As a follow up to my research on Service Oriented Submission Ms Lee directed me to study Butler and Tea service. Most of the information I was able to find on butler service focused on formal English butlers which was appropriate since formal tea service is also frequently associated with the English. Once again I was astonished at how much detail and specialization was involved. It is apparent that a good deal of study and training would be involved in order to become properly proficient at Butler and Tea service. Combined with studying how to provide professional quality massages and pedicures along with learning how to cook, clean, sew and perform housework at the level expected of a 1950’s style housewife I expect my studies will require a level of effort similar to that I devoted to obtaining my master’s degree. And not just for a few years, but for the rest of my life.
I was curious why Ms Lee did not suggest that I study formal maid service since I have frequently fantasized about being a sissy french maid in her service. As I studied formal butler service I found it quite embarrassing to face the concept that a successful professional such as myself with a masters degree would willingly serve as a menial butler, having to adhere to strict protocols and toil endlessly all day long. Fantasizing about being a sissy french maid provided me with a perverted sexual thrill that made it easy and in fact pleasing to think about. However, contemplating being a formal male butler removed the thrill of the fantasy for me and forced me to focus on the service I was to provide to Ms Lee. I had to think about the benefits and pleasure I would be providing to Ms Lee which is the whole point of my devotion to her. I should not be concerned about what I might be getting out of my service, in fact that would only distract me from providing the flawless service that is required from me. During the course of my research I came across a blog by a lifestyle mistress who wanted a butler submissive instead of a sissy maid for the exact same reason.
Recently the number of people who desire to have butlers has increased greatly. In the early to mid 20th century the employment of formal english type butlers had decreased dramatically but during the past few decades their numbers have increased once again as the number of millionaires and billionaires increased markedly. In larger households the butler holds the formal position of head of all the household servants but in smaller households he may be the sole servant. In either case the butler is responsible for being knowledgeable of high social etiquette and protocol regarding every facet of household care and personal service.
I was fascinated to learn that there are a number of world class butler schools in existence such as The British Butler Guild, the Butler Bureau, the British Butler Institute and the Bespoke Bureau. These schools provide training in all areas of butler service including British Etiquette & Accent, Service & Table Management, Silver Service, Housekeeping, Mixology, Professional Cooking, Pastry Chef, Laundry Care, Valet Service, Chauffeur, Flower Design and Gardening, Coffee (and of course Tea!) Service, Shoe Care, Concierge Lifestyle Management and many other special skills required to be a full service servant.
Being a professional butler clearly requires a graduate school level of training and many butlers earn a commensurate salary. They become invaluable members of the household which would collapse without their skills and knowledge. Of course as the Property of Ms Lee I will not be receiving any monetary reward in return for my services. Instead, my compensation will be a sense of satisfaction gained by providing Ms Lee with flawless service and pleasure. My desperate need to please Ms Lee insures that I will work longer and harder than any normal servant, my only rest coming during the short hours that I am allowed to sleep before rising early to begin my toils again.
An example of the level of detail and services involved in being a butler is that provided by a valet. Valet services are just a subset of what a butler is responsible for. A valet is the closest male equivalent to a lady’s maid and is responsible to tend to their master’s every personal need from the moment the master rises from bed till the end of the evening when the master goes to bed. The valet is to always be by their master’s side, ready for instant service whenever the need arises, whether that be dressing after rising from bed or assistance in bathing, particularly in the case of a ‘lady’s maid’. A valet or lady’s maid must be skillful in all aspects of personal service including “hair-dressing, dressmaking, packing, arranging the toilets for dinner parties, balls, etc.”
I have to admit that when considering all the aspects of service to Ms Lee I am most attracted to and excited by the idea of being her personal valet. I understand that many of my duties such as cleaning and laundry require working by myself but I thrive on providing pleasure to Ms Lee and strongly desire the positive feedback I would receive from my personal service to her. However the first priority is always Ms Lee’s satisfaction so I will have to get used to the fact that I will spend many hours toiling alone in her service. While doing so I will have to remind myself that I am toiling for her pleasure and my reward is knowing that my service makes her life easier and more pleasant.
In addition to the duties of a valet, a butler is also responsible for everything involved in taking care of the home of their master. This obviously involves all aspects of cleaning the home but also includes maintenance issues, organization of parties and events and anything else that might involve the needs of the master or the master’s home. A butler needs to be highly organized so that he stays on top of everything involved in running the home while keeping an even closer eye on the needs of their master.
Ms Lee also instructed me to research formal tea service since that will be an important part of my service to her. I had initially thought about tea service involving me serving tea to Ms Lee alone but I quickly found that formal tea service frequently involves serving not only my master (Ms Lee) but also a number of her guests. I have to admit that I feel my face turning red as I consider what those groups might involve, from groups of her girl friends to one of her boyfriends or even her husband if one day she was to marry. I am sure her boyfriend or husband would be well aware of the depths of my submission to Ms Lee but I suspect I would be highly embarrassed, wondering whether certain girl friends of her that I was serving tea knew that I was being kept in strict chastity and always wearing panties. It would be even worse if those in the know teased me in the presence of others who were not aware.
One of the first things I learned was that the formal afternoon tea service is actually called low tea, not high tea. High tea refers to tea at dinner while afternoon tea, which is more focused just on the tea service is called low tea because it is served at low coffee tables. A traditional low tea service begins with the delivery of invitations to the guests ahead of time. I’m not sure how often Ms Lee will require formal invitations but when she does that will involve yet another skill that I will have to master since the invitations must be professionally prepared (sometimes handwritten in calligraphy) and delivered with the proper formality. There are also formalities to be observed at the beginning of the tea service, for instance the introduction of a guest of honor.
A proper low tea service also involves a considerable amount of preparation regarding the accessories and the tea itself. Accessories include the teapot, cream and sugar bowls, a pitcher for hot water, a plate for lemon slices, plates for food/snacks, flatware, napkins and anything else required by the guests. The tea to be served is an involved topic all by itself, beyond the scope of this paper. Then there are the formalities and procedures for the preparation and serving of the tea. I was flabbergasted to learn just how involved and painstaking a formal tea service is. For instance, here is the formal way to stir a cup of tea:
STIRRING A CUP OF TEA
Stirring a cup of tea is done gently and noiselessly by moving the teaspoon in a small arch back and forth in the center of the cup.
- Do not allow the teaspoon to touch the sides or rim of the cup.
- Remove the spoon and place it on the saucer behind the cup, with the handle of the spoon pointing in the same direction as the handle of the cup.
- Visualize the face of a clock on the saucer and properly place the handle of the cup and the handle of the spoon at four on the clock.
Every step of formal tea service is just as exacting and requires extensive study and practice in order to carry it out properly. I will obviously be spending a considerable amount of time preparing for my first formal tea party for Ms Lee’s pleasure as I dare not embarrass her with substandard service. I may be posting a future entry focused just on formal tea service in order to give it the proper attention it deserves.
After studying formal butler and tea service for Ms Lee I have developed a deeper appreciation for what it means to be in the service of a wonderful person like Ms Lee. I sincerely want nothing more than to please her in every way and make her proud of the level of dedication my service to her involves. However I am concerned about the extensive effort I will have to commit to in order to become a suitable servant for her. The last thing I want is to become some embarrassing caricature of a sissy maid for her. I believe she assigned me to study butler and tea service so I would understand that she does not desire a male’s fantasy sissy maid. She desires, expects and deserves a true formal servant, a butler, valet, a man servant of whom she can be proud. My goal in life is to please Ms Lee and part of my mission will now clearly involve extensive study and practice in order to become a servant she can be proud of.
I am reminded again that I must focus on Ms Lee’s pleasure and not mine. I must become the servant she desires and not the one I fantasize about. This exercise of studying Butler and Tea service has helped me think this through and realize that neither Ms Lee nor I would be satisfied with my service if it only pandered to my fantasies. She and I will only realize the true fulfillment of my destiny as her devoted servant if I learn how to become a true life servant and stop playing with fantasy.
I have already begun to apply my learnings to my daily life. I am mindful of my ultimate destiny as Ms Lee’s servant as I go about my daily life, particularly when doing anything that involves housework or cooking. I have been more careful to study proper techniques, and more dedicated to doing quality work. I also have to admit that it has been very motivating to think about my present efforts contributing to my being better prepared for one day pleasing Ms Lee with my professional level service.