I present myself as a dominant, but basically I'm just a simple uncomplicated sadist. Acting as a dominant I get to express my sadistic urges, but dominance isn't so much what I am as a path to get where I want to be. Don't get me wrong; I enjoy dominance thoroughly, even though doing a decent job of it takes a lot of time and effort, which I don't always have enough of to do a proper job of it on the long term. I'm not a dominant because I have a desire to bend people to my will, I'm a dominant because that's the most practical way to express part of myself. It has always been a source of wonder to me that there are people who will put up with my urges to get their own itch scratched. A submissive will put up with a lot to get what they want. Still, I've spent many idle hours trying to figure out what makes a sub tick. Some are probably masochists, though I don't think I've ever actually met one. A fair number have self-esteem issues, bad incidents in their past, or whatever. Those are your classical subs that psychologists used to write about; obviously, they were submissive because something was wrong with them. That idea has pretty much gone away now, as BDSM has come out of the closet and perfectly ordinary people with no obvious mental problems acknowledge they like to be ordered around or treated in ways that weren't socially acceptable until very recently. Submissives aren't people with problems, they're people with problems who also happen to be submissives. I had developed the theory that submissives were primarily driven by a desire for attention, possibly because that was such a visible facet of the first ones I dealt with. Over time I encountered subs who were much more internalized, which was a relief, because dealing with an emotionally needy sub wears me down. My current theory is that, while attention is still a factor, many subs are also driven by what I call, for lack of a better way to put it, a desire for direction, or perhaps order. They are happy when they know precisely what is expected of them, and the limits they operate within. Not just "you will be punished if you are late", but things like "you will meet me at the theater across the mall at 7 o'clock. Wear the green outfit." I hear a lot about "desire to submit" and similar things, but those concepts are so alien to me I keep trying to rationalize their behavior into reasons I can understand. Things were a lot simpler when submission was thought of as a mental illness... you could just drop someone into the appropriate box and not spend any time trying to figure out what made them tick.