The world around us is full of mutually beneficial symbiotic relationships! Think of the bee and the flower, barnacles on whales the list goes on and on. Now think of parasitic relationships, fleas on dogs, mosquitos on humans or aphids on plants. When you think of your relationship, which comes to mind? Clearly there is some compromise with the symbiotic relationship but it isn’t single sided. The single sided relationship leans toward being parasitic. You probably see where I am going with this; a relationship needs to be mutually beneficial for both parties.
When a woman seeks a marriage, she is looking to be your number one. She seeks your intimacy, your vulnerability and she needs to feel like you are on her team. She needs to feel attractive in the psychological sense and secondarily in the physical sense. Women need to feel supported, developed and encouraged as a partner and as a lover. If you focus on her as a lover, your partnership and friendship wanes. If you focus on her as a partner and not a lover, your emotional connection will suffer.
Men need respect, they need attention and they need affirmation, encouragement and approval. While we instantly leap to sex being the way to a man’s heart, it really isn’t the sex. Saying “all he thinks about is sex” is a failure on many levels. Sex is a means with which to show love, respect and approval. Sex is a language all in its own and to men, sexual attention is the ultimate way to demonstrate importance in a marriage.
I am completely oversimplifying things but there is a symbiosis of both psychological and emotional bond between a couple and it is deep. Of course I speak from the heterosexual relationship as I normally do because it is my context but this isn’t much different for two men or two women. Learn what your partner needs and be the supply for that need. If you are the supply, they will never seek that supply elsewhere.
While many of my blogs are intentionally sexually manipulative, I never seek to withhold what my man needs. I simply seek to control the means of delivery and ultimately how he receives it. I know Kev needs sexual attention and I choose to give him my attention nearly every day with a full orgasmic release once a week. I never withhold the attention, only the release so he is constantly in a highly euphoric and aroused state. While this might seem crazy to some, it manipulates the animal side of him to benefit his human side and ultimately improves our relationship.
Do you speak the same language as your spouse? Does he speak yours? Set aside time to discuss your relationship and communicate about your needs. Think about how you feel and why you feel that way. Are your needs being met? Are you attempting to communicate with your partner in the way that you want him to communicate to you or are you communicating in his language.
My blog is about relationships and I’ve re-read the five love languages book by Gary Chapman multiple times. I think he is on to something but he cuts short in terms of sex. Another book by Douglas Weiss goes into the 5 Sex Languages which I think is an important distinction. Sex is a much deeper topic and it merits a book to expand upon it. I found the grammatical errors distracting but overall the book was quite insightful into sex as a means of emotional expression.
Consider a D/s relationship. While at first glance, you might the dominant is parasitic and taking from the sub it might not be so. The sub takes from the dom in the same way the dom takes from the sub. In a perfect D/s relationship, it is symbiotic and both the sub and dom get what they need. It is also very possible for the sub to be the parasitic side of the relationship. Knowing little about this type of relationship and trying to steer clear of the BDSM world (or at least lean vanilla) with this blog, I’ll leave it at that.
What do you think? Do you have a symbiotic relationship or does one side lean toward being parasitic at times? I know enough about myself to know that I lean toward being parasitic at times. I make a conscious effort to communicate and make sure that I am giving back when I feel like our balance is changing. Kev also communicates his needs when they are not being met or feel like they are becoming secondary. Communication is the key to maintaining the healthy balance of symbiosis.
Hope everyone is happy and healthy!
There is a lot of honesty in this blog post. You admit you lean more parasitic in your relationship and your blog is intentionally sexually manipulative. That kind of intellectual honesty is hard to find these days. Yes, the blog is sexually manipulative — it drives a narrative about sexual power which is useful to your beliefs about FLR. There are a lot of people (certainly men) who want to be able to find partners modelled after your ideal.
It is important that people in FLR (and people in MLR or D/s) constantly question the degree to which they have parasitic relationships. There is a centeredness to your writing, Emma, that makes me feel like you may write the 50 Shades of Gray for the FLR movement.
> I never seek to withhold what my man needs. I simply seek to control the means of delivery and ultimately how he receives it.
You don’t get enough trust from someone to reach that depth of control unless you continuously prove you deserve it… which I guess is your part of the job.
@corey. You sound exactly Stephie. She supplies so much emotional energy to our marriage that I sometimes feel like I am getting a free ride. She assures me it is worth it and I return her love many times over. It makes for a symbiotic relationship for sure.
Very nicely done young lady. Your best post yet IMHO. That is until, I think, the post that is coming that speaks to how you and Kev have evolved during and after your time with Andrew, and what it all means going forward.
“I never withhold the attention, only the release so he is constantly in a highly euphoric and aroused state. While this might seem crazy to some, it manipulates the animal side of him to benefit his human side and ultimately improves our relationship.”
You have always constantly beat the drum about the need for and importance of not withholding attention. For that I am grateful. It is literally the difference between useful and successful “tease and deny”, and the often confused “ignore and deny”. And yes, it does seems crazy to some because they are mostly just uninformed about the science and emotions of orgasm control, semen retention and chastity. Thank for your continued efforts to educate and inform. It’s clearly working based on the increased number of people showing their interest.
“While many of my blogs are intentionally sexually manipulative, I never seek to withhold what my man needs. I simply seek to control the means of delivery and ultimately how he receives it.”
I’ve said it better and I’ll say it again now … Manipulation to most people has a default negative connotation associated with it, which is unfortunate. Everybody manipulates everyone else, everyday without even knowing it is happening. When someone who is good at manipulation does it from a place of love, compassion, respect and integrity, the benefits for everyone involved are a beautiful thing to behold. Sadly, most people remember the kind of manipulation that is devious and sinister, or even just plain selfish. News media, politicians, liars, past relationship partners, bad parents, all come to mind. I was fortunate enough to be taught the importance and benefit in willfully accepting manipulation from those that I really know I can trust. In doing so, I have been able to enjoy success and happiness in all aspects of my life, and in particular my marriage to my beautiful Mistress Wife.
“The sub takes from the dom in the same way the dom takes from the sub. In a perfect D/s relationship, it is symbiotic and both the sub and dom get what they need.”
This is absolutely a true statement. The minute my Wife began to understand that one of my truest sources of pleasure was provide her with pleasure in her life (in all aspects, not just sexually), she was able to derive immense, new levels of pleasure in her life because because she no longer felt bad about feeling and behaving selfishly about the things she wants and needs, while confidently deciding what those things are. It is perhaps the most symbiotic aspect of our beautiful life together.
“I know enough about myself to know that I lean toward being parasitic at times. I make a conscious effort to communicate and make sure that I am giving back when I feel like our balance is changing. Kev also communicates his needs when they are not being met or feel like they are becoming secondary. Communication is the key to maintaining the healthy balance of symbiosis.”
I think it is human nature that EVERYONE becomes a wee bit parasitic at times. The other drum that you continually beat Emma is about communication. Without it, one will know level where one’s relationship is on the symbiotic Defcon scale.
Thank you for this post Emma and for the wonderful blog. I hope you have a good understanding what a wonderful thing EYM is for the growing FLR world at large.
The term parasitic is up for interpretation in relationship dynamics. There is nothing to be ashamed of when it comes to one sided relationships if that is the dynamic which works best for the two individuals involved. The dom/sub relationships is the best example of this. The dom’s needs, wishes, and desires come first and the sub’s come secondary with the intent of them being on the same team. If the dom’s life gets better, the sub’s will as well. This dynamic becomes parasitic when either of the two people don’t care about the other person involved and are just using them as a tool to get what they want instead of being a team. There is a difference between a dom completely controlling the household finances, and a dom using a sub for their money, then tossing them away when they get what they want. Same goes for the sub using the dom for their sexual interests and then running away when the dom needs true acts of service.
This is very well said. For U/us, our journey has gone at the pace of Ms. K’s ability to understand more and more than I do indeed get genuine pleasure from her joy, from her bliss, and as such she has had to learn to trust that her being selfish in pursuit of those desires is part of what gives me pleasure as her sub husband.
“Same goes for the sub using the dom for their sexual interests and then running away when the dom needs true acts of service.”
This one sentence encapsulates very well the problem with those ill-fated WLM relationships that start out and then continue as a means for the man to turn his wife into a fetish peddler. Without exception, every relationship that continues on this path is doomed to failure because in the end, if the activities the Wife is involved in are not HER true desires, and don’t really provide HER with true bliss in her life … boom!
It would really be interesting to get accurate data on what percentage of women actually are the leaders in their heterosexual relationships. My gut tells me it is well under 50%, but without data, we rely too much on intuition. Also, you have to have a good working definition of what you’re trying to measure: female led in the bedroom, female led in all aspects of the relationship, female led outside the bedroom but not in the bedroom, female led but not all the time, etc.
My ex (my last monogamous relationship) is very strong willed and we have remained friends despite me being non-monogamous for over 3 years. I assumed she would love the blog because she is very strong willed and often difficult to deal with because she has a short temper. She is strongly attracted to feminist literature and female centric Reddit newsgroups, so I mistakenly assumed she wanted to train men “to be better.” Instead her response to this blog was “I don’t want to control men’s sexuality. They need to control their own sexuality. I’m not looking for a male child.” Is she symbiotic or parasitic? I don’t know. Maybe neither.
I’ve had a few women message me on the side with dismissive comments very similar to what your ex said:
My personal opinion is that this is an extremely simplistic view of what we are hoping to accomplish. What I recommend isn’t like putting a diaper on a baby, this is about a couple learning the nuances of their being and using their natural tendencies to guide their relationship.
“this is about a couple learning the nuances of their being and using their natural tendencies to guide their relationship.”
Based on what you had written, it sounds like your ex is a sign of our current times where everything is viewed through the lens of partisan politics. The view of people of her persuasion is that male sexuality is oppressive, abusive, toxic, ect. It is group think based on what your team tells you is true with an unwillingness to be open to alternative perspectives.
You are not wrong. I think some threads of feminism do scapegoat men. Blaming the “other” is a lazy way of building followers because honest self-reflection is painful and difficult and scapegoating is easy and comforting. She calls herself an anarcho-socialist which I understand is kind of like the left wing version of a libertarian — you know how if you go far enough right, you eventually hit the far left? She believes that everyone else should take care of their personal things and she will take care of her things. Her attitude seems to be “men” are full of flaws, but that it isn’t her job to fix “men” — it is theirs. I put “men” in quotes because I don’t think she understands men all that well, but remember this is my ex. She does seem to be easily led by feminists who enjoy emphasizing women’s oppression and caricaturing men and male power. But, in her defense, she also isn’t demanding any kind of centralized authority come and change the behavior of men. I really honestly thought she’d love the idea of a man who wants to give her the power to mold him to her tastes. I have happily moved on to molding and shaping women, but I think she is looking for her unicorn who will come pre-wrapped exactly the way she expects him without the need for a cage or an FLR.
To answer your question from a response above, it seems like she was parasitic. There are certain things in life which suck all joy and meaning, obsessive politics is one of them. There is a difference between obsession which people channel underlying anger or mental illness in the form of politics and being informed/contributing a positive change in the world. She was parasitic in the sense that your relationship was drained and essentially ruined because of her obsession in beliefs which she probably didn’t use to positively engage with you in. We have all been there. When a politically obsessed person walks in a room and you just feel drained by their presence. It is a form of one sided emotional arrangement that does not benefit both people involved. It is unfortunate but it ended for the best. From experience, someone like her probably needs the opposite of someone like you. A man who has completely different beliefs than hers which they can scream at each other about. Hopefully you find what you are looking for as well.
You say that you’d like accurate data, and your gut tells you that it is well under 50%. Well, if you are talking about leaders in the bedroom, there already are accurate related data, and inference tells us that the percentage is well under 50%. It’s about 15% based simply on the fact that men tend to be spontaneously aroused, and women tend to be responsively aroused. Sure women are excellent multi-taskers and make excellent aircraft pilots for that reason, but It’s difficult to lead sexually at a given moment, if you aren’t thinking about sex at that moment.
Because leadership in even this one dimension defies definition, numbers will always be a moving target. Consider switches, or those who top from the bottom, or especially cuckold marriages. The cuckold husband would seem to be the one who is being led within the marriage bedroom, but it’s usually his fantasy to begin with (overwhelmingly so), and usually he’s the one who puts the whole thing in motion, and he often retains a great deal of control if you want to pull the whole thing apart and analyze it.
How about this, who picks the porn that a hetero couple watches together? Right now, it’s about 75% male and 25% female, but is he selecting based on what he knows of her tastes? Impossible to nail it down definitively, but it’s still probably about 75/25.
There’s a lot of inference there. I think the real numbers would probably surprise both of us, but we’ll never know until that data is properly collected.
There is a strong D / S connection between us, so I would say it is a kind of symbiosis. He is not weak, but he is submissive. Symbiosis gives me and him, what each of us needs.
A thought-provoking article.
Right now I’m confident our FLR is symbiotic, though an outsider might be unconvinced as I jump to obey and immediately shut up if I’m getting a bit loud and opinionated.
Incredibly fortunately, my wife has found a domme side which neither of us knew existed until I revealed my sub desires to her (both of us have evolved our natures over some years and we had periods of difficulty).
I know it’s a cliche, but back in our vanilla days I, with hindsight, was parasitic and selfish. Both of us worked hard but she did 100% of regular housework as well as the lion’s share of child-rearing, while I might fix a couple of door hinges once in a while.
In fact, writing this has given me insight into why she now relishes her role and power – she’s got a lot of catching up to do 🙂
Relationships are tough. That’s the simple truth.
In most relationships, regardless of the truth, both parties think that they’re giving more than they’re taking.
It’s a hard truth to face, when you step back, and realize that you are probably taking more than your giving.
I’m still learning. I’m a much better husband than I was a year ago, and then I was a much better husband than I was a year before that, and so on.
But that doesn’t mean that everything is easy; it just means that I’m getting better at accepting certain things, and getting better at being willing to work on other things, and learning to be content with things that I couldn’t be content with before.
A very nice and provocative blog, as most are. For us, I think it is symbiotic. However, as noted in some of the comments, it depends on your perspective. As always, I enjoy the blog and the comments it generates.