I have been thinking about the stages of submission.... How one goes from being totally "vanilla" (or believing they are) to realizing that they are anything and everything but vanilla. I looked for some information written about this, and found this, which I thought helpful.
According to the site, there are 7 stages of (what they call) Kinky/BDSM growth
Stage 1: The initial discovery stage.
Where and when one finds out about one's own feelings and emotions, related to erotic power exchange are often discovered in a very early (sometimes pre-puberty) stage, although they may either emerge or develop at a later stage as well.
Stage 2: The fear-stage
The uncertainty plus social factors will usually lead to fear about one's feelings and emotions and may lead to shorter or longer periods of seclusion.
Stage 3: The "first steps stage"
Where one will start to experiment (with oneself), read, and search for information, even as they keep their fantasies and dreams to themselves, people will start to experiment, quite often on themselves, often actively incorporating both the dominant and submissive roles in themselves.
Stage 4: The reaching out stage
Where one tries to find others.
Stage 5: The reconciliation stage
Where one comes to grips with one's fantasies and starts to understand them.
Stage 6: The partner-search stage
Within an existing relationship or finding a new one.
Stage 7: The revolving stage
Where one grows, learns, experiments, grows again, etc.
I think this is pretty accurate, at least in my experience it seems to apply. The site's home page is "under construction" so I wasn't able to actually credit it's author. If anyone knows who wrote this please let me know.
I'm going to be exploring these stages and comparing them with my experience, and I would be honored to include any contribution you would like to make.