Monday, November 23, 2015


While this blog remains on hiatus, I decided to make use of the billboard space to recommend a quartet of my favorite contemporary novels (or novellas) of femdom fiction, some of which I’ve mentioned before. In no particular order:

CRUEL HEAVEN by Molly Sands As the author herself describes the story, “Step by step, body and soul, a young woman enslaves her husband. An erotic romance of sex and marriage, and the irresistible rise of a dominant woman.” Molly Sands is a gifted and skillful storyteller and writer, and this may be the best of her four titles to date—The Devlin Woman, A New Devotion and The Obedient Husband (a continuation of A New Devotion) are the other three. The author’s practice of issuing her books in sections can be confusing, but her avid followers (like me) enjoy the practice, as we are eager to pounce on each new installment hot off the press, just as were the followers of Charles Dickens. Bravo, Molly Sands, and encore, encore!

DANCING BACKWARD by Thomas Lavalle
Just published (November, 2015), this 152-page digital novella, subtitled “An Adventure in Male Submission,” follows the effective formula used by both Molly Sands and Ryan Peterson (see below)—constantly switching POV between submissive male and dominant female. This highlights the psychological aspects of the D/s power differential, which provides much of the energy and excitement of my favorite erotic genre. Lavalle is a wordsmith who sometimes lapses into over-the-top imagery (“…higher up, her opulent breasts, gloriously unhammocked and side-sloping, quivered with her laughter”), but he keeps his story moving forward to an ending that clearly requires a sequel. Nice debut, Thomas.

A delicious femdom fable structured (I kid you not) on the model of O. Henry’s classic Christmas tale, “Gift of the Magi.” And it’s every bit as romantic and sentimental, which is not easily done in a story that includes a chastity tube, corporal punishment and financial domination. All of this is cleverly woven around an exchange of sexy, symbolic gifts over the Twelve Days of Christmas. Ingenious, matrimonially romantic and sizzling hot. How about opus two, Mr. Peterson?

LESSONS ON THE EDGE by William Gaius
Gaius, a writer-friend, is the most serious novelist of this quartet, a keen observer who just happens to write about femdom or female-led relationships. That is not to say that his page-turning tales are not highly erotic, because they are, with compelling and dimensional characters. “Edge” is a coming-of-age tale of intergenerational femdom about a young man who falls under the spell of his mother's friend, the dominant and fascinating, RoseAnne Perez.

Five stars for all four novels!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Farewell Repost: WORSHIPPING YOUR WIFE: 750-Word Digest Version

(Note From Mark Remond: After four-plus years of blogging on the challenges and rewards of wife worship, and another four years of working with a wide range of guest-bloggers, many with views quite different from mine (and to all of whom I am deeply grateful), I have decided to suspend new publication here in favor of other projects that have now caught my fancy. My intention is to leave the WYW archive intact as a resource.)

For those who, for whatever unaccountable reason, have not yet read the book, Worshipping Your Wife, here is a 750-word Readers Digest or Cliff Notes version:

WORSHIPPING YOUR WIFE: Six Steps for Turning Marriage Back Into Passionate Courtship

“Boyfriends need to understand that if women are worshipped, the world will be a better place.”
—Nicole Kidman

“If you want your wife to be a Goddess, worship her.”
—Clairette de Longvilliers

“The thrill is gone.”

It’s the lament of so many married couples. Husbands and wives drift apart, physically and emotionally, or maintain alliances of custom and convenience, keepers of a flickering flame.

Love has its seasons, as John Gray reminds us in Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus. It's folly to expect eternal springtime, perpetual romance.

But what if it's not necessarily true? What if love can be rekindled, even the all-consuming passion of first love? And not rekindled briefly, for just a season, but “ever after,” creating that fairytale future couples dream about when saying their vows?

That’s the extravagant claim of Worshipping Your Wife: Six Steps for Turning Marriage Back Into Passionate Courtship. Yes, courtship—because that’s when guys and girls find each other most mysterious and magnetic.

Here's the entire six-step program in a nutshell—nominally addressed to husbands, but most effective when hand-delivered by their wives (or girlfriends), with salty or salient passages underlined.

The husband needs to:

Step 1: Realize that "the thrill is gone" and that he wants to get it back

A man will do anything to win the woman of his dreams. Should he lose her, he will do anything to win her back. Why, then, is he not willing to do anything, on a daily basis, to keep her contented? Because husbands don't perceive that a wife can be lost if never again wooed or won, that marriage is also a crisis, deserving of extreme efforts.

Step 2: Save his sex energies for his wife

The dirty little secret is that passion doesn't ebb, magic doesn't vanish—not for most husbands anyway. Their fantasy life continues unabated, only focused away from their wives. With visual erotica a mouseclick away, too many husbands, while technically faithful, yield to imaginary infidelity. And, at the risk of sounding Victorian, chronic masturbation, solo and secretive, can rob a marriage of its binding energies.

Step 3: Make her his fantasy

The solution is for the husband to make his wife the centerfold of his inflamed imagination, as she was during courtship. When a husband begins treating her with that same homage, the deadening scales of familiarity will dissolve and he will see her restored to full, feminine mystery and radiance.

Step 4: Court her every day, attempt to win her anew

Let the dragon-slaying, and sonnet-making, and gift-giving continue. Also: In courtship, the man proclaims his romantic ever-readiness, but the woman decides when (or if) sex will happen. It is a wonderfully workable formula, attuned to the dynamics of male and female sexuality. Let the man be hopeful all day long, striving to earn or seduce ultimate favors. Let the wife initiate and announce the main event ("Gentlemen, start your engines!"). Sex will be better and hotter for both--and more frequent.

Step 5: Pamper her and pitch in around the house

Is it unmanly to pamper your wife? Is it insulting, or infantilizing to open doors for her when she's perfectly capable herself? Should a husband stick to gender-specific chores--washing the car, hauling out the garbage? The courtship model makes quick work of such debates: You can't do enough for her! And, in today's
two-income marriages, the woman ought not be expected to tie on the apron the minute she parks her briefcase. Let her log a few after-work hours in the La-Z-Boy (with a magazine and a Merlot). It may pay erotic dividends later that night.

Step 6: Dare to be known by her

Most men aren't comfortable discussing intimate or emotional issues--even sexual fantasies. But the more a marriage returns to the courtship model, the more a husband's thoughts—and fantasies--turn to his wife during the day, the more he will have to share with her at night (or other private times). Opening up to her will serve to strengthen emotional and sexual bonding--and preclude any temptation for a "misunderstood" husband to unburden himself to another woman.

Summing up

“To me it’s pretty simple,” began a memorable post I found in a wife-worshipping message board. “It’s all about doing what I can do to make my wife happy. Because when she’s happy, I’m happy. It doesn’t take much once you get the hang of it. Every single day I just pretend we are dating and I try to win her heart.”


Thursday, July 2, 2015


(Note from Mark Remond: “Lady Susan,” Nancy’s mother and dennis’ mother-in-law, who has previously commented on this blog, favors me with occasional observations on her family’s matriarchal lifestyle—and on FLRs in general. Recently, she has given me permission to use limited excerpts from these emails as blog posts. This is the first of what I hope will be a continuing series of contributions from Lady Susan.)

We are all in the female-led lifestyle and have been. Again, we’ve been at this for a long time and have evolved in our practice of the lifestyle. An overriding theme is that we women crave authority, and the men we’ve chosen to marry crave giving it to us. Our word is law and our decisions final!

Dennis has previously posted here about how, not long after he met Nancy, he was brought to her family home to be assessed by Joan (my mother), Julie (my sister), and by me. We were all looking for a man who would fit into the already established rhythm of our matriarchal family life, one where we women are in charge and the men take orders and care for the house.

For example, I don’t often speak of my late husband, but there are reasons for that. Though I loved him dearly, his opinion simply didn’t matter in the overall scheme of things. He knew to turn over his pay and get into the kitchen and be happy about it. And he was happy because he did as he was told. That's the secret to a successful marriage, an obedient husband!

The only time my husband ever appeared during Dennis’ initial visit was when I rang the hand bell for coffee, which my husband dutifully brought, wearing an apron, with all the courtesies I expected accorded me. I immediately watched for Dennis’ reaction to my husband’s dutiful performance and didn’t see a bit of trepidation on Dennis’ face. In fact, he seemed excited at what the future might hold for him.

Nancy had previously confided to me that her new boyfriend was thoroughly pussywhipped, and his reaction that day clearly confirmed it; that and what Nancy had told me about how their relationship was unfolding at school. Dennis is a number of years older than Nancy. They met in college, but she was an undergraduate and he already a graduate student with a well-paying career—very important that “well-paying” thing, as we women want love, but NEVER underestimate the importance of money to us! LOL!

Speaking quite candidly, any man who wishes to join our family will be judged on three things: money, sexual performance, and a willingness to comply with our wishes, which is, in our view, the manifestation of love on the part of a man. A man certainly needs to score high on two of these three criteria. After all, a woman can get sex—good sex—anywhere, but we expect more from our men. A guy who is fantastic in bed still had better be bringing nice gifts and provide great evenings out!

But back to Nancy and Dennis at college. They met at a feminist rally and soon became good friends, working with a women's group and taking elective classes in women's studies. Nancy suggested that Dennis also participate in marches and other public forums in support of women’s issues. He took her suggestions (quite properly) as orders and complied, another good sign. It’s no secret that we women love manipulating men, especially when it results in our getting control of some of man's ill-gained money. Nancy did this with great aplomb!

In her second year she convinced Dennis that she deserved more than the dormitories and belonged in an upscale downtown apartment. Thinking he was going to move in with Nancysilly boy!—he arranged a very nice apartment. But Nancy had no intention of his moving in with her. She arranged the lease to be in his name only with a sublet to her for $1 a year! This meant that Dennis paid for the year, yet still couldn't move her from the apartment. In fact, Dennis never moved in, though he did visit on Thursdays to clean the place—that was his responsibility. Dennis was, in effect, my daughter's sugar daddy, renting the apartment for her for three years. Now that's a man worth looking at—money and obedience, two very important criteria. (As for that third essential attribute a woman requires in a man, well, let's just skip over that one for now.)

Our matriarchal circle is a small but growing. Many of the couples who join seem to be like your wife and you, Mark. We’re seeing so many educated women who want as much on their terms as they can get—and they deserve it all! You’d be surprised how many men are turning over paychecks, doing housework, and not standing in the way when their wives want regular nights out with the girls—or, more and more frequently, with the “boys.”

Life in our family homes is fairly routine. It’s not some kind of femdom scene, just a well-organized situation with well-established rules to make sure everyone knows their responsibilities. Much of the real lifestyle work we do is outside the home. For example, Dennis has jobs outside of his regular career where he works for women-owned businesses. He also spends a lot of time working at the women’s center, a feminist group that is into a lot of activities, workshops, demonstrations and so on.

I’ll be happy to share more about all this in future posts.

—Lady Susan

Friday, June 26, 2015


(Note from Mark Remond: This is the first in what I hope will be a series of guest posts from "Jerry," a man totally under the spell of his beautiful and controlling wife, "Diane." A powerful aspect of Jerry's submission , as you will see, involves his being cuckolded. This is very much a hot-button topic, of course, and one which I don't recall being discussed here before, though it has become commonplace in many other FLR blogs. The focus here is not on the wrong or right of cuckolding, but on Jerry's need to speak candidly about this deeply submissive fantasy of his, and his subsequent reaction when fantasy became reality)

I’m 42 years old, and my wife, Diane, is 40. We’ve been happily married for 15 years and have three children together—a 14-year-old girl and two boys, 12 and 10. From the beginning my wife has been the head of the household, and her judgments, opinions and priorities rule. She has complete control of the family finances. All earnings from my main employment are deposited into her account, and from this she provides me with an allowance. There is absolutely no need for Diane to explain anything whatsoever about the family finances to me. She is free to spend as she alone sees fit whether, in her judgment, for the benefit of the family or merely for her own enjoyment. Recently, for example, she purchased a new Mini Cooper convertible, and this was her decision alone.

Obviously I am submissive to her. Indeed, I worship the ground she walks on, and I worship her literally from head to toe. Putting her shoes on has become a daily ritual for us. In the morning as Diane gets ready for work she requires me to fetch her footwear for the day and then place her selection on her feet. I go into her closet and locate the appointed pair, then kneel before her with the shoes until she instructs me to begin. I start by kissing the top of her left foot very gently, then carefully putting on the shoe, then kissing the top of the shoe before repeating the same process with her right shoe and right foot. Following this, I fasten a gold ankle bracelet around her right ankle. (Yes, I know what some of you may be thinking—Don’t married women wear anklets on the left, and unmarried women on the right? Stay tuned.)

Increasingly, over the past 14 years since our first child was born, I have expressed my obvious submission to my wife in front of our children in what I think are appropriate ways—as, for example, treating her soles with lotions and creams to keep them soft and sexy. For another example, when watching TV as a family in the evening, my wife and children usually sit on the sofa while I sit on the floor near her feet, caressing and casually kissing them.

Like many other wife-worshiping husbands who have posted or commented on this blog, I do all the household chores—laundry, running errands, scrubbing the floors, etc. Often while I’m doing my chores, Diane goes out shopping for sexy outfits or getting her hair done, or simply out enjoying herself, spending as she sees fit. As mentioned, she need not, and usually does not, tell me where she is going or what she will be doing.

Now here comes a confession, one that I don’t think will shock too many readers of this blog. I have often fantasized about Diane having a secret affair. I have imagined this incredibly sexy woman spending Friday nights out with a lover, being pleasured, pampered and worshipped by him while I stay at home, looking after the children and doing my house chores, perhaps scrubbing floors on my hands and knees.

Recently I had to go abroad for work for a few days, between a Thursday and a Monday. While I was away I of course kept Diane informed of my doings by phone and emails. So on Friday evening, after finishing my day’s work, I left Diane a simple and to-the- point phone message: “Just getting to my hotel room now, honey, I love you.” It had been a long hot day, so hot and humid, in fact, that it took my breath away each time I stepped out of my air-conditioned car into the furnace heat. Holding my overnight bag in my teeth I struggled clumsily to open the hotel door, and once inside dropped everything at the foot of the bed. Letting out a long and loud sigh, I collapsed on the bed, then stretched out for a few moments thinking of nothing but how blessedly good it felt to lie there in my air-conditioned cave.

After a while, however, my tired mind began to wonder why Diane hadn’t answered the phone herself. After all, it was nearly 3:30 in the afternoon, and the kids would be home from school soon. She always liked to be there for them on their return. (Let me insert here that Diane is a terrific mom in all ways.) But I quickly put my mind at ease. It was, after all, no big deal. Lately Diane and I have both begun enjoying a little freedom from the kids now that they’re getting a bit older. So I turned on the TV and began channel surfing. An hour slipped past before my cell phone began ringing. It was one of the kids, asking me where Mom was—all the kids were wondering apparently. No “Hi, Dad, how was your day?” or anything but “Where’s Mom?”

“I don’t know, honey,” I answered. “I’m sure she’ll be home soon.”

“Okay, bye, I love you!” Click.

I stared at the phone and chuckled, thinking: “I definitely have to teach my kids some phone manners.”

Figuring now that Diane must have escaped to the local casino, I texted her in a teasing way: “Good luck, hope you’re enjoying gambling away my hard-earned money!” and waited for a reply.

After a short while she texted back: “Thanks, I hope to get lucky : ), but I am not at the casino lol... I’ll text you later.”

“Where are you then?” I queried.

There was no reply. Puzzled, I could do nothing but wait... and let my imagination get the better of me.

Having received her text, I knew my wife was okay, obviously not in harm’s way. Her text was flirtatious and included a smiley face, so I also knew she was in a good mood. So, she had to be out with one of her friends, but who? That was the million dollar question. My rational mind said she had to be with her best friend. All evidence pointed to that—she was out and happy, simply too busy to talk to me.

But there were clues pointing to something else. I felt the familiar stirrings on a fantasy involving my deepest desire of submission to her, my desire for her to cheat on me. Images of Diane making love to some complete stranger swarmed through my mind. I saw her sexy body wrapped up in the arms of this other man, saw her enjoying herself, spending that part of our family income that I’d earned.

Immediately I sent her a couple of emails and texts telling her how much I adore her and how beautiful she is. But I wanted to do more. Immediately on my return, I decided, I would give her a surprise gift and take her shoe shopping as I knew she had a night out planned the following weekend and needed some new heels.

As mentioned above, Diane completely controls the family finances and all the earnings from my main (full-time) employment, and she provides me with an allowance. But I also have a part-time job with her permission, buying and selling items online, and I spend almost all of this extra income for her. I love to lavish her with expensive and elegant gifts. The remaining amount is spent on gifts for our children, such as toys and games.

When I returned home Diane and the kids greeted me. I hugged and kissed the children, then hugged and kissed Diane softly on her lips. Then I asked her please to come with me, explaining to the kids that the two of us had to do some shopping and would be back soon. I took her hand and out we went. As always, I opened the passenger door for Diane, and before we drove away, we kissed passionately. But when she asked me where we were we going, I teased her just to wait and she’d find out very soon. To her surprise and delight, the destination was a designer shoe shop where I paid for a very sexy pair of Italian high heels of her choice.

When we returned home, I asked all the children please to go upstairs as I needed to talk privately to their mom. As soon as they left, I knelt before Diane and worshipped and kissed the soles of her feet, then lovingly helped her into her sexy new designer heels.

Friday night arrived: When Diane goes for a night out with her girlfriends, all of whom seem to be single, she always instructs me to drive her to the nightclub where she meets them, and I pick her up later, whenever she calls me on her mobile phone. As I mentioned, Diane is 40, but so incredibly sexy that she doesn’t look more than 30. But driving her to and from the club is not my only involvement in her nights out.

She allows me to help her prepare for these outings. On the night in question, I drew her a bath and afterward worshipped her neck before putting on her elegant diamond necklace, then worshipped and kissed the soles of her bare feet, knelt before her and fastened on her anklet, and then sucked her toes before sliding on her diamond toe ring. Next I helped her into her new sexy high heels that I had just given an extra polish.

When it was time to leave, Diane reminded me to start the laundry as soon as I got back home and to cook dinner for the children. Then, brimming over with adoration, I drove her to the nightclub, feeling so lucky to be able to worship such an earthly goddess.

Back home again, I started the laundry and cooked dinner for the children and myself. After we finished, I cleaned the dishes and continued with ironing some clothes and some doing some vacuuming.

At three a.m. Diane called me from her cell phone and instructed me to pick her up in exactly one hour. The nightclub is only about a 30-minute drive from our house, but for some reason I decided to leave immediately, and instead of going to our agreed-upon meeting spot, to park near the nightclub entrance and wait there until she left the club with her girlfriends.

Shortly after I arrived and parked, however, I witnessed something that has changed my life forever. I saw Diane come out of the club with a guy, a complete stranger to me, and they were kissing—I mean really kissing, French kissing. They couldn’t see me, but I watched them touching each other intimately and kissing deeply for at least 15 minutes before I backed the car away quietly and went to wait for my wife at our meeting spot.

When Diane arrived at 4 a.m., I kissed her sweetly as usual and said nothing about having spied on her outside the club, or, of course, what I had seen as a result. On our way home I asked her casually how her night out had gone, and she told me that she’d enjoyed it very much and that the time had passed so quickly, and that she was already looking forward to seeing her friends again.

I bet, I thought! In fact, to this day, my wife does not know that I am aware that she has a boyfriend behind my back.

What is my reaction? Well, yes, there is some jealousy, I can’t deny it. But there is something deeper than jealousy that I felt that night. In fact, I was turned on like never before and saw Diane as truly a sexual goddess. This just made me even more submissive to her. When we got home early that morning I knelt before her and licked her soles, sucked her toes and worshipped her slavishly.

Two weeks later I gave her another surprise gift—purchased like my other gifts to Diane with the proceeds from my extra job, this one an expensive “Sexy” diamond and platinum necklace.

Since that memorable night, I feel incredibly excited and turned on each time I help Diane prepare for another night out “with the girls.” My submissive excitement continues throughout the hours she is gone, knowing that I am obligated to do all the house chores and laundry while my sexy wife is taking her pleasure with another man and, of course, freely spending money I have earned to further her enjoyment.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015


(Note From Mark Remond: This post can be read as a provocative sidebar to SERVING MS. BROWN, PART 4 – WEEKLY STAFF MEETING.)

Wanting to follow up on my suggestion for Carol to lunch with Joan, our HR director, I called her office, but only got her voicemail. This was unusual since Joan has an administrative assistant, brad, a bright young man, recently graduated from college. A few minutes later brad called me with instructions that “Ms. Smith (Joan) wants to see you in Her office right now.” Having conveyed that abrupt summons, brad promptly hanged up. When, perhaps a minute later, i show up at Joan’s office, brad was there to usher me immediately into his Boss’ office, then close the door. Long minutes passed, however, before Joan even acknowledged me, and then only to motion me to sit on a low chair adjacent to Her desk. Another few minutes passed before she gots up and walked over to my chair, the sound of Her heels further reinforcing Her Female authority. My low chair, Her high heels, plus Her 5’10” height all combined to have Her towering above me.
“What the hell happened in Carol’s meeting this morning?” Joan screamed, giving me a sharp shin kick for emphasis.

“Ma’am?” I responded sheepishly.

“Ma’am, my ass!” Joan yelled. “Listen bitch, I don’t like being left out to dry like that. You could have said something.”

“But I mentioned to Carol all that You do for us here,” I said, stammering for an excuse.

“Why bring up favorable things about me after the meeting? What the hell good does that do? Listen, bitch, you better realize that I can make a few calls, and you’d be history here, do you understand that? Trust me, I can find some reason to fire you and make it stick, and the same applies to your bitch buddy, tom – make sure he knows that. I’m sick and damn tired of not getting the respect I deserve around here.”

“Yes Ma’am,” i responded with a gulp.

But Joan wasn’t finished. “As a matter of fact, I think you’re partly to blame over this mobile applications thing, because you didn’t manage the head of the computer science department very well, at least that’s how I see it. How about you?”

“Yes, Ma’am, i guess I am partly to blame.”

“Partly?” Joan yelled. “If you’re implying that I have some culpability here, you’re sadly mistaken.”

“Oh, no, Ma’a, that’s not what i meant at all.”

Still obviously enraged, Joan went on to say that both tom and i were responsible since we were involved with the college computer science department. “I’m going to do an investigation of this mobile apps thing, and when i’m through, both you and tom are going to have some entries in your personnel files, and they may not be too flattering.”

“Yes, Ma’am.”

But there was still more: “We have Women coming up who we’re going to be looking at to move into your positions—yours and tom’s—and it’s all that much easier when the incumbents are fucking up, do you understand that?”

“Yes, Ma’am.”

“But you can redeem yourself by helping me confront the head of the computer science department at the college. That guy is my choice as poster boy for misogyny, that patriarchal son-of-a-bitch.”

“Maybe we could have a meeting with the college president to discuss this?” i suggested. “She’s always been supportive, and She’s a committed Feminist.

Joan agreed that we should definitely “take this to the top.” But she concluded our “discussion” with a final warning: “You’re not out of the woods for fucking up today, little man. You owe me and you’re going to start paying—now.”

“Yes, Ma’am.”

Dipping into Her purse, She pulled out a receipt and a set of keys. “Have my car washed and the oil changed then pick up my dry cleaning.” She held out the dry cleaning receipt and car keys then, as I reached for them, dropped them on the floor. “Pick them up,” She ordered, “and this is out of your pocket.”

“Yes, Ma’am, my priviledge, Ma’am.”

“And one last thing.” Joan kicked Her pumps off in my direction, commanding me to “Shine these and make sure they’re back here by one o’clock.”

“Why, yes, Ma’am,” I said, trying to demonstrate my deference, “i can shine them right now. Where does brad keep his shoeshine supplies?”

“He doesn’t, at least not yet, so you’ll have to take them to your office.”

“That’s fine, Ma’am, do you have a tote bag?”

She didn’t, or perhaps She wanted to teach me some humility by having me openly carry her pumps through the long corridors and into the packed elevators. In any case, that’s exactly what I did, a male executive carrying heels through corporate headquarters.

Some of the Women i passed, having a real feel for their own power, bantered with me. “Nice heels,” one Woman called out, “but not your size.” i smiled and nodded in agreement. “Oh, are those yours?” asked another Woman as Her colleagues giggled.

Courtesy toward all Females being mandatory in our company, i responded candidly, explaining that a staff member needed them tended to. On hearing this, another commented, “Maybe when I get to staff level, I’ll have my shoes shined, too!”

i assured Her that She would, but suppressed a followup thought—“And i’ll be delighted to care for them for you.”  

i returned to the office and immediately got busy caring for Joan’s shoes plus a pair of Carol’s for good measure.

he remainder of the morning was fairly routine. i tended to departmental issues as well as taking dictation from Carol and attending one of Her meetings where my shorthand skills were need. Plus i answered phones, took dictation and handled paperwork. i knew i would have plenty to keep me busy over lunch tending to personal tasks for Carol—and now Joan.


Tuesday, June 9, 2015


i’d spoken earlier about how the guys in our little social group help out when one of the men in our group is traveling. i spoke about Linda and my work while i was on loan to Her when hubby, tom, was out of town for work. My experience extends beyond simply serving Women within our group, however. My Mother-in-law, Sue, has made arrangements with three Women-run businesses: 1) housekeeping at a local hotel, 2) a local Women’s boutique, and, 3) a Maid service. Everyone benefits with the arrangements we have: the Women get needed help, Sue gets money and perks, and i get valuable training and work experience.

At home i’m responsible for domestic service – housekeeping – and while i loved the work i was finding myself getting further and further behind, i was simply inefficient. Sue to the rescue! One day She was speaking with Rhoda, a Woman friend who ran housekeeping for two local hotels. When Sue expressed frustration with me and my inefficiency, Rhoda offered to help. Rhoda proposed training me to be a Maid at the hotel and, in the process, making me very efficient at housekeeping. Hotel Maids have a tough job – plenty of rooms and not much time to clean them. Not only would i learn a great deal about housekeeping but i’d be working in a Woman-run environment.

Sue and Rhoda struck a bargain. Rhoda would train me and, in return, Sue promised to make me available for a certain number of days each year – usually on weekends – to supplement Her staff when needed. i would be paid but i’d give that money, and any hotel perks i’d get, back to Sue. Any tips i received from cleaning rooms were to be turned over to Rhoda to be split among the other Maids.

The two Women agreed, and the next Saturday i reported to Rhoda at the hotel to begin my training. i was issued a uniform and a name tag and a block of rooms to clean – piece of cake, i thought.

Rhoda and Her Girls just threw me into it, assigning rooms and pointing out where the service carts were located. I received no training to begin with, but plenty of yelling and harsh comments. My rooms were continually failing inspection, and couldn’t be assigned to new guests making the front desk angry. i quickly found myself behind in my tasks; they hadn’t shown me any of the tricks of the trade but thrown me into it as a way of learning some respect and humility.

Halfway through the day the Women invited me into the break room for cigarettes and lunch. i was way behind and begged the Women to help me – i promised i’d make it up to them. They loved the begging! They’d rightly perceived that i underestimated the task; worse, a few of the Maids assumed i didn’t respect them. That, i assured them, was not the case. Rhoda assigned me to Tiffany, a tough, no-nonsense Maid for my training. Tiffany set the record straight. i was told that all the Maids were to be treated with respect and deference – “Yes, Ma’am, no, Ma’am.” The Maids were to be addressed as Ms, and their first name or however i was told to address them, “yes, Ms. Tiffany!” i was to obey all the Maids, all the time.

After lunch we went at it full force, with Ms. Tiffany ordering me around like a drill sergeant. FYI, yelling works! i learned a lot of humility, too. i’d always worked for or with educated Women, but here i was a guy with graduate degrees as the lowest-ranking member of an all-Woman team, none of whom had attended college! And i deserved to be at the bottom! It was humiliating for me because in their world of the housekeeper they were in charge. i entered their domain at their pleasure at the very bottom of the hierarchy – and i’d stay there, said Rhoda.

Two of the Maids on our team were sarcastic toward me, often saying things like, “Oh, you have a masters degree and can’t even clean a toilet!” These Women exercised their power over me in a number of ways that i won’t now mention, but their comments were right – my formal education didn’t count for a thing. Formal education didn’t help me to efficiently make beds, dust, vacuum or clean toilets, only the skills Rhoda and the Ladies would teach me would do that. The other Girls reminded me of this, too. And Rhoda started our shift meetings with “OK, Ladies....” – giving no special recognition for me, a recognition that i’m now very embarrassed to admit i initially thought i deserved. Of course i didn’t.

Only when Rhoda and Tiffany decided that i learned the job and learned my place, did they give me a cherished educational credential, a silver hotel logo “Housekeeper” nametag engraved “Denise.” Yes, Denise! The engraver assumed that Dennis was a misspelling and took it upon himself to make the change – sexist bastard! It was returned and corrected with proper spelling and capitalization; it now reads ‘dennis.’ This is the first step, the next is “Maid” if Rhoda sees fit to promote, but before that happens i have to gain experience in other departments.

My biggest reward, though, is that i’m now accepted by the other Maids. We converse, take smoke breaks, i pitch in to help them when i can, always bring cigarettes, and make and serve coffee. It all means a lot to them. i was flattered when, during one Saturday’s lunch break, the Women presented me with a feather duster and a rather fancy maid’s apron. i tried it on for them to their applause; i took it home but will bring it in for special occasions.

With this outside job in housekeeping i learned a great deal of technical skills that helped greatly in my daily homemaking tasks. i had no choice other than to get more efficient at my household tasks or get devoured by them. Rhoda, Tiffany, and the Maids taught me a lot!

Thursday, May 28, 2015


The board is assembled for our weekly staff meeting. Carol enters, “Good morning, Ladies,” She says, and it’s all business from that moment forward. Each manager will go through Her department’s activities and issues. i take a seat to Carol’s right and open my steno book. While i’m at the meeting because i run a department, it’s no secret that my ability to take shorthand would have me here even if weren’t a manager. i frequently sit in on Carol’s highest-level, most sensitive meetings because of shorthand. i'll record the proceedings in detail, including developing a report to send to the attendees for their approval and add any issues they may want noted before making it part of the current record.

Carol is a capable and personable executive, but She is a Business Woman and She means business. By Her own admission, She’s a Bitch first and a Lady second. She wants Her staff to take the initiative, and there’s hell to pay when She perceives they haven’t – we’ll see an example of that today, and it won’t be tom or me on the receiving end.

This week after routine updates, we have hiring on the agenda, specifically eight offers for a variety of technical positions that are going to be offered to applicants, all recent college grads, three men and five Women. The Female candidates are well known to us, we’ve employed all of them as interns throughout their academic preparation. Their qualifications are impeccable.  All things being equal, we’d hire a Woman over a man but it rarely comes to that; Women are presenting excellent credentials compared to many male applicants.
This, coupled with a strong record of performance from Women already working for us, and we have steady growth in the number of Women in technical positions – but that growth isn’t always as fast as Carol would like to see.

Carol and other executive Women have structured a college outreach and a variety of internal programs targeted at attracting Women to technical careers and ensuring they succeed. We’re all committed Feminists and believe that economic empowerment is absolutely essential to Women overcoming the still-too-prevalent sexist attitudes and structures that confront them.

“Why are we hiring so many men?” Carol wants to know. “We can’t find three Women? How about two Women, or even one?” She asks, obviously disturbed. Carol is assured that the three men have unique skills – mobile applications development – that we need. “So three Women were denied positions,” Carol asks, looking to Joan, our HR manager. “Not yet, but Yes,” Joan responds sheepishly. “Putting aside mobile applications, were they good candidates?” Carol asks. “Oh, yes, very good candidates,” Joan responds. “So we have three talented Women who are going to work for competitors? Am I right?” Joan stammers a bit, wanting to extricate Herself from a touchy situation. Carol doesn’t want to hear Joan’s response. “Well, hire the men and make offers to the three Women, too,” insists Carol, “and make sure they are focused on mobile applications once we get them in here.” “Yes, Ma’am,” Joan responds, trying to raise a concern about budgets.  Carol cuts Joan off, “Just get it done! I’ll worry about budgets. And I want you in here at eight Wednesday morning to review your progress, and I want progress!”

The meeting lasts for an hour, then Carol brings it to a close with Her traditional send-off, “OK, Ladies, have a good week!” Carol, still perturbed by Joan, stops Her on the way out and requests a meeting with the Dean of Computer Science at the college that we so generously support – subject: mobile applications. Carol and i meet immediately afterward; i’ll be following up with the various staff members, particularly Joan. Carol is angry with Joan, but i try and calm Her by recalling all that Joan has done for our company. i remind Her that Joan has been our HR manager since we became a Woman-owned company and that She’s driven significant change:

§  Taken us from being a place where even the most talented Women couldn’t get ahead to one where Female management was the norm.
§  Traditionally Female departments are now 100% female-staffed AND -managed
§  Drove our university outreach and mentoring programs
§  Doubled the number of Women in technical positions and tripled the number of Female technical managers
§  Greatly changed the company culture, particularly male attitudes about Women – no small feat!
§  Improved the lot of Women in traditional secretarial and administrative positions by increasing salaries and creating paths for advancement such as ‘office manager’ positions
§  Hired men into traditionally Female secretarial and administrative positions. Her efforts and more attractive salaries are attracting male candidates. Men in these roles are typically supervised by Female office managers. If current trends continue, our company will soon have secretarial and administrative positions staffed by a majority of men.
§  Established a mentoring program for Women
§  Launched a golf program for Women; Joan sees golf as a necessary business skill

Carol, sees my point and i convince Her She should have lunch with Joan on Wednesday to discuss these issues – besides, i tell Her, it seems like our University Dean dropped the ball on mobile applications, not Joan. “Set it up,” Carol commands, as She abruptly turns to leave, the cadence of Her heels on the hardwood floor announcing Her departure. i take great satisfaction in calling Joan and having Her reserve time on Her schedule for a Wednesday lunch with Carol.