This month I dived into a book full of controversy with its approach to living intimately with your husband (or partner). I read The Surrendered Wife by Laura Doyle. I didn't read it to find the reason for the argument between feminists and the author of the book's ideas. I read it to see what a submissive could gain from its pages.
In this quest, I found a part of me that was glaringly obvious as a poor trait in submissives in general and one that I'd have to let go of it I wanted to try anything that was suggested in the best-selling self-help book for women seeking intimacy and peace with a man. Master says that I started acting weird when I was reading the book so either he was sensing my shift or I just wasn't doing it right. Most likely because I was trying to overthink the suggestions in the book.
This book is written, of course, with husband and wife being key, but I think it would work for any gender mix as long as there is a relationship established and the person reading it is ready to make changes. Reading some of the mixed reviews I can see that a majority of the reviews I read feel that the book solidifies women into very feminine and vulnerable roles that the feminist movement was trying to break the molds of. Unlike other books emphasizing the 1950's traditions of a man centered household, this book defines the genders and not the tasks they are 'supposed' to be performing.
In context to submission, I think that this would be a good starter book for anyone who is coming out of a vanilla relationship or preparing to enter a D/s one when they haven't been in one before. The Surrendered Wife will help you recognize and correct habits that may have been comfortable in your previous relationships but won't work for a D/s style one.
The book is great in its ability to recognize inappropriate control situations and the ideas of how to release that control are spot on. The steps to surrendering that she explains are being respectful, receiving graciously, relinquishing control, being open for sex, expressing gratitude and practicing good self-care. I especially like how she recommends we say, "ouch' when your partner says something to hurt you instead of taking the bait and biting them back.
Not all of the suggestions would work towards a D/s relationship, but as with everything you read, it's best to take what you can and leave the rest. A book can only be as good as what you get out of it, so for that reason, I'd have to give it a relatively low rating in comparison to D/s oriented books as far as helpfulness is concerned.
However, if you are like me, and had a vanilla relationship (in my case a 5 year marriage) it might help to reaffirm your femininity and find that surrendered self that very well could be the key to opening your heart to the submission you wish to give to someone else.
- luna's Rating: 6/10
- Paperback: 285 pages
- Publisher: Fireside (January 8, 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0743204441
- ISBN-13: 978-0743204446
Interested in seeing for yourself? Buy The Surrendered Wife from Amazon.com for under $11! (Price at time of post)