he's the maid

Chapter 1: Why might I have my husband serve as my maid?

Picture, if you will, a stereotypical lady of leisure. Whether a woman of nobility from bygone days or one of today's rich and famous, she's sure to have servants on hand to attend to her every whim. The carefree lifestyle of the countess or celebrity certainly doesn't include ironing clothes or doing the dishes, there being maids to take care of such mundane matters for her. Wearing uniforms that leave no doubt about their subordinate position, such domestics will tirelessly strive to keep everything looking its best, allowing the lady of the house to enjoy sparkling polished floors and crisply pressed sheets without her ever having to lift a finger herself.

That's a world apart from the lot of most modern women, who are expected to juggle all manner of responsibilities even without considering the chores. With busy careers, not to mention social and personal commitments, housework is just one more thing that has to be squeezed into a hectic schedule, leaving even less time to relax! Nevertheless, the vacuuming and laundry can't be neglected for long, with dust building up and clothes getting dirty at an alarming rate. If only we all had our own maids to make things easier - but how many of us can afford pay for the services of a professional cleaner, let alone one who's prepared to pamper us like princesses with back rubs and breakfast in bed?

If you're having to go to work as well, you might hope that your husband1 might lend a hand around the house, at least taking a little of the load off your shoulders, if not doing what you see as his fair share. Sadly, many women find even the idea of asking their man to help out to be laughable, having difficulty imagining him doing more than the bare minimum, begrudgingly at that. The idea of your husband treating you like royalty in between rushing around with a duster and mop might make a diverting daydream, but it doesn't get anything done - especially if you know from bitter experience that extracting his efforts is more trouble than it's worth. Is it really possible to get him to wear an apron, quite apart from persuading him to do anything more? Put any prejudices to one side for a moment, and read on - you'll be amazed!

Believe it or not, a surprising number of men actually want to be maids, whereas many more can find unexpected pleasure in adopting such a role, if only they were to give it a try! In this book, we'll see how dressing your husband up for domestic service can work wonders in ways you might never have imagined, it taking no more than a few clothes to liven up the cleaning. When you're the mistress and he's the maid, you'll not only enjoy a house that stays spotless, but a stronger relationship and a whole lot of fun along the way!

[1] You don't have to be married to your man for him to be able to serve as your maid, but throughout this book, we'll refer to husbands and wives for consistency.

What are the benefits of having my husband serve as my maid?

There's a reason why the word “housework” ends the way it does, and that's because taking care of the chores is, quite literally, a chore. If you're like most women, you'd divest yourself of the domestic drudgery in an instant, if only you could do so on the right terms. You might have considered employing a professional cleaner, but were put off by the price, or else found yourself uncomfortable with the idea of having a stranger look after the house. For many of us, the only reason we resign ourselves to an endless battle with dirt is because that's a lesser evil than living with it, but things would be very different if your husband became your maid. Let's consider what you'd enjoy:

As much as you have to gain from such an arrangement, the advantages of having your husband serve as your maid aren't solely one-sided. Although the prospect of taking responsibility for the chores may not seem particularly appealing to a man on paper, in practice there are a wealth of psychological benefits for him as well - so much so that even an initially reluctant husband will come to appreciate the rewards. Let's look at things from his perspective:

Although some of these advantages may sound too good to be true, they come as a natural consequence of having your husband do the housework dressed as a maid. In adopting such a role, he's accepting much more than just an apron, thanks to the power of what's actually a very profound archetype. As unlikely as it might seem to start with, the concept of a male maid makes a surprising amount of sense when you stop to think about it. Let's take a moment to do just that.

Why have your husband serve as a maid rather than, say, a butler?

Putting the “male” part temporarily to one side, what images does the word “maid” bring to mind? It certainly carries more connotations than “cleaner”, having strong suggestions of service, if not servility. Nowadays, only the wealthiest can afford live-in servants, but there was a time when almost every middle-class household would have at least one maid to attend to menial matters. Great houses would employ whole hierarchies of domestics, giving rise to such specialisations as the lady's maid, chamber maid and scullery maid, whereas even a modestly well-to-do gentleman could count on the services of a skivvy or charwoman to spare him from having to stoop to do his own washing.

All but banished to the pages of history books, such social stratification lives on in the popular consciousness - not least in the form of period dramas, in which antiquated goings-on upstairs and downstairs still fascinate modern audiences. Maids can also be found in many classic novels, as well as more contemporary historical romances, where their inferior position adds a twist to many plots. Regardless of how realistic such depictions may be, the picture painted is generally the same - a rigid order in which even the lowliest of servants knows their place, only the unlikely hand of fate saving a scullery maid from a life of peeling vegetables while wearing austere Victoriana.

Modern maid service is a rather different affair, providing periodic cleaning for those too busy to take care of the chores themselves - albeit at a price. Presenting themselves in practical uniforms, professional cleaners charge by the hour for tasks including ironing, vacuuming and dusting, many doing so while their employers are out. If you've never availed yourself of their services at home, you may still have encountered similar when staying at a hotel. Looking after things almost invisibly behind the scenes, hotel maids ensure that sheets and towels are changed on schedule, allowing the happy holidaymaker and busy businesswoman to focus on more important matters. Often working for a minimum wage, there's no doubt that such women are a different class to those they serve, however important the functions they perform.

The saucy stereotype of the sexy maid presented in pornographic film and farce bears as much resemblance to reality as the naughty nurse does to contemporary caregivers. Nevertheless, the feather duster flourishing French maid features prominently in many a man's fantasies, thanks to being suggestively dressed and always eager to please. Bending over to show seductive stocking tops beneath a scandalously short skirt, she soon finds herself distracted from the dusting, enticing the advances of her employer in the most inappropriate of ways. It's a caricature that many couples have fun with in the bedroom, spicing up their love lives with a little role-play - so much so that finding a suitable outfit is surprisingly straightforward, the maid's uniform a staple of costume shops.

What do such disparate representations have in common? Firstly, for better or worse, maids are invariably female - the very word carries gender connotations in a way that “servant” does not. Specifically masculine roles such as butlers and valets have traditionally not encompassed the same responsibility for cleaning, while simultaneously being accountable for matters too manly to be entrusted to a maid. Furthermore, they answered to other men, be that the gentleman they attended, or else a male superior - a very different dynamic to that of the maid obeying her mistress. Even the humblest of manservants would be unlikely to want to demean himself doing “women's work” - a prejudice that persists even today, with many men's reluctance to help around the house seated in a similar chauvinism. We'll return to this subject in due course, but for now, it's enough to note that maids, be they staid servants or saucy sexpots, are feminine through and through.

Secondly, the maid is an inherently submissive role. The tasks she performs are too menial for others to want to trouble themselves with, often requiring her to humble herself in order to complete them. A maid might find herself up to her elbows in soapy water as she washes dirty underwear or down on her hands and knees while scrubbing a floor, but she's still expected to fulfil her duties regardless of such indignities. Although she must always do as she is told, she must also be able to work without disturbing her superiors, devoting herself to their service without drawing any more attention to herself than is absolutely necessary. Even a featherbrained French maid knows when to take the initiative and when to simply lie back and let herself be taken, always putting her employer's satisfaction above her own. A maid is subordinate to those she serves, a fact that both parties are fully aware of.

Last, but by no means least, maids are marked out by an unmistakable uniform, even if that's nothing more than the practical apron that a professional cleaner wears to protect her clothes. More formal roles have correspondingly more formal uniforms, with the maids that feature in period dramas and pornography providing very different examples of how stylised such outfits can be. Whether stiff cotton that shrouds the wearer from neck to toe, or skimpier satin that does precious little to hide her charms, the black and white of the stereotypical maid's uniform announces her position to anyone who sees it, not least its wearer. A woman might do the very same chores in regular clothing without warranting comment, but have her don a frilly apron and a little black dress and she suddenly becomes a submissive servant - one of the reasons why maids employed as such, be it in a great house or a hotel, wear uniforms, and indeed, why a French maid's outfit proves so provocative in the bedroom.

Bringing all these aspects together, it's clear that the archetype of the maid carries with it a wealth of connotations, such that it's impossible to adopt the associated attire without being affected by what it brings to mind. That's particularly the case for a man who wears a maid's uniform, with a male maid even more profoundly influenced by the unfamiliarity of such clothing, quite apart from the implications of taking on a traditionally female role. By having your husband dress up to do the housework, you're not just presenting him with an outfit, but also a pre-prepared position for him to fall into, one whose societally shaped conventions will encourage him to help out as soon as he steps into its shoes. That the shoes in question would ordinarily be occupied by a woman is more than mere chance, however - indeed, crossdressing and submission are sufficiently connected as to warrant further consideration.

Figure 1.1: Four representations of the maid archetype - a Victorian servant sweeping the floor, a hotel cleaner using a more modern appliance, a saucy French maid flourishing a feather duster, and a fanciful maid showing off a full-skirted dress. All wear an unmistakable uniform, with an apron announcing their role.

What's the connection between crossdressing and submission?

The humble maid is as about as far removed as you can get from the stereotypical macho man, her submissive femininity a world apart from the caricature of the alpha male embodied in the rugged action movie hero. This contrast is by no means coincidental, but rather is at the heart of why dressing your husband as a maid is so effective for getting him to do the housework. It's hard for a man to feel too masculine in a maid's uniform, such attire naturally encouraging a more submissive attitude. That's partly because men can't wear women's clothes in the same way women can men's, with the simplest of dresses bringing with it an inescapable significance, if not shame, to the male wearer. Even if your husband is already at home in the kitchen, he's unlikely to want to don a flouncy pinafore to do the cooking, let alone be seen in one in front of his friends. Doing so would mean something.

Such is the ability of female clothing to affect a man's state of mind that a not insignificant proportion of men choose to crossdress of their own accord, adopting often exaggerated caricatures of womanhood in an effort to escape their everyday concerns. That's not that different to how you might lose yourself in the make-believe world of a thrilling book or film, allowing them to forget about their other troubles, if only for a little while. Others may be more reluctant to dress up, but still can't help being influenced by what they're wearing when they do. A single item of intimate attire can command a man's attention with a heady mix of arousal and anxiety, as you'll discover if you suggest your husband secretly wear panties in public. No-one need ever know that his briefs are women's rather than men's - indeed, they could look very similar - but he'll be acutely aware of their presence all the same.

A maid's uniform, therefore, will have a powerful effect on your husband. Wearing one at your behest is an inherently submissive act, leaving him having to trust you not to take advantage of his resulting vulnerability. Simply by putting on an apron, he's exposing himself to potential embarrassment, giving you the power to humiliate him at any moment. In doing so, he not only cedes control, but also accepts you're in charge, a situation that will continue until he finally changes. In fact, what he wears is merely a means to this end, it being the submission that comes from being so conspicuously crossdressed that actually serves our purpose. Of course, that too has its own complexities.

Submission is certainly not an all or nothing affair. Outside of implausible caricatures such as the undefeatable warrior or the downtrodden doormat, it's perfectly normal for a man to submit in some areas of his life while taking the lead in others. The self-proclaimed head of the house still defers to his boss at work, just as the high-powered executive yields decisions about domestic matters to his wife. Indeed, men need an outlet for both sides, which is why those who have had a frustrating day at work sometimes take it out on their loved ones when they come home, but equally why those in leadership positions often seek to shed the burden of assuming authority behind closed doors. A disproportionate percentage of successful men are secretly sexually submissive, expressing an alter ego in the bedroom that's completely at odds with their public persona. Tales of politicians suffering at the hands of whip-wielding dominatrices may cause public scandal, but in the context of a loving marriage, kinky games are a harmless way for men, and indeed, women, to unwind.

It's important to note that not all crossdressers are submissive, nor is the reverse the case. There are crossdressers who adopt a more dominant persona when they dress up, as well as submissive men who have absolutely no desire to wear feminine attire. It's impossible to reduce the diverse range of human psychologies into a handful of overly broad stereotypes, with every individual being unique in their particular idiosyncrasies. Nevertheless, certain aspects come together more often than not, such that it's meaningful to speak of the submissive crossdresser, or “sissy” - a man who wears women's clothing not only to relinquish his masculine responsibilities, but to simultaneously demonstrate that he has done so. He can't be expected to make difficult decisions when he's obviously an airheaded bimbo, nor be seen as superior as a naughty schoolgirl, both roles that have a special attraction to submissive crossdressers by virtue of the distance they put between the men in question and their everyday lives.

Although it's unlikely you have much use for a bimbo or schoolgirl around the house, a maid offers more potential, while still ticking the same boxes for a man seeking a break from the dog-eat-dog world of male dominance. Consequently, if your husband does harbour such tendencies, you can channel his crossdressing into a mutually acceptable arrangement, allowing him to take a much needed time-out from the trials and tribulations of being a man in exchange for him taking the housework off your hands. However, he doesn't need to have any interest in crossdressing or submission for the two to work together, with the same aspects that some men so desperately seek proving just as effective for those who are initially more reluctant about donning an apron and dress.

What are some common misconceptions about male maids?

It's understandable if you find the idea of having your husband serve as your maid a little strange to start with, the suggestion that he might not only take care of the chores, but do so while crossdressed perhaps seeing you raise an eyebrow as you question its practicality. If he were even the slightest bit inclined to help around the house, wouldn't he be lending a hand already, without needing to be persuaded into an unlikely outfit? The thought of getting him into a maid's uniform might seem ludicrous enough without considering the training he'll surely need afterwards, the latter feeling more daunting than simply doing everything yourself. Rest assured that such concerns are quite common, as are the more nebulous worries that women often have when considering something new. Before we turn to how to get started, therefore, let's address any misconceptions you may have about having your husband serve as your maid:

How do I put these ideas into practice?

Your husband, your maid - that's the premise of this book, seeing how an apron can put a man in the right frame of mind for helping around the house. There's all manner of ways in which a male maid can make himself useful, ranging from those tasks you've always wished someone else would take care of, to niceties you might never have imagined would improve life so much until you've enjoyed them for yourself. Perhaps you already have thoughts about what you might have your husband do, but are wondering how to put such an intriguing idea into practice, or else struggling to believe that he could benefit from it just as much as you. Fortunately, it's much easier to have your man serve as your maid than you might think, so long as you adopt a simple, straightforward approach. In the next chapter, we'll see how to do just that, showing you exactly how to get started. Make a note of those daydreams, as we'll be returning to them!