what this is
We are a small community of women united by the desire to help each other live in a state of thoughtful surrender.
Who we are
After more than ten years online – and after welcoming thousands of members and archiving more than 150,000 original articles and posts – The Submissive Wife Project closed in April 2011. The Project was simply overwhelming our limited resources. After a time, the sisters decided to start anew and refocus on our core principals in this community and its devotion to Watchfulness as a way of life.
As we were taught to do before, we continue to do here: We support each other and provide structure for one another in order to encourage the development of a framework for healthy surrender. Some of us have been studying this approach to watchfulness for more than a decade; others are newcomers. We place great value on texts, thoughtful work, guided experiences, discussion and shared and individual insights.
Who is welcome here
For those who feel called to a life of Watchfulness, we hope you will find this community welcoming and helpful whether you are married or not; whether you are sexually edgy or comfortable in the mainstream; whether you are devout, lapsed, or not religiously active at all; whether you are 28 or 98. Participants, past and present, include lawyers, accountants, housewives and mothers, psychologists, religious women in orders, doctors and other medical professionals, business executives, artists, writers, teachers and academics from Europe, the Americas and elsewhere.
We are organized along familiar sororal lines, and while we are not a religious order, we are a spiritual one. We embrace disciplines and cherish obedience. And, despite the stereotyped image of submissive women, most of us are quite well-educated and reasonably intelligent, if we do say so ourselves. We are all sisters, and while this our way is certainly not for all women, the sisters of our sisters are also welcomed here. The only requirement is that you are an open-minded woman aged 28 or older who is willing to support the community and its members and assume honest good faith in the the work we do.
What we are trying to accomplish
We seek to spread the values of a life lived in diligent Watchfulness.
Many of us spent years valiantly trying to control everything around us in an effort to make the life that we had been taught to covet, a good life, a life filled with beautiful things, or an exciting career, a family, a spouse. But no matter how much we attained, we were haunted by the nagging feeling that something was missing. This led us to redouble our efforts, to try harder, to want more and more, leading to frustration and exhaustion. Slowly, we came to discover that what we really wanted was to live a life of aroused but patient attention, surrendering control and learning to take pleasure in the wonder of the world around us, and the infinite possibilities of each moment.
This emphasis on careful attention can be found in many of the world’s spiritual traditions. And most of these spiritual traditions have important features in common for the achievement of maturity and wisdom: prayer, contemplation, reading, fasting, self-control and self-denial, balanced with a proper appreciation for more secular pleasures.
In our earlier project, we were devoted to helping women avoid destructive behaviors that threatened marriages in which submission was not a possibility. We have expanded from that to providing thoughtful women with the means by which surrender can be fully understood and lived.
In our communal practice of watchfulness, we often rely on structured disciplines. Whether they are used to control eating or to elevate awareness or to strengthen patience, their ultimate purpose is to provide the means for obedience. Some of our disciplines are rooted in reflection, spirituality or sexuality, and we consider them to be a wholesome solace to the heart of any woman who craves balance and peace – and who may long for the consolation of obedience as an expression of her intellectual, sexual and spiritual desires and needs.
Many of us approach our desire to surrender from the perspective of sexual submission. Some of us first learned of these needs online or through sexual fantasies of obedience, humiliation, bondage, slavery, and/or pain, or from the practice of BDSM, DD, TPE and so on. In the struggle to understand these fantasies, come to terms with them, and integrate them into our daily lives, we found a deep sense of peace and wholeness, bringing light to something which was shameful and hidden.
So the practices we observe here may sometimes be unusual, controversial, audacious or extreme. They are articulated as disciplines to help direct our journeys. We measure the benefits of our disciplines in obedience, the fruit of which is arousal. For each of us, this creates a unique set of experiences. Our shared experiences bind us together and enable us to support and encourage one another. Ultimately, these lead to a greater understanding of what it means to be a woman, and to a different way of living. We freely admit and repeat: our approach to watchfulness is not for every woman. Indeed, it is not for most women.
We are attentive to the qualities and characteristics that inform approaches such as BDSM more than the activities themselves. For many, “submission” is something one does socially, sexually, occasionally – and for most, that is enough. For us, the Submissive Wife Project was an example of first-step submission in which “submissive” described not an erotic role so much as an important part of a rational, balanced relationship with others, or as a way of understanding ourselves.
This daughter site, Watchfulness, is a next-step community in which we live lives of constant awareness at the center of which is our deepening surrender to a life lived in arousal. Other, smaller sub-communities and clusters of sisters are devoted to other, related “steps” – to a concepts such as submissive quietism, complete abandonment, confident humility, or an embrace of sororal generosity and support. We are widely scattered and we live our beliefs openly and practice spiritual arousal constantly, yet our practices are unseen by those who do not know how to see. Our process is not linear – in fact, it is only notionally a “process” – but it can be deeply transformative. Through an embrace of awareness, trust, transparency, vulnerability, dignity and obedience, we are becoming the women we feel we are meant to be.
Some women simply wish to learn patience with a difficult relationship or acceptance of a seemingly disappointing life or help in finding a way to survive as a woman in a very androgynous culture. We are dedicated to the idea that a life lived in obedient watchfulness can bring a sense of peace to inner struggles, to social compassion, and even to everyday domestic situations, and that arousal in all its forms is the key to clarity.
If you need more information or wish to discuss Watchfulness with one of us, you may contact a sister serving as administrator.
A note to media: We are often approached with interview requests and the like. With all respect, while we are happy to try to respond to individual queries from individual women, we are not able to encourage widespread attention to our efforts. We earnestly do not seek publicity; it would only overwhelm us. Those who need to find us will find us.