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Female led relationships (FLRs) can be just as satisfying as any other type of relationship dynamics, provided the couple agrees to and understands their individual roles. The idea that the woman takes control of most aspects of the relationship isn’t new, but has been gaining popularity of late.
If you find being in control of men stimulating, or you’re a man who enjoys female dominance, you might be interested in everything there is to know about FLRs… including how to establish one. I’ll provide step-by-step guidance for setting up the relationship in a way that is loving, respectful, and overall mutually satisfying.
Why Building a Healthy Relationship Matters
A relationship led by a female can be equally healthy as any other. The same principles apply as if it were a traditional male-dominant scenario. It’s more about how the couple treats each other than which gender is calling the shots.
The couple is likely to feel happier once they are respecting each other’s boundaries, satisfying each other’s needs, and providing mutual emotional support. There’s less likely to be tension and conflict between couples who feel belonged, loved, and understood.
Being able to retain their individuality and having the freedom to be themselves are also other important needs. Overall, it comes down to building a relationship that’s mutually satisfying.
What Is a Female Led Relationship?
Traditionally, the term “female-led relationship” or FLR was understood as a type of BDSM relationship where a submissive man agrees to be sexually dominated by a woman. That’s according to sex therapist and researcher, Gloria Brame, Ph.D., as reported by Mind Body Green.
In a wider sense, the term describes any relationship between a man and a woman where the woman wields the majority of the power. She may not necessarily have to perform the kinky roles of a BDSM-type dominatrix, also called femdom.
It’s agreed that she’ll take charge of things such as decision-making, managing the financial aspects, and controlling the sexual dynamics of the relationship. She can make decisions for him and control what he can and cannot do based on the agreement.
Other characteristics of FLRs:
Notably, the extremity of power vested in the woman varies from couple to couple. There are instances where the couple remains largely equal, like in the traditional context, but the woman asserts dominance mostly in the bedroom.
If you are a true alpha male, I hardly believe you’ll agree to female domination. But you never know, you might finally decide to experience what it's like to get bossed around.
Types of Female Led Relationships
In its truest sense, there’s no equality in female-dominant relationship dynamics as it relates to control. The degree of “inequality” varies from one FLR to another and how much control the man agrees to surrender. Control is grouped into these four types or levels:
1. Low control
The woman’s authority is low since she has to ask for the man’s permission to make most decisions. Her partner may willingly step back and allow her to dominate in certain situations.
Outside of that, both parties get together to make decisions concerning their day-to-day lives.
2. Moderate control
The woman takes on the leadership role and handles a large part of the day-to-day decisions for herself and her guy. She enjoys the confidence that comes with being the boss but doesn’t feel the need to completely dominate him.
He also takes comfort in the fact that she can rule him only to a certain extent.
3. Defined control
The woman takes on most of the male roles and makes most of the decisions. The roles include being head of household and primary financial supporter. The man is meant to be submissive and performs traditionally female roles.
4. Extreme control
The female is essentially “wearing the pants.” A dynamic like this may fit you if your desire is to completely rule your man, who has no problem being almost entirely subjugated. You’ll get to dictate nearly all aspects of his life, including what he wears,
Extreme control can also involve the power to discipline him in a very kinky and erotic way when he misbehaves. This is where some FLRs enter the realm of BDSM. According to WebMD, BDSM is a sexual practice that includes bondage, discipline, dominance, submission, and sadism (sadomasochism).
The man is duty-bound to satisfy the woman’s every desire as agreed. It’s common for “punishment” to involve physical restraint and flogging by the femdom in hardcore BDSM relationships. However, the arrangement is considered abusive if it isn’t “sane, safe, and consensual.”
Why Do Men and Women Seek Female Led Relationships?
Many people cannot fathom the idea of a woman ruling a man, not when it goes against established patriarchal principles. Those who choose FLR do so simply because the principles align with the gender role they prefer to take on and not what society says they should.
Although the setup appears one-sided, it’s really not. It is established on the basis of mutual respect and understanding of roles. Besides, both parties benefit in ways that they may not in a traditional relationship setting.
Benefits for women
Having that sense of rulership over the man can boost your confidence and happiness, even if your husband only agrees to bestow you with a low degree of control. You’re no longer relegated to the kitchen and the bedroom.
You can make vital decisions and be the sole breadwinner if you’re that type of commander-in-chief. Don’t forget the opportunity to mold your partner into a guy that meets your needs and expectations.
At the same time, he’ll have you to thank for pushing him toward achieving his full potential. There are more men than you think exist that find authoritative, bossy women very sexy. Imagine the benefit of gaining his admiration for holding down the household and calling the shots on a daily basis.
Benefits for men
Men get satisfaction from making their women happy, even if it takes handing over the reins to her. A big part of agreeing to this, though, is the sensual enjoyment of being dictated to by a badass and bossy woman. This is coupled with the fact that he might be naturally submissive, like beta males, and very okay serving you.
Men also seek this type of relationship to maximize peace and tranquility in the home. They understand that there can be power struggles, particularly with women who are keener on independence, equality, and control. Others willingly agree to a female-led relationship so the woman can dictate how she wants to be pleased.
Besides, your husband might enjoy a sense of relief at not having to take on responsibilities that men are traditionally saddled with, like being the financial provider and initiating sex.
Step-by-Step Guide on How to Set Up a Female-Led Relationship
Even though an FLR runs counter to the traditional patriarchal type, it can work once you adhere to the steps/rules for establishing one. You may even already be in an FLR, in the sense that you’re the stronger, more dominant partner. Whatever the case, here are important steps to consider for making the relationships work.
#1. Pick the right partner
Identifying a partner who you know is willing to follow your command. Express your interest in creating an FLR early on in the dating phase. If you’re already a couple in a male-led relationship (MLR) and want to experiment with a reversal of the roles, then raise the idea with your partner.
It should be easier to propose the idea if he’s already inclined to letting you take charge. He may have even implied that he’s comfortable playing a Mr. Mom role, while you take on the primary provider role. Once you’re sure he’s a good match for an FML, you’re ready to move to the next step.
#2. Discuss your expectations
Open and honest communication is key to forging a healthy relationship and the one you’re hoping to establish is no exception. Explain how you would like to proceed with establishing the relationship and allow your guy to ask questions or share concerns.
Discussions should also touch on the type and extent of responsibilities and control. Both parties should share what you’re uncomfortable with or unwilling or unable to do. The goal is to provide optimum satisfaction to each other in your new roles. When expectations are clearly expressed, there’s little room for misunderstanding and missteps.
NB: You may provide a list of the female duties you wish your significant other to take on to make the transition easier for him.
#3. Agree to the FLR
While some FLR agreements are tacit, expressly agreeing to manage your relationship in this fashion can improve the experience. After all, this isn’t cosplay, plus you may have femdom duties.
He has to agree to hand over real authority to you and let you handle business without interference the same way a submissive female would. You’re agreeing to relieve him from the stress of taking charge. Therefore, his duty is to support you in your new endeavors.
The agreement should include the level of control and distribution of the reversed gender roles.
#4. Decide on the level of control
Contrary to a general misunderstanding of FLRs, the woman doesn’t usually wield or retain 100% control all the time, perhaps unless we’re talking hardcore BDSM. Indeed, power shifts to a certain degree but the man retains some power, voice, and masculine roles.
Shared responsibility and decision-making are agreed to in many cases (low control) while allowing the female to dominate only in certain areas.
The expression, “She wears the trousers in that marriage,” is more applicable in extreme-level FLRs, particularly when the man is expected to shift gender and sex roles. The change is referred to as the “feminization” or “sissification” of the submissive partner.
The bottom line is to pick the level of authority that suits both parties’ desires and interests.
#5. Let the man take on the traditional housewife roles
Taking a backseat role doesn’t mean he can sit idly and let you do everything if you’re practicing defined control. The expectations are the same as those in a male-led relationship. The difference here is the reversal of those roles. Therefore, assuming housewife roles is a critical aspect for the guy to agree to.
He’s literally expected to step into your shoes in the traditional way, from chores and preparing meals to caring for the kids.
Finally, he’ll get a front-row seat to experience and appreciate what women experience all their lives in conventional marriages. Not to mention, it’s such a turn-on seeing your guy being domesticated.
#6. Consider his ideas and suggestions
There’s room in balanced and fair female led relationships to welcome the man’s input by way of advice or suggestions. Remember the intent isn’t to emasculate the guy or invalidate his identity. You’re giving him (and he’s agreeing to) a chance to partner with you from a female perspective.
You’re a team pursuing the kinds of relationship satisfaction not offered by the conservative approach.
For me, it takes character and self-confidence for some men to agree to domination and submission. Switching roles shows that he’s willing to sacrifice some of his masculinity to please you, regardless of the dynamics. So, exercise your authority in a loving and supportive way.
#7. Offer mutual respect
Women can cross boundaries and emasculate their partners if they don’t grasp the meaning of a healthy and supportive FLR. Mutual respect should be the standard agreed to even though you will assume the role of the superior authority figure. Your partner, in relinquishing power to you, is communicating that he trusts you to do right by him.
You’re switching roles, and he’ll participate in feminine roles, but the intent isn’t to make him feel less masculine. He’ll enjoy his subservient role, but I doubt he’ll take kindly to you stepping on his pride and dignity. Be mindful of how you walk this thin line.
#8. Discipline must be consensual
Every now and again, your boyfriend is going to misbehave and needs to face consequences. Before you bring him back into compliance, keep in mind that discipline is intended solely to correct behavior and not as a punishment.
Discipline can take various forms and can range from being forced to sleep on the couch to playful spanking. Discipline can be more extreme, such as in BDSM-type female led relationships. What matters is that it’s consensual and you’re both happy.
#9. Respect each other’s boundaries
Boundaries stay in place and should be respected as with any other healthy relationship. Some boundaries are expressed while others are tacit. For those that are understood but not written down or verbally expressed, use your sense of judgment and emotional intelligence to determine the limitations.
For example, you’re crossing a boundary if you ask the guy to wear female clothing outside the home. That’s essentially an attempt to strip him of his masculinity unless he agrees to take the feminization aspect of the relationship into the public domain.
#10. Express your limits clearly
24/7 domination can turn into a burden as much as you enjoy strutting around and passing orders. Makes sense considering that you’re female and still wish to retain your feminine core. You might still wish to wear feminine clothing while assuming male roles and being dominated sometimes.
Tell your husband when you want him to initiate in the bedroom or temporarily resume leadership. I’m sure he’ll appreciate the gesture as he, too, may not support having to submit to you all the time.
#11. Maintain your individuality
What happens in the privacy of your home stays there. You and your partner should continue to maintain your gender identity and individuality in the outside world. Allow him to continue his social life, whether it’s hanging out with his buddies or playing his favorite sports.
You should upkeep friendships and take time away from your spouse for self-care activities and nurturing your physical and mental health.
#12. Be mindful of each other’s feelings
This is still a relationship, so the same rules for couples apply. Consider your partner’s feelings in everything you do or say to him. His feelings remain important even in an extreme level type FLR. You must honor limitations despite having high-level powers.
He may feel his needs, wants, thoughts, feelings, and opinions are being disregarded if those agreed-upon limits are breached. You should always endeavor to make him feel important and loved, regardless of the dynamics.
You can voice similar concerns if you feel neglected in certain areas.
#13. Communicate changes
These relationships occur on a spectrum of control from low to extreme. Even though the rules of engagement are set at the beginning, the nature of the dynamics can naturally shift over time. Discuss changes that threaten to impact your or your partner’s physical, emotional, or psychological health.
Talk about the changes in control levels prior to introducing them. Open communication is key as it prepares couples mentally to explore new levels of submission and domination.
Final Thoughts on Creating a Female Led Relationship
Some couples decide to toss the traditional relationship out the window in favor of one where the gender roles are swapped. There’s nothing wrong with desiring a union like this if it’s mutually beneficial for the couple.
One of the most important things is to remain open-minded about your roles and be flexible in welcoming change in the domination levels as the relationship evolves. This type of relationship is one that requires a heightened sense of awareness.
Want more tips on cultivating a healthy relationship? Then read our article on 11 Core Value Relationship Examples Couples Should Follow for some inspiration.