It has taken quite a while but I'm finally starting to crack the fundamental differences in point of view that has caused me quite a few communication difficulties over the years.
The main difficulty seems to be with the view of submission.
It is very common for me to read the view that submission should be "freely given." This is often accompanied by views that service should be happy and willing. It is also frequently accompanied by views that service that is goaded in any way is less true or pure.
I get this on some levels. I believe freely given represents consent. No one is forcing you to submit. If you aren't ready, willing, and able to serve, being a submissive isn't really the life for you.
What doesn't sit so well with me is that submissive mental space (subspace), isn't really considered.
The common stance is that most Dommes do not want a doormat. They want an intelligent and charismatic sub with a good personality, sense of humor, and able to function autonomously. This sub should have opinions, thoughts, preferences, and desires.
The problem I find is the lack of value given to subspace. If a person is willing to defer at any time and bury their thoughts and opinions... doesn't that make them a doormat?
The way I look at it is that submissives have two sides to their personalities:
1. Their vanilla self.
2. Their submissive self.
Their vanilla self is who they are at work, in public, in the presence of strangers or outsiders, and the like. This is where the sub's standard personality shines through. Are they funny and charming? Are they interesting and intelligent? Are they thoughtful and polite? Are they competent and responsible?
Honestly, to be seen as a decent life partner you generally have to be all of those things and more. How this works in a D/s dynamic is due to their submissive self that exists separate from their vanilla self. This divide is how highly motivated and successful people in the vanilla world end up being submissive behind closed doors. They shift gears. They shift states. They enter subspace. In subspace they have a completely different submissive persona that frequently is completely different from their vanilla self. Their subspace is generally linked to their sexuality and it becomes a need.
This is where the hangups often occur when I have written about it in the past. Some people are able to enter subspace easily. Others require a trigger. There is a misconception that a Domme has to act angry, shouting and cracking a whip for this to occur. This isn't so much the case. Often it can be a gesture, a ritual, a rule, or a singular act (e.g. kneeling and kissing her hand) that will trigger the switch within the person and shift them from their vanilla self to their submissive self.
Does this mean they are being goaded? Does this make their submission less pure? I don't think so. Just because someone currently does not feel submissive doesn't mean that they do not wish to make their Domme happy. But there is a difference. Willing is one thing. Excited is another. If their vanilla self is willing but triggering the switch will lead to them being excited to serve, is that a bad thing?
I know that in my day to day I end up often stressed, overworked, and underappreciated for much of the day. As much as I would like to, I still carry some of that baggage home with me from work. I feel like shit when I can't be the sub that I want to be. I want that trigger to happen to bring me into a better mental space. I realize that I get defensive on this topic because it triggers my insecurity about feeling lesser. Because of that I have trouble separating if my logic on this subject is true or more defensive. I don't know. Overall this is just how I see it.