Why isn't there more writing about the mental aspects of D/s?
I find this completely puzzling as there are often carefully crafted relationship dynamics in place with the goal of keeping a sub twisting in deep subspace and a Domme maintaining a heightened Domspace. I find it fascinating how people manage to keep a sub enduring through hardships that seem better suited for an abused step-child in a fairy tale yet they are in love, emotionally fulfilled, and happy. I find it fascinating how Dommes turn themselves on and increase their dominant desires by keeping a man under her thumb and finding new ways to suppress, crush, and exploit his ego.
I only know a handful of bloggers that confront these topics head on. I wish this weren't the case but I also wonder why.
A theory I received recently in response to some comments left on a blog was that understanding the mental aspects requires thought and that "most" people don't put the thought in.
Another theory I've read is that unless someone is a switch, it's just too hard for someone to understand what is going on in the other role.
I don't think this is an easy topic. I think that a lot of people have trouble sifting through confusing and often conflicting emotions and that articulating it can be a challenge. Difficult doesn't mean impossible. If someone isn't interested enough to take on the challenge, that I can understand completely.
The "accepting" ideal from BDSM communities tends to stifle this as well. "Your kink is not my kink" or "I like what I like" actually discourages conversation and attempts at understanding. I can understand this as an idea for people trying to grow comfortable with deviant interests, but don't more people get curious as to why they like what they like? Or also, why they don't like something else?
I've also found people that follow a train of thought that everything we experience is unique so it doesn't do much good to talk about it. While it is true that people have specific triggers that act as turn ons or turn offs, think people are more similar than they are different when you get to the core of it. Pretty much every written account of slavespace I have ever read was pretty damn similar. When sadistic and controlling Dommes start talking about the symbolism behind an act that turns them on, the way they describe it is pretty damn similar (even when the acts differ completely).
Do people struggle to see beyond the specific act and find the nature of D/s? Or are people just so bad at separating themselves from a specific kink to where they are unable to describe it adequately? I don't know.
As for being unable to understand the opposing role, do we actually have to completely get it in order to find it interesting? On its most basic levels, triggers are just cause and effect and repeated use of certain activities eventually breeds trends and consistent behaviors. It is probably a bit easier to read submissive males because well, it's pretty obvious when something affects them. If an act fuels their subspace, they get an erection. If an act deepens their subspace, they will get more shy, docile, and obedient. Sorting out activities that garner reactions by their "essences" should give a pretty easy road map on how to control a sub's mental state.
Reading Dommes are a bit more difficult. Based upon her choices of activities you can see what appeals to her. Finding the essences of those activities should give a good idea of what D/s concepts/principles/ideals speak to her. The reason why this read is harder is that there are fewer obvious cues to look for. I can tell when a Domme is thriving in Domspace by her eyes (they look "predatory") but beyond that, it's all a crapshoot because the more intense she gets, the better she is at masking her aura and intent. That is, in many cases the more aroused, empowered, and in control she feels, the more she is able to hide and/or deceive a sub while keeping true intentions hidden.
I do believe that a good number of people within the lifestyle understand the symbolism and ways that it fuels their own space. I really wish they would talk about it more as I really do enjoy reading and conversing about it.