This is a guest post by Mistress Steel. It was part of her Steel's Chamber Scrolls which is now defunct. Shared with Permission.

Are you looking for a magic spell? That unique formulae that will guarantee you the results you want? Well, there isn't any trick. Not really...

If you are looking for a lifetime partner, that one special person to share your life with, then you start at the beginning. First you sit down and identify who you are. By this I mean your views on morality, ethics, spirituality, politics, race, child rearing, your taste in music, shows, food, theater and especially your sense of humor. Yes!!! Everything counts. These foundational aspects count the most. Too many people look through the wrong end of the periscope, looking for the D/s aspect instead of the quality person. When you believe you have a clear and unbiased view of yourself, then your task is to find someone who parallel's you. This is crucial. In many ways in the distance of a relationship a submissive will release their limits. If they love their Dominant they may cease using safe-words or signs wanting only to please their Dominant. So, it is a good idea to 'match' with the same limits as your Dominant from the beginning. In addition, if you are a hamburger person, you may have trouble eating steak and caviar - be real and honest!

Yes. Dominant's have limits. They have the same mental processes as anyone else. The same unique blends of interests, ideas, and fantasies. By seeking someone who matches you then you reduce (by a huge amount) the potentials of limits violations.

So, you have your list in hand . . . now what? Since you are probably receiving this through AOL or online my next suggestion is to conduct a member search of the directory that AOL offers to its members. This you can do by typing in such clues as keywords like Dominant, Master, Domme, Mistress. Then type in your local area. This is important. It is my sincere and honest opinion that you should allow your search to extend no further than a 200 mile radius (or 3 hour drive) from your permanent location. Long distance relationships have very poor statistics, they can foster illusions and fantasies and in general can create dangers and problems which are much less common 'within' your local community. After you have located some members from your area, you may decide to read those who have profiles. You may note a few that 'might' be interesting. You might want to consider sending a polite introductory email letter. In addition I recommend connecting with your local community. Virtually all areas of the country have them. Many are invisible for excellent reasons. It will take a bit of work to find them. This can also be addressed in your initial email letters. You can ask for contact information. In some larger cities the organizations are bigger and somewhat easy to find. Join. Attend a few local social events (I am not talking play parties or open dungeons but demo's and workshops or even weddings!).

By limiting your search to your immediate vicinity you increase the potentials of finding a partner within a distance where the growth of a relationship can occur. Relationships are in real life. They are not in cyber conversations and long distance phone calls with 4 times a year meetings. Some people look to long distance to 'prevent' the odds of making a relationship real or to allow them to have casual affairs (regardless of what they say!). They enjoy the fantasy of online infatuations and involvement's without the subsequent responsibilities that reality would require. They are designs that most frequently injure. If you find you are constantly finding Mr or Ms Right 3000 miles away, you are probably subconsciously preventing yourself from committing fully with a relationship that is realistically viable. When contacting potential partner's in your area, be open enough to express yourself clearly but try not to give them the answers to all your hopes and dreams. Some people will attempt to 'appear' just right when they really are not. Keep your conversation courteous but not deferential. It is important when looking for a life partner to explore all of those vanilla aspects. The things on your list. If the person you have contacted has no desire to do this, then they cannot be actively searching for a partner. If the person only has a desire to role play and talk D/s or BDSM, then they may not be looking for a life partner. If they immediately insist you call them an honorific title etc. then you should probably move along to someone else. In general terms this can indicate a poor self image or a person with a less than clear understanding of the D/s relationship or lifestyle in the real world.

Honorific titles are earned - not bestowed by typing in a screen name box or by telling other people that you are something. It is my opinion that to earn respect one must be respectable. This is done through actions over a long and tractable time - consistent actions and behavior becoming to the individual. To me this is a person with quality traits that I find easy to admire and understand. This is the person who is paying their bills, handling their obligations (such as childcare or child support), maintaining relationships long term with friends and family, pursuing hobbies and interests external to the BDSM world.

Next I recommend a fairly prompt meeting when you find a person who is interesting to you. The longer you communicate online or on the phone the more a fantasy or assumption of expectation can occur. This should be a strictly vanilla meeting. Lunch in a public place with No plans for anything further that day at all. Do set up safe calls. In this way you can see if you have any physical chemistry at all. Return to your home and allow a minimum of 24 hours to come down! For the submissive they become psyched up and to some extent forced into space (for many but not all) due to the excitement and anxiety of meeting for the first time. This can make them make choices that are not well considered within the moment. By allowing a mandatory cooling off period they can usually regroup to clearly decide what they think. (This should mean no follow up phone calls or Internet contact during that period either.)

Do not feel any obligation for further contact. You have no agreement with this person and should not be motivated to a continued contact due to feelings of shame, guilt or any other emotion of like kind. In addition you should ask for and receive references from the Dominant prior to agreeing to any meeting. These should include other submissives that this Dominant has been with locally (sometimes called a submissive network). A Dominant local to you with no references is either too new to have them or with problems that s/he is hiding from you. Both of these situations create a serious problem for you. A Dominant IS a reflection of their real life reputation. By having no reputation you are required to accept their word more. If this is so, ensure that you have additional information regarding this person prior to meeting them. Have them fax a current Drivers License to you, a copy of their Social Security card as well as current phone numbers for both home and work. No beepers!

If they refuse then they are probably lying to you. The risk is almost all one-sided here. If they cannot give you a phone number that you can call at any time then they are probably living with someone who might be a spouse or significant other unaware of their activities. If they refuse to give you a work phone number then they may be lying about where they work, their real name etc. If they give you a beeper or cellular phone you have no way of discovering if they are being truthful about those same issues. You may still move forward to a meeting but if you do your risks are much higher and you should probably bring along a good friend as an accompaniment. Note: The presence of children in the home is not a good reason for non-release of a phone number! It is normal for adults to receive phone calls all the time that children have no reason to question!

Each of these things present you with the largest opportunity of finding someone real, local with the potentials of a long term and viable relationship. Remember that the grass is not greener on the other side (or far away). If you live in a tiny or remote area you may need to travel further than my recommendation but look no further than the closest large city! Beyond that and your odds descend rapidly.

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.