The Wife of Bath is a genius at getting her own way. What strategies does she use and how does she employ them? The Wife of Bath lives in a very male dominated society and she has to do all she possibly can to get round the misogynist men of her era. Woman in general became very crafty, but none more so than the infamous Wife Of Bath. It helps that she chooses weaker men to take advantage of and manipulate to her own advantage, but her confidence helps her win a lot of battles and therefore she can get more material pleasures, and get away with her controlling behaviour.
The most obvious form is blackmail. If the Wife Of Bath wants to have some more clothes or money for the household, she manipulates her old husband; by claiming she will not give him any sex if he does not pander to her needs.
"Now wherwith sholde he make his paiement, If he ne used his sely instrument?" The Wife Of Bath expects a 'payment' for still being with him - she expects her old husband to be grateful to have such a young, vibrant and sex-hungry wife. If he cannot use his 'sely instrument' and pleasure her whims that way, then she should receive gifts such as a new dress or money, or freedom. This way she always has one up on the old men she marries, because they feel indebted to her because they cannot satisfy her in bed.
The Wife of Bath readily admits on line 211 that "But sith I hadde hem hoolly in myn hond" and she made them work hard for what she gave them. She hardly ever repented from her constant nagging.
"They were ful glad whan I spak to hem faire,