Slave vs Submissive
Generally speaking the difference between a slave and a submissive is that a slave don’t have any limits. A submissive retains their right to set limits. As always, the more you look into it, the more complicated it becomes.
It’s said that the last decision a slave makes is who their Owner is going to be. Traditionally a slave would seek the Owner they believed would be worthy of their submission and then petitioned to be their slave/their property. A petition would lay out the skills, talents, abilities the slave has to offer.
A misconception is that being a slave is the ultimate goal with being a submissive a step along the way. A good analogy might be a cook and a chef. If your aim as a cook is to provide comfort and pleasure through food, then being a talented and skilled cook is the goal, and there’s no value in being a chef. On the other hand, if being a chef is what you ultimately aspire to be, then you’d be hand pressed to get there without being a cook along the path. Similarly being a submissive is a valuable, worthwhile aspiration for many submissives and exactly the position that suits them best. Perhaps they want to be submissive exclusively, or develop the skills to Top or switch. However if your ultimate calling is to be a slave, and you desire handing over all the control so that you have no limits, then it would be wise to explore the option of submission along that path. It’s a immense amount of trust you’re placing in another person.
Of course, a slave (and anyone else for that matter) can leave a relationship at any time. Also, this is an ongoing agreement between consenting people and the ‘reality’ is only as real as what the participants willingly create .
There’s no twue way, but definitions can guide you to find the person or people you wish to submit to and start the conversation about what level of submission suits you both.