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

There is an almost universal level of acceptance for the 'idea' of one man or 'Dominant' having many or multiple partners or submissives. Such a Dominant may be considered to have prowess, charisma, strength and independence from the expectation of singular commitment. There is a measure of esteem attached to this Dominants ability to maintain a level of detachment. To some extent that 'detachment' makes that Dominant more 'desirable' in the eyes of others. A mystique may form which may create a desire to 'capture' or catch the attention and/or commitment of this Dominant. There is enticement in the mystery and challenge that this Dominant represents. Often a new Dominant will go through a 'phase' or period of time where they are captivated by the buffet of choices presented to them and the removal of judgment for making choices in opposition to those imposed by society.

What is less visible but equally common is the identical phenomenon within submissives. Many submissives discover the 'identity' of this lifestyle while 'surfing' on the Internet. A large percentage of these submissives are married with children, mortgages, car payments and long term if rather boring careers. With many of these submissives, their marriage has developed a flat or pallid flavor. Contact or communication with their spouse may be terse or directed from a defensive position. The excitement is gone. The level of attention they may have once been shown has disappeared. They, the hope-filled youth with starry eyes, is abandoned.

A large percentage of these submissives have suffered a loss of hope which may have manifested in expressions of personal neglect. It is common for many of them to allow their physical appearance to diminish usually through overeating and the withdrawal from daily exercise. From the inside, the submissive may simply feel a gnawing hole inside of them. It aches from the beginning of time to the ends of forever. The food gives them a minor fix, a temporary sensation of completion. (Addictive or fixated obsessions with food, alcohol, cigarettes, drugs and many other types of collecting habits are commonplace). Then that sensation flees and they are left trapped in a cycle of increasing ego and self-esteem problems.

Submissives tend to be goal driven. The marriage presented a panorama of challenges, choices, and goals in the beginning. Everything was possible. Then events occurred which burnished the shine off of the apple to reveal the bruises and rottenness at the core. The fantasy is over, the promise or dreams unfulfilled, the need remains. A hunger so vast that at times it overwhelms the submissive. Depression is familiar. Pain a twist in the heart. With the loss of the promise, the submissive loses their 'goal'. Often they replace a portion of their need for attention by creating a secondary goal, a job or career in which they can excel to the point of commendation from others. But it is a hollow shadow of what their insides tell them is possible. It addresses some of the needs of their 'outer or public' persona but does little or nothing for their inner persona who remains alone and lonely in their most intimate of places.

By the time many of these submissives 'find' the D/s lifestyle their marriage is flourishing in name only. They wander along one day and before them appears a new world. A world where the promise is openly considered, where their need is stripped from its hidden place to be worn proudly around the necks of others. The hunger which has burned within for sometimes decades flares brightly into a roaring flame.

Often, this submissives 'need' is so intense that they will fill every available waking moment on-line 'feeding'. Within a few short weeks, they become adept at creating multiple names which they use to seduce or attract the attention of many different people at once. They hide this duplicity. The Dominants they attract desire individual focused attention. There appears to be no acceptable place to express the truth of their multiple Dominants. Often they will desire NO long term commitment or dedicated restrictions. Why? They have just found the buffet that can address their ancient hunger, why should they stand there and not indulge themselves?

As a 'submissive' they are expected to have only one 'special' Dominant. They are told they must give over their trust and expectations into the care of this single Dominant. But, within their very fresh memory is the tractable path of where that choice led them in the past One Dominant increases the risk of failure of the need to be met. Many submissives note the inequality of how this desire to have numerous partners is viewed and silently resent it.

In addition, many submissives discover that their on-line Dominant contacts have only limited amounts of time to give to them. So, the submissive takes 'several' Dominants. Since this appears to be 'unacceptable' submissive conduct the submissive chooses to hide their actions.

The desire to 'feed' at the buffet occurs almost equally between new Dominants and submissives. The decision to evade long term commitment often spans several years before the Dominant and submissive discover the need for a deeper fulfillment that simply cannot be addressed through casual bondings.

The decision to abstain from commitment should not bring censure upon the individual if that person is honest in expressing that fact to those they interact with. The desire to judge the decisions of other people by self-created standards of 'new acceptable rules' merely creates further limitations and isolation or polarity within the community.

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.