A Merriam-Webster definition as I see it relating to the D/s lifestyle;
sub·mit: to yield oneself to the authority or will of another; to defer to or consent to abide by the opinion or authority of another.
As a submissive I willingly and consensually cede control and authority to my dominant. My dominant then takes responsibility for that control and for making decisions within our relationship, in the areas we have negotiated and I have given my consent to give up control and relinquish power.
Being a submissive is not a choice for me nor is it a “role” I step in and out of. It is an integral part of my nature and it is how I define myself all of the time relative to my dominant and our relationship. Being a submissive is a personality trait for me and something I feel I received genetically, just as I received my maleness. In neither do I have a choice or the power to change. I tend to be by personality a person who wants to follow orders and wants to please. Of course someone might be a pleaser type without being submissive. But with me, I naturally tend to obey and please without any conscious thought involved or without any consideration of what I might get back in return from the other person. There is no sense of making a sacrifice when I perform services for my dominant in an attempt to please her. It simply makes me happy to do it.
As a submissive I derive intense physical and psychological pleasure from giving up control to my dominant. I experience intense feelings of fulfillment and affirmation from this power exchange. The gratification is derived from my constant awareness of the power roles and can be intellectual, emotional and even erotic. Submission is a need I feel so deeply that absent a dominant female in my life to submit to, I feel dissatisfied, unfulfilled and unhappy. When I have been in “vanilla” relationships and can’t express submission to my female partner I quickly become dissatisfied and unhappy and eventually I look elsewhere in hopes of finding the assertive dominant female I need who will allow me to submit.
As I have come to understand it, there are two different types of submission, lifestyle submission and erotic submission. Lifestyle submission involves things like giving up my personal rights, giving up my freedom of choice, or surrendering control over my property. I think the defining point when it comes to lifestyle submission is those areas where I relinquish control in order to please my dominant and make her happy.
The loss of control is erotic and I define erotic as anything that serves to increase sexual desire. Erotic submission is the part that involves the sexual. Submission allows the sexual and sensual part of me to bloom and helps me to shed inhibitions. As I submit and experience the eroticism of loss of control, kinks begin to surface. Kinks and fetishes are nothing more than those activities that I come to understand cause me to feel the loss of control. Bondage is an obvious example for when I am bound I am totally helpless and at the mercy of my partner. Teasing is erotic because it suggests sexual gratification but then is followed by complete withdrawal of stimulation leaving me in a state of frustrated heightened arousal. Enforced chastity is erotic for me because it serves to remind me of loss of control and power. Being controlled during sex by my partner is erotic and a gives that sense of loss of control. Being required to do things that I would not ordinarily do or request serves this same function. Erotic submission can be measured by how aroused I become and how excited that makes me to obey and to be controlled. Lifestyle submission is measured by how much I want to please my Mistress and how much I want to make her happy.