The key thing is to create an unambiguous environment of total discipline and then to build the Mistress/Maid relationship as you want it to be.
For a start Miss Jill should always be addressed as "Ma'am" or "Madam". She should explain the following new regime to Joanna, emphasising that although it is scheduled for 28 days, it could be extended for as long as necessary to effect the desired improvement in attitude and behaviour.
In Miss Jill's position I would then proceed as follows:
1. Draw up a set of rules - including a strict dress code - and have Joanne write them out neatly in the back of a new exercise book This book would then be used as her Punishment Book. I use the capitals advisedly as this book would dominate her life until her behaviour improved.Each day every misdemeanour would be recorded and the punishment specified. She would have a very plain punishment uniform which would be kept immaculate and worn for all punishment sessions except summary discipline.
2. For minor infringements she would be given a summary punishment with a 'frequent use strap' or similar across the calves, and made to write out the appropriate rule ten or twenty times.
3 On the evening before the start of the 28 day period, I would have Joanne prepare all her clothing for the following day and lay it out neatly for inspection. On my command, she would get herself ready for bed and report to me for three strokes of the tawse on her non-writing hand. Then she would be sent straight to bed.
For the next 28 days she would get up an hour earlier than usual and dress in her punishment uniform. In this hour she would have to perform a demanding physical or academic task and, at the end of it, present the fruits of her labour for inspection.
Twice a week I would have her learn a substantial piece of poetry during this morning session, and I would expect her to be word perfect. Failure at this or any other task would be entered in the Punishment Book.
4. I would have a review with Joanne at 7pm every day and discuss her attitude, conduct, performance and progress, constructively. We would then have a look at her Punishment Book and any specified corporal punishment would be administered. After that if any impositions had been awarded, she would be sent to her room to carry them out.
5. No home-cinema films or wireless would be permitted and I would specify a strict bedtime and lights out time.
6. I would specify two or three uniforms to be worn each day, which would entail a TOTAL change of clothing each time. Blouses, stockings and all underwear - including petticoats and suspender belts - would have to be washed and ironed before being worn again. Dresses and skirts would always be pressed before being worn - even if they had only been worn for an hour or so. Aprons and blouses would be starched. Stockings would have to be snag free. She would be expected to deport herself so as not to reveal her petticoat.
7. Every Sunday for four weeks she would undergo a formal detention from 2pm until 4pm. This would be extended by one hour for unsatisfactory or slow work. I would cane her at the beginning of detention and at any time she fidgeted or lost concentration. I would have her copy out the complete set of rules several times and set her some challenging academic work. Exceptional neatness would be essential. If I were forced to keep her in after 4pm I would set her an hour's dictionary work.
8. Given a marked improvement, I would progressively relax the regime after four weeks but maintain the framework of discipline.
9. Thereafter, on the last Friday of every month, I would have a Settlement Day. She would report to me after supper in her punishment uniform for a light, moderate or severe spanking across my knee - according to how she had performed over the previous month.
I hope that some, at least, of these suggestions will be of value to any mistress with a difficult maid.
It would be entirely wrong of me to punish a girl if I were equally careless myself and I give you my word that my communication was correct when sent.
I am extremely open to any and all of your suggestions regarding the 28-day, super-strict regime. I look foreward to your insight, and agree that it would be beneficial to learn from such a practiced Mistress, as yourself. My inexperience is increasingly apparent, and I must develope my attitudes and skill regarding my maid's disipline.
Are you defiant, extraordinarily careless or simply in need of punishment? At the earliest possible opportunity you will report to a designated Mistress, you will wear the Maryhill Grammar uniform and you will receive six strokes of the school cane.
You will then publish a full punishment report on the Forum. If you're not sure how much detail is required, ask Linda. Once I've seen your report we can resume discussion of your original offence.
because you thought it unimportant
because you thought it was voluntary
because you were too busy
because no formal arrangements were made,
or simply because you thought you could get away with it?
There may be other reasons. If you have a good reason - as opposed to an excuse - you have no cause to fear the outcome. On the other hand....
To understand how this system works and the Rules for Elektraspace discipline, please click here.
Of course, such arrangements need not (and probably should not) be made during the first few years of service, but once it is clear that a lifetime bond is in operation, and that the maid is fully dependent on her mistress for food, clothing shelter and all luxuries, then it is essential that her future should also be provided for. Such eventualities may seem a long way off, but once it is clear that a real, permanent bond has been formed, the time to arrange them is now.
Of the two punishments you suggest, I think the caning might be more appropriate as the short, sharp shock would act as a reminder to me, and would leave me with more time to concentrate on improving my work.
You really must take great care with material that is to be published on the Forum, Mitzi. However, I'm inclined to be lenient for the time being and I'm trying to decide whether to award you three strokes of the school cane or one hundred lines. Both approaches have their merits.
You will publish an apology on this Forum and indicate to me which punishment you believe to be the most appropriate for this offence.
I do not promise to follow your advice!
Perhaps you would be kind enough to let me know what progress you have made. I do hope you have made some progress, Linda and not taken advantage of my absence.
I think we both know how Miss Wellard would deal with such a situation!
I am delighted to have found the "Handmaiden Forum", - after having been afaithful reader of "The Wildfire Club" forum, almost since its inception, -but finally giving up on it, after it had remained "dormant" for severalmonths.
I am wondering now whether or not I still qualify for "total membership"(hypothetical, though it may yet be) in your Forum, since, - though I am astaunch believer, and practitioner, in the "Mistress/submissive handmaiden"concept, - in my case I actually have two such maidservants, - the youngest,Evelyn, who is 19, and Shirley, 25. Myself, I am a lady in my early-thirties.Both of my girls would, I am confident, meet practically every criteria astruly submissive handmaidens; of course, there is always room forimprovement, and I am constantly striving for them to reach "perfection" inthe field which they have chosen, - and in which they have been trained, -and which, I am sure, will be theirs for the rest of their useful lives.
I found your replies to "Miss Jill" extremely interesting, - particularlythat section dealing with "Utilitarian" and "Ritual" discipline. Although Ihave not been aware of its ‘name’, I have recognized, - for the past coupleof years at least, - that my maid, Shirley, does actually "need" punishment,- and I have made a point of meeting that need. I can tell, - by herdemeanor, performance, and even by her facial expressions, - when her needbecomes acute; and if I ignore it, (which I no longer do, of course), she ismoved to commit some act of impertinence, or naughtiness, which cannot beignored.
And so, two or three times a week at least, I will send her to her room, withinstructions to collect the cane, - or (wooden) spanking paddle, - on theway, and to wait for me there. Sometimes I will actually use neither, butinstead give her a regular, over-the-lap hand spanking.
In another reply to Miss Jill you mention the use of "Summary Punishments",as a supplement to formal corrections. Here again I am in complete agreement.My own practice is to have an auxiliary cane hanging from a hook in theclothes closet, just off the main hallway. Thus it is quite handy fromanywhere in the downstairs area, and when either of the maids needs a sharpreproof I send her for this; then administer a sharp stroke across the palmof one or both hands, or - since their uniforms include very short skirts,(extending to just below the tops of the stockings), - I apply it across thebacks of the girl’s legs, above the knees. In either case it is veryeffective, and usually puts a quick end to any further misbehavior to whichshe may have been inclined.
If not, I should like to know the name of the culprit so that I can propose an appropriate punishment.
Mary has been out of circulation for some months now, owing to personal difficulties, but has just found her way back to the Wildfire Forum, only to discover it gone!
She had hoped to resume her role as an Elektraspace mistress, but wondered whether this Forum, mainly for practising mistresses and maids in real-life bonds was appropriate.
Mary, dear, we are only young (the Forum, we mean - but us too!), but we are sure a wonderfully commanding Elektraspace mistress like yourself is more than needed here among a group of submissive blondes (mostly). Many of us, i am sure, are not lucky enough to have real-life mistresses at present and would be pleased to have guidance and correction over Elektraspace.
So if your difficulties are still not to difficult, please make yourself known in a direct posting. We think you may find some willing pupils.
My Maid, J--, is 29 years of age, and I am 30, and as I have stated before, I am relatively inexperienced as a Mistress. My Beloved addresses me as 'Maam', for that is what I prefer, and it seems appropriate. I address her by her first name, or any other 'pet' name I wish to use, for I have many. She has a sharp intellect, and a quiet cunning that is rare and quite irresistable. As for the rules, they are not written in any contract form, instead they are implied, and for the most part, obeyed. The rules tend to provide an atmosphere of order, both socially and personally, and the days regiment is one that keeps our busy lives manageable. Some examples of this are as follows :
Each morning, after she has prepared breakfast, and I am bathed, she brushes out my long, blonde hair, and it is during this time that I prefer silence, for I find I have the most comforting of dreams as she cares for my locks. I must confess, she has a mysterious way with me, and her touch of my hair is bewitching, and often I feel in her power, but it is too pleasureable to resist. It is moments such as this that I feel weak and, in a sense, overpowered. I feel that she is aware of this magic that she has with me, and if anything, I should be disiplined for taking such pleasure in it.
As for other rules, I have only a few, and as our relationship evolves, I discover areas that need strengthening or amending. One has been her dress code. At first, I would insist on what she wear, both around the house and at social functions. This has changed a great deal over the past year, I trust her judgement immensely, and she never ceases to surprise me with her attire.
Around the home, I prefer for her to be comfortable, for she is a lover of the outdoors, and my gardens are a testament to that. In the evenings, when I return from work, she usually has dinner cooking and a glass of wine in my hand, and a sweet greeting. It has been in the evenings, that I find her to be most unruley. The sarcasm is both verbally and physically transmitted, and with the combination of sharp wit, most annoying at times. Her comments have been increasingly disrespectful, in fact, last evening I heard her say under her breath, "Yes, Your Royal Highness" in the most snippity of tones. This was in response to my request to fetch my reading glasses and newspaper. I had to chastise her, and I came away from the moderate caning feeling defeated. Perhaps I should invest in a better cane or some training of my own, have you any suggestions? Most of the disipline is administered in the night hours, and you may be correct about her wanting a stricter hand. I have given this thought, and perhaps I should save her punishment for the morning, when I am rested, both mentally and physically. Do you think a change in this routine may be beneficial? As for my Beloved's training, she has had no formal training of any sort, except within our relationship.
I may wish for her to open up a dialogue with you, if that would be acceptable, for she may be able to clear up issues more openly with a Mentor of sorts. If this is acceptable, I will instruct her to compose a letter to you, it may be beneficial for me to allow her some feedback for her issues. Please, do tell me if this is a sound idea. As for meeting with you, that may be an intrigueing issue to be discussed further. We have plans to visit London, possibly in the summer. I do feel you were very on target about dealing with my issue of needing disipline as seperate from my Maid's unruliness. It was nice to be snapped back into focus, and it has made the thinking process less clouded. I am open to any suggestions, and feel free to ask any questions that may aide you in my predicament.
"Ihad to chastise her, and I came away from the moderate caning feeling defeated. Perhaps I should invest in a better cane or some training of my own, have you any suggestions? Most of the disipline is administered in the night hours, and you may be correct about her wanting a stricter hand. I have given this thought, and perhaps I should save her punishment for the morning, when I am rested, both mentally and physically. Do you think a change in this routine may be beneficial? As for my Beloved's training, she has had no formal training of any sort, except within our relationship."
There are various ways of improving discipline, and which, or which combination, is chosen will depend on your sympathetic understanding with the maid herself. let me suggest a few:
1. You may well need an "ultimate deterrent": a punishment which will be feared more than your present canings appear to be. A more effective cane, such as a Victorian Governess cane might be the answer, or a heavy Lochgelly tawse, which used by the correct Scottish method on the hands is formidably painful. This deterrent should not be used often. It should be kept in the background for when (and if) it is really needed. It should be something a girl really does not like at all and will try hard to avoid. And your regime should be such that she *can* avoid it so long as she does not go too far.
2. Summary punishments can be helpful. That is, as well as formal punishments, some shandy implement may be chosen with which you can administer a quick stroke or two the the hands or perhaps the calves of the legs to curb odd pieces of bad behaviour.
3. Non-corporal punishments can be effective. One should not necessarily rely on corporal punishment, especially if its effectiveness seems to be diminishing. Having your maid write a hundred times in her best writing "I must always speak respectfully to my mistress and remember that she is to be honoured and revered" may be more effective on occasion than a caning. If impudence is frequent, a number of lines, say twenty, might be given for each occurrence. A maid will soon tire at the ever-mounting writing tasks.
However, punishment alone is not the answer. One must improve general discipline. You write:
"Her comments have been increasingly disrespectful, in fact, last evening I heard her say under her breath, "Yes, Your Royal Highness" in the most snippity of tones."
This shows poor disciplinary practice on your part. Such incidents should not be allowed to pass. Instead of being allowed to remain "under the breath", perhaps half-pretending not to have heard because you find it difficult to deal with, they should be brought out fully into the open.
How? Here is the method my dear Mistress would have used with me and I would use with any girl in my charge.
I should tell the girl to kneel before me. I might have a switch in my hand. For a minute I should say nothing, but just let her consider the situation and why she is kneeling there. Then I should ask her to tell me exactly what it was that she had whispered. She would possibly become evasive at this stage, but I should persistently interrogate her until I had a satisfactory answer to my question, making it quite clear that I was prepared to spend as long as necessary getting this matter clear.
When she had confessed exactly what she had said, the procedure would depend on the girl and the circumstances. But I should probably begin by asking her *why* she had said it. I should want to know if she thought such comments appropriate for a maidservant to make to her mistress.
I am assuming that this is a simple disciplinary matter and does not denote some deeper flaw in your relationship - but if there *is* something deeper underlying her impudence, this sort of mistressly interrogation is a good time to probe it and begin to deal with it.
If not, I should certainly punish her, but first, by questioning, by forcing her to drag her own half-hidden behaviour out into the light of day, I should seek to make her genuinely ashamed of it. After all, a girl either wants to serve her mistress or does not. If she does then this behaviour must be ultimately as distressing to herself as it is to you, and her better self *wants* you to bring it out into the open and deal with it.
There is one other aspect, too large and complex to enter into here, but we can go into it later if it seems necessary. This is the question of Utilitarian versus Ritual Discipline. Utilitatian Discipline is like that practised in schools. Its aim is very simply to keep girls in order. If they are not bad they are not punished. This is the normal form of discipline to which every one should be subject. Some girls, however, actually *need* punishment. There is nothing wrong with this. It is natural and healthy for a certain sort of girl, and more widespread than many people realise. For such a girl discipline should be given in a non-utilitarian way. That is, not merely as a deterrent (though some forms should be reserved as deterrents) but because it is good for her. This we call Ritual Discipline, and it may take many forms, from highly stylised ritual punishments to a very strict domestic regime in which small faults are punished more regularly and more severely than they would be if utilitarian purposes alone were in view.
However, because our only social model for discipline is Utilitarian Discipline, and because Utilitarian Discipline may seem the only *legitimate* form of discipline, we may neglect a girl's need for Ritual Discipline. One very unhappy result of this is that the girl who *feels* (perhaps half-consciously) the *need* for discipline may feel that the only way to have it is to behave badly. If she is a good girl she will not *wish* to behave badly, and will not do anything *really* bad, so what will happen instead is that she will manifest a continual stream of low-level bad behaviour that is annoying and disheartening to her mistress, souring to the relationship, and does not even achieve the maid's real aim.
The answer to this is to understand, between yourselves, the maid's need for discipline and to construct a domestic regime in which a maid is encouraged to behave as perfectly as she can and still receives as high a level of discipline as she needs.
In such a highly disciplined relationship, a mistress should learn to regard chastening her maid as like polishing and caring for a cherished and beautiful piece of silver, which must be kept always bright and sparkling, and a maid must learn to seek the perfection and purification of her soul in her mistress's service.
I hope some of this is of help to you.
During the more recent sessions, encompassing about three months time, I have become envious of my Maid. Sometimes I think to myself that I would love to receive punishment, for I can be out of line myself. I know this may sound odd, but I feel as if we may be experiencing the beginnings of a role reversal, and I am ambivilent about relinquishing my dominate position. I have not let her know my feelings, due to my position as Mistress, and feel it inappropriate at this time. She, on the other hand, has become quite the temptress, taunting me about my developing 'soft nature'. I fear that she can sense my inner feelings, and may possibly be thinking of taking on a more dominate side. I do not have enough experience in this matter to guide myself, for I am a relatively young Mistress, with only my maid, Joanne, as the only example to learn by. I do feel, however, that the position of Mistress is one to be earned, and at this moment, I am unwilling to bow down.
I find myself confused, and feel that I must resolve this matter, that is why I turn to you for any suggestions or guidance that you may offer. I will be grateful beyound words, and if you feel you need more information to help give a more clear picture of my predicament, please feel free to ask.
Most Sincerely Yours,
The question you raise is a complex one, and it would be easier to advise if one knew the people concerned. Certainly any additional information might help.
Your maid's behaviour, in many respects, seems like a classic case of courting severer punishment. Even her talk of your "soft side" may be intended, consciously or semi-consciously, to provoke a stricter side.
Nor may it be a simple matter of severer punishment only. She may, in a more general way, feel the need of being on a tighter rein.. From the way she would appear to speak to you (though you give no details) it seems that she has not been trained at all strictly in serving-girl etiquette. What general rules does she follow? How does she address you? Do you actually have, whether written or unwritten, general regulations for her conduct? How has she been trained?
The question of your needing chastisement is a separate issue. This is not to say that your maid might not at some tent is a separate issue. This is not to say that your maid *might* not at some time undertake this role; but it must still be treated as a separate question from her conduct. In any case, a maid who is out of hand is the *worst* candidate for adopting an authoritative function. She must be brought firmly back to order before such things can be considered.
In Aristasia it is taken as axiomatic that *every girl* must have a mistress, for only the obedient may command, and a disciplined relationship should exist not as an isolated phenomenon, but in the context of a feminine world where discipline is accepted and reinforced.
It would perhaps be helpful if we could meet at some time. In the meantime, please answer my questions about your maid's general discipline.
One thought you may or may not find of interest, When I talked excessively or inappropriately, my Mistress would sometimes Silence me by commanding me not to speak. She might leave me in this state for half an hour or an hour, or it might be for a day or several days, during which time, I think she found my attempts at wordless communication and my air of being a dumb pet rather appealing - as did our friends. It certainly made me very careful about how I spoke to her.