Originally Posted by vattedmalt
This could be a very interesting discussion that I haven't found anywhere else yet: Since the dominant & submissive roles are so easily defined in a 'traditional' relationship, what happens, and how many combinations are there when there's three, four or more in a relationship and how does it balance out so that everyone get's what they're looking for and need out of it ?
It's come up a bit. I've seen arrangements where someone is submissive to one partner, dominant to another, but the dominance is not passed down through the chain (i.e. the sub's Dom is not the sub's sub's Dom). I've seen arrangements where a Dominant couple shared a submissive. I've even seen arrangements where a sub had two non-coupled Dominants, but I'm not sure on the details. I'm assuming much negotiation was required. Another thing I've seen is a married person getting a Dominant outside the marriage because the spouse wasn't into D/s.
There are no hard and fast rules for how it works. Everyone needs to negotiate their own arrangements and be respectful of the needs of other members in the arrangement. I imagine any attempt at setting rules for metamour's behaviour, for example, would crash and burn.