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Last year, I hit a rough patch. I was unhappy and overwhelmed with my job, totally ignored by my then-lover, and in the midst of terrible writer’s block. I needed an outlet: a way to leave my head. So instead of sitting around depressed (eating tortilla chips with jarred cheese), I channeled my full focus into my home. Namely, I realized it needed a severe deep cleaning. Sure, I could have put down the cheese jar, rolled up my sleeves, and done it myself, but my prior experience working as a pro-Domme taught me I had other options. When it comes to checking off a to-do list of domestic duties, I prefer to enlist the help of a cleaning slave.

A cleaning slave — or a houseboy, as they are sometimes referred to — is a submissive male who performs housework in exchange for humiliation or stern directions from a domineering woman. It’s a power-play fetish and a barter. It’s also an opportunity to relieve tension while your floors get a good scrub. No payment and little labor are required on your behalf, and you get a chance to practice assertiveness in speech. I default to Miranda Priestly in light fetish gear, but that’s just my personal preference.

Like any hiring process, there’s a method to finding the right candidate. And since there’s not exactly recruiters for this type of thing, I figured I’d step in to to help you find your perfect houseboy. May this be the year you never once do your own dishes.

Choose The Right Platform

Choosing the right platform to seek a houseboy is crucial. They are everywhere, but generally undetectable to the naked eye. Having a profile on websites like Fetlife or an account with the app Kinked (both free) are great ways to refine the search. In both of my profiles, I stated that I needed a cleaning slave. Pro-Domme Fiona Foenix said that she advertises on OKCupid, and is explicit about what she needs. This allows the cleaning slaves to come to her. Once responses are received, you can move onto sorting through the messages from submissive men who are eager to clean.

Take The Screening Process Seriously

Once you’ve found a few worthy candidates, the vetting process should be treated just as any other job interview. For me, prior experience is a necessary qualification. Do you want someone who will clean sloppily, just to be reprimanded while wearing heels? No, we want professionalism in heels. Foenix and  Lariscious, a semi pro-Domme and kink enthusiast, both agree that meeting in a public space is best. “Always meet for coffee in a public place during day,” says Lariscious. “I do it not only for safety, but  also because I judge everyone based on how they treat service workers, so I am even more scrupulous in this context.”

Be Clear About Your Expectations

After the screening process, you can discuss conditions. Your desired services and expectations must be clear, as should his. Does he require a spanking as a reward when he finishes work? Will you allow eye contact during the session? Will other people be home while he cleans? What do you want him to wear? Does he need to provide the supplies? Does he require a maid’s uniform? All of this should be answered before he begins work. “My expectations are in my ad and reiterated at start of trial session,” says Lariscious. “I have zero tolerance for bratty subs that misbehave specifically to be punished.”

Establish Boundaries

After you’ve laid out your expectations, setting solid boundaries is necessary. Be honest with your houseboy — and with yourself. If you’re uncomfortable beating him or inflicting pain to his testicles, just tell him you won’t. Nine out of 10 times, he’ll still want to clean. “I explain what’s okay and what’s not when we meet,” says Foenix. “When I have someone over to clean, I know they’ll break a sweat, so I don’t mind leaving around little treats, like my underwear or a used condom in the garbage. I’ll give him something to think about when he leaves.” Before anyone picks up a sponge or broom, know where each of you draw the line and how much discipline will be required.

Practice Consent

Here’s the biggest rule: Never touch anyone without their permission. This is supposed to be enjoyable for everyone involved. Do not spank the houseboy unless you’ve discuss it and both agreed to it beforehand. I repeat, only if you’ve discuss it and both agreed to it beforehand! This should be obvious, but it’s easy to get carried away. Just remember that directness is the key and kink practiced properly is always about communication.

The cleaning slave experience is what you make of it. If you’re ready to try it out, shape it into an  empowering encounter. Pat yourself on the housework-free back and (bonus!) apply your newfound Dom confidence to every other facet of your life. You are, truly, the boss.

Karla Marks  is a writer, performer, and a cultural critic residing in Brooklyn. She has been featured in BUST, Real Simple, and on The Brian Lehrer Show. Additionally she had hosted a podcast, Beat Face Radio, which showcased NYC personalities, artists, and drag superstars.