This is a guest post by Mistress Steel. It was part of her Steel's Chamber Scrolls which is now defunct. Shared with Permission.
This question is asked with increasing frequency especially among those who are married and desire to remain with their spouse. Discovery of this lifestyle does not doom your current marriage, relationship, engagement etc. It does become problematic though. Once you taste the potentials it becomes very hard to resist devouring the buffet.
For the purposes of this article, I will assume that your partner is at least marginally aware of the community. I will further assume that you the reader of this is the one with the compelling desire to move completely into the BDSM world. The first step to take is to educate your spouse. Not with carnal literature but with conversations and role play. In general, if two people love each other they have a desire to please each other. In addition, if they discover that 'something' is a really huge turn on for their partner they are amenable to considering it. An example of this is simple sensory touch. If pinching your mate's nipples turns them on (and if you enjoy sex) then you will pinch their nipples to turn them on more . . . In addition to doing this in a fun and pleasurable way, you might want to engage in dress up games.
In most cases, your spouse will probably know more about this community than they admit to. Purchasing fun erotic clothing and toys can be a way to widen the range of sex play and stimulate new turn-on's that both people may be unaware of. Further conversations should continue. One of the things people have the most trouble with is being honest. They have lots of reasons not to be open about what they like and want. It can be as simple as, "could you do this?" "I think I might really like that". In this way, you impose no judgment on your mate for not doing things before. Also, try to ask them, "would you like this?"
If your mate is very vanilla they will have some struggles with the roles they were taught to follow from their whole background versus what you are asking of them... If they are more open you may desire to move a bit further. One of the best ways to get information to people is in the bathroom. (assuming it is private to you and spouse only) Buy some GOOD glossy magazines (fetish) and a few books like The Loving Dominant, maybe one of Anne Rice's Beauty books, a book of knot tying... Create a magazine rack next to the commode or stack them on the back of the toilet. People get very bored in the bathroom and are likely to read almost anything. Be prepared for questions. Assuming you get past that hurdle with at least a 50% "I am sorta interested" response. Then move toward what you 'think' is the role you want.
Be aware that this may not be real. Your initial desire may change, grow or evolve over time. Try to be as open and natural as possible and 'see' where it can go. I will go further now and assume that you have decided to be the Dominant and your wife (spouse) has decided to be the submissive. You are still facing all the pre-existing roles that you have become accustomed to over the length of the relationship. Be sure to keep your conversation as open as possible. Try to locate your closest local organization and join to attend a few demos and meetings. Aid your spouse in connecting with submissive material and information and try to meet other D/s couples to talk to. Some of your habits you will need to untrain, some of your responses and reactions will need to be altered or completely abolished.
As much as you will need to encourage your spouse toward becoming more submissive - you will also need to learn how to become more Dominant. This is not as easy as it sounds. Spouses are resistive in many ways and will challenge or feel threatened far more than people without the investment in the relationship. Care must be taken to keep the relationship stable as both people are learning new things. Do not expect fast or easy results. Do expect hard times and tough decisions.
A Dominant makes decisions in a calm way. S/he should always be thoughtful and aware of what is just. Respect is earned. You should not dominate through intimidation, size, fear, guilt, shame or threat of pain. You should dominate through sound, fair and just choices, intellect and lead as you would have them follow. If you are asking your spouse to be in better shape, you better be in better shape too. If you demand unfair things or behave in a dishonorable or disrespectful way then you will be viewed in a dishonorable and disrespectful way. Make your spouse the 'focus' of your attention and do not be distracted or tempted by others. Do not bring a third party into the relationship for a very long time until your primary relationship in its altered form is very strong and secure and if the introduction of that third party is desired by both of you.
Talk, talk, talk. If your spouse feels 'secure' s/he will be willing to try hard. If you threaten to leave if s/he doesn't do this or that, your relationship will eventually end. If you are a submissive and want your Dominant Master/Mistress to become more so - you may elect to involve a mutual submissive friend for a simple scene like spanking (nonsexual) During this scene, even if you have been almost a switch in teaching your spouse, you must participate as strongly submissive as possible to reinforce your spouse's sense of being in charge. This type of cooperative scene can go a long way toward breaking free of inhibitions. Relinquishing your own 'switch' teaching role may be one of the hardest aspects of the whole process. In general, people hate relinquishing personal power. So keep in mind that the hardest battles are probably going to be those inside of yourself. Also, I need to mention here that during this process I sincerely recommend that cyber relationships be cut way back. The presence of a potential 'mate' in the offing will cause significant problems in making your marriage work. focus on the one you love.
Written by F.R.R. Mallory - also known as Mistress Steel. This article may be excerpted from Extreme Space, The Domination and Submission Handbook, Safe, Sane and Consensual, Dangerous Choices or other books by F.R.R. Mallory and shared here with her permission. Please click on the book title for information on how you can order a copy of these books and others by F.R.R. Mallory.