A part of my life I sometimes struggle with is my need of submission. I have had discussions more than once with people on this and have been told that it's a phase, it's OK, or as my mother sometimes puts it "be your own woman!" Submission, in my opinion, is sometimes a struggle but other times selfless and rewarding in ways that aren't always tangible. To that extent, I ponder an age-old question that is asked again and again: "What do you get out of it?"
Service submission, which is submission that is usually platonic and (for me) focused on benefiting my partner more than I, was how the lifestyle was introduced to me and now is a part of my life. I had begun experimenting with kink my second year of college, it sounded interesting, and was a foot in the door. After focusing my attention in other areas, and after a disastrous attempt the first time, I decided to try again.
The next partner, who started this search of self-identity, asked "why" during a work day near the end of the relationship. We had decided to pay someone for extra help, he was working on his house, and I was working for no compensation and really no tangible reward. I was unable to answer why I had the need, knowing that I really was not attracted to his form of control. Fortunately the relationship was already suffering and I wasn't getting anything intangible out of it either.
It's been more beneficial this time.
I still don't get anything tangible out of it and I am required to follow someone else's rules. Unlike the very publicized Fifty Shades of Grey books I do not have arguments in my head about this. I'm a consenting adult. The individual who I service-sub for is a consenting adult. He enjoys being in control, most of what he expects feeds that want to be in control, and there are no hidden messages or symbolism on what he does.
However... because I enjoy the boundaries, overall submission increases my functionality. To someone who is non-kinky, and I've heard this more than once, some people need a relationship. They need to have a partner, they want a partner, and serial monogamy is just that. For me, I don't need love. Love is great, and in some cases I have love in D/s relationships, but I need to be controlled. It helps me function, it's something that I crave, and when I see my boundaries being commented on or argued with... I point out that I don't argue with anyone else's ways of living.
Comparatively to the outside world my day would simply look like a normal day to everyone else. Submission to me is more about support. I have support now to give up caffeine and sugary drinks... something that although Eric would like to help me with, since he's addicted to coffee, it would be almost hypocritical for him to tell me no. There is a saying about spirituality and religion that when you don't want to do something that is routine that is the most important time you should be doing it. Comparatively, if submission was all about what I wanted and not challenging... would it really be submission? I can have someone telling me to read a book or write a blog but since those are activities I do already for fun is it really submission?
In retrospect, diving even deeper, my personal view is that even in friendships someone is going to be the more Dominant person. It's a natural balance. I simply wish to have my labels, to a label balanced, and know where I stand without needing to wonder if my "flavor" of relationship is.