We’ve all seen it in action, and we most certainly know the victims: the submissive brother and the compliant co-worker, the passive neighbor and the obedient best friend. Being ‘whipped’ knows no age limit, nor any other boundary of such kind. All a (domineering) woman needs to do is plant her roots and the freedom days are over. But take a look at your own relationship. Would you be able to tell if you were her whipping boy?

Relationship expert and authority on love and sex, Dr. Wendy Walsh offers some clarification and advice on what it means to be whipped. 

“There’s this idea that men in traditional gender role situations should be the leader, the one with the stronger voice, the decision-maker,” Walsh says. “As a result, a lot of people think that a healthy relationship is one where there are two independent people when in fact the thing that makes a relationship work well is one that has healthy interdependence where they lean on each other’s shoulder from time to time, when one of them takes the lead from time to time.”

But there is a difference between a guy in a relationship with a strong-willed woman who’s merely holding the reigns for a bit, and one where a guy has no voice and his contributions are being ignored. 

If you’re still not sure whether you’re whipped or not, here’s a list of 10 signs. If you’re guilty of five or more, consider yourself in need of a break-up plan. And reevaluate your priorities…


You’re Her Ken Doll

If you’ve ever let her straighten your hair, or your current hairstyle is of her choosing (even worse if she cut it herself). Oh, and she regularly picks out your outfits from a wardrobe she’s hand-selected.

You’ve Done a Couples Costume

If you’ve ever been the jelly to her peanut butter, the Aladdin to her Jasmine (or any other Disney iteration), or you really have been the Ken to her Barbie for a Halloween party. 

You’re ‘The Other Guy’

If you talk on the phone at obscure hours, she hangs out with you for 30 minutes every other Thursday and, oh yeah, she’s dating someone that’s not you. You and her boyfriend are both whipped. But you’re definitely worse, because you’re a mistress…

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You’re A Sucker

She’s cheated on you—multiple times—and you know about it, but just can’t seem to walk away. 

You Don’t Wear The Pants. Ever.

You can’t remember the last time you chose what movie you saw together or what restaurant you went to. Actually, you can’t remember the last time you made any real decision on your own. 

You’re Her Best Friend

You’ve held her purse while she rifled through the panty bins at Victoria’s Secret. You know any guy who sees you is shaking his head in disappointment–or he’s whipped too, and is nodding in painful familiarity. 

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You Lost Your Guy Friends

The only friends you see any more on a regular basis are the cast of Friends because that’s her favorite TV show, and she controls the remote, and you, and your life. 

You’ve Worn Matching Outfits

If you have an ornament that says ‘First Christmas,’ with both of your names written in glitter, and/or you’ve worn matching sweaters for a Christmas card.  

You’ve Turned On Your Dog

You got a dog together—and it’s a shih tzu—or she dresses your dog in holiday costumes and sweaters (to match for your Christmas card, of course). If this is the case, you’ve humiliated and deterred man’s best friend, and presumably your only friend, from ever wanting to come near you again. Well played. 

You’ve Lost All Control

She has your bank account information and handles all your money. Say sayonara to that road trip with the boys or that Yankees game, and say hello to Pottery Barn.

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