Mrs. Ironwood, in spite of many other wonderful virtues, tends to be a slob. She's not disgusting or anything, but she's firmly in the "why make a bed if you're just going to un-make it later, anyway?" school of thought. For years I didn't mind too much -- I'm a slob myself, and I've never been particularly fastidious.
But then it occurred to me that I was disrespecting my own art. The bedroom, for any married couple, is a place of special magic and reverence. That's where we spend our most intimate times. When I started on this journey, one of the first things I did was start making the bed.
Mrs. Ironwood didn't realize I was manning-up, specifically, at the time. She just noticed that when she got out of bed in the morning it was made up by the time she got back, prohibiting her from sliding back in, going back to sleep, making herself late and inconveniencing me in the process. The first time it happened she thought it was nice. The second time, she didn't comment. The third time she complained that she wasn't done with it yet.
"It's after seven," I replied. "Adults are up and getting ready for work now." She got up.
By the fifth or sixth time I did it, it was really starting to bug her. What was bugging her more was that I wasn't explaining why I was doing it, or pointing it out so I could claim credit in typical Nice Guy fashion. I just did it. Every day. And that bugged her.
Finally, after about a week, she broke.
"How come you're making the bed all the time, now?"
"Because it's where I sleep, and it's where I screw. When you walk by this bed, when you see this bed, you're going to see that it's made up, and you're going to know that I made it, and you're going to remember that this is where we sleep and where we screw, and that it is prepared and ready-to-go for that purpose. It is not a desk, it is not a dinner table, it is a bed, and we're going to treat it properly."
She didn't say anything to that, which was telling.
She watched me make it a few more days, always first thing in the morning, always right after she woke up. She even commented on how virile I looked shaking the sheets and comfortable out (hey, it's not wrestling a saber toothed tiger, but you do what you can). More importantly, I looked confidant. I was making my bed. In preparation for sex. And she knew it.
There's an art to turning a fundamentally Beta activity (making the bed) into an Alpha move (preparing the arena for combat). And as the debate grows about whether or not you should inform your wife of your developing game, and how much, I tend to fall on the side of obfuscation for greatest effectiveness.
But there's something to laying it out there for her: your expectations, your desires, your commitment to seeing them through, and her inclusion in the process, that builds a confidence that's pure Alpha. You're stating your intentions on no uncertain terms. You're claiming your territory, defining your domain, preparing for action . . . and she knows it. Calling it to her attention means that every time she sees the made bed, she has a good shot at the tingle, and that's never a bad thing.
Oh, two weeks after I started? I came out of the bedroom and found she'd made the bed. While ostensibly it was the exact same action, from her it was a submissive move in response to my dominance. Subtle, but unmistakable. An appeal to her sense of femininity and her desire for order, and a fulfillment of her desire to be led within the scope of the relationship.
And if nothing else, I got her to make the damn bed.