A discussion with a correspondent highlighted and clarified some further self reflection for me...the below is posted with permission
This journey for me has only been happening in the relatively recent past, the last 12 -18 months really, and I am very inexperienced. There have been men that I have spoken with, who I have taken learning from but only a very few who have suited me, made me feel that buzz, that thing that makes me want to curl into them and get lost in them.
I spoke with one man very early on. He took his time and was very patient in encouraging me to submit to him. I became quite attached to him but he disappeared quite suddenly and with out explanation. This is a danger of the online connections and as a result I have never actively looked for long term connection online, but if it has happened it is all the sweeter. Due also to my natural caution, I have been quite passive in pursuing further conversations or chats and ongoing online 'relationships'. I will happily stay in touch, but do not pursue men to fulfil the need in me. Having said that if the right man happens along and leads, I will follow.
I have discovered relatively recently that I prefer the Daddy / girl dynamic and I called one man Daddy. This was short lived. He was wonderful but fast with what he needed from me and though he said I was able to give it to him, and more, I never really felt I did. I felt anxious with him, like I was swept into a whirlwind, unsure of the flurry of activity he created around me with his demands. When I confessed to him that I was feeling love for my husband again, he let me go. This hurt a little, but I did not fight it, preferring the natural way of things to play out. Perhaps too I knew he was not right for me.
I have a connection with one man which has been developing over the last year and which is very hard to define. We 'lose' each other due to timezone differences, the vagaries of the Internet, our own lives, work and what I perceived as his disinterest in the beginning. We always come back together somehow and at the moment we have been in contact for a long period.
He is the man I am most connected to. He is the one I would do anything for if he asked it, demanded it (and have so far). He has engaged in D/s lifestyles, but we began in play without any particular emphasis on D/s, though we certainly stepped outside the bounds of conventional vanilla play. We have acknowledged that there is some strange and fundamental connection between us, we are alike. I may not talk with him for weeks in some instances but when he pops up again in some chat site, I know him instantly. In this instance, with this man, there is something unusual which connects us.
At a time when I was unaware of this world (ttwd), he hinted at things, but was really quite unconcerned about names and labels as he led me along this path. He led me further as he saw me investigate and discover these delicious treats for myself. He has only recently used the word 'Master' with me. He is not purely a 'Daddy' and he is not purely a stern task master. He has not required explicitly for me to be 'owned' by him. He has not yet demanded I called him Sir, Master or Daddy. He has not required that I submit to him and him alone. In all these things though I feel completely his. I am his and his alone, though I believe he does not expect this. I feel safe with him. I feel respected, cared for and I feel owned by him. When he did use the word 'Master' for the first time (very recently) in reference to himself over me, it was not a threatening word to me, as it has been up to now. It felt right and I realised I had already known this for sometime. However, he has always given me the freedom to seek out other men, in fact, he requires it and loves that self in me that 'keeps searching' he calls it.
There is one other, who found me through our creative pursuits. He saw in me what I hide from that world in which we both move. In fact, he read me like a book through some art I create and post online. This is an ill defined liaison also. Sometimes, and most recently he has surprised me with his expectations of me, though he knows about the man i have described above. My liaison with him is a most dangerous one. He knows me, though my life outside ttwd. I have always worked to keep these two worlds very separate and he brings them together, both exciting and intimidating.
Of course I feel I can only 'belong' to one man. The man who doesn't demand exclusive rites is the one I feel the nature of 'belonging' to most. I suspect that is because he lets me fly to discover and play, he knows I will always return to him. Others demand exclusivity and because of the nature of online pursuits and my obligations to my husband, I am not free to give myself to someone who demands this. Maybe this will change..I know myself well enough to know that if this ever became physical with either of these two men, I would be completely owned. My heart lives in my vagina, quietly but profoundly.
I have found the final part of your question the most challenging, what do they make me do? I find I am a little shy to describe these things, save to say their demands on me have been and are discrete, not public, as they consider my relationship status and respect and care for that. In that way these men have always looked after me and my family.
Finally, a training programme? This is where my inexperience has played a fundamental role. I don't know what a training programme looks like, but I have always chosen connections with mature (40 +) experienced Dom men. Men who understand my situation and who respect it. Men who have experience enough not to push in the beginning but to wait for me developing trust, gently encouraging me and pushing when necessary. Men who possess a keen intellect and who can challenge mine. That is exactly why the two men at the present moment have been around for the past 12 months or more and why others have fallen quite quickly by the wayside. They understand the need to build trust first and are not men who assume that because I am on a sub journey, I will lay down and roll over because wear their label 'Dom'. With both of these men however, the journey has been slow and I don't know the future directions to be taken.