Liv a 38 year old woman and Gordon a 48 year old man from New Mexico discuss their Female Led Relationship with local writer, Lyric Kali.
Liv believes that she is in a level 3 or 4 FLR.
Our readers are interested in how FLR begins, how did you/he broach the subject and come to an agreement? How did you and your man get into an FLR?
Liv: A mutual friend put us together. I mentioned that I wanted to explore FLR; she responded with, “I know just who you need to meet.” Gordon has been in FLRs for 25 years; it’s the way he relates to women in his words: “she needs to rule and he needs to serve.” Our first date was spent talking about FLR philosophy and his experience. Gordon’s experience and patience paved the way for me to not only to explore FLR, but to embrace it.
Gordon: I’m an ardent supporter of the Goddesshood. I realized at a fairly early age that women in charge was not only an incredible turn-on, but just felt right.
There are many ways of dealing with family decisions, one can control and delegate, one can decide, couple can vote, and then there is the ever popular veto. In some relationships both participate and in others the decision is managed by one or the other. How does decision making work in your relationship?
Liv: I’m an avid communicator and also understand the constraints of the everyday world. Gordon’s job is his domain; I don’t make decisions for him in that arena unless the decision will directly affect US as a couple. If that is the case he brings those decisions home and we talk about them. My goal of course is to make sure whatever decision is a) something he wants to do and b) good for his growth and development professionally. Big decisions such as “Let’s sell the house and move to Spain,” are something I would include Gordon in. Massive life change decisions REQUIRE the input of all parties in the relationship. However, I brought home a new cat; it didn’t require Gordon’s input. I invited his family to spend the holidays with us rather than us going to them and I simply informed him. I keep our calendar of social engagements; I let him know where we’re going and when. It’s his job to pick up a bottle of wine, have cash, and to be ready to go on time and appropriately attired.
Gordon: Liv can keep more plates in the air; she thinks faster, moves faster, and has things done while I’m still considering starting. Liv is a doer and she is happiest to just make the choices without a committee. I’m happy to follow along.
Couples have successfully negotiated the 5 food groups for eons, the food groups seem to be the biggest challenges in relationships where decision making is concerned. Of the 5 food groups found at https://www.aboutflr.com/the-5-food-groups/ which do you control and how do you control them?
Liv: Let’s take each one separately.
Finances: I control the finances in our relationship. All of our money goes into a shared bank account, but he has to ask permission to spend money over a certain amount. He must responsible for what he does spend and make sure I get the receipts. Mostly this is because I have financial plans for us over the long-term.
Free Time: Gordon’s free time comes when I want free time typically. I like to meet friends for lunch or I go to yoga or dance. During those times Gordon is either free to pursue whatever he wishes or I provide him with a list of chores to get done by the time I get back. I firmly believe in each person need down time so typically he gets that when I’m out. Gordon’s big hobby is music so he tends to putter around in his CD room or chatting online about music. If Gordon wishes to make time with friends or an event; he asks and I see if it works with our schedule.
Household Chores: Some women find it exhilarating to have man do housework. I find it patently unexciting. I hired a cleaning service to come in once a week, because I can’t abide time taken away from attending to my needs in order to clean the bathroom. I do all the cooking, because I enjoy cooking and it makes me feel good to feed us healthily. Gordon does all the kitchen clean-up after meals. It is Gordon’s job to pick-up any clothes, towels, whatever on the floor and to take the trash out. We shop for food together or I go on my own simply because I know what I want and would prefer not to be called from the store 10 times, because he doesn’t know which brand of soap.
Life Direction: As of now, we have the same goals and desires. It is important in this area to communicate well. It is one thing to be in a FLR, but if the individual finds a new passion or desire then their happiness may be dependent upon it. If either of us becomes unhappy; then it is time to renegotiate. It is important for the woman to know what her man’s goals and dreams are. They are either in alignment with hers or not. If not, then I’d say skip the relationship. If they are she can consciously provide for his goals and dreams as well as her own.
Sex: (Liv grins) We have sex when I want sex which lucky for Gordon is pretty often (everyone laughs). Gordon is expected to be ready when I want him and how I want him. Sex is part of my power; sure sex often happens in the evening in the bedroom, but surprise is part of the spice so Gordon never quite knows what is coming next.
Obedience takes FLR to a whole new level, most men surveyed say they are willing to obey but women tend to the more conventional way of leading, managing and controlling. Did you ask your man to obey you, and what happens when he does not?
Liv: He does obey me. We have rules of engagement; there is a certain way he greets and serves me when I come into the house. There is a way he treats me in general that is something I require. Disobedience typically results in my ignoring him. Nothing seems to be worse for Gordon than to have me ignore him. Or disobedience may result in a chore he doesn’t really like or withholding of something he does like.
Gordon: I obey. I prefer to be a good man to her rather than one who is fractious. Disobeying is unpleasant for everyone.
Part of the fantasy that couple CAN live is pampering, service and honor from the man to the woman. Do you practice pampering and benefits in your relationship?
Liv: We definitely do practice this art form. I am cherished, loved, and adored from neck and backrubs to the exquisite foot rub whenever and wherever I want them. It is Gordon’s job to see that my comforts are met from running my bath to fetching me a drink. He is loving and ardent in his devotion.
Gordon: It is nothing less than she deserves. Liv’s well-being is my well-being.
We know from experience that relationships tend to normalize over time, they are hot/intense to begin with and mellow as time go on. Describe how your leadership has changes over the years, was it strict to start, did you slow start?
Liv: It was a slow start. I had to become used to the idea of being the leading partner in a relationships with a man. I’m naturally a strong leader, but previous relationships had been fairly traditional and typically with bad results i.e. battles and breaking up. I don’t like to be controlled or be told what is best for me. I’m perfectly capable of deciding that for myself AND for my man. Honestly though it took me about 3-5 months to really get into the groove and understand that this was what Gordon truly desired and ultimately so did I. Due to Gordon’s experience in FLR he was able to gently and consistently remind me that I was in charge and that I make the rules.
Gordon: Liv was absolutely adorable during this time as she came into her own power. I feel honored to be her first led man and offered whatever in my experience would contribute to her owning and directing our relationship. I am enamored of her grace, beauty, and ability to lead.
Liv: We’re still fairly new, just over a year so things haven’t really mellowed for us except for the fact that Gordon knows what I expect of him. Though of course I always reserve the right to change my mind on what I expect.
Gordon: (grinning) I like it when she changes her mind.
FLR is not well understood because women for the most part have been silent about it. Why do you think women have not spoken up about their interest and experiences?
Liv: I think it is because people don’t understand something new and are willing to heap all sorts of criticism on you when they haven’t a clue. FLR isn’t the easiest thing to explain over cocktails. I will talk to folks if they ask me, because they’ve noticed our dynamic. But most people are fairly clueless; they see what they want to see. Also, I don’t like abuse put on my man about not being a “real man” because I lead the relationship. If anything he is more of a man than those typical swaggering bulls, because he is solid and protective of me while providing me exactly what I want provided.
Gordon: Liv in the lead takes the guesswork out of the relationship for me. I don’t have to figure out what she needs or wants; she simply tells me. Then I get to do my best to please her. If I succeed the results are well worth it! (all laugh). I wish more women would talk about it, but I can see how in the current cultural clime that they may wish to keep it under wraps.
The motivations and learning styles people have often speak loads about them. They have been widely used in business to get things done. Do you as leader know your man’s learning and motivation style and dose that help you lead?
Liv: (laughs) Gordon is motivated by two things knowing what to do and then being surprised which effectively has him learning new territory. There are certain things he’s expected to do, basic rules of engagement and he does those. It makes my life easier to have some things just done.
Gordon: It is my job to make her life easier. Whatever she needs is whatever I do.
Liv: But we both like to keep things interesting. I am more likely to get bored than Gordon, but he likes my twists and turns. It is rewarding to watch his eyebrows rise when I ask him to do something or wear something new. He gets excited and while he is serving there is a satisfied gleam in his eyes. Keeping things fresh is a definite motivator. (Gordon nods emphatically).
Agreements are part of most relationships, vows, fidelity etc… Did you make a formal written agreement, if so please describe it, if not why not?
Liv: We do not have an agreement on paper. Trust is vitally important in any relationship and even more so in an FLR. Gordon is a good man and his word is solid. He is to remain faithful and worshipful of me, period. I can do what I wish of course; but even then I have to be seriously moved to stray from our relationship. I am happy, in love, and want the best for both us in our relationship.
Gordon: I’m thrilled with our agreements. I wouldn’t mind if she brought someone home on occasion, but it’s always up to her.
Any tips or advice for women wanting to lead their relationship?
Liv: Take your time to ease into it a little at a time. If you man truly wishes to be led he will be patient. In fact, it’s his duty to be patient with your process. I’d also recommend reading books, websites, and any information on the topic, but to keep in mind it is just information. The actual dynamics of the relationship are up to you. Also, understand that being in the lead requires a woman to truly step into her power and take responsibility for two. The man in a FLR is not just a plaything he is a person. His well-being, growth and development are coupled with your own — it’s a big job, but satisfying. I would ask all women to consider whether they’re up to the challenge. If they are the rewards are incredible.
Any tips or advice for men wanting to follow their woman?
Liv: Do not enter into this lightly or on a lark. It is important for a man to understand that he is willingly giving his power to a woman and to believe that she will have his best interests and well-being at heart even if he doesn’t understand what she is doing.
Gordon: Women are simply better. Any man that supports the love and cherishing of women will benefit from this dynamic. A woman is always at the helm of my happiness. I say to men considering it to truly let go and surrender to her power.
Interview by Lyric Kali, a writer residing in New Mexico.