Tuesday, August 18, 2015

TLC's Submissive Wives' Guide to Marriage

Despite its ongoing popularity, Fifty Shades is the worst thing that ever happened to the BDSM community. TLC, a broadcaster that brands itself as non-fiction women's lifestyle TV - how do they come up with a description like that anyway - is one of the businesses that tries to cash in on the phenomena with an hour long "documentary" about submissive women. When they ran the promo they forgot to tell that it is about a submissive marriage in some biblical sense. It is unsettling and painful to watch.

1950s household man, a saint drinking coffee, while his wife holds his hat and briefcase
Even this is preferable to TLC's portrait of a submissive marriage

Leader in the household

The submissive marriage idea is propagated by Tara a successful submissive wife who preaches the gospel of biblical marriage. Her idea of a submissive marriage goes way beyond the role of women in the 1950s or 1960s, think Mad Men, it feels like a cult.

Tara is a mum and her 12 year old daughter wants access to social media, so she asks dad for his decision. The guy doesn't even take off his sunglasses when he talks to his wife. More importantly, why marry someone if you don't value her opinion, especially if she is the mother of your children? After a few words of wisdom he grants their daughter access to social media on the condition that her parents approve everything before she posts it. Dad has clearly not yet entered the 21th century.

A little later in a close up the father says: "As the leader in the household, these are some of the decisions I have to take".  Dad comes across as some pompous twat, rather than a leader and the whole thing feels like a mockumentary.

Turning Tables

The 24/7 lifestyle is not for me, but even then I find it hard to image anyone handing over the responsibility for the happiness and safety of those you love and protect. It doesn't matter if they are your offspring or others you love. You just don't neglect your responsibilities, just to satisfy your own sexual desires. The people you love and depend on you, have a right to expect you look out for them, keep them safe from harm and make sure they are OK, even if it interferes with your lifestyle.

No sub should ever be allowed or forced to give up that responsibility, just like no domme should ever ask for it or accept it if offered. Placing your own desires before the needs of those you love and care for is the most selfish act there is - and it's ugly. Kink is intense, but it should never grow so overwhelming, you are unable to step out of character and discuss what matters as two grown ups. If that is where your desires have led you, you better take a moment and think hard.

TLC - a Totally Loony Cult

A second couple has been married for twelve years, with their marriage faltering, they've been told to practise submissive marriage. That's what friends are for. Both spouses are clearly desperate for a way forward and have agreed with it.

TLC used to stand for tender, love and care, as in nothing a little TLC cannot cure, but instead of helping these socially awkward people by learning them basic techniques to improve their relationship, the cure is being a submissive wife in a biblical relationship.

Tara, the successful submissive wife talks to Kristin who is trying to get her head around the idea of becoming one. Tara is clearly uncomfortable with intimate questions about their sex life and says they have more sex than most couples, but not as much as they should, after which things get creepy. The love tank always needs to be full and submissive wives should always have sex when their husbands want it, whether they feel like it or not.

Next Kristin is alone in the kitchen - before her evil mother in law arrives - and talks to the camera: "...doing stuff you don't like, because what in a year if else..."  Following the guidelines have made her looks lost and unhappy.

women hugging naked man, after spanking him with a paddle, aftercare, tlc
Now that's what i call TLC.

Her mother in law gives her an insane verbal thrashing telling Kristin will surely fail as a submissive wife. Mums sole concern is the happiness of her son, never mind the wife he loves or the kids the couple has together.

The husband shows he is just as clueless when he brings home flowers, telling the camera he has to give his wife something to submit to. Seriously! Think about it: ever brought flowers home for your mistress? Even if it was just a way of you telling her you love her, from now on its a big no no, she just might think you want her to be submissive because of a few measly flowers. Roses are the worst.

Not all is well that...

The couple loves each other but their meddling friends and their idea of a biblical submissive marriage have send them straight on a highway to hell. If that doesn't wreck it, the mother in law will finish the job. At the end of the "documentary" Kristin confesses how "being a submissive wife is really working for my family. I feel less stress. We're happy, my husband is happy and that is all that matters." In the end being a submissive wife will be the wrecking ball that destroys her marriage.

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