We've had a lot of questions about etiquette for the ladies and so I propose to try to fill that gap.

California is a more casual atmosphere. Some tea society groups have much more formality in their service, some have less. We encourage each group to do what works for them. Our group has been having teas for nearly 8 years. Our format works for us, but may not be what you are looking for. By all means, if you are developing a format for your group, feel free to change anything you like. We do offer our training manual for $8.95 through the Frugal Domme. It might be useful as a guide while you are putting together a tea group with YOUR individual flavor.

The teas are not "formal" occasions, per se, but we do think you should take some extra care with your dress for this occasion. I'd love to see big Victorian hats and long dresses with gloves and such, but this is California and it's impractical. Especially since the servers will be giving you hand and foot massages. So dress nicely, but no need for ostentation.

Our method of serving tea differs from the traditional by several things. Instead of the hostess pouring out, the servers do. The ladies just sit and relax while the servers bring each course to them. In traditional tea service, the hostess or a designated deputy pours and the servants pass the cups. What we are doing is a ritual based on Victorian teas, but with differences to suit what WE wish to accomplish here.

Because many of the ladies drive a long distance to join us for tea, we hold our teas at 2 pm rather than the usual time of 4:00 pm. The tea can serve as a late lunch (and sometimes we go on long enough to have it serve as supper, too!) for the ladies. This is a departure from the traditional, but due to the distances that some ladies drive, we feel it makes it a bit more convenient.

Please don't talk about "high" tea which is a workingman's supper. The reason that it's "high" is that it's at a dining table. It's not an extremely elegant tea, but one with big sandwiches, lots of food and strong brewed tea that can take the place of a dinner. We're doing nice little elegant teas, though somewhat casual.

The servers, at most teas, will be naked with only bow ties. It's considered to be rude to pay attention to any manifestations of the "gallant reflex" or to loudly comment on their "equipment."

Please do not EVER touch, fondle, or grope a server. Some of our servers are owned by other ladies. It's not nice to play with the property of others without their permission. Mild teasing of a server, should you know him and you really feel you must, is acceptable, but please don't start doing a scene in the middle of a tea. This is NOT the place for it.

We may in the future have teas with other conventions. We are considering at least one tea that will be held outdoors, and in that case, the servers will be dressed.

The servers are not supposed to speak to you, so please don't initiate conversations with them. They are only allowed to speak to be of service or answer a direct question. Please be kind. If you wish to get to know a server better, let the hostess or training Mistress know, and they will make an occasion to allow you to talk privately to the server.

We train the servers to actually serve you the pastries, sandwiches, or whatnot that you select, but if you are more comfortable taking the tongs and helping yourself, please do. The entire point of this is to make YOU feel comfortable. Please DO ask about the contents of the sandwiches and pastries.

It's also considered polite to say, "Thank you." or otherwise "release" the server once you have been served. Smiling at them is nice since they are not otherwise getting any feedback on how they are doing.

As there will be foot massages and hand massages later in the festivities, you may remove your shoes at any point you wish, but please be conscious of any foot odor that may interfere with the dining pleasure of the other guests. Once you have had your foot bath and massage, if you choose to leave your shoes off, that is perfectly acceptable.

If you do not wish to be touched by a particular male who offers you a foot massage, you should say, "Not right now, please, perhaps in a short time?" This is a graceful way to let the servers know you would prefer a different server. If it is a mixed server tea, and you would prefer to have a server of the gender other than the one who has asked you, you may say, "I'd prefer to have Miss X attend me, if she would not mind." Said with a smile, this will not be offensive. Please don't say, "I don't want a XXX man touching me!" (This happened once, and it upset the male server who was on the receiving end of the exchange.) If you wish, you can take your hostess or the training Mistress aside early in party and tell her that you are not comfortable with men touching you, and she will be happy to pass that knowledge on to the servers.

Should a server make a mistake or spill something on you, you may verbally correct him in a polite manner, but you will not be permitted any other recourse. We have never permitted physical correction of any servers. There is some rudesby who has been lately writing to Lady Strega claiming that he read on our site that servers were whipped, but this has never been the case in our Society,* though it may at some point have been the case in the New York Society.** Servers are not physically corrected. Egregious errors will cause them to be asked to leave, but they will not be beaten.

We usually have soft drinks and water available. Some hostesses will also offer juices. Tea is the official drink of the day, but we know that not everyone imbibes. Please don't ask the servers to make coffee. Usually, there just isn't a lot of time for them to deal with two hot beverages. If we have a plethora of servers, we will attempt to offer coffee for those who prefer it. Tea, however, is a traditional ladies' drink and can be just as soothing, tasty and satisfying as coffee. Why don't you give it a try?

You might ask about the various teas. Domina likes Lady Grey or Chinese Black for tea parties. Other ladies may choose other teas. You might be surprised how different two types of tea can taste.

Atheris and some of the other ladies have discussed having a "coffee" at some time rather than a tea.

Links to other information on tea etiquette:

10 Tips for a Tea Party
Western Silver Guest Etiquette

Tea Time Tea Etiquette
Tea Time Traditions

Tea and Crumpets School of Etiquette

Etiquette Class Tea Party Chapter

* Our website, except for small changes in wording in order to make changes of policy such as allowing female servers to serve at some teas, has not substantially changed. We do not have archives as nothing on our website has been deleted, only minor changes and some additions have happened to our site. If you can't find what you are looking for on the present site, it's very likely that you imagined you found it here before. ~Domina~

**There was a tea society in New York State that started at about the same time as ours, but which does not seem to be in existence any more. They had, at one time, a very extensive website and if memory serves me correctly, they did punish servers physically, which we have never done. If this society is still in existence, we'd love to have the URL to link to.

If You'd Like to Join...

Ladies in Northern California are welcome to apply for membership in our society Your orientation is not an issue, nor is your involvement in D/s important. Just a congenial personality and in interest in joining our group. (We are only open to genetic/transsexual ladies, or those tvs who seriously identify as ladies. This means TVs are welcome if they LIVE as ladies all the time. Occasional crossdressers are not women, and will not be permitted to attend. This is a female supremacist group.) Please tell us a bit about yourself and why you'd like to join the group. You do need to be over 25 and reside in Northern California.

Send E-Mail to LadyStrega (at) twistedteas (dot)org

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