A year ago for Lent I encouraged my husband to adopt as his Lenten commitment a vow to compliment a woman at least once a day. I explained to him that this would make him a better and nicer person and that paying women compliments is a good way to demonstrate your appreciation and respect for them. My husband enjoys being submissive in our relationship and I told him that when he pays compliments to other women and shows his appreciation of them, it is a compliment to me as well.
I figured that couching the discussion in those terms would encourage him to accept the challenge. After some discussion he agreed to do it and I suggested he keep a simple diary of his interactions as evidence of his progress. After a couple of weeks I asked him how he was doing with his commitment and asked him to show me his diary.
As a successful businessman, my husband is far from shy, but it wasn’t really part of his character to just say something nice to someone out of the blue. So, like any new skill someone tries to master, at first he somewhat struggled with the task. His compliments were fairly dull and straightforward such as “That’s a pretty blouse” or “I like the color of your coat” and nearly all of the compliments were paid to women he worked with and as such were relatively easy to work into an ordinary conversation.
He confided to me that it didn’t feel natural for him to exchange such pleasantries, but that he made a point of doing it out of his sense of commitment and his love for me. He said, “When you told me that paying a compliment to another woman was a way of showing my respect for you, it made me want to do it since I’m always happy to do something that will show my love and commitment to you.”
I hadn’t really considered when I suggested the idea that it might become a means extending my control of him into his ordinary conversations, but his comment suggested that he was doing this more for me than for himself so I tried to redirect his energies.
“Don’t just do this for me, do this to make yourself a better, nicer, more thoughtful person. Those are the qualities in you that I love and I want to see you share those with others so that they can see you the way I do. This isn’t about me, it’s about you. I know that you love me and respect me, you show me that side of you all the time. Do this for you. ”
I continued, “When others see you as I do, and tell me what a wonderful person you are, my pride in you and our relationship grows. That’s how a compliment to another becomes a compliment to me. It’s not a simple throw-away remark so you can make an entry in a diary. It must become natural and be heartfelt. You’re off to a good start, and I know this is new and not easy for you, but you won’t succeed if you make this about pleasing me. That’s not what it is and not what its meant to be. You must make it part of you to realize happiness from your efforts. That’s why this challenge makes a good Lenten vow, it makes you a better servant to God, not a better servant to me.”
We didn’t say anything more about it. I could tell from his reaction that he had been stung by my comments, but I could also tell that he was contemplating what I had said. I’m not surprised that he took my suggestion the way that he did, in some respects it might have been more of a surprise if he didn’t.
It’s a fact that we both get much joy and emotional energy from our little domination and submission games. It’s added a lot to our relationship over the last three or four years and has distinctly drawn us closer to one another both sexually and as life companions. Our relationship is not an intense 24/7 lifestyle situation as is sometimes depicted in these stories. We don’t have collars, rules and punishments (although we fully respect those who enjoy such things). We just try to conduct our normal affairs in ways that add a little spice to our lives and try our best to please our partner in so doing. I think it’s what many couples try to do and we’re blessed that we are able to communicate openly and honestly with each other to facilitate this.
It was nearly three weeks later while we were out to dinner when he brought the matter up again. He said that he had continued to work hard on his vow and wanted to know if I wanted to see his diary. I told him that I would look at it if he wanted me to, but wanted to know if he thought about what we talked about last time.
“I have, and I think when you look at how I have improved you will see that I took your words to heart. When I first started out, it was sorta as a means of following your instructions, I felt like I had to come up with things to tell people about their outfits or stuff like that which would demonstrate to you that I was being attentive to women, which is what I thought you had meant.
As you’ll see, once I was freed of trying to say things to others that I thought might look good to you, it actually became easier. It still hasn’t become completely natural, but it makes me feel good to say nice things to people and I find that the more I do it, the easier and more natural it becomes. Sometimes I even get a really positive reaction and that encourages me too.”
I looked down his list and could tell immediately that the quality of the interactions had greatly improved and that they had changed. For example he wrote:
Monday afternoon. Thanked Maria (a young Spanish woman who helps out in the mailroom) for her assistance in sending out a group of packages last week. I told her that the customer had received them this morning. Told her that I really appreciated her help since I knew I could always count on her to do a good job when things were really important. She thanked me with a big smile.
Thursday afternoon. Told the lady at the coffee stand, her name is Jacki, that I appreciated her smile and that it had made a bad day a little better. She blushed when she thanked me.
Wednesday morning. Madeline (his secretary) had come in late from taking her mother to a doctors appointment and I assured her that she did not need to apologize for being late and that her priorities were in the right place and that that was just one of the many reasons that I enjoy working with her. I also told her that her scarf was very colorful and asked if it was new.
“That’s really nice sweety. These are just type of things I wanted you to think about. These are the kind of compliments that women, and men too, really love because they show that you care. They make them feel good and they bring out your sweet and caring side. Good job. Keep it up.”
“Thanks. It’s starting to become easier. It’s still not really the way I’m used to being. For example I’ve always appreciated Madeline and think she does a pretty good job, but I’m not used to expressing my thanks through a compliment. I’m more used to just saying, you know, ‘thanks’. Or like that day she came in late, I could have just said ‘It’s o.k., don’t worry about it’ but saying what I said I think was a lot nicer and probably made her feel a lot better about it”
“See that’s it exactly. When you give a thoughtful compliment there’s an empathy there. It brings the giver and the receiver closer together. It’s like sharing. I think that women do this more naturally than men, so it comes easier to them. Its part of why I suggested you focus your efforts on women as they are more likely to be receptive. Most guys don’t know how to give a compliment and so they don’t know how to accept one either. Particularly from another guy.”
“I can see what you mean.”
“Just watch. You keep this up and you’ll have the women in your office falling all over themselves for you because you make them feel good about themselves. Just like you make me feel good about myself. You’ll see, Once they feel comfortable like that around you, they’ll start sharing other details about themselves and then you’ll find that being complimentary will get easier and easier and pretty soon they’ll start telling me how lucky I am to have a guy like you. That’s when things will really start going your way.”
“Cause once a woman knows another woman has a good thing, they’ll be out to try to get their hooks into you, so I’ll have to be extra special good to you so that there’s no possible way that you’ll fall under their spell. You know how nice I can be to you don’t you?” I said with my best leering grin. To which he smiled and we shared a small kiss across the table.
Time went on, Lent ended, and unbeknownst to me my husband continued to do his good deeds and keep his little diary. As the year went on I noticed sometimes when we were out together how he’d maybe pay an especially nice compliment to a good waitress or say some kind words to a cashier. Each time he did this I would make a point of kissing him on the cheek or patting his hand lovingly and thank him for being so attentive to the people around him.
Later that year, in early December, we were out Christmas shopping and decided to stop into a well known coffee establishment to take a little break and get out of the cold. We were standing in line behind a young mother who was pushing a stroller with an 18 month old girl in it. She also had an extremely whiney three year old boy clinging to her knees. She was laden with an assortment of bags and packages draped over her shoulders and she was trying to manage these while maneuvering the stroller forward.
The three year old kept up a steady rant of “Mommy I’m starving. When are we gonna sit mommy. Mommy, I need Cheerios. Mommy, mommy…” Which was certainly driving me nuts and clearly raising the stress level of the mom, and for that matter most of the other patrons in line. We were almost to the counter when the little one awoke from a nap and began wailing as well, prompting the clearly frazzled and now exasperated mother to pick-up her daughter and try to calm her down whilst enduring the wrathful stares and head shakes of a before now peaceful coffee house.
In the midst of the rising chaos the smiling barista asked, “May I take your order.” To which the young mother managed to squeak out her order amidst an assortment of shusshs to the older one and back pats for the younger one.
“That will be $3.29,” the barista beamed with an over cheerful grin seemingly oblivious to the mounting hysteria before her.
The woman’s purse was slung around the same shoulder on which she was holding her infant who was becoming noticeably more agitated. The mother made to try to transfer her child to her other arms, but this was extremely difficult because the older child was gripping that arm and it was also holding her various packages. As weird as it sounds, it seemed to me that time almost stopped as she tried to work out what she was going to do to get at her purse and sift through it to find her wallet and fork over the $3.29 whilst managing a wailing baby and petulant toddler.
Realizing the dilemma, my wonderful husband stepped forward and said to the smiley girl behind the counter, “Please just add her drink to my order. I would like a grande non-fat latte and a grande Americano, please, and leave some room in both.”
The mom looked at him in utter amazement and quickly said, “No, please. You don’t need to do that” or similar pleadings to that effect, all the while still wrestling with her various charges.
To which my husband unforgettably replied, “Please, I insist. Mothers like you are the salt of the earth and you deserve far more than a cup of coffee from guys like me for putting so much effort into raising your children. I should be thanking you.”
For a moment I thought she was going to cry. Her face was washed of all expression and inexplicably it seemed that her children had suddenly calmed. I couldn’t tell if she was flattered, embarrassed, relieved, stunned or exactly what emotion was going through her head.
“Thank you,” she said, in a quiet voice as a very shy smile began to widen across her face. She held my husband’s gaze for another second before again saying, a little louder this time, “Thank you very much.” With that, she bundled her children forward and collected her drink and in a matter of minutes had herded them over to a corner table.
I didn’t say a word as I watched the scene unfold. All at once my heart rose up in my chest and I had the most wonderful, joyful feeling of pride wash over me. My heart was fluttering, and a smile beamed out of me. I was tingling with pride at what my wonderful, wonderful man had just done. It was a feeling I had never known before, it warmed me to the core and for some reason stirred some deep erotic feelings inside of me.
Inexplicably our drinks took a little longer than usual. As luck would have it, or maybe it was karma, a couple had just stood up from a pair of overstuffed chairs near the window and we waited patiently as they gathered their stuff so we could claim the plum seats. We had just settled into our chairs and were about to take our first sips when the young mom walked over and addressed my husband,
“I’d just like to thank you again for the drink. I was about two seconds from totally losing it back there and not only did you do a really nice thing, your compliment totally made my day. My husband gives me such a hard time about spending money on expensive coffee drinks, but they are one of the few treats I give myself. Thanks for appreciating me. It really means a lot to me.”
She then turned to me and said, “If he treats you like he just treated me, you are a very lucky woman. Don’t let this guy get away from you.”
“I know,” I said. “He treats me like a queen every day. He’s the best.” Finally my husband chimed in, “Thank you for the kind words, but it was my pleasure. Tell your husband that a good mom like you is worth far more than coffee. I bet he knows that too, he just forgets sometimes under the responsibility of taking care of you and your family.”
She gave us each a nice smile another “thanks” and a small wave before making her way back to her children who were happily sucking on a juice cup and making stacks of Cheerios over at a corner table.
As we sat there and drank our drinks and rested from our shopping, our outward appearance and conversation would have seemed entirely normal to anyone observing us. Underneath however, my insides burned with a quiet eroticisim. My bursting pride had transformed itself into a subtle arousal and was creating an itch which needed to be scratched.
As I thought about it, I realized that the well intentioned seeds that I had planted months ago had grown and that my husband had become a truly better person as a result. While I had said earlier that it wasn’t meant to be some sort of kinky D&S game, the fact was, the wetness between my legs was telling me otherwise. Through his hard work and my subtle encouragement, he had become an even more perfect man. A man that was not only willing to treat his wife like a queen, but who was willing to extend the same consideration to other women around him.
He was being complimentary to women because they deserved complimenting. He was making women feel better about themselves with no direct prospect of sexual gain other than from the vague knowledge that I might reward his efforts. To stretch a point, he was submitting to other women to please me and by pleasing me he was pleasing himself.
I’m sure it was more complicated that than that and I’m not such an egoist to believe that it was all about me, but something was kindling this fire in me and even if it was all in my head and not his, it felt really good to me. I had always thrived on the loving power exchange that had developed in our lovemaking and this little public display was stirring my passions as though I had told him to drop to his knees and kiss my feet.
I gave him several passionate glances and smiles as we finished our break and I think he knew he had done something really good. As attentive as he is to my moods, I’m sure he could tell something was up with me. After we left, we quickly finished the remainder of our shopping and headed home.
When we got there, without a word, I grabbed him by the wrist and dragged him straight to the bedroom. Ditching my packages and coat I immediately began shedding my clothes. “You wonderful, wonderful man. I want to feel your tongue between my legs right now.”
With a somewhat stunned expression on his face, he hastened to comply as I sat nearly naked on the edge of the bed. I pressed his head close into my groin and I continued my praise, “What you did for that woman, what you said to her, was so special. It embodied everything about you that I love. It was kind, it was helpful, it was respectful. You worshipped her in a single sentence. In the middle of a coffeeshop you elevated her from a frazzled mother to a goddess. You made her feel like a queen at a moment when she felt terrible. You doing that made me want you so bad. I’ve been burning up to feel you inside me. Enough…enough…climb up here and fuck me now. I want to feel your wonderful, caring self inside me.”
I could go on an on and describe in intimate detail the endlessly wonderful and amazing sex we had that night. The fact is, it was all a brilliant erotic blur. It will be easier to simply say imagine the best sex you’ve ever had or the hottest sex scene you’ve ever watched or the most intense scene you’ve ever read and that’s what we did. Several times. We’ve had plenty of sex over the years, but nothing before or since was ever as hot and as passionately charged as that night. We fell asleep drained and entwined in one another.
The good times continued throughout the weekend. I didn’t keep count, but it felt like I had dozens of orgasms and was constantly aroused. Even when we weren’t all over each other, it seemed like we were flirting and teasing each other like we hadn’t done since we were first dating and in the early giddy throes of love. Its amazing what a difference a compliment can make and I can promise that a little Lenten vow has made our life together better than I could ever have imagined.
*** The husband speaks ***
My wife asked me to read and comment on what she had written and add my two cents at the end. She was concerned that she had misrepresented my feelings and emotions and that perhaps my motivations were something completely different than what she had supposed them to be. Maybe more accurately, she wanted to make sure that she had in fact gotten inside my head and that my desire and motivation to extend compliments to women and make them feel good was a manifestation of my desire to please my wife.
Before I answer that, I want to take a second to describe my wife, as in the course of several stories she’s spent nary a sentence in doing so. My wife is most men’s ideal of the perfect girl next door. She has a pleasant round face that requires little make-up and in fact looks nearly as good completely natural as it does with a little help. Her bright blue eyes dance when she’s excited and she has the type of energetic personality that is easily likeable and draws lots of people to her.
Her figure is a comfortable size 8 nicely proportioned on a 5’5″ body. She looks good in just about everything particularly shorter skirts which I sometimes convince her to wear. Her 36B breasts are a comfortable handful and point up proudly when removed from her bra. Her dark-brown shoulder length hair is swept back from her face in a neat professional cut that at once shows she’s in control and at the same time hints at her underlying sexyness.
When I think about my wife, and I do often, my thought isn’t of a shimmering sexy Victoria Secret’s model or some sultry dominatrix that has bent me to her will. She always appears to me as a loving loyal friend. Someone who cares deeply about me and is excited when I’ve done well and is sad when I’m hurting. Our relationship is very loving and whether I’m rubbing her feet, her back or her breasts I always feel like I’m doing it to make her feel good and because she deserves to feel good, not for some sense of approval or my own gratification.
In that sense, when I took on the vow that my wife wrote about in this story, my main thought was initially, “what a good idea.” I think I have an agreeable personality and I take satisfaction from making my wife feel good about herself, why not collect that same emotional reward from others if I can make them feel good about themselves.
Over time, as I became better at delivering compliments and developed more empathy with what would make a recipient feel good, it made me feel really good that I had produced this positive change in myself. I think most women are better at paying compliments then most men, because men too often look at compliments as a throw-away line or a way to get attention. Women are often better at being empathetic and understanding that a compliment is about the recipient, not the giver.
I found for myself that my success in delivering a compliment improved when I adopted what might be described as a more feminine mind-set. My satisfaction was then the recipient’s happiness being reflected back to me. My reward when I perfectly struck a chord was a big smile, a hug or some other tangible sign that I had made a person’s day.
I suppose this differs from some men who might do or say some of the same things as I do with the hope of “attracting chicks” or something like that. My recently gained experience is that most women know the difference. Actually, more accurately, women will see right through a “smoothie” but be faintly intrigued by a guy who can pay a sincere compliment. Indeed, some women don’t seem to know what to do with a sincere compliment from a guy as they are so used receiving “lines.”
My wife wrote, ” He was being complimentary to women because they deserved complimenting. He was making women feel better about themselves with no direct prospect of sexual gain other than from the knowledge that I might reward his efforts. To stretch a point, he was submitting to other women to please me and by pleasing me he was pleasing himself.”
I think there is much truth to this. I did pay compliments because compliments were deserved. I do enjoy making women feel better about themselves and never have any desire for sexual gain by doing so. I know my wife loves it when I do this around her and I know my own sexual gratification derives from pleasing her in any number of ways, so in that sense, what she said is right.
Where I differ is that I don’t regard paying a sincere compliment as “submitting to other women” to please her. I think of paying compliments as mainly projecting kindness to those around me, a way of bringing a person up. The fact that such behavior is rewarded within our relationship might be one of many reasons why paying a compliment makes me feel good, but I don’t think I would stop if that changed (although I hope it never does).
As to the sex that weekend after the incident at the coffee shop, I can only hope that some day it is exceeded. I’ve never felt more in love and loved than I did that weekend. In fact thinking of it now makes me want to stop right here and go find my wife. Thanks for listening.