he's the maid

Chapter 6: How can I motivate my maid?

There are times when cleaning the house can feel like a thankless job! No matter how hard one tries, things never stay spotless for long, it sometimes seeming like a room has barely been cleaned before it needs attention again. Without a maid's state of mind, it's small wonder that some men struggle to make the effort to keep everything looking the way it should. Even the more disciplined may be tempted to cut corners, if not drop more tedious tasks entirely, discouraged not only by the drudgery, but also the ease with which their work can be taken for granted. A maid's uniform may make it harder for your husband to shirk his responsibilities, but he'll still benefit from being encouraged along the way. Moreover, you'll want to deter him from displeasing you with what he does, correcting both mistakes and misbehaviour in a manner that will reduce the chances of them happening again - while not demoralising your maid!

Encouragement and reward

If you've ever nagged your husband about tidying up after himself to no avail, you'll know how difficult it can be to make desired behaviour stick through doing so - while he might reluctantly comply to get you off his back, you'll most likely to have to nag him again the next time. When you're trying to encourage your husband to help around the house, the last thing you want is to for him to come to associate being your maid with being scolded, something that's dangerously easy should you find fault with everything he does. He won't want to go anywhere near an apron if wearing one only means he's going to get grief, preferring to protest about putting it on rather than suffer the inevitable criticism as he struggles his way through the chores.

To start with, therefore, you should aim to motivate your fledgling maid more positively, drawing attention to those aspects of his behaviour that you'd like to see more of rather than those you don't. No matter how hopeless your husband may be, there's sure to be something that warrants your praise - even if that's simply the fact that he's made an effort on your behalf. It doesn't matter if you subsequently have to redo most of what he's done yourself, so long as there's something that can be built on, with a little appreciation going a long way towards encouraging him to try harder to please. A loving mother makes a big deal about her child tying their shoelaces for the very first time, even though she wouldn't think twice about fastening her own - similarly, a man who's still finding his feet in unfamiliar territory should be praised whenever he advances even slightly, regardless of how small his baby steps might be.

A simple “Well done!”, an affectionate ruffle of his hair or a loving kiss on his cheek can be enough to signal your satisfaction, but it's worth taking a moment to find something more specific to comment if you can. That might mean highlighting part of what you asked your husband to do, making it seem as though he's chosen to go the extra mile of his own accord - for example, “You've even done the glasses! Look at how they sparkle!”. Alternatively, you might choose to pick up on a small detail that you hadn't previously mentioned, however obvious it might be - “And you've hung the tea towel to dry too! You are getting the hang of this!”, you can tell him, even as you straighten the towel in question the way you'd rather it be. You might not even have to say anything for him to do that himself next time, but it doesn't take much to hint at your preferences without appearing to be critical. “Let's just straighten this out a little, and then you're done!”, you can propose cheerfully, going on to give him a hug for being so wonderful.

You can also ask your husband about chores you already know he's completed, expressing your pleasure when he confirms that he has indeed done them. This is especially effective when he's moved on to something else, with a smile enough to encourage him in that task too. He'll be less tempted to cut corners when he's been recently reminded of how happy his hard work makes you, instead striving to earn further praise. If there's something he secretly knows he should have done better, such a casual enquiry may yield a sheepish admission or perhaps a guilty protest, even if his shortcoming hadn't caught your eye. Conversely, he may keep it to himself, but either way, his conscience will demand that he do better next time, without you having to say anything more. Indeed, it's better that you don't, laughing off any lapse in favour of your intended praise - you can always correct him subsequently should he persist.

If you're watching your husband work, you can have him give you a running commentary as he goes along, prompting him with periodic questions with the aim of drawing his attention to important details while simultaneously helping him see how much he has mastered. Rather than criticising him for something he hasn't done, you're suggesting what he's about to do, allowing him to follow your lead when he isn't sure while still letting him feel pride about what he does know. Adding a new chore to his repertoire can thus be a collaborative affair, albeit one in which you do no more than steer him in the right direction while he puts in the necessary elbow grease. The same is true should you wish to tighten your standards, doing so often needing only gentle nudges.

Throughout his life, your husband will have received praise from his superiors, starting with parents and teachers, then continuing with his manager or boss. Adopting a similar attitude yourself underscores your relative positions of mistress and maid, whether a maternally effusive “Good boy! Haven't you done well?” or a more curt “That's another job you've done well, Maid!”. Such praise can be coupled with other, less tangible aspects of his service that you wish to encourage. A man who has yet to become fully comfortable with working while crossdressed can be asked whether he's performed so well because he was wearing his frilly apron, something he'll struggle to deny as you tell him how pleased you are with his efforts. He doesn't have to have cleaned completely without complaint to be told how submissive and obedient he is, the positive way in which you deliver such words leaving him in no doubt that you'd like your maid to become even more so.

A series of small expressions of satisfaction can be as motivating as a more substantial treat, with a regular drip-feed of appreciation capable of proving addictive for your husband while requiring relatively little effort on your behalf. For more significant achievements, however, you may wish to go more out of your way to reward him, particularly if he's made an effort to please you. Whether it's tackling a challenging task for the first time or proving his proficiency at something he was previously inept at, you can make a show of treating your husband for his devotion to duty. You don't have to do so right there on the spot, but can merely place a marker that you can subsequently come back to, allowing his imagination to work on your behalf in the interim. “Because you've been such a good maid, I might give you a little treat later”, you can tell him, even if you haven't yet decided on exactly what that might be - or indeed, were planning on doing so all along, simply for your own pleasure. Again, this works well when your husband is only half way through his chores, encouraging him not to let standards slip for fear of losing the promised reward.

You can be a little over the top about treating him - a cute chart on which you stick gold stars may sound childish, but it can nevertheless motivate a man to earn more, especially if you promise him something extra-special should he do so. You don't need to spell out exactly how many that might be - indeed, it's better to keep your husband guessing about what's required, rather than turn things into a vulgar transaction. You're not treating him because he did the cleaning so many times, something which can risk resentment when he expects a reward you're reluctant to give. Rather, you want to share your happiness with him, showing your appreciation for everything he's done. It may be something small but meaningful that tips the scale, or else just another evening of regular service - it's entirely up to you, because as the lady of the house, it's your prerogative to act on a whim, the stars merely a light-hearted game.

Instead of just awarding points, you can keep a more detailed record of what your husband does around the house, along with a corresponding tally for each chore. We've already discussed the benefits of lists, but keeping track of how many times he's done every task adds a new dimension. You can encourage him to maintain an unbroken streak by building up his pride along with the numbers, emphasising milestones such as ten or a hundred, but threatening to reset the count should he shirk something even once. The latter is best reserved for when he's built up a respectable score, rather than when you're just starting out, with the suggestion that there may be rewards at stake enough to overcome the occasional reluctance that all men feel from time to time. Adding a new responsibility to the list can become a significant event, the start of a chain that could stretch far into the future if he's prepared to commit to it.

Such a system provides plenty of opportunities for treating him should you feel so inclined, as well as ways of justifying not doing so no matter how much he might think he deserves it. Cleaning the bathroom ten times might earn him a reward the first time he makes ten, but not the second, with the bedroom being an entirely different matter - yet if he reaches a hundred and fifty ticks in aggregate, you might surprise him with something nice, not because there's anything particularly special about a hundred and fifty, but simply because you fancied showing your love for such a hard-working husband. With many things to count and many ways to count them, you remain in complete control of when you reward your maid, but however you choose to do so, the message remains the same - it's always better for him to complete his chores one more time than not!

Expectation and persuasion

It's easy to see how your husband can be encouraged to try his best, with gentle guidance seeing that gradually improve until it's something you can be genuinely proud of. Unfortunately, there are times when a man makes no more than a token effort, not because he lacks the skills to do any better, but rather the discipline to devote himself sufficiently to his domestic duties. That may see him rush through the chores, or else merely go through the motions of taking care of them without concern for how well they are completed. That could be because he has other things he would rather be doing, fails to see the point of tackling a particular task for the umpteenth time, or simply because his mind is elsewhere. Even a man who has previously professed a profound desire to serve may challenge your authority when asked to attend to more menial manners, or complain his way through the housework in a manner unbecoming of a maid.

The shift in attitude that accompanies changing into special clothing can go a long way towards avoiding such issues arising in the first place, with the mindset that comes with a formal maid's uniform helping your husband fall into role even if he only wears an apron. In taking on the attire of a maid, he implicitly accepts you as the mistress, putting you in a position where you can tell him what's what in a way you might not otherwise. “Maids don't talk back. Maids do as they are told, and that means doing that properly”, you can say, not as something open for question, but simply a statement. Bearing in mind the benefits of encouragement, it's worth taking the earliest opportunity to offer him praise, waiting until your husband has shown his obedience before showing your appreciation. “That's much better! I knew you could do it if you tried!”.

Your husband should never feel that he's being punished when he does his best - that's a sure way to discourage him from trying at all! Once you have a handle on what he's capable of, however, it's not unreasonable to expect that level of endeavour from him every time, with anything less grounds for having him go back and do things again - and again, if necessary. Even the laziest man will soon learn not to leave a chore half-done when that only makes more work for himself, it being in your husband's interest as much as yours to meet your standards the first time around. Whether you give his efforts a final inspection before relieving him from your service, or else check things as he goes along, make it clear that he'll be remaining as your maid until you're completely satisfied. He can take all night about it if he likes, or he can work efficiently so as to be able to enjoy the rest of his evening - either way, he's going to do what you know he can, shirking not being an option.

Although the addition of a lock won't stop a man from escaping a dress he really doesn't want to wear, it will discourage a less determined maid from changing out of his uniform before his chores are done. With your husband's outfit continuing to set expectations while he remains wearing it, you need only deny him the key to ensure he keeps working, making his eventual unlocking contingent on everything being exactly the way it should. It's well worth making a ritual out of releasing him, perhaps having him adopt a submissive position before asking him about what he has and hasn't done. Even a regular dress can be made lockable with a little sewing, it generally only taking the addition of a couple of loops of ribbon near the neckline. Alternatively, you can tie your husband's apron strings in a symbolically tight knot, something which works for corset cords too, telling him that he'll stay trapped until you deign to undo them. Although he could fumble blindly behind his back, the extra hurdle will add enough difficulty to undressing as to deter disobedience.

Sometimes men are reluctant to start work around the house, even though they soon get into the swing of things once they've got out of the sofa. Rather than relying on your husband to overcome his inertia by himself, present him with his uniform as a fait accompli and leave him little choice about putting it on, perhaps going so far as to slip his apron over his neck or start undoing his other clothes. Few men can resist the sensuous touch of their spouse's fingers, even if they know exactly what she has in mind as she begins to unbutton their shirt, but just tossing a load of lingerie into his lap can also work a treat in tearing him from the television - regardless of whether the intimates in question are ones you want him to wash or wear! It's easy to seduce your husband into service with the suggestion there may be more to follow once he's finished the housework, especially if you ask for something too small to be worth arguing about to begin with. “Come on, you can at least do the dishes for me”, you can tell him, relying on the fact that he won't be stopping there. If nothing else, you can continue to coax him through his regular routine, but the chances are, once he's dressed for duty, he'll do much more of his own accord.

We've touched on the benefits of routines before, but getting your husband into the habit of taking care of certain tasks at certain times makes it much more likely that he'll do those chores as a matter of course. That may mean having him wash the dishes immediately after dinner, or else assigning the time before his favourite television programme for him to give the bathroom its weekly clean. He won't want to dawdle or risk being sent back to do something again when doing so might see him miss the start of the show, but you can nevertheless still withhold the remote until you're satisfied. At the weekend, you can make his routine the first thing he's expected to attend to after breakfast, or else before he sits down to lunch, with the sooner he gets everything done, the sooner he's free to do his own thing. Obviously, you should consider his other commitments when setting such a schedule, but a man shouldn't be allowed to shirk his regular responsibilities simply because he has an unexpected clash. He would make time to shower or bathe no matter how busy he might be, so likewise he should catch up on his domestic duties at the earliest opportunity - they're not negotiable. If he's reluctant to find a slot to fit them in, tell him you'll free one up for him - he'll soon sort it out!

Punishment and deterrents

It's worth reiterating that a man should never feel he is being punished for doing his best - indeed, any mention of punishment is best avoided if your husband is already reluctant to help around the house. You want improving his surroundings to be something he can take pride in, with him being willing to do his bit because of how that pleases you - not because you're cracking a whip! Indeed, you may feel uneasy about the idea of your punishing your husband for not doing his share of the chores, preferring to motivate him more positively.

That being said, there is a place for punishment of a deliberate, ritual kind, formal discipline allowing your husband to atone for letting you down while simultaneously discouraging him from doing so again. You're already playing a game by having him wear a symbolic outfit while he works, his apron or dress encouraging him to adopt the submissive mindset of a stereotypical maid, with purposeful punishment merely taking this one step further. Once your husband has embraced his place as your domestic servant, punishing him helps cement your position as his superior - at least, while he remains dressed for duty.

As a consequence of this, a man who has sexual fantasies about submitting to a woman may find the thought of being punished by his wife to be surprisingly titillating - so much so, in fact, that some may perform poorly in the hope of being made to suffer for it. Paradoxically, suggestions of punishment may not serve as a deterrent, but rather provide an incentive for such men to act up, no matter how disagreeable the actual chastisement may subsequently be. If your husband falls into this unfortunately common category, he may beg to be spanked, only to plead for you stop as soon as you start - something that gets the house no closer to being clean! Indeed, a simple spanking may be tame compared to some of the unrealistic torments some sissies think they deserve to endure, often fed by far-fetched fiction and the guilt or shame that can accompany their desires.

There are two ways to approach punishment, therefore, depending on what you are seeking to achieve. The first is to treat it as merely another form of reward, finding playful ways to stress your husband's submission as he serves - perhaps concocting exaggerated reasons for him to have to “suffer” something you know he'll enjoy. That might mean taking issue with the floor he's just washed, such that he has to drop down in front of you to scrub the spot you've deliberately scuffed - and kiss your feet to say sorry at the same time! Alternatively, you might choose to find fault with his appearance as an excuse for sorting him out, having him lift his skirts so you can treat his panties to a fuss and fondle before sending him back to work with a loving smack. There are so many things that can become amiss about a frilly maid's outfit that you don't even have to make something up, but it doesn't really matter if you do - after all, he's not being “punished” because his lingerie is askew, even if it really is.

Does he put his stocking tops on show when he stands on the high stool to fetch something you never really needed from the back of the cupboard? A submissive man is likely to delight in being scolded for such a shameful display, let alone being told to lift his skirts and straighten them, knowing as well as you do that he's been set up. Might you deliberately drop something simply to have the opportunity to pinch the bottom he'll be compelled to present as he picks whatever it is up, or else tug a dangling apron string so it has to be retied? A maid can always be standing in the way if you want him to be, whereas one who is kneeling down can be theatrically tripped over, solely so that he can be made to apologise. It's impossible for even the most capable of maids to do everything perfectly, with unreasonable pickiness on your part providing all manner of excuses for pretend punishments - punishments which may leave your husband momentarily flustered or feeling foolish, but ones that, on a deeper level, he'll secretly savour even as they serve to further put him in his place.

The second approach is to find genuine deterrents, either devoid of sexual overtones or sufficiently disagreeable to ensure that your husband won't want to experience them any more than he has to. We've already seen how the threat of being sent back to do something again can encourage a man to make an effort the first time, especially if he's expected to get everything done before being allowed to do what he wants. Any thrill a maid may feel about being told to do so by as a dissatisfied mistress will swiftly fade when he finds himself wiping down the same surfaces as before, completely ignored by the woman he is seeking to make things up to. Similarly, although the thought of having to spend time facing the wall or wear particularly uncomfortable clothing as a penance may prove momentarily exciting for some submissive men, the reality of such punishments is rather less appealing after any initial thrill has faded.

Such deterrents might be appropriate for a man who has deliberately cut corners despite knowing better, or else is disrespectful during the course of his domestic duties. You shouldn't have to lower your standards simply because your husband is feeling lazy, nor tolerate him answering back or lying. Nor should he allow himself to dawdle or be distracted from his work, let alone try to shirk it, with a maid who is forever grumbling or fussing with his uniform also needing to learn to focus on the chores. All these problems stem not from a lack of ability, but rather self-discipline on your husband's part, justifying sterner correction in a way that unknowing negligence does not. A man who didn't know how to clean a pair of women's shoes would feel doubly sore should he be spanked for not doing so perfectly on his first attempt, whereas one who left polish on the leather simply because he couldn't be bothered to fetch the right cloth would know full well why he subsequently suffered.

Regardless of how you might punish your husband, you should do so only with his consent. Your relationship as mistress and maid should never be an abusive one, whatever he might endure in the course of serving you. If you are wondering why any man would ever agree to accept some of the indignities we're about to discuss, remember that a “proper” punishment provides an opportunity for him to pay off a debt that would otherwise hang over him. Performing a symbolic act of atonement allows him to show that he is sorry, but if he didn't have to suffer to make things right, it wouldn't be sufficient to clear his conscience. Although your husband shouldn't enjoy his punishment at the time, he should appreciate it looking back, recognising it not only as a means of making things right, but also helping him to improve in a manner he couldn't by himself.

Some of the punishments we'll be considering may sound as though they've come straight out of a pantomime, but the kind of discipline that you might imagine a stereotypical evil step-mother imposing is actually all the more effective for its exaggerated nature. For similar reasons, old-fashioned punishments from your own or your husband's childhood also serve as good sources of inspiration, with their associations encouraging exactly the right frame of mind. Simply talking down to him in the patronising tone you might adopt to address an errant animal can be effective, with words like “naughty”, “silly” and “bad” carrying a surprising sting! Under other circumstances, a self-respecting man would be mortally humiliated to be treated so condescendingly, but in the intentionally over-the-top world of mistress and maid, such caricatures of correction are ideal.

Always explain why you are punishing your husband, as well as letting him know what he should have done to avoid such discipline. Even if his punishment has an obvious end, make it clear that you've forgiven him afterwards, taking the time to discuss how being disciplined makes him feel, so as to ensure future punishments are effective, not excessive. You may find that your husband's tolerances for physical and psychological discomfort aren't what you might assume, such that an incidental part of a punishment proves disproportionately humiliating or hurtful. If you're unsure about what might work, you can always ask your husband what he thinks would be an appropriate way for him to make amends, retaining the option to dismiss his suggestion should you disagree. In doing so, you can get a sense of the degree of guilt he feels about something, as well as having him implicitly acknowledge the need to atone for it. Of course, if he just tells you what he thinks you want to hear, then he only has himself to blame should you decide to go along with it!

Time for a time out!

If you're wanting your husband to make your life easier by helping around the house, the last thing you need is another chore - a point sadly lost on some submissive men, who labour under the delusion that proper discipline should be time-consuming for both mistress and maid. Unless giving him a long drawn out spanking does something for you, you'll probably prefer punishments that are quick and easy for you to deliver, yet have consequences that linger much longer for your maid. Ideally, you'd want to spend no more than a couple of moments correcting him, perhaps merely telling your husband what he'll have to do to make things up before putting his punishment out of your mind - safe in the knowledge that he won't be forgetting it anywhere near as quickly.

One way of doing this is to have him reflect on his failings, seeing your husband stand in a state of disgrace for however minutes you feel they warrant. If you're in no hurry to see the house cleaned, you can sentence him to such submissive meditation on the spot, insisting that he considers the very shortcomings that have earned him the time there and then. It's very humbling for a man to have to stare at things he knows he should have attended to, it being impossible for him to do anything about them with just his eyes. If only he had taken a little longer to do the job properly, instead of trying to save himself a few seconds - but you don't need to tell him any of that, a curt “Five minutes!” being sufficient once your maid is familiar with this very effective means of discipline. Needless to say, what constitutes five minutes is entirely up to you - assuming you even tell him how long he'll be standing there for, it being perfectly possible to instruct your husband to do so until you decide otherwise.

Alternatively, you can have your husband perform his penance at the end of his service, keeping a running total of the time he must sacrifice afterwards. An ideal position is one where you can keep half an eye on him, but where he can't see you without looking around - a corner works a treat, providing precious little in the way of distractions while leaving him feeling acutely vulnerable. The slightest fidgeting can serve as grounds for adding extra time or punishing your maid further, but in truth, you can simply forget that he's there while you watch the television, read your favourite magazine or do whatever else you wish to do. That doesn't preclude you from giving him the occasional reminder, however, whether about what he did wrong or how much longer he'll have to stay there, nor from having him fetch you a drink before returning to the corner.

A maid who doesn't pay appropriate attention to his appearance while working may benefit from having to consider his reflection in a mirror afterwards, as may a man who is slow getting dressed for duty. After all, if your husband has kept you waiting, then it's only fair that he should have to wait before being dismissed from your service. You can heighten his sense of having misbehaved by expecting him to keep his hands on his head like a naughty boy, or else add to his penance by having him hold something heavy throughout. Merely maintaining the same position for a prolonged length of time will make his muscles ache, let alone if he has to lift two buckets of water as well. A tray full of tea things is a particularly pleasing way to make a point here, with the slightest clink of china making it clear that he's not as strong as he might think.

If you grow bored of seeing your husband standing around, why not have him touch his toes for you? Even without you pulling his panties down, he'll feel uncomfortably exposed, open to much more than embarrassing comments should you so choose. Along similar lines, you can have him stand on a stool - ideally one whose seat is small enough as to offer no scope to shift his feet. It doesn't have to be very high, although you may find it amusing to be able to look up his skirt as you sit - a couple of bricks or blocks of wood will suffice as a punishment podium, especially if he's already wearing high heels. You can have your misbehaving maid place them close together so as to condemn him to keeping his legs similarly primly pressed, or else position them far enough apart that he must perform an uncomfortable split for as long as you feel is appropriate.

There can be no doubt about a man's submission when he must kneel, regardless of what he finds himself facing when he does. We've already seen how walls and mirrors provide ample opportunity for reflection, but there are countless other places where you can have your husband grovel to get back into your good books. Perhaps some time kneeling in front of the toilet is in order to teach him the importance of keeping it clean, or else you feel he should become much better acquainted with the bin that he failed to empty in a timely fashion. He can pay his respects to the laundry whether it's in the hamper, the washing machine or even hanging out to dry, with your wardrobe or chest of drawers also allowing him to consider your clothes at length. He'll find simply kneeling in stockings will become uncomfortable quickly enough, but you can make his penance more punishing by having him serve it on a hard or rough service - the stiff bristles of a doormat are deliciously devilish in this regard, whereas a tray of uncooked rice, peas or beans is easily prepared by the very maid who must endure it.

To make the experience even more humbling for your husband, have him keep his nose pressed to the floor - whether against something you've put there for the specific purpose, such as a disagreeably odorous dishcloth, or merely a spot you've marked with your foot. An otherwise unremarkable knot on the skirting board will soon acquire meaning for a man who finds himself having to get intimately acquainted with it every time he misbehaves, whereas burying his head under a table or bed will serve to stress his shame. In doing so, he'll have little choice but to present his backside, allowing you to flip up his skirts and leave him with his underwear embarrassingly exposed - if not take further advantage of having him in such a vulnerable position. Should it amuse you, you can even have your husband serve as a footstool, resting your legs on his back while he contemplates the carpet under your chair. With no way for him to know how long he's got left, he'll have plenty of time to rue shirking his responsibilities, even if you merely ignore him in favour of reading a book.

If your husband doesn't leave a counter or coffee table clean enough for you, why not have him adopt a punishment position on top of it? You'll want to make sure it can support his weight, and he'll need to be careful clambering up and down, but otherwise you can combine such a location with everything we've discussed so far. Even a modest height is enough to make a man feel uneasy when he must crouch on his hands and knees, the drop to the floor seeming disproportionately far regardless of whether you're standing or sitting alongside. If putting him on show in such a fashion still doesn't satisfy you, have him demonstrate his devotion to a dildo for the duration of his punishment - a sex toy with a suction cup base can be stuck in position for him to suck, but his slurping sounds will soon become background noise, so long as he doesn't stop. Not only is this psychologically challenging for most men, it's physically uncomfortable too, with his body quickly begging for a break from the constant head bobbing.

Conversely, if you would prefer not to suffer the sight of your misbehaving maid, consider consigning him to a closet - the cupboard in which the vacuum and brooms are kept is particularly appropriate for punishing an offending cleaner, but any confined space will suffice so long as it is not completely sealed. With nothing to distract him from his discomfort, having to stand, if not kneel, in the dark will give your husband plenty of time to think about what he's done, as well as multiplying the effect of any other punishments he may have received. A cold garage or garden is another great place to send him to consider his actions, especially if the door to the house can be locked from the other side. “Have you learned your lesson?”, you can ask before you finally let him back in, insisting that he apologises properly in order to gain entry. You won't have to do so too many times before the mere threat is sufficient to keep him in line - indeed, you may not have to do so at all, simply offering some time outside as an alternative should he complain about what you ask.

Disagreeable additions to his dress

It may be that your husband spends too much time standing around as it is, preferring to procrastinate rather than conscientiously striving to complete certain chores. We discussed earlier how a man can be discouraged from dawdling by scheduling his duties before a deadline he doesn't want to miss, but if you don't want to wait forever for your husband to finish the housework, you can give him an additional incentive to get things done by deliberately imposing a little extra discomfort. The attraction of being able to shed a pair of painful high heels or a bothersome bra should need little explaining, with even men who have a fascination with these supremely feminine tortures swiftly losing their love of them when they must deal with domestic drudgery while so attired.

You can reserve such awkward additions for when you feel your husband is taking too long, having him stop what he is doing to adopt a symbol of shame, or else insist that he surrenders to it before starting a task he might otherwise tarry over. Either way, it won't take very long for him to wear what you want, such discipline needing no more than a moment of your time to confirm that your maid is correctly dressed before he can be sent back to work. Thereafter, you won't have to lift a finger, with his discomfort silently stressing the need for speed more with every passing minute. Some men may be tempted to do a rushed job as a result, but they soon learn that's counter-productive when they're sent back to do things again still bedevilled by the maddening nuisance, if not find themselves suffering it for the remainder of their service as a consequence.

Ironically, the distraction, discomfort and difficulty presented by such impositions may cause your husband to take a little longer completing the chores, but any extra time he spends is likely to be offset by his sense of relief when he finally finishes. He'll certainly feel as though he's achieved something when he's had to battle a pair of punishing stilettos every step of the way, even if all he's really done is push the vacuum about. Moreover, when he subsequently tackles the same task unencumbered, it will seem like a walk in the park, making him wonder why he ever made such a fuss about it - a point you can stress before he starts. “I hope you're not going to have to wear those heels this time. They looked so uncomfortable!”, you can tell him, making it clear that him staying in more modest shoes depends on him doing a good job.

If your husband isn't already wearing a bra as part of his uniform, then one can be added as a punishment - something that doesn't even need him to undress, it being perfectly straightforward to have him don one on top of his other clothes. He'll look ludicrous, but that's part of the point, with the awkwardness of such a garment also working to your advantage even before you consider filling its cups. A neat trick is to put him on probation in a large, but empty brassière, its loose folds warning of the burden he'll have to suffer should he let you down again. It only takes a moment to add a pair of heavy water balloons - perhaps not the most realistic of breasts, but more than enough to make things difficult for a man. Even a maid who is already brassièred as a matter of course can be made to wear a second, bulkier bra on top of his uniform, a conspicuous colour leaving no doubt about his disgrace.

When it comes to cup size, it's impossible for a bra to be too large for the purposes of punishment - the more impractical your husband's bust, the more effective its imposition will be. With regards to the band, however, you may wish to make him wear one that's a size or two too small, fastening it on the tightest of hooks to hold him in an even sterner embrace. At the same time, you can leave the straps loose so they're much more likely to slip from his shoulders, seeing your husband torn between having to return them at all too regular intervals or suffer them pinning his arms to his sides - a dilemma that becomes even more difficult for a man when he's wearing wet gloves. With a little ingenuity, such a punishment bra can even be made lockable, condemning your husband to its clutches until you decide he's earned his way out of it.

Bras aren't the only garments that lend themselves to being added during the course of a maid's duties. A cincher or corset can also be wrapped around a man's torso, then tightly laced to leave him suffering its squeeze. Doing so will take a little longer than hooking your husband into a bra, but provides an ideal opportunity to stress his submission as you systematically take away both his breath and his ability to bend. You can tell your misbehaving maid what you're not happy with, or have him try to explain himself as you work your way up and down the cords, emphasising what you're saying or else cutting off his excuses with particularly sharp tugs. A steel boned corset intended for waist training works best for disciplining a disobedient domestic - again, such garments can be worn over other clothes as a means of making a statement.

A combination of treacherously high stilettos, an unyieldingly stiff corset and an oppressively heavy brassière will complicate even the simplest of tasks, forcing the man who must work wearing such troublesome trappings of womanhood to really think about what he's doing if he's not to fall foul of them. When even heading across the room requires your husband to confront his punishment clothing, he'll soon learn to plan his movements, cutting out any actions that aren't necessary to get the chores done. Of course, you don't have to make life easy for him, it only taking a click of your fingers to have him wobble towards you on whatever pretext comes to mind before you send him tottering back again.

A pair of old pantyhose can be given new purpose by being used to hobble your husband still further, their nylon easily tied around his ankles or knees to limit his stride. Depending how much slack you leave between his legs, you can reduce him to the most pathetic of shuffles, or simply stop him from going anywhere in a hurry. You can similarly tie his wrists together with your cast-off hosiery - a symbolic restraint, in so far as it could easily be shed, but one which will nevertheless remind your husband of his fall from favour as he awkwardly clutches a cloth. By surrendering to such subjugation and allowing it to remain until you say otherwise, he implicitly accepts your authority, as well as the need to overcome the resulting nuisances in order to make amends.

If you prefer more formal bondage, there are lockable cuffs that can be bought online, which can be connected with lengths of chain to limit your maid as much or as little as you like. A man who is forever fidgeting with his skirt might find his hands cuffed to a collar around his neck, something which will not only stop such unseemly behaviour, but will also require him to get much closer to whatever he has to clean - possibly at the cost of humbling himself still further if that happens to be the floor. If it amuses you to see your maid mince about, you might alternatively consider having him wear a hobble skirt - again, the province of specialist suppliers, but well worth the trouble to source for how its narrow hem will affect how he walks. It should go without saying that with any bondage, safety should be the first priority - don't tie your husband up so tightly as to cut off his circulation, or put him at undue risk of tripping or otherwise injuring himself because of how he's restrained.

Your husband needn't only come into contact with clothespins when pegging out the washing, with such humble fasteners also capable of being employed for the purposes of punishment. A man's ears, nose and lips can all be adorned with clips, making him both look and feel ridiculous - as befits a maid who should be ashamed of himself, even if the sight does prove amusing to his mistress! He'll be reminded of the uncomfortable attachments whenever he moves, but the effects don't stop there - the return of sensation when a clothespin is finally removed will be even more intense. To start with, be cautious about how long you leave clothespins on for, perhaps tasking your maid with timing his punishment and repositioning them as necessary. Once you have a feel for what your husband can take, however, all manner of places become fair game - a skimpy outfit will do little to save his nipples, scrotum or the skin of his shaft from feeling the pinch. Again, you can up the stakes with more formal implements - a pair of nipple clamps will work a wicked magic beneath even a man's bra.

A man with a propensity for getting his uniform dirty or wet can be told to strip for certain tasks, perhaps being permitted no more than a skimpy apron while he scrubs the bath. Noting the need for adequate protection when he's working with chemicals, there's nevertheless something deliciously naughty about having your husband do the housework next to naked, with a bra and panties doing little to make him feel less vulnerable while you supervise his efforts, fully clothed. Conversely, you can dress him up to the nines with a promise of a particularly unpleasant punishment should he sully his outfit even slightly, requiring him to pay appropriate attention to his appearance if he isn't to suffer as a result. Should you have any sheer stockings that are just starting to ladder, you can put them to good use here, having your husband wear them with strict instructions that he mustn't make their runs any longer.

A submissive crossdresser will soon come to appreciate the benefits of more practical hosiery when he's spent a stressful time having to worry about his legs, but you can also punish a man with a penchant for feminine frills by denying him anything of the sort. A plain PVC apron may be all he's allowed until he's shown that he can do better, perhaps worn on top of the dullest of housekeeper's dresses, if not regular men's clothing, to remind him that being your maid isn't just about appearances. If he's more eager about wearing sexy lingerie than he is about working in it, then unappealing undergarments can be the order of the day - a pair of greying granny panties and a slip-on sports bra will still emasculate him, even if they aren't the stuff of wet dreams. Such tricks won't work if your husband doesn't have transvestite tendencies, but if he does, his desire to dress up will soon see him desperate to please.

Leaving a bad taste in his mouth

Although your husband should always be allowed to raise genuine concerns about what you're asking him to do, you don't want a maid who is forever arguing with you or answering back. While you can cure a sassy servant of his impertinence with any of the methods we've already mentioned, a mouth that a man insists on making improper use of can very easily be turned against him. In doing so, you send a very clear message that if he's going to give you lip, you're going give him something to think about between his lips - something that he won't like!

It only takes a moment to put a spot of mustard or hot sauce on your husband's tongue - indeed, you can train him to do so himself when instructed, having him fetch the bottle before accepting his penance in your presence. Nevertheless, the burning effects will last much longer, reminding him of his rashness even after he's returned to work. You can permit your husband to rinse his mouth out when he's shown sufficient contrition, milk helping to neutralise the pain, or leave him to suffer until the initial intensity subsides of its own accord. Either way, he'll come to realise that ill-chosen words come with consequences, considering what he says more carefully for fear of getting more in his mouth.

A clove of garlic can be used in a similar manner, having to be chewed for a certain number of seconds - time in which you can tell him what he should have done differently. If your husband has a personal hate of a more palatable foodstuff, be that licorice or kale, olives or coriander, you can have him hold some in his mouth until he's completed a particular chore, allowing him to swallow only when you're satisfied with the results. There's no need to trouble yourself preparing a punishment portion when you can have your maid do so each time, or else cook up a batch that can subsequently be stored in the freezer as single servings. How many does a given offence warrant? It's entirely up to you!

A maid with a potty mouth will swiftly learn to moderate his language when any profanities will earn him a thorough soaping - as indeed, will one who believes he can brazenly lie about his lapses despite his mistress knowing better. You can have your husband bite down into the bar for a set amount of time, or else tell him to stick out his tongue so you can rub the soap over it. Again, that's something you can delegate to him if you prefer, sitting back and lecturing him on why you don't expect him to talk like a toilet - either way, the effects of a thorough mouth-soaping will linger long after you've sent him away. You can increase the unpleasantness of the experience by first having him soak the soap until it becomes slimy, something which has the added advantage of adding to the recipient's apprehension. Use a mild hand soap, and discourage any swallowing, accepting that your husband is likely to drool suds as a consequence.

A bar of soap is far from the only means with which you can muffle your maid. If you grow tired of his constant complaining, you can tell him to put a sock in it - either literally, or with a rolled up handkerchief or clean dishcloth, perhaps held in place with pantyhose to stop your husband from spitting out. Of course, you don't want him to suffocate either, so you should never stuff a gag too deeply into his mouth, nor employ one at all should he be suffering nasal congestion. For a more playful punishment, you may wish to use a pair of your panties or stockings, maybe even removing those you're wearing to put in his mouth, but such sexually charged garments can prove counter-productive when it comes to correcting a submissive man. One of your husband's own socks is much less likely to give him a thrill, its slobbery material merely something else he must deal with - even when he's finally allowed to remove it from his mouth.

A ball gag offers a more formal alternative, combining a rubber sphere which fills the mouth with a strap that buckles behind the head to hold it in place. The latter can often be locked in place, leaving the wearer suffering not only the discomfort of having their jaw kept unnaturally stretched, but also the shame of constantly drooling as well. Unable to swallow any more than he can speak clearly, a gagged maid must continue to pay attention to his mouth if he's not to make a mess, but his responses will be limited to submissive mumbles as he goes about slobbering.

If you wish to make things even more humiliating for your husband, have him suck on a dildo gag as he does the housework - even the smallest is likely to make him feel most uncomfortable because of its shape, with a larger phallus forcing him to constantly fight the urge to gag. For a particularly stern punishment, coat its length with something foul tasting before locking it in your maid's mouth, perhaps periodically removing it to renew the flavour. A pacifier can also be employed here if you fancy making him feel more like a naughty child - adult-sized ones are available online, with a length of ribbon tied behind his head enough to make a statement about where it should stay.

No pain, no gain

Pain doesn't have to be prolonged or excruciating to be effective - snapping your husband's bra or suspender straps against his skin won't hurt him, but you'll certainly command his attention when you subsequently speak to him. You can ping the elastic playfully, perhaps taking advantage of your maid having his hands in the sink to provide a mischievous reminder of what he's wearing as he washes the dishes. Equally, you can communicate your displeasure with such a gesture, either before or after you tell your husband what he's done wrong. By holding the straps stretched for a few seconds before letting go, you signal that he should stand perfectly still and listen to what you have to say. It's even possible to train a man to snap his own bra straps as a ritual act of atonement, not permitting him to return to work without paying such a penance.

A slap on the wrist is another symbolic way of showing your disapproval - whether accompanied by a stern “No!” on the spur of the moment, or delivered more deliberately. It's very submissive for a man to have to hold out his hand so that he can receive such discipline, however swiftly the resulting sting may fade. Similarly, an exposed buttock may be given a sharp smack or pinch - not with the intention of causing severe pain, but merely to stress a point. The short, flared skirts so beloved by sissy maids practically invite impromptu punishment should you catch your domestic dawdling on the job, but even a more modestly dressed maid can be told to present his behind for a token spank. It's enough to do so through clothing, but having him hitch up his dress serves to heighten the disgrace of receiving discipline more suited to a naughty girl.

The punishments we've hitherto discussed have deliberately placed the bulk of their burden where it belongs - on the misbehaving maid - while requiring much less of the lady of the house. Often that's exactly what you want, with your husband's wrongdoings not warranting any more effort on your part than is absolutely necessary. That's something that can't be said for a traditional over-the-knee spanking, with this mainstay of many a submissive man's fantasies making rather more demands of the deliverer. Moreover, the idea of imposing overtly physical discipline can be daunting, if not distasteful to many women, whether that stems from doubts about strength or a hesitance to hurt. Given the range of alternatives available, there's really no need to spank your husband, with corner time and uncomfortable clothing just as capable of correcting him.

On the other hand, you may find the thought of telling your husband to spread himself across your lap to be very appealing. Although you should never spank in anger, having your maid submit to your hand or hairbrush is a wonderful way of working off any annoyance you may feel about his shortcomings, allowing you to clear the air between you. While he may not appreciate it at the time, the pain provides catharsis for your husband too, such that by the time you finally let him get back up, you'll both be feeling much better for it - however much his bottom may not! Whether you choose to stress his submission by sending him straight back to the housework, or have him say thank for his punishment by pleasuring you on his knees afterwards, he'll be unable to forget the fires you've ignited in his flesh, reminded by the slightest movement of his skirt.

A formal punishment spanking is very different to a spontaneous slap to the behind, requiring its receiver to adopt a suitably submissive position first. If your husband is too heavy for you to comfortably support him across your knees, you can have him bend over the arm of the sofa, or else take advantage of the edge of a surface that he hasn't satisfactorily cleaned. Alternatively, he can simply bend over and present his behind, perhaps being allowed to brace his hands against his knees to help him stay balanced as he spreads his legs. Having him keep his head low, if not pressed into a corner or cushion, makes the experience more humbling for him, as does instructing him to drop down on all fours. Regardless of how awkward a stance he must maintain, you should be able to sit or stand so that you can swing your arm comfortably, it being down to your errant maid to do whatever is necessary to make this easier for you.

If your husband is wearing trousers, these should be dropped before discipline - something you can do yourself, or else tell him to take care of in advance of him adopting his punishment position. Having to waddle across the room with his trousers bunched around his ankles is a shameful way to start a spanking session for a man whose maid's uniform consists of a regular apron, whereas a more femininely dressed maid can be scolded about an unladylike bulge or uneven stockings as he lifts his skirt. Any panties can be left in place considering the scant protection they'll provide, but you can equally consider pulling their fabric between his cheeks if you don't want to remove them entirely. The anticipation can be as unpleasant as the pain that it precedes, especially for a man having to hold a humiliating position, so you may wish to take your time with such seemingly trivial preparations, turning them into a long, drawn out ritual during which you make him suffer - even before you start spanking him!

You can spank your husband with your hand, with the back of a hairbrush, or with a paddle purchased specifically for the purpose of discipline. If you're using an implement, you may wish to have your maid not only fetch it for you, but hold it respectfully until you're ready to use it on him - something which can be wickedly combined with a prolonged wait if you're so inclined. There's no need to hurry even when you start spanking him, with a delay after each blow allowing your husband to savour its sting even as he anticipates the next. You can remind him of why he's suffering before swinging your arm again, or have him thank you for the discipline you're delivering, perhaps even insisting that he keeps track of how many spanks he has received. Woe betide a man who loses count in the middle, a moment's distraction grounds for you to start again!

Not all of your husband's behind is safe to spank - stick to the fleshy part of the cheeks on which he would ordinarily sit, not that he'll want to when you've finished, staying away from less padded regions. It's natural for the skin to turn red or even purple as a result, with some men bruising more easily than others. Be aware that it may take time for such marks to fade, the effects of a serious spanking capable of lingering for several days - something that'll give your husband pause for thought whenever he shifts uncomfortably in his seat at work, but best avoided if he's planning on going swimming or to the doctors! Until you know how much your man is capable of taking, go slowly, checking regularly to make sure he can handle it. In the heat of the moment, he may groan in agony or even cry like a girl - something you can encourage as part of a more submissive persona. Between sets of blows, you can treat his burning behind to a softer, soothing caress, having him tell you how he feels before you resume. The same goes for at the end of his punishment, when even pulling up his panties may be painful - let alone the playful slap on the buttock that sends him back to the chores.

Sex and the sissy maid

As we've seen throughout this book, the role of the maid comes with certain sexual connotations, even when a man adopts it. Crossdressing in a suggestive costume adds to the charge, but the inherent submission of being told what to do by an assertive woman carries a provocative power of its own, especially when that's his wife. To pretend otherwise is unrealistic - men can't help responding instinctively to such stimuli, with many an apparently reluctant husband becoming involuntarily aroused while doing the housework in a dress. He might well be thinking of having his way with the maid who just happens to be wearing what he's wearing while they're both on their hands and knees, but he's still affected by the erotic associations - something you can make good use of.

The situation becomes more complicated when dealing with a submissive crossdresser who may harbour latent feelings of guilt and shame in addition to their much more intense arousal, but such men still share a fundamental feature with those that don't long to wear and wash lingerie - their willingness to do what you want is dependent, to a greater or lesser extent, on how horny they are. For instance, it's unlikely that you'll be able to persuade your husband to get up and change the sheets straight after having sex, it being more in a man's nature to simply roll over and fall asleep once he's satisfied his needs. Conversely, the suggestion that you don't like making love in an unkempt bed can send even the laziest of husbands running for the iron if he believes that's the best way of getting you between the sheets after a dry spell.

That's not to say your husband should be helping with the housework solely in the hope of getting lucky, and certainly not to suggest that he should see sex as something he's entitled to for doing his fair share - the former disregards the many other benefits of him doing his bit, whereas the latter reduces what should be something special to a tawdry purchase. You may as well hand him a banknote for his time in an apron, then take it back from him in exchange for allowing him access to your body! Nevertheless, the occasional upward tweak to your husband's carnal thermostat is likely to make him much more willing to please than treating him as a sexless servant, with his submissive position offering new possibilities to express your love for each other, quite apart from enjoying your favourites!

Even men who don't like dressing up are susceptible to sexual attention, with a brief fondle through your husband's uniform sure to spur him on as well as saying thank you. A skimpy maid's dress leaves a man particularly vulnerable to having his crotch caressed, with the bare skin above the tops of his stockings also a good target for attention. Merely brushing his buttocks as you walk past him working can be provocative enough, let alone should you pause to give them a sensuous squeeze. If he's burdened with large false breasts, you can give these similar treatment, toying with them as you might your own, but a man doesn't need to be wearing a bra for you to tweak his nipples or slide your hands across his chest. Standing right behind him, you can whisper naughty nothings in his ear or even nibble it as you wrap your arms around him, holding him in a suggestive embrace as you encourage a stiffness under his apron.

Some men hardly need extra erotic encouragement - indeed, it can be enough of a challenge to keep their minds on more mundane matters when they're turned on by playing the maid. It doesn't matter how keen your husband is to dress the part if all he wants to do to is fool around afterwards - as fun as that may be from time to time, it doesn't get the chores finished! Fortunately, it's possible to make even the most powerful of libidos your ally by means of a male chastity device, a contraption that locks around a man's member to prevent him from enjoying an erection, let alone anything more. Once fitted, you need do nothing more than keep hold of the key, with your husband's arousal working on your behalf - indeed, the more hot and bothered he becomes, the more the presence around his penis will scold him for not staying focused on the task at hand.

It is possible to spend a lot of money on a custom-made chastity belt, but even the cheapest of plastic devices will suffice for short-term wear - it merely needs to be secure enough to keep your husband's hands at bay while he's doing the housework. The book taming the caged beast will tell you everything you need to know about such devices, which have become so mainstream as to be readily available online. You can have him put one on along with his uniform, leaving the problem of how to do so down to him to solve, only needing to give his skirt a quick lift to make sure he's properly locked before he starts work. Although you can tease him by toying with the key, if not with the device itself if you're feeling mischievous, you don't have to do anything further about his frustration until he's completed every last chore to your satisfaction - if, indeed, then! It only takes a couple of seconds to tell your husband he'll be spending extra time in chastity as a punishment, regardless of whether you decide he deserves to stay denied for hours or even days thereafter!

If you're not especially enamoured with your husband's crossdressing, you can insist that he stays locked up until long after every last trace of satin and lace has been returned to the back of the wardrobe. Doing so draws a very clear distinction between you allowing him to wear women's clothing and wanting to make love with him, letting him indulge his desires without you having to compromise yours. Your chaste cleaner may derive a secret satisfaction from dressing the way he does, but you don't ever need to know of it as he busies himself about the house - any more than you would for a woman that you'd hired, who could just as easily be hiding a toy in her panties to liven up her work.

If you're open to being a little more intimate with your maid, however, you can go further than just unlocking him after he's finished. He's sure to stand to attention in more ways than one should you have him hold his skirt up so you can sort him out, with a slow, sensuous stroking not only a means of treating your husband, but also an opportunity to impress any lessons you may wish him to learn. In such a submissive position, you'll find he'll be very receptive to anything you have to say, there being no question about your authority when continued stimulation is strictly on your terms. You can associate strokes with areas where you're satisfied or pause while recalling problems, even turning pleasure into pain momentarily to make a point. While you have his hardness in your hand, your husband will be all but helpless, allowing you to set the pace, but you don't have to finish what you've started if you'd prefer to keep his passions for later - simply send him away to get changed, still stiff.

Alternatively, you can milk your husband into a bowl - something which doesn't just avoid him making a mess, but further emphasises your respective positions should you reduce him to holding such a receptacle while you make him spurt. It's a far cry from the stereotypical image of the man actively leading a couple's lovemaking, but can nevertheless be a most intimate affair, especially if you take your time and treat him to a long, tender tease. If you're feeling less generous, you can finish him off in just a few seconds, not even needing to keep hold of his organ as it goes into spasm, but letting go to leave it shuddering unsatisfyingly. Doing so is particularly devastating when your husband still has chores to do, with a punishment milking serving to radically change a man's state of mind. Even the cockiest of crossdressers will become far less fond of his maid's dress, let alone having to continue to toil away in it after climax, turning previously locked clothing into part of his penance - a wonderful way to deal with a sissy who can't stop fiddling with his frills.

Earlier, we discussed the use of disagreeable tastes as a means of discipline. A man's own semen is second to none in this respect, albeit more because of its psychological aspects rather than its actual palatability. However erroneously, many men regard taking ejaculate in the mouth to be strictly the preserve of women, reluctant even to share a kiss after being treated to head. It must be said, however, that submissive crossdressers are often attracted to the idea as a consequence of its unmanliness, but the reality of having to hold a load on the tongue is rather less appealing. Ironically, a man is least likely to want to consume his sperm immediately after producing it, making a command to lick clean a bowl he's just splattered especially humiliating for him to obey. For a less severe punishment, you can freeze his sperm for subsequent consumption, a simple ice cube tray an ideal way of storing it in separate servings. Having a stock of special cubes to hand allows you to administer your maid's medicine as and when required, but whether you leave a dose to melt in his mouth or make him take it on a spoon after it's thawed, the taste will still act as a deterrent.

Our stereotype of a macho man would no more accept anything shameful between his buttocks than he would his lips, but a submissive maid can be asked to take a plug to remind him of his place. It doesn't have to be particularly large to be effective - indeed, a smaller imposition may be more challenging for your husband to hold inside him as he does the housework. Its presence will provide a constant, nagging distraction that's sure to stress his submission, such that you can add a plug for a set amount of time as a punishment, but if amuses you to see your man working while occupied, one can become a regular part of his uniform. A jewelled plug is a particularly pleasing accompaniment to a short skirt and an absence of panties, providing flashes of colours from between his cheeks whenever he bends over. Choose a plug with a flared base, and use adequate lube - regardless of whether you or your maid takes care of the insertion.

If you're feeling particularly kinky, a plug may be considered as no more than a prelude to more active penetration, with the responsibilities of some maids extending to equipping their mistresses with the means by which to take them after, or even during, their other duties. If your sexual tastes are more traditional, however, you can have your husband prepare things for when he returns to being the man of the house, whether that be lighting scented candles or giving you a relaxing massage in advance of disappearing to get changed. Alternatively, you can keep the two aspects of your life entirely separate - like everything else we've discussed, it's about making your maid work for you.

A means to an end

By encouraging the things you want to see more of and discouraging those you don't, you'll soon train your husband to do the housework the way you want him to. Finding the right combination of reward and deterrent may require a little trial and error to start with, but don't be afraid to experiment in order to discover which methods of motivating your maid are easiest for you and most effective for modifying his behaviour. Over time, you should find yourself needing to intervene less and less often, your husband developing increasing self-discipline until doing what's expected of him comes as second nature. That doesn't mean you can't treat him on a whim, of course, but a grateful word is enough to make a devoted maid's day even if you don't reward him with more. Equally, you can continue to raise the bar, introducing fresh challenges for your husband to overcome while preventing any backsliding with the prospect of punishment should he fail to do his best. Such motivation won't by itself make him as proficient as any professional, but it will give him a good incentive to get there! Might you also help him feel like more of a maid in other ways as well? We'll be considering various means of doing so in the next chapter.