I've been thinking a lot lately about balance in regards to the separate personas we have as subs. We have our "man side" and our "sub side," and their behaviors rarely overlap very well.
In a lot of my writing it probably appears as if I'm a fairly one-dimensional individual. I'm a submissive and my life is submission. It's not that I don't have a wide variety of interests, they are numerous, it's just two things:
1. I generally kept a lot of that private since it is... private.
2. I don't have a lot of things that are important enough to me to hang onto.
Much of what I write is looking at a D/s relationship either before it starts or after the first year. The first year is so full of growing pains and developing dynamics that it is very unique and complicated on an individual basis.
One thing that I do champion in courting is to "be interesting." To be honest, I have a very large number of hobbies and interests. I "phase" through them and attack them thoroughly with an OCD level of intensity. It's probably part of what makes me interesting as a life companion (and not just a sub).
I've never been in a Femdom relationship where the Domme wanted to squash who I was as a man. They appreciated that I was well-versed in many things and could relate to many people on a large number of levels. If we visited someone else's house to watch a football game, it would give her pride to watch me call the defensive scheme alignment and blitz package while describing why an interception was thrown due to the "mike" LB pulling an A-gap blitz forcing the RB to block and how the DE's speed rush technique beat the right tackle causing the pocket to collapse, having the strong safety in the box bumping the TE off the line causing the first check-down to be occupied and the "will" linebacker reading the QB's eyes and jumping the passing lane while he makes a cross body off-balance throw without a good step in. Between plays I could also hold conversations about international finance, popular foreign cinema, the roots of linguistics, the failings of modern education, Greek or Roman influences in building architecture, the best video game to come out this year, obscure musical genres, and the like.
I'm a fairly well-rounded guy who can blend in to society quite well. There are tons of things I know enough about where I can converse about them and a handful of things that I have really explored and delved into about as deep as is possible.
My D/s relationships have always kept this side of me intact. I can always come up with something fun to do, a good movie to watch, a decent book to read, and so on if that is what is called for within the relationship. At times I'd been curious as to why I wasn't forced primarily into my submissive side, especially when being with a woman that could easily have done that and liked it. My guess is that it really came down to balance.
I've been asked on occasion why I would be willing (or even eager) to end up in a situation where my vanilla side doesn't matter. I have so many interests, it makes them curious. The reality of it is that I've been single much of my life. I used interests to occupy time and fill the hole in my life where love was meant to be. The "passions" that people think I have were merely filler... placeholders and coping mechanisms for what I needed most and did not receive. I would give up any of them in a heart beat.
In Arc 4 of fs01 I was able to explore this a bit from a relatively extreme point of view. How neurotic would I potentially be if all of the vanilla person was stripped away. How important would certain things become. How would I react to them. The result was kind of disturbing.
I guess I just find it kind of odd, craving to be stripped away of everything I deem unimportant while knowing what it can do... and knowing that it probably makes me less interesting as a human. Most of my balance wasn't created by choice... it just sort of turned out that way.
If I was able to go back and ask them if they prefer this balanced me vs. just the submissive me, I'm sure I would.