What do you feel are the roots of your submission? Do you think it has something to do with childhood?
I will answer these together as they are strongly linked. The sexual connection likely stems back to M's bondage games and the fact that I idealized her as the girl who noticed me and made me feel wanted and this fueled my masturbation during the first half of my life.
The emotional side of submission comes from a bit darker place. Abandonment issues. Physical/emotional abuse. Racism. Being rejected by nearly every vanilla woman I ever fell for. Over the years all of these factors managed to shatter my psyche and my confidence. I felt like I wasn't someone who was deserving of love and that no one would ever want me. My means of coping was to change myself and I set a goal to actualize the characteristics of the "perfect lover." If I could become this, I felt someone would find me worth loving.
My view of the perfect lover was chivalrous and attentive. Loving, caring, and able to express emotions freely. They understand what makes a woman tick and put tremendous efforts in making her feel cherished, special, and like she is the most important thing in the world. They give without thought of receiving anything in return. This is who I wanted to be and trained myself to embrace these ideals and adopt this train of thought.
K was the first to tell me I was submissive. Since this state was me over-compensating for my shortcomings, I consider that to be the root of it all.
Is it a relationship management tool as in the practice of domestic discipline?
I believe D/s is a relationship management tool in a lot of ways. I grew up in a VERY passive aggressive household where the common means of emotional interaction was to hen peck others with unspoken expectations and criticize them when they failed to meet them.
In the area I live in, the passive-aggressive approach is the STANDARD means of interaction between people in relationships.
D/s is a godsend to me because the expectations AND consequences are clear as day. It removes the painful guessing game and constant erosion of self-esteem and makes both parties happier.
Is it a sexual thrill or something else?
It is sexual, but not purely sexual. For me, D/s is rooted in love first and foremost. While many aspects of D/s arouse me, I don't do it simply for the arousal or sexual side. It is something that feels genuinely right for me to live out and I am happier in it. It does also lead to great sex and that is part of it, so I would say it is a mix of both sexual and something else. When it feels good in the heart and in the loins, that is a pretty good overall feeling.