Suppose that as you opened this book, you were unexpectedly engulfed in a thick, pungent cloud that somehow explodes from its pages. When the smoke finally clears, you find yourself staring somewhat dazed at a turban-clad genie, offering the proverbial three wishes in exchange for his release. Alas, that's more than such humble writers as ourselves can provide, at least, not in every copy (it's a paperback, after all), but just for a moment, by the power of imagination, let us imagine that it were true. What would you ask the muscle-bound figure whose powerful body tails off magically into the spine of this volume?
He's an unshockable chap, our genie, and he's been around long enough to understand human nature better than you could possibly imagine - he knows that men are fundamentally sexual creatures, for instance, however much some might try to deny it, and he's aware of every imaginable perversion under the sun - one might suspect that he's spent far too much time on the Internet during his long captivity in the folds of this book. So, go on, be honest with him - he can make all your dreams come true, and if he's not really your type, he'll happily summon whomever you most desire to take his place. He can fulfil your wildest fantasies, and all you need to do is to tell him exactly what you want.
Of course, you'll want to give your answer some thought, because like all supernatural spirits, he's got a mischievous streak. It's no good asking him simply to make you serve a woman, because he'll choose the woman, and believe me, his choice won't coincide with yours - a lifetime of grocery shopping for your incontinent grandmother awaits if you're foolish enough not to express your desires more clearly. No, you'll need to give much more thought to what you ask of him, and on the remote possibility that turning the page might just summon such a wondrous benefactor, you'd better do that right now.
We've started this chapter with such an improbable motif for a reason - although the world is distinctly lacking in wish-granting genies, such that you're most unlikely to achieve your fantasies simply by asking for them, it's still possible to achieve at least some of what you want if you're prepared to make enough effort. It would be a very sad state of affairs to put in all that hard work, only then to discover that the end results aren't really what you were hoping for, and thus it benefits the would-be maid immensely to ask such questions of themselves at the very beginning, well before involving anyone else, when changing your mind is as easy as, well, changing your mind. So, genie or no genie, what do you want?
 if you've only bought the e-book, you're out of luck!
At this point, it's worth making a clear distinction between mere fantasies and practical reality - the former might be fun to read stories about, but the later is something that, whether you like it or not, you'll have to live with. You might fantasise, for example, about being locked in a dungeon and abused by a cruel-hearted mistress with a monster strap-on every day for the rest of your life, wearing nothing but a chastity belt that is never, ever removed, but I can assure you that after a few days, let alone weeks or years, of such ill treatment you'd be longing for a little affection, not to mention a nice walk in the fresh air. Approaching a woman, whether she be your wife, a friend, or even a professional dominatrix with such an unrealistic request is unlikely to produce the results you expect - at best, you'll simply alienate the woman in question, at worst they might actually give you what you've asked for!
That's not to say that, under the right circumstances, such fantasies can't be indulged in occasionally via rôle-play or erotic fiction, merely to point out that the question of what you want requires rather more thought than simply blurting out the first thing to pop into your head. Yes, there are stories and blogs online that purport to detail such ludicrously unlikely scenarios being enacted for real, but such accounts are often so patently false that a moment's critical, objective analysis reveals numerous flaws and inconsistencies - not least that any man who had genuinely been abused in such a manner would be most unlikely to want to write about his experiences in the details that those who claim to have been feminised against their will invariably do. This simple rule of thumb cuts through the vast majority of the nonsense out there, leaving a much smaller, more realistic kernel of men who are at least honest about the kick they get from such activities, however much they might exaggerate them.
Put such unrealistic fantasies to one side for now - you can always go back to them next time you're feeling horny - and give some thought as to what you'd like to achieve from life, given the limitations of the real world. Although you're far from alone in having desires, each one of us is unique in the particular manifestation of them, as the plethora of pornography available online illustrates - such material simply wouldn't exist if there wasn't a ready market of men with matching tastes to cater for. Given that you're reading this book, it's a fair assumption that you're interested in serving as a maid, or, at the very least, being feminised to some extent, but even such an apparently simple fetish offers a surprising amount of variation. Some men delight in the dressing up, some in the inherent submission of such a rôle. Others simply enjoy cleaning, and for many it's merely a prelude to sexual activity of one form or another. What does it for you?
If you're not sure how to answer such a question, have a look through your stash of naughty images and stories - yes, we know you've got one - and see if you can spot any patterns in what takes your fancy. Is it the humiliation that appeals, or the submission? Is it the uniforms, or the underwear? The mistress or the maid? Do you delight in men who are forced to serve, or those who do so willingly? Is it important they look the part, with realistic breasts and lots of make-up, or should they remain predominantly masculine? Does the idea of performing menial work turn you on? How about being punished for failure? By understanding which aspects of being a maid are appealing, and which are less so, you can gain greater insight as to why you might desire to be one yourself. Try not to get too distracted in the process!
Many men's fantasies involve being "forced" to do things, a concept that can prove quite alien to many women, particularly when one considers just how much the man enjoys the activities in question. One of Emily's female correspondents memorably compared this to being bought shoes and chocolate by her husband, something she assured her she would enjoy immensely were he to actually do so on a regular basis, and she couldn't understand how putting a bra on a man who enjoyed wearing lingerie could exert any degree of power over him. When you think about it in those terms, she's absolutely right - the idea of being forced to do something you secretly long for is very strange indeed!
Nevertheless, the notion of forced feminization, generally involving a man having no choice but to dress and serve as instructed, ceding all power to a dominant female authority figure, is one that appeals to a surprisingly large proportion of crossdressers. Such desires often betray a residual sense of guilt about dressing in such an unorthodox manner, seeking to assuage them of any culpability for breaking societal norms by transferring responsibility for the resulting perception of shame, however longed for, onto another party. A man who has not fully come to terms with his desires, unable to accept them as a natural and wholesome part of his sexuality, can nevertheless enjoy such sinful pleasures by telling himself that, however much he may delight in being so treated, it is not his doing and he need not be accountable for it.
crossdressing is, after all, not something that should warrant feeling guilty about, so long as no-one is hurt by your dressing up. A significant percentage of men indulge in wearing women's clothing at some point in their lives, and many choose to do so more regularly, enjoying a harmless pleasure that, unlike many other sexual activities, does not put them at any greater risk of injury, disease or unwanted pregnancy by doing so. There is nothing intrinsically harmful or damaging about joining the half of the population who already wear such garments - where hurt does arise, it is invariably as a result of other people's inability to accept such habits, something which is not helped by the secrecy that many men feel compelled to adopt regarding them. This, in turn, leads to a sense of betrayal and lack of trust when women finally discover a side of their partner they had previously been quite unaware of, often in the most unfortunate of circumstances.
It is beyond the scope of this book to help you come to terms with your desires, but it is important that you do so before attempting to serve as a maid. It should go without saying that if you're so uncomfortable with this aspect of yourself that you still purge on a regular basis, that is to say, you feel so guilty about your crossdressing that you're compelled to dispose of your clothes afterwards, only to have to buy replacements when the mood takes you again, then you are far from ready to involve anyone else, except perhaps in the rôle of a confidant. Such a pointless waste of money is unfortunately not unusual among those who have yet to acknowledge the inexorable nature of their desires, but it is not a habit that sits well with others, not least because only the most loyal of women will be prepared to stand by someone who changes their mind so regularly - it certainly isn't something you can expect from a casual partner, who is unlikely to take you back more than once, if at all.
Let us now turn to the reasons why men are attracted to the idea of becoming a maid. For some, the motivations are predominantly sexual - they gain a thrill from serving in this way, finding even the thought of it arousing and exciting. This may be because of the erotic associations the rôle has for them, thanks to the portrayal of the stereotypical French maid in mainstream pornography, simultaneously seductive and submissive - an object of desire whose attraction can all too easily be transformed from longing to possess this most alluring of characters into wanting to become such an arousing creature instead, relishing the apparent ease and availability of the sexuality she so clearly enjoys.
Merely dressing up in feminine attire is a powerful turn-on for the significant percentage of men who have crossdressing tendencies, and the maid's uniform is singularly replete with such clothing, whether it's the skimpy satin dress that does little to hide the wearer's charms, with its frilly little apron tied in a bow at the back, or the luxurious lingerie worn underneath, lace-top stockings invariably found with impractically high heels, oozing femininity. Not only is this confection a treat to behold, but its tactile sensations can prove second to none, the feel of such fine fabrics compounded by the way they cling tightly to the skin in places, yet float freely around the body in others. Even a plain maid's uniform, such as might be worn by a professional hotel cleaner, is a far cry from the regular wardrobe of a man, and the connotations of such clothing are anything but insignificant. As we shall see later in this book, working as a maid provides an ideal outlet for the man who simply enjoys dressing up, allowing him to justify doing so in a way that a schoolgirl's uniform cannot.
The rôle of the maid is inherently subservient, a humble worker completely lacking in authority, expected to carry out menial drudgery without complaint. Such submission to another's will often comes with strong sexual overtones, and some men find the idea of surrendering completely to a powerful woman extremely arousing, relinquishing their control of the situation and placing themselves completely at her mercy when they don such embarrassing clothing in order to carry out degrading tasks - what could be more humiliating than a grown man on his hands and knees, having to scrub a lady's floor whilst dressed in the most disgraceful of outfits? For some, this may even go as far as wanting to be punished or abused, a way of assuaging their guilt about what they regard as shameful desires to dress or serve - they might even consider such activities as punishments in their own right, cleaning as a forfeit for misdemeanours.
For others, the sexual aspects of the rôle are more incidental - the appeal of donning the attire of a serving girl lies more from the persona that comes with putting on such clothing, allowing them to leave the trials and tribulations of everyday life behind as they take on a more submissive character. Many men, particularly those in high powered jobs, find themselves continually bombarded with tough decisions throughout the course of the working day, expected to adopt the mantle of leadership as they take charge of difficult situations, knowing that they cannot afford to fail without letting down those who depend on them. Adopting the guise of a humble maid is a welcome release from such pressures, allowing them to forget their concerns, albeit for a little while, by retreating into a world apart, safe and secure.
After all, what could be more different from the hectic life of a policeman, consultant or manager than the simple concerns of ensuring that both their appearance and that of the house look as pretty as can be? There are few hard choices to be made when it comes to washing dishes or dusting shelves, simply routine application of easily learnt techniques. This change of pace can prove incredibly relaxing to the man run off his feet at work, allowing him to put his troubles to one side for a while and unwind - his mistress will take care of the big issues for him, leaving him having to do nothing but follow her orders. Over time, the uniform of a maid will come to acquire associations of calm amidst the storm, a welcome retreat from the hustle and bustle elsewhere. The maid who cleans to relax might grow bored of such a lifestyle were there were no release from it, but as an escape itself for a few hours, it offers an ideal contrast to the cutthroat environment they are otherwise used to.
Of course, your own situation may well not be so clear-cut - a complex mixture of motivations may attract you to the idea of serving as a maid, alongside all the complicated unconscious reasons that form the foundations of any fetish. A childhood encounter can form the basis of such desires, perhaps a dominating mother or other woman in a position of authority, insisting on an unnaturally fastidious state of cleanliness - once formed, such early programming can prove remarkably hard to undo. Some men gain a vicarious thrill from breaking taboos, rebelling against a society that judges men as successful only if they are strong leaders, subverting such expectations by secretly adopting one of the weakest and traditionally most feminine rôles available. Others simply delight in a spotlessly clean house, and relish the sense of satisfaction that comes from having transformed a formerly grimy kitchen into a bright and sparkling joy. Only you can answer the question of what exactly does it for you about being a maid, but considering such matters is definitely time well spent.
At the beginning of this chapter, we explored what you might ask of an almighty genie offering the proverbial three wishes. Suppose now that, far from being omnipotent, the genie in question is of a more common or garden variety, his powers rather more limited - able to grant some wishes but not others. Should you ask too much of him, he'll simply shrug his shoulders, possibly offering a less appealing alternative, possibly just returning sulkily to his confinement in the hope that his next potential saviour might be a little more realistic, no doubt grumbling as he does so.
What would you ask of such a recalcitrant spirit? Having considered what you'd ask of his more capable brother, which are the essential aspects that you feel unable to compromise on, and which are superfluous additions that you might give up in exchange for more important priorities? Strip your fantasies down to the bare bones, and identify the key features without which they lose their appeal, the point at which you'd politely decline the genie, not bothering to redeem any of your wishes because he has nothing of interest to offer you.
For instance, if your wife suggested that she didn't mind you dressing up to do the cleaning, but she wasn't prepared to have sex with you so attired, would that be sufficient to satisfy your desires, or would it leave you wanting more, feeling as though something were missing? How about the reverse? What if she was fine with you wearing panties, but really didn't like you wearing a bra, let alone a full maid's uniform? Or if she tolerated you doing so, but never actively initiated it? How about if she couldn't bear the sight of you as a maid, but didn't mind what you got up to in private? Does the woman you'd like to serve need to be someone who loves and cares for you, or could she be a random stranger so long as she was prepared to humour your fetish? How about if it was a man instead, or if she had a husband or even a family?
Some of these things may be non-negotiable - many men who wish to be maids are reluctant to serve other men, for instance - but others may have more room for compromise. As we'll see later, the more stringent your requirements are, the less likely you are to succeed. Insisting that you'll only settle for being the full-time, live-in servant of a famous celebrity who'll take an active interest in your sexual needs is something that stands far less chance of success than being prepared to work for an unremarkable stranger who doesn't care what you wear so long as you keep your hands to yourself and get the chores done, while she puts her feet up and watches the television in another room.
You may wonder why we have placed so much emphasis on the need to understand yourself, but the reason why we're asking such soul-searching questions now, before we've even thought about how to approach woman, is simple. Although a complete understanding of your motivations may never be possible, having some kind of feeling for where you are coming from will help immensely, not least in answering the kind of questions you will inevitably be asked by those you are hoping to serve - even the most disinterested of women wanting a cleaner will want to know whether you're expecting sex, let alone someone who cares for your happiness, in so far as doing so doesn't make them unhappy.
Moreover, a little exploration of such issues now can save an awful amount of heartache later on. For instance, if you're hoping to gain sexual gratification from being actively humiliated, it's no good offering to do the cleaning for a woman who has no interest in anything beyond having her chores done - doing so will only leave you feeling more unsatisfied! Similarly, if all you wish to do is dress up occasionally, there's little benefit to be had from painting your wife a picture of the stereotypical leather-clad dominatrix and expecting her to fulfil such a rôle merely because of a naive assumption that it somehow goes with the scene - especially if what you're actually looking for is just a little affection from her as you do the dishes dressed in your frillies. Neither is fair on the women involved, let alone yourself, nor is it a good recipe for long-term happiness - quite the reverse, in fact!
Above all, it's important to be honest with yourself about what you want - only when you have done this can you begin to be honest with other people. Admittedly, the answers to such questions are unlikely to arise immediately, at least, not completely - the full picture will only emerge after actively exploring possibilities, experimenting with various approaches to discover what works in practise for you and what doesn't. Indeed, your desires may well change over time as you gain more experience, particularly from a trial and error approach. Nevertheless, it is still vitally important that you give consideration to such issues from the very beginning, and thus we recommend you reread this chapter at least once before continuing any further, as well as returning to it regularly as you deepen your self-awareness.