriately.

    Nothing wrong with disagreeing with the material. I will admit, I am not 100% comfortable with all of it either – but then everyone’s situation is unique.

    But there is a big difference between disagreeing and judging someone, and then taking it a step further and seeking them out to berate or belittle them.

    You were patient, professional and mature; you played your cards well.

  19. Changed Man says:

    I don’t get people who can’t wrap their heads around the fact that 50 years of certain feminist belief systems, specifically that male dominance/female submissive behaviors are ‘bad’, can’t wipe out millions of years of genetic wiring.

    My wife and I were talking about dominant/submissive roles and ‘emotional indifference’ the other day, with respect to the ‘Game for Christians’ post. She said that they ‘feel’ counter-intuitive and twisted but she acknowledges that she’s drawn to those male alpha behaviors.

  20. I got some good grinding done last night. I don’t know about hapless submission, though. She was grinding back pretty hard.

    …wait, what were we talking about?

  21. Jennifer has a banhammer? I’m screwed!

    I find those kind of flare-ups all too rare, actually. You’d think with all the Red Pill stuff I’ve been getting all over the internets I’d attract a couple of haters, but I guess I’m just too darn reasonable. And Jennifer’s response was entirely appropriate.

  22. On a more serious note, while the rabid emailer from the OP was clearly seeing what she wanted to see and wasn’t interested in hearing anything different, there are definitely times when I wish that this stuff were presented in a more lady-friendly way. There are bits that really do come across as manipulative and, yes, oppressive, and I think it could reach a wider audience if those bits were toned down a slice.

    There’s a lot of bitter railing against feminism as outdated and reverse-oppressive in the Manosphere, but I think a lot of the basics of game, particularly married game, are pretty compatible with the less radical forms of feminism (and even some of the more radical forms). My lady self-identifies as a feminist and puts a lot of thought into feminism as a political theory and a social movement, and it’s amazing how often I hear the exact same stuff Athol talks about coming out of her mouth, but in different words. She would absolutely balk at the idea that I should be “dominant,” but she likes it when I’m “decisive” and “take the initiative.”

    It’s amazing the difference a little change in vocabulary can make.

  23. Stargate Girl says:

    Sometimes a grinding oppressor can be lots of fun…… methinks the angry emailer hasn’t been getting any…. in a long, long time…. or in a galaxy far, far away……

  24. Mellowchick says:

    Haters are always going to hate. Keep up the good work :)

  25. enlightened1 says:

    One of my “personal quote” favorites seems applicable here: “I’m more than happy to explain this to you. In fact, I’ll even draw you a picture! But I cannot understand it for you!”

  26. I suspect this person was conflating the asshole PUA part of Game, and the more relationship/mutual happiness part of it. Granted, that requires a level of wilful blindness that adults should not engage in, but understanding does not have to be the same thing as justifying or enabling.

    Unless I’m very much mistaken, this blog (1) works for you and (2) is optional for other people to follow. I like a lot of what you write works, and I just don’t do the other, oooh, 5%. You don’t have to like it or do the same things, but how disrespectful and anti-woman was that person?

    “Unless you do exactly as I say, you are oppressed, and simply don’t know it. Therefore I can harry and denigrate you, because you don’t know what’s good for you. Everything I do is fine, because I’m bringing you to The Light. I, and I alone, define what The Light is. Ignore how angry and miserable I am.”

  27. @Ben: My lady self-identifies as a feminist and puts a lot of thought into feminism as a political theory and a social movement, and it’s amazing how often I hear the exact same stuff Athol talks about coming out of her mouth, but in different words.

    A couple of things:

    Ask your woman how feminism is different from Humanism in principal, and then stand back and shut up.

    Then ask her if she’s comfortable with the fact that feminism has been inextricably linked with the profoundly discredited Marxist model of political theory (real “state-of-the-art” 19th century thought about the “science” of economics) and the fact that it has no room in that theory for the post-industrial information economy we find ourselves in, much less a practical lexicon for describing current economic conditions, and whether or not she is ready to address the profound theoretical consequences of applying something a little more modern and, y’know, actually based on science to the equation. Like Evolutionary Biology. Or anthropology. Or something else less intellectually dishonest than Marxism.

    She would absolutely balk at the idea that I should be “dominant,” but she likes it when I’m “decisive” and “take the initiative.”

    I encourage you to do this experiment: without telling her in advance, begin using the dominance/submissive language with her, and strike a far more alpha dominant pose, short-term. Challenge her on it, if you must, but intellectually insist that you are the dominant partner in the relationship, and she is the submissive partner. It’s OK if it riles her up — that’s part of the experiment.

    Every time she challenges you on your insistence that you are dominant, challenge her with “So what would be a better term?” . . . and then write that down. As more and more terms get filled in, she’s going to start feeling silly as everything she proposes will sound like it’s straight from the Hamster’s mouth. And she’ll realize it, if she’s smart.

    If she starts to get ticked with your insistence (as feminists are wont to do with a man they cannot control), challenge her to prove that SHE is the dominant partner in the relationship. When she squeals that “we’re both equal!” then you can start pointing out the obvious inequalities in the relationship in terms of responsibility and such, and hold her ass to account. If she really is the dominant one, then you redouble the MAP until YOU are. Insist that you will recapture dominance and that is an important thing to you as a male. And watch her reaction to that.

    See, if it is an important masculine interest for a man to be dominant in his personal relationship (which it is), and if feminism is about tearing down gender roles and equality and respecting the unique needs of each gender and stuff, then she’s at a difficult intellectual crossroad: Either she accepts your need for personal dominance as part of the natural expression of male sexuality that it is, OR she has to admit to denying that to you on the basis of her feminism, and then defend that position to your face.

    HER: “You can’t be dominant! I can’t be submissive! We’re supposed to be Equal!”
    HIM: “Dominance in my personal relationship is the natural fulfillment of my natural male sexuality, and anything less than that is an admission of the defeat of my masculinity — I ain’t having that.”
    HER: “Can’t we call it something else, then? Being decisive? Taking the initiative?”
    HIM: “I prefer the term ‘leadership’. Or dominance. Either way. But it is important to me that you acknowledge my dominance in our relationship. Leadership. Whatever.”
    HER: “I won’t do that! I will not be dominated! No one is dominant or submissive in our relationship. We’re equals!”
    HIM: SHRUG “One boob is always bigger. One ball always hangs lower. It’s either you or me, and if it’s you, I’m not comfortable with that and will work mightily to correct it.”
    HER: “That’s sexist! I don’t need anyone to tell me what to do!”
    HIM: “Then consider it ‘management’. I am the ‘manager’ of the relationship. You are the ‘managee’.”
    HER: “HELL no!”
    HIM: “What, are you incapable of being managed? Your boss might like to know that.”
    HER: “I’m perfectly capable of being managed, I just don’t need to be managed by my husband!”
    HIM: “So you trust a stranger at work to manage you, but not your own husband? Wow, that’s sad.”

    Etc. etc. Because you are right, it is amazing the difference a little change in vocabulary can make. But allowing her Hamster to stampede rationalizations about why she “isn’t really submissive” and you aren’t “really dominant” is letting her slip some Blue Pill back into your food. You take a position and you defend it. You don’t stop halfway through and change the rules and the language so that one side feels favored over the other.

  28. @Ian Ironwood:

    The kind of behaviour you’re talking about is the exact reason that Game gets such a bad rep. That conversation, in particular, would make me leave if my husband tried it.

    If the wife really does object to the terminology of the husband being dominant, then ditch the terminology and focus on the behaviour. After that, the terminology stops mattering so much.

    “Ask your woman how feminism is different from Humanism in principal…”

    It’s not. Who cares?

    I honestly have no idea why the way Ben’s wife articulates MMSL bothers you to the point of writing an incredibly long blog comment. They’re the same principles, articulated in different ways, and Ben himself doesn’t seem bothered by it. What gives?

  29. People sure do love to share the pain, don’t they?

    Anyway, I just stopped by to say the RSS feeder on my phone stored nothing but MMSL content on the last update. I flew from Dallas to San Fran with absolutely nothing to read but your stuff! I think I’ll write about it soon, and thanks for the inspiration.

    I always in enjoy your blog, but I rarely comment because I’m not really a relationship type of guy.


  30. Well, the whole, you are a bitch when pregnant and women are generically wired to be gold diggers did register as loud noise on my female antennas and did interfere with the overall positive message I read in most every post. Some people are sensitive about that, I happen to not have a problem with disagreeing in some areas with people I nontheless agree with on other areas. But I did have to catch my emotions which were yelling “asshole!!!” pretty loud during the posts I mentioned.

    Anyways, she was coming across pretty bitter, and taking the conversation in a very distracting direction, which I am very glad Joe Commenter put the first kibosh on and then I do think Athol and Jennifer were perfectly within their right to call her out on her crap and put the final kibosh on it.

  31. @Liz:

    You pretty much hit the nail on the head. I’m sure Ian’s response was very heartfelt and genuine, but I honestly don’t give a crap about a lot of isms. I’m of the Ferris Bueller school of thought. A person shouldn’t believe in an ism. They should believe in themselves.

    Likewise, words don’t matter. Actions do. She sent me a clear signal a while ago that she wanted me to step up and be a little more Alpha (to use the common parlance around here) or “active” (to use her word) in our relationship. Message received. I can do that. Or, actually, I didn’t know Thing 1 about how to do that on my own, which is what led me to search around for advice to help me out, which is what led me here.

    Since reading Athol’s books and taking some (not all) of his advice, things have gotten a lot better for us. She knows that I’m getting outside advice, and that some of that advice is phrased in ways that would absolutely piss her off if she were to read it herself, and she’s fine with that. I know that the way she phrases our relationship dynamic is different from the way Athol phrases it, and I’m fine with that, too. It’s a pretty mutually-satisfactory arrangement and I’m not seeing much of a down side to it. Can’t argue with results.

    Ian, no offense intended because you obviously have a very strong political outlook on feminism etc. and I respect that, but this isn’t a situation where I’m trying to frame our relationship in a certain way and she’s pushing back against it. This is a situation where I’m trying different approaches to our relationship– actions, not words– and seeing what works. I’m not particularly interested in trying to fit that into some greater socio-political framework. If that’s your thing, then more power to you, but it’s not mine.

  32. Woa Ian Ironwood! Talk about disagreeing with people you otherwise agree with. How does the person that wrote the “it’s not the race, it’s the horse” post, also write that tirade. Hey, we’re all human, I’ve had my moments too. It still never seizes to amaze me, how with certain people, our brains fire in such different directions sometimes, and others we are so on the same wavelength. It’s always been pretty fascinating to me.

  33. “That conversation, in particular, would make me leave if my husband tried it.”

    That conversation would have me laughing! And then I’d say, “okay, you’re dominant, I’m submissive, happy?”
    So much of what is called dominant behavior on the manosphere sounds (to me) exactly like talking points of the “assertiveness movement” that was making the rounds in the 1980’s corporate landscape. Step up, say what you mean / want, don’t put up with rudeness, have some guts (or balls, or ovaries, whatever) in your work and personal relationships. Unfortunately, some folks lacked discernment and veered off into the “asshole movement” and they had to change the language. Have no idea what’s used now in Encorpera.

    Agree with Ben and Liz, one should not worry so much about the terminology.

  34. Allow me to explain — briefly.

    Contrary to what some commentors have said, words do mean things, and words are important. I mean, words are my business, and the words we use to describe the world around us give powerful insight into the soul of those using them. What I proposed was an experiment albeit not one for the faint of heart. The point was to force certain self-examinations on the part of the wife in regards to some basic assumptions she has concerning feminism and her relationship. And it was also designed to get the commentor to re-assess his own masculinity in relation to feminism and how it influences his relationship.

    Now, if your relationship is coughing up blood, then of course you wouldn’t do this. But if it’s reasonably healthy, and you’ve been running the MAP anyway, and you’re starting to see positive results, then pushing back a little on a dearly-held ideology concerning just how you should treat the penises in your life could lead to some interesting and insightful results. Once a man takes the Red Pill and sees the truth of things, then eventually in the course of re-discovering his own masculinity he’s going to start asking questions about why things got so fucked up in the first place. It might be that you don’t care what your wife thinks as long as her actions were appropriate, but most married couples have at least some form of intellectual engagement as well, and knowing your partner’s beliefs are founded on soundly reasoned principals and not political propaganda based on highly flawed precepts may actually add strength to the relationship.

    I mean, if you’re able to do everything a captain does, but no one will let you call yourself a captain, are you a captain? If you are the one making the decisions, taking the initiative, and leading the relationship, is it really intellectually honest to cling to the pretense that things are “equal”?

    I’ll go into further detail in a future post of my own, under the term “The Rectification of Names”. Stay tuned.

  35. @Julia:

    “That conversation would have me laughing! And then I’d say, “okay, you’re dominant, I’m submissive, happy?””

    It’s the complete lack of self assurance such a conversation would show. Athol once stated that telling a wife to submit because “god says so” is an admission that the husband doesn’t have the natural manhood to get it by himself.

    In the same way, if a husband has to come up with such weak arguments (“one ball always hangs lower” – that’s adorable, aren’t you cute) to get his wife to even consider him as a leader, it’s not the most manleh thing he can do.

    One of the most impressive things my husband did with Game was his complete indifference to terminology. He just did his thing and let me follow, or not. (I followed.) He didn’t have this Omega level, hyperactive puppy need to have me pat his head and tell me he was Da Boss.

  36. I don’t have a problem at all with the Captain/first officer terminology as it is used by Athol within the context reference to Star Trek. Don’t find it offensive at all. But I did watch Star Trek as a kid, ha!

    I still do not see eye to eye with Ian on this. Will have to agree with Ben in that it seems like what Ian is doing is bringing a larger socio-political picture into the personal dynamics of the marriage. My husband and I do discuss politics, disagree on certain political things, but agree on most others, and we have discussed feminism, and but nothing along the terms of Ian’s post.

    Anyways, another interesting thread. Have a great weekend everyone! I bet Athol is sleeping in today. Enjoy!

  37. Sometimes I think Jennifer needs to write a Married Woman Sex Life blog, to convince other women that there’s nothing shameful about not wanting to be co-Captain, or even –gosh! — submissive. I don’t much like the word submissive because among my friends, it means a BDSM capital-S Submissive, which is NOT the same thing.

    I never had much truck with feminism. The radical and not-so radical feminists I’ve known have been hypocritical regarding men. “I want a man who doesn’t dominate me, who accepts my equality in all ways. Not him, he’s a wimp. Not him either, he let me walk all over him. I want a strong man who is exactly what I want him to be.”

  38. PocketAces says:

    Sometimes it comes down to choosing your battles wisely. The verbiage I personally used was that “I’m taking back the pants.” (For non-Americans, it’s a play on a phrase “who wears the pants in this family”) If I started talking about dom/sub it probably wouldn’t have gone as well. Plus, what woman is going to come back at that with “No, the pants are mine, I took them from you fair and square.” Or maybe something like “No, didn’t you listen to the Priest? He didn’t say ‘you may kiss the bride’, he said, ‘you may now give the pants to the bride’.”

    If the actions are what I want, IMO, there’s no downside to using verbiage that’s acceptable to the audience. If I can elicit the proper actions, I generally find it a good idea to shut my mouth and walk away from the table with my winnings. I’m not going to double down over verbiage.

    Getting hung up over a “Captain” title sounds like looking for external validation.


  39. Athol went to great lengths to clarify this dominant vs. submissive confusion with the Captain and First Officer analogy. But like any human concept, the Captain and First Officer relationship terms can be confusing too. Just read Malcolm Gladwell’s book: Outliers The story of success.

    It has a chapter on plane crashes and the dynamic between the role of Captain and First Officer. Having an overly dominant Captain or submissive First Officer is not a good thing (crash). Sometimes we are just stuck with the language we have…and if we mix in some gender and cultural differences these terms can mean completely different things.

  40. @Ian:

    That all sounds perfectly valid, assuming that one actually believes that “[their] partner’s beliefs are founded on… political propaganda based on highly flawed precepts.” I do not. That may be your view on feminism and you’re entitled to it. It’s not mine. I think it’s certainly true that certain types of feminism in the wrong hands can be taken to an unhealthy extreme. I do not think those are the types of feminism my lady practices, nor do I think that hers are the wrong hands. I am entirely comfortable with my lady’s political views. She made no effort to disguise them when we were first dating, and if I had found them problematic, I would not have stayed with her.

    You are welcome to your political opinions, and you are welcome to use this conversation as a springboard for a longer piece on your own blog if you feel that would lead to a productive discussion over there. I will, however, have to ask you to stop projecting your own disagreement with my lady’s politics onto me.

    I don’t need to be dominant. I don’t need it in fact and I don’t need it in name. Being recognized as the dominant one in the relationship is so far down my personal priority list that it doesn’t register. If acting more dominant (or “decisive” or whatever you want to call it) in certain circumstances gets me what I DO want, which is to be attractive and desirable in my lady’s eyes and all the fun naked activities that come with that, then I’m more than willing to play that role. But it’s a means to an end, not an end in and of itself.

    That’s not meant to discredit your obvious need for recognized dominance in your own relationship. If that’s important to you, if that’s high on your priority list, then that’s perfectly valid and by all means you should pursue it. But just because it works for you and your partner doesn’t mean it’s just as important to everyone else.

    Speaking personally, I think there has to be a middle ground between the ultra-feminist ideal of perfect equality in all things at all times (an unrealistic ideal that one could drive oneself nuts trying to implement) and the radical Manosphere / traditional patriarchy ideal of male dominance in all things at all times. Real relationships don’t work that way. In real life, there’s a give and take, a flux to who takes the lead in what situation depending on who’s more competent in that area, who’s more personally affected by it, who cares more, etc. Athol would probably phrase it in terms of the Captain delegating certain responsibilities to the First Officer, which is as good a metaphor as any, but hardly the only one that applies.

    It may be that the best balance to strike in most relationships is indeed one in which the man is more dominant in more situations than the woman is, but I’d take care before applying that as a blanket solution to all relationships and all situations. There’s a big difference between “this is what works for most people” and “this is the only thing that works.”

  41. JCclimber says:

    I think the red pill is still in your mouth. Part of it has dissolved, and somehow made it into your digestive system, but you still haven’t swallowed. Go ahead. The taste is bitter, the feeling in your stomach can be even more bitter, but the long term effects are quite sweet.
    Much of the blogosphere comments made on this topic are made by those who are still in the bitter stomach phase of digestion. They are angry at society for the falsehoods that they were taught from childhood, and it comes through plainly in their language.

  42. Great post Ian, I completely agree with you. If he’s dominant and she’s submissive, call it what they are.
    May I ask your opinion on a perspective that occured to me:
    Perhaps, if a man doesn’t relate to being ‘dominant’ then he isn’t dominant. Therefore he cannot apply that term to himself. He is actually being true to himself by saying his is ‘assertive’ – because that’s the total of his leadership, it only applies to some areas. I don’t mean that in a bad way, just that his leadership may be not as encompassing as a ‘dominant’ man. He knows he hasn’t experienced it, so can’t call himself ‘dominant’. He has no desire to increase his assertiveness into dominance, so it sits where it’s at. Is that making sense? And ofcourse, a women who does not relate to being ‘submissive’ and refuses to call herself that, she is also being true to herself – she is not submissive, she cannot truthfully apply that term to herself and she knows it. She may be co-operative in many ways, but she’s not truly ‘submissive’.

    Regardless of why the dynamic is not as dominant/submissive (feminism influence), it is what it is. Perhaps they are two different relationship styles, one rejects feminism, and the other accepts it at least partially, and they cannot be put in the same basket? If you go further down the scale you get ‘submissive/dominant’ where feminism rules and she wears the pants.

  43. @JCclimber:

    You know, the whole red pill / blue pill thing is a cute bit of shorthand (and of course a wonderful nerd reference, which I’m a sucker for), but in a statement like that, it doesn’t really say anything. Basically what you’re saying, if I’m reading you right, is, “There’s this set of views and beliefs that the Manosphere has reached a general consensus on, and we’ve bundled it up into a neat little package and decided to call it the Red Pill. And it sounds like you agree with some parts of it and disagree with other parts of it and there are yet other parts of it that you aren’t sure of.”

    And that sounds like a pretty apt descriptor of where I’m at, actually. And I’m totally comfortable with that, because I don’t believe that you can take a set of views and beliefs and bundle them together so tightly that, in order to agree with any of it, you have to agree with ALL of it or it doesn’t count. I’m more of a pick-and-choose, roll-your-own kinda guy.

    So if you want to really get into this and have a conversation, which I’m totally up for doing, you’re going to have to come a little more specific than, “No, seriously, get with the REST of the program.” Based on what I’ve already said, where is it that you think we agree? Where is it that you think we disagree? In those places where we disagree, what is it that you think is incorrect about my thinking? I’m open to discussion, I really am.

    Fair warning, though: I’m serious when I say I’m really not interested in discussing politics or “isms.” As far as I can tell, the world is shaped by vasty and nebulous natural, political, and economic forces far beyond people’s– even so-called “experts'”– ability to understand or control. Slapping labels on those forces and arguing for why the world should be a way other than it is might make for an interesting intellectual exercise, but it tends to serve as a piss-poor guide for the way a man should live his life, which is what I tend to be more concerned with in my day-to-day. It certainly isn’t productive to get pissed off at those forces. Those forces are big and stupid and don’t care about you. You don’t get mad at the storm for blowing your fence down. You just build a new fence.

  44. Joe Commenter says:

    Pretty sharp insight girl4. If the man isn’t feeling dominant label, he probably isn’t dominant.

    My wife and I agree that I am the leader of the family. Good enough title for me. I cannot use Dominant and submissive. They have bad connotations. I work in a co-ed office. I don’t think any of my co-workers would understand what was meant if I go around telling people that I am the dominator and my wife is the submitter. In fact someone may call the police to investigate if my wife is OK.

    In my mind, Most of the ISM’s are just attempts by someone to grab power and money and go on an ego trip. Liberalism, Conservatism, Feminism, environmentalism, etc. These movements are not for everyday people. The ISM’s are all about political power for themselves.

  45. For those concerned that MMSL needs to be toned down to better appeal to women, please consider that more than half of MMSL’s readership is female.

    I write about the appeal of the bad boy tempered by the nice guy. Thus MMSL is written with a mix of bad boy and nice guy. As soon as I start toning it down and trying to appeal to women by writing like a nice guy, my readership will start drifting away.

  46. I can’t recall anything written by Athol or Jennifer that is offensive to me. It will not better appeal to women to tone it down – it will just appeal to her hamster to not have to self reflect too much, because everything is said so nicely and careful of her ‘feelings’ – it won’t challenge her. And it won’t feed men the necessary ingredients to think more like an Alpha (which is what most men need).
    The reason Athol’s readership is largely female is because it challenges a womans hamster to cut the crap and get real. The directness and lack of appology of Athol’s writing is the equivalent of ‘Alpha’ – toning it down is the equivalent of ‘Beta’. Asking for it to be toned down is a fitness-test.
    If it aint broke, don’t fix it.

  47. Choking is advanced submission. Don’t feel like you need to rush, you’ll get there.

  48. Anonymous says:

    All of the above poster’s objections to the word dominant are based on their feelings associated with the word. One thing I have finally learned is that I am NOT responsible for society’s feelings.

    Ben: Your wife’s objection to the word “dominant” and it’s derivatives is YOUR shit test. Not ours. She wants you to be dominant but live in her fantasy land where she can call herself equal. Figure out how to do that, but by all means, be clear within yourself that that is what she is asking for. Ian’s method is equally valid, but only for women that are willing to control their emotions and increase their self-awareness. It is similar to how some men can share MMSL with their spouses and get better results than running it independently. It is up to you to decide if you can trust her with the truth.

    “it’s amazing how often I hear the exact same stuff Athol talks about coming out of her mouth, but in different words. She would absolutely balk at the idea that I should be “dominant,” but she likes it when I’m “decisive” and “take the initiative.” And “Likewise, words don’t matter. Actions do. She sent me a clear signal a while ago that she wanted me to step up and be a little more Alpha (to use the common parlance around here) or “active” (to use her word) in our relationship.”

    Your wife is not asking for you to be more equal. Please come up with one word to describe what she wants from you. If you can’t, then you don’t yet understand what she wants from you clearly enough. The quickest route to resolve this may be to give your wife a list of synonyms of dominant and see if any resonate with her. If they do, which I expect they will, then please realize that her objections to the word “dominance” is in her feelings tied to the word.

    Hint to up the alpha: do not be afraid that your wife will be upset by using the word “dominant”. I am sure she will be, but if you continue to let her define what language you use, she will never fully respect you. You do know what a shit test is right?

  49. Anonymous says:

    Blue Pill: Please make sure to use inoffensive wording to hide uncomfortable truths as some people might not want to look too closely at their belief systems. That might potentially hurt their feelings inappropriately.

    Red Pill: Use strong, concise words to reinforce the frame required to challenge belief systems.

    @Athol: Keep using strong clear language. Keep using “dominant” and “captain” etc. It really helps those of us who want to change and need help to reinforce the change in our thinking. One word concepts act as lighthouses in the fog. I know many of the actions I need to make change in my life, but when I am embroiled in a situation, I really need that one word to remind me to steer me clear of my old default actions. For instance, after determining what women really want in a man, I now just need to remember “be dominant” in order to be attractive to a women in any given situation. That is the frame I need. Appropriate actions follow from there.

    As a man, if you want to improve yourself and your relationships, there is one word that defines your goal: DOMINANCE. If you want to get better, you have to work towards dominating your competition, whether in work or private relationships. Dominant does not mean 100% totalitarianism or winner take all or control at all costs. 51% of voting rights is still dominance. My right hand is my dominant hand, but my left hand is quite capable of carrying the load as well.

    Dominance within a husband-wife relationship is the result of an external competition, not an internal competition. Dominance over a wife is just fallout from the external competition. Look at dominance in terms of hypergamy. The husband’s competition is not his wife, but other men. Assuming everyone agrees by now that women are hypergamous, the husband has to strive to have dominance over whoever the wife might be attracted to in the future. Women are wired to trade up to a better man. After all, if equality were the ideal, romance novels would be full of heroes that would be exactly equal in terms of job, income, looks, body strength, weight, and courage. Look at the heroes of these best sellers. An astute man realizes that his wife better feel that her current man is already in the “traded up” position. However, it is impossible to be in that position while simultaneously being equal or submissive to her. Dominance over her is therefore a byproduct of his drive to satisfy her hypergamy.

    Also, the husband’s frame can be made simpler and more clear. Husbands need to act in a way that would ensure attraction to a NEW woman, and apply it to their wife. That is why many men find that when they revert to who their wives were attracted to in the first place, the tingles fire up again.

  50. Dreadpiratkevin says:

    I don’t get how people can be ‘offended’ by a word. What, you don’t like the sound of it? That’s silly. If you’re offended by the language of male leadership, words like dominance and submission, it’s because you are offended by the idea, not the word. Changing the word doesn’t make it more palatable for you, weakening the idea does. Ian is right, words do mean things. A standard feminist tactic is to convince people that words are offensive so they can eliminate the word from the language which opens the door to eliminating the idea that that word represents. Changing the language changes the concept.

    Ben: You might want to consider that Ian and others here are speaking from experience. Some ideas do need to be taken as a whole, and just little can be dangerous. Kinda like anti-biotics. Taking less than a full dose can make you feel better in the short term, but that actual infection is only made stronger and will kill you in the end. There are guys who have tried to walk the tightrope you are on, and found in the end that feminism and marriage are simply not compatible. There are plenty of men who were also very happy with where they were, until their now ex wife dropped the hammer. Their experience is worth considering. I know, she’s a special snowflake and would never do that…

  51. it means a BDSM capital-S Submissive, which is NOT the same thing

    Kind of ironic, since it is written D/s with a lower case s deliberately. A big part of what 7man and I do on our blog is try to reclaim these words and say nuts to the twisted way the world interprets them. Some BDSM practice in marriage is perfectly fine, in our opinion – this is a matter of taste not morality.

    Anyway, Athol should NOT “tone down” his blog, whatever that means. It’s fine as it is and that’s what appeals to both men and women. You can’t “tone down” the truth.

  52. @Ben

    To paraphrase (and translate) what you said:

    There are no universal relationship truths. We are all special snowflakes. To each his own and definitions are restrictive.

    OK, I have no desire to control what you do so feel free to do your own thing and develop your own path to find happiness and contentment. People have been trying this for thousands of years. Maybe there are no special snowflakes after all.

  53. For years I struggled to communicate what I wanted from my husband because I was using the wrong d$&@ word! Maybe I was just dancing around the idea when I would say ” I want you to show me who’s boss”, or “I need to feel your strength”. I have to say that I, for years, thought that I was broken for wanting this and thought that using the word dominant, in my mind, would only tell him just how broken I was, highlighting how far off I was from the ideal, independent woman. It was so lonely to want something so badly that would only prove how unworthy I was. I finally ran across takeninhand and then MMSL. That’s where I found the courage to finally tell him that I wanted to be dominated (especially in bed). I could not believe his response. He said “Well why didn’t you just say so?”. I broke down crying, telling him that I’d been trying for 20 years. Yes, I learned, word choice matters.

  54. pdwalker says:


    Wow. What a story!

    Getting better then? Does your husband read here now?

  55. Thanks :-). Yes, its getting much much better. I don’t think my husband reads here…though he knows that I do. There are a few things that I’ve insisted that he read , but I keep it minimal. After reading here for a while I realized that he was on the too much alpha/not enough beta end. He’s pretty good at dominating, but maybe he thought he wasn’t supposed to? When I read the descriptions of alpha behaviors such as frame control, outcome independent behavior, leading his friends all over the country, overconfidence with a dash of hubris mixed in, not feeling the need or want to conform to the wishes of others, I see a portrait of my husband. He is also a very moral, reliable, committed guy who loves me very much and shows it through his actions. The idea of someone else telling him how to be a good husband doesn’t sit all that well with him. But then he admitted that he really never had any idea of what a marriage looked like. I only knew what a really bad one looked like.

    Would the fact that he was raised by a single, feminist, former hippie Mom have something to do with all this :-) ? It has always seemed to me that he expected women to be just like men….still gets annoyed when I suggest that women’s brains work a little differently. “why generalize?” he’ll ask. I’ve found a few posts by Vox Day over at alpha game that he could actually relate to. INTJ to INTJ communication?? My husband cares very little about social pressure or what other people think…only what’s right, or consistent, or rigorous.

    He’s been much more affectionate and and thoughtful in the past year. I’ve also been overhauling myself (lady MAP?) massively…not like I’m perfect :-).

  56. SentWest says:

    As a woman, there’s not much that pisses me off more than someone else deciding I’m oppressed. Seriously, how fluff-brained am I supposed to be if I can’t figure out that I’m being oppressed. (Help, help, I’m being oppressed, etc…). Actually the only thing that pisses me off more is people chewing gum loudly in my earshot.

    Anyhow, being ground into submission sounds like a good plan for the Sunday Nite post-NBA-game activity….

  57. @Athol:

    Didn’t mean to sound like I was seriously suggest that you change the tone of your entire blog. It was just an idle thought, not much different than in the previous post when some people would idly say, “Man, this MMSL stuff is great, I wish there was a version of it written from a Christian perspective.” Might be nice for me and a few other folks, but you know better than anyone which side your bread is buttered on. (-:

    @Anonymous, Dreadpiratkevin, several others:

    There seems to be this mistaken belief that I am pushing to use the word “dominant” in our relationship and she’s not letting me. That would indeed be cause for concern, but thankfully that’s not the case. If the impression I’ve given is that I’ve been crying into my soup every night because I want to dominate my lady and she won’t fall in line, allow me to disabuse you of it. I’m perfectly happy with the way our relationship is framed, and I have no burning desire to change it.

    To be perfectly honest, the desire of some folks here to re-frame my relationship with my lady in a way that has little to do with what either of us want is feeling more like a shit test than anything I’ve ever gotten from her on the subject. I know you all mean well, but seriously. Quit it. It’s annoying.

    Also, there seem to be a lot of hangups about the word “equal” in reference to marriage. I honestly didn’t realize that was such a dirty word around here, but if you don’t like it, don’t use it. You’ll notice that it was Ian who first brought it up, and that I’ve not used it once in reference to my relationship.


    “To paraphrase (and translate) what you said:

    There are no universal relationship truths. We are all special snowflakes. To each his own and definitions are restrictive.”

    Everything sounds stupid when you oversimplify it like that. It’s exactly the same– EXACTLY the same– as when the emailer Athol refers to above oversimplifies MMSL and the MAP as being about oppressing women and grinding them into submission. I don’t appreciate it.

    Obviously I don’t think that each situation is so unique and different that there’s no sense trying to find patterns to them or I wouldn’t be here, reading a blog based entirely around trying to find patterns to the relationships between men and women and use them to formulate advice to help improve those relationships, and applying some of that advice to my own particular case.

    I have simply found that my particular application of some (not all) of that advice has been enormously– ENORMOUSLY– successful, and I am frankly puzzled why that success has been met in these comments with derision because I am somehow not being dominant enough for some of you. I am profoundly grateful to Athol for helping me out with some of the things that have been holding my relationship back from being all it could be. His writing has exposed me to ideas that I never would have considered on my own. The fact that there’s some small portion of what he writes that I don’t feel is applicable to my situation (and a somewhat larger portion of what other people write within the greater Manosphere) does nothing to diminish that.

    I have been enriched by my time here. I would simply ask all of you to be happy for me.


    That definitely sounds like a situation in which a change in wording was necessary because the wording you had been using wasn’t getting the message across. I’m glad you were able to work that out. There are so many people in the comments here who are still in the roughest part of their journey, it is always truly heartwarming to hear a success story.

    I’m curious, though; and this is an honest question that I’d love to hear your opinion on. Suppose that your husband had been just a little more perceptive and HAD gotten the message when you phrased it in terms of “being shown who’s boss” and “feeling his strength.” If he’d picked up on what you were trying to tell him and had started acting the way you needed him to, do you think you ever would have felt the need to eventually phrase it in terms of dominance? And do you think your current relationship would be significantly different, either for better or for worse, than it is now?

  58. I really don’t know. That would involve him being a different, far less stubborn person. I might have still felt conflicted and ashamed of it, and probably would have balked at the earnest attempts (by my far less stubborn husband, of course). He would probably have felt like he was getting mixed messages. I really would not underestimate the negative power of all that shame.

    Unfortunately, IMHO, the “blue pill world”, for lack of a better term for the world shaped by today’s media/political/social forces, has simply substituted one form of sexual repression for another. It’s not as though the clitoris was magically discovered 50 years ago, but giving us that impression certainly makes it easier to emancipate us from the prison that was our sexual ignorance. We just don’t see the bars on the new prison….it’s more like one of those invisible dog fences that zaps you if you go beyond the boundary. Woman allows herself to be consciously and happily submissive to her husband?? ZAP comes the condemnation, indirect for the most part, or really direct as poor Jennifer and Athol were subjected to just recently.

    Ben, I understand that you don’t feel the need to frame it all in terms of dominance, but I think that reframing it in your mind as freeing her to enjoy herself might help reshape the entire conversation.

  59. @Orange:

    Thank you for the thoughtful response. Something for me to think over.

    From a male perspective, I see “the blue pill” as the idea that the perfect male lover is someone who is attentive to her needs, sensitive, unselfish, etc. etc. etc. In other words, thoroughly over-betafied. What that leads to, I’ve found, is a lot of mutual-submission deadlock where I’m too busy worrying about what she wants to think about what I want, and vice versa. For me, Athol’s oft-repeated idea that her orgasm is her responsibility has been liberating. It frees me up to get my own needs taken care of, meaning that she doesn’t have to worry about trying to guess what I want from her because I’m communicating it clearly, freeing HER attention up to be more in tune with what SHE wants and communicating that to me. So paradoxically, me being assertive about getting mine helps her get hers as well.

    So in that sense, I’m 100% with you. Importantly, though, it works for us, not because either one of us is submissive in the sense of “subsuming our needs in the needs of the other.” It only works because we’re each free to pursue our own pleasure. And, of course, a partner who is totally turned on and into the experience is just about the greatest turn-on there is.

  60. As an aside, I don’t want to give the impression that I find the idea of dominance / submission distasteful. I get the appeal, I’m just pretty neutral to it myself. It’s neither a turn-on for me nor a turn-off. So I fall into the dominant role to the extent that it provides the desired result– a turned-on and happy partner– and I’m happy to leave it at that.

  61. FeralFelis says:

    Lady MAP = WoMap? :)

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