The four types of the Head of the Household (HoH)

Chelsea wrote about five different types of submissive partners in her Submissive Saturday series.  At the end of her post, she mentioned how she was going to discuss the types of HoHs in her next Submissive Saturday post, but we’ve decided to bump that article up to today.  We felt is was more appropriate to write it as a Wednesday post as opposed to a Submissive Saturday post.  It also made more sense to have me (Clint) write this one, rather than her, since it’s about HoHs.  So here we are.


There are a lot of responsibilities that come with holding the title of “head of the household”, or HoH, in a domestic discipline relationship.  Having an authoritative presence is certainly helpful, but there’s a lot more to being an HoH than simply being a disciplinarian/authority figure in the home.  It requires leadership skills, decision making skills and communication skills, as well as the ability to outwardly exhibit rational self-control and the ability to stabilize emotional situations.

Being the HoH also requires a “soft side” that isn’t often talked about in domestic discipline circles.  The HoH of the family needs to be the pillar of strength/support whenever something goes wrong, or whenever someone in the family is going through a difficult time.  The HoH need to be the one everyone in the family turns to when things get rough, and/or when they don’t know what to do and are in need of direction.  I hate to sound like Dr. Phil here, but “HoH” isn’t just a title, it’s also a verb.  “HoHing” requires a lot from a person, and it isn’t an easy job.

Of course, there isn’t one set universal way to HoH a relationship/family.  There are a number of ways an individual can HoH a relationship/family, and each of those ways offer varying degrees of success in the lifestyle.  There are ways we recommend HoHing (more on that later), but what it ultimately boils down to is what you and your partner want to get out of domestic discipline.

In Chelsea’s post she identified five types of submissive partners, however when it comes to HoHs, I distinctly identify four different types of them.  Chances are you (or your HoH) fit into one of the following four types.

The types of HoH I identify are as follows:

Type 1: The No Nonsense HoH.

The No Nonsense HoH does things very much “by the book” all the time.  There are very clear rules and boundaries in place and a very strict “no tolerance” policy when it comes to enforcing them.  This HoH is essentially in “boot camp mode” all the time, everyday.  They rarely take outside factors into consideration, meaning that if a rule is broken then a punishment is forthcoming no matter what the “excuse” is.  Period.  I’m not saying the No Nonsense HoH doesn’t have a “soft side”, but it very rarely comes out.  The No Nonsense HoH is not messing around.

Type 2: The Adaptive HoH.

 The Adaptive HoH is strict in enforcing their clear list of rules and boundaries, but they do take circumstances into consideration (examples: illness causes a bad attitude, they use different consequences when pregnant or when the submissive partner is ill, etc.).  The Adaptive HoH is a good leader, but can be manipulated at times by the submissive partner due to over-thinking or over-analyzing situations.  They do have a very concrete list of “no tolerance” rules regardless of the circumstances, but other less important rules aren’t always a high priority.  The Adaptive HoH has just enough “soft side” to be strong and supportive, but not so much of one that they’re a complete pushover.

Type 3: The Lenient HoH.

The Lenient HoH has a very strong desire to lead their relationship/family, but they are very relaxed in enforcing their rules.  If an infraction doesn’t fall into one of their core “major” rules, the infraction often goes unpunished.  The Lenient HoH is easily manipulated by the submissive partner, and is usually oblivious to the manipulation.  The Lenient HoH often falls victim to the “Good Guy Syndrome”, in which they’re overly eager to please their submissive partner and their “soft side” wins out more often than not.  They don’t ever want to be the “bad guy.”  They’re very understanding and supportive…to a fault.  They will punish if something major happens, but even they would likely tell you they’re a bit of a pushover.

Type 4: The Reverse HoH.

The Reverse HoH has a desire to lead the family and THINKS they’re the one calling the shots, but in reality it’s the submissive partner who is running the show.  The Reverse HoH puts far too much stock into the submissive partner’s feedback.  The Reverse HoH lives in “soft side” mode the majority of the time and struggles with making clear, definitive decisions.  They’re often more concerned with making their partner happy than doing what’s best for them (which yields all control to the submissive partner).  They punish because they feel that’s what they’re supposed to do rather than feeling it’s what they need to do.  The Reverse HoH is a great person with great intentions, but they don’t quite have what it takes to be an effective HoH in a domestic discipline relationship.

As mentioned before, all four types of HoHs will offer the relationship/family some degree of success in the domestic discipline lifestyle.  Depending on what a couple wants, they may be perfectly content with whatever type their HoH currently falls into.  However, if something is lacking/missing in your domestic discipline, your HoH may want to put a plan in place to become whichever of the four HoH types they aspire to be.

We recommend, for best overall success in the domestic discipline lifestyle, an HoH fall somewhere in the type 1 to type 2 range of HoH (with a slight lean towards type 1).  It’s important that an HoH not be an overbearing jerk with unachievable expectations, however it’s equally important that an HoH not be complete pushover who allows their partner to manipulate their decisions (or run the show entirely).

Holding firm with decisions is a key component to being a successful HoH.  An HoH needs to always think about the bigger picture and the greater good when determining what course of action to take.  The correct and/or best decision isn’t always the easy one.  The best decision is not always the one that will make everyone (especially the submissive partner) the most happy.  That isn’t what HoHing is about, and the HoHs that are best at “putting their foot down” are the ones that experience the most success in the lifestyle.

So, which type of HoH are you (or what type of HoH is your partner)?  Are you happy with how things are currently operating?  If not, communicate with your partner and work together in making changes that will get your HoH to where you both ultimately want them to be. You can also check out Domestic Discipline Boot Camp for beginners here.

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