What Does Female Led Relationship (FLR) Mean And How Does It Work?

A female-led relationship or FLR, as the name suggests, is a heterosexual relationship where a woman is in the dominant position, enjoying authority over her partner, and the man is considered a submissive partner. It is much like matriarchy, wherein the woman makes all or most decisions regarding the relationship, exerts more authority over her male partner, and steers the relationship forward. The woman calls all the shots in an FLR, unlike the conventional romance where a man is the dominant figure or both of them are treated equally. An FLR may simply involve low control, where the woman has the final say regarding financial or everyday household decisions, the opposite of a conventional relationship. Or, it can involve extreme levels of control, where power play of a sexual nature may be involved. While this relationship has many benefits, it gets nowhere without discipline. In this post, we bring you everything you need to know about these relationships. Read on.

In This Article

Types Of Female-led Relationships

Some believe that the idea of female-led relationships originated in the BDSM (Bondage, Discipline, Submission & Sadomasochism) and kink community and eventually made its way into conventional heterosexual relationships. The idea evolved from the female desire for extreme levels of control and power play. However, the modern-day definition of the term also involves a reversal of gender roles in a traditional relationship between a man and a woman. FLRs can be categorized based on four different levels of intensity.

1. Low-level female control

Low-level control

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In this type of FLR, the woman has low authority, and all the decisions are taken mutually by the man and the woman. The man allows his partner to take the lead in specific scenarios and, sometimes, she needs the permission of the man to make a decision.

2. Moderate-level female control

FLR meaning at this level, implies that a female can enjoy being a leader for a while and has a sense of ruling the man. It helps boost her confidence and morale and makes the relationship more positive. The man also often enjoys the dominant attitude of the woman. At this level, the woman usually takes the day-to-day decisions, but she also sets boundaries regarding how far she is willing to go.

3. Defined control

In this type of female-led relationship, the woman makes most decisions and takes on the male roles too. The areas where she can be dominant are defined to ensure there is a demarcation.

4. Extreme control

Extremely controlling partner

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Here there is extreme control by the woman and servitude by the man. This relationship is for women who like to have the ultimate power in the relationship. 

Rules Of A Female-led Relationship

Woman managing household chores

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Several rules help define a female-led relationship. Some of them are mentioned here.

  • The female makes most of the household decisions. The man shares his opinion before a decision is made, and the woman may value it.
  • The woman can help motivate the man to work on getting rid of any bad habits like excessive smoking or dependence on alcohol by being authoritative.
  • Although the man and woman distribute household tasks, the man agrees to do chores like cooking, cleaning, etc.
  • The woman takes most financial decisions, and the man has trust in his wife to take care of things.
  • The woman also takes decisions regarding social events and social gatherings.

protip_icon Point to consider
In an FLR, the focus is mostly on the needs and desires of the woman, both physical and emotional. Her needs and pleasure in all forms, therefore, take precedence in the partnership.

How To Set Up A Female-Led Relationship

A relationship, no matter who leads it, needs some understanding and careful planning. However, a female-led relationship, being less frequent compared to a male-led one, has fewer examples around us, to see and learn. Therefore, this requires some deeper planning. Here is a step-by-step female-led relationship guide for you.

1. Know what you want from an FLR

Think carefully about your needs, desires, and boundaries. Ask yourself a few questions, such as:

  • Why do I want to be in an FLR?
  • What levels of control am I looking for?
  • What are the relationship dynamics I want to share with my partner?
  • Which parts of my life do I want to keep away from an FLR?

2. Choose your partner carefully

Whether you are a man seeking a gender role reversal in your relationship with your partner or a woman wishing to take charge of your future or current relationship, bring up the idea with your prospective partner. Your partner needs to be on the same page and inclined toward pursuing such a relationship with you.

3. Communicate clearly and discuss your expectations

Communication is important in all relationships, but even more so in an FLR. Discuss the type of control, the roles both parties would take on, and the responsibilities expected of each. If you both agree on a higher level of control involving power play of a sexual nature, discuss your boundaries and what you are willing or unwilling to do.

If something is unacceptable to you, address that at the beginning of the relationship. When all expectations are laid out, it leaves little room for hurt and resentment.

4. Let the man take on the ‘traditional’ roles

A female-led relationship, whether temporary or permanent, is an excellent opportunity for men to explore the other side that usually is taken care of by women. In an FLR, the male partner may take a bigger share in the household duties such as taking care of everyone’s needs, doing chores, preparing meals, and providing childcare, while the female can participate or take the defined control in decision-making. Whether it is a switch or the partners equally being a part of the chores and decision-making is up to them.

5. Respect each other and honor their suggestions

While this is true for any relationship, the reversal of dynamics in an FLR does not mean that the female partner will disrespect the man. Even if the man is relinquishing control, mutual respect is paramount. The main idea of an FLR is to provide relief from conventional structures, not to invalidate one’s identity.

The same idea extends to suggestions and opinions. Either partner should have the freedom to address their concerns, reinforce boundaries, and bring up any new ideas that will allow you both to explore and have fun in the relationship.

An anonymous blogger in a female-led marriage shares his experience of having his wife, Miranda, assume authority in their relationship. He writes, “We are still relatively new in formally recognizing Miranda’s position as head of our household, although looking back it’s clear that the dynamic has always been present… I’m not her slave. Or her property. Or her servant. I wouldn’t even call myself her submissive. I’m simply her husband. A husband that has recognized the value of feminine leadership. We don’t struggle for control and I don’t fight her authority. Instead, I immediately found myself leaning into it. Embracing it. My loyalty to her leadership, female leadership, is not earned through fear and intimidation but through love and compassion (i).”

6. Start slow and don’t change your individuality

Exploring a completely new dynamic in your existing or new relationship may be an overwhelming experience. Don’t dial up the control to the extreme level from day one. Start slow and work your way up while adding and removing activities and addressing each other’s concerns. This will lead you to a more fulfilling relationship.

Also, reversing gender roles or involving power play in a relationship does not mean you will change who you are as a person. Regardless of your dynamic, maintain your own identities. You may be judged by outsiders for being in a female-led relationship, but it is your comfort level that matters the most. So, why do women want to take the lead and additional responsibilities? Why would men agree to be subservient to their women? It is because there are some benefits in an FLR.

Why Women Seek A Female-led Relationship?

Wife managing finances

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  • Some women like a female-led relationship because they get to control things, from finances to kitchen management.
  • Women also get the opportunity to mold a man to whoever she wants him to be. Imagine creating your ideal man and ensuring that he meets your expectations.

Robbyn Ackner, a blogger, writes, “In previous relationships I never really stood up for what I wanted and I vowed I’d never do that again and I haven’t. I needed a strong man who could balance my strong personality and he (husband) does just that. He does what I want, when I want it and as you all know he worships me as his Goddess. He promised me on this day 12 years ago that he would do everything in his power to make me always feel that way and he has succeeded beyond my imagination. Our home is definitely female led and it’s exactly the way it was meant to be (i).”

  • There is a lack of power struggle in such relationships, so there is more peace and minimal stress or tension.
  • A man who willingly agrees to a female-led relationship won’t mind being dominated. He might even love his woman better, as she is the one taking care of everything he would otherwise worry about.

Why Men Seek A Female-led Relationship?

Couple relaxing at home

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You might be wondering why any man, who is used to controlling a relationship or who is expected to do so for years, would give up control to a woman. Here are a few reasons why men would do it willingly and happily.

  • When a woman is in control of a relationship, he doesn’t have to make any tough decisions or worry about the consequences or the responsibility.
  • A man can enjoy a more peaceful ambiance at home as there is no power struggle between him and his woman.
  • Some men, whose every life decision has been taken by another female authority figure, such as his mom, prefer to let a woman take charge so that they can focus on other things, such as their career.

Drawbacks Of A Female-Led Relationship

There is a flipside, too, of this kind of relationship. Some of the concerns are:

  • Social stigma and traditional views of society can negatively impact an FLR relationship/marriage.
  • A man who is being dominated might be too scared to oppose even if the relationship no longer satisfies him.
  • The female might make suboptimal decisions in the absence of discussion with her male partner, just like in a man-led relationship.

No matter whether you are in a female-led relationship, a male-led one, or an equal one, every relationship type has its own set of challenges. So, maintaining balance is always crucial. No two people can be happy in a relationship if only one person makes all the decisions, and the other has no say in it.

So, FLR type 4 is not an option for many people as it is considered too extreme. On the other hand, type 1 is considered too mild . So, most couples aim for type 2 or type 3 to ensure that their relationship stays stable. The woman is the boss.

How To Create The Balance?

Women who are in a female-led relationship can do a lot to maintain the much-needed balance. The easiest thing that can be done is to encourage your man to take more initiative and contribute to the relationship as much as he can. Another golden rule the woman must remember is to always respect the partner. Mutual respect is necessary to sustain any relationship.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are the benefits of a female-led relationship?

In this millennial world, female-led relationships are quite common. Many couples are adapting to the changing times and breaking the traditional stereotypes. Several benefits of a female-led relationship include freedom of communication and expression, fewer conflicts, more time for love, better support, a content sex life, and more.

2. What is the difference between a femdom and a female-led relationship?

The fundamental difference between a femdom and a female-led relationship is the dominance in the sexual relationship. Femdom revolves around a dominatrix partnership where a woman is the more dominant one. Female-led relationships, on the other hand, emphasize equality and shared responsibilities in the relationship.

3. How can one initiate a female-led relationship?

To initiate a female-led relationship, it’s essential to have open conversations with your partner about your desires and intentions. Discussing the roles and responsibilities that each person will have within the relationship, setting clear boundaries, and ensuring that both individuals feel empowered by the dynamic are key.

4. What are some common misconceptions about female led relationships?

Some people misunderstand female-led relationships, thinking they are always unfair to men or make them feel less masculine. However, these relationships are based on mutual agreement, respect, and empowerment for both partners. Also, it’s incorrect to assume that women control everything in these relationships, as the power dynamics can be different and depend on what the individuals involved agree upon.

A female-led relationship may be conducive for a man as he is spared from making crucial family decisions. If a man complies with the demands of a healthy female-led relationship, it may have fewer power struggles, forced compromises, and tension. However, the relationship may not be socially acceptable and may create an imbalance. Mutual respect, understanding, and effective participation from both partners are essential for any relationship to be long-lasting. Differences in a relationship may be adequately managed by maintaining proper communication and avoiding extreme levels of controlling behavior.

Infographic: How Not To Behave In A Female-Led Relationship?

A female-led relationship is not your typical relationship and has different rules that need to be followed, as stated above. So if you are in one or are interested in being in one, this infographic will help you understand the common mistakes you must avoid so as not to ruin your expectations and experience.

how not to behave in a female-led relationship (infographic)

Illustration: Momjunction Design Team

Get high-quality PDF version by clicking below.

Download Infographic in PDF version Download Infographic
Download Infographic in PDF version

Key Pointers

  • In a female-led relationship (FLR), the woman exerts more control over her male partner.
  • She makes all decisions, including household tasks, finance, and social events.
  • A woman likes FLR because it allows her to control things according to her wishes, while men prefer it because it frees them of major responsibilities.

In this video, you will discover the power of Female Led Relationships (FLR). Learn how to create a strong, balanced relationship where the woman is in charge.

Personal Experience: Source

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