Still... *why* D/s? Well, I don't know. Why sex, why love. It's a part of me. It's an urge, an urge that I can find answered in others who joyfully respond and give back the energy I give them. It is, to me, beautiful.
Maybe why is not quite the right question, as it doesn't seem likely to elicit anything that will help someone understand. What is the attraction for me of submission? Not kinky bedroom play, since that seems more obvious to many people, but the submission of my will to the will of another.
As Red Hot Chili Peppers says in their song Universally Speaking, "nothing better than love and service." And, for me, that couldn't be more true. I've been employed all my professional life in non-profit and government service, working on issues I care about. When I'm passionate about something I volunteer and try to spread the word. I am discriminating, it's not like I serve purely as an abstract ideal. Rather, I serve the things I love... the places, the ideas, and the people I love. One of those people I love is myself, and I strive to take good care of myself and serve my own needs. But I relish helping my friends and loved ones too.
I know that for others it's different, and maybe I will in time find other motivations myself for taking on D/s roles. But at least at this point in my life and at least regarding submission, for me it's all about service -- a natural extension of how I live in all areas of my life. I dream of serving someone I love. Not so much as a slave per se but as a highly devoted personal servant... sort of like a retainer, a handmaiden or a samurai.
In the right context, with the right person and enough trust and alignment of desires, I could envision making my dream of yore -- total power exchange as an experiment for a set duration of time -- a reality.
In the end, I can describe D/s but I don't know that I can "explain" it. I think that for those people to whom it makes no sense it will probably never really make sense. And that's ok. What I ask of the world is not understanding (although it's awesome when I find it!), but acceptance. You don't need to understand how a woman could love another woman romantically, you just have to accept that I do and that it doesn't make me wrong or bad or criminal. Similarly, no one needs to understand why I'm poly or why I'm kinky. As long as they can see that it's fulfilling me and my partners and not hurting us, then all I ask is to not be judged negatively for it.
Yes, it's hard to do right, yes it takes special rules to ensure everyone's health, safety and happiness, yes it's intense. Don't care, it's still awesome, it's still my choice, it's still "equal" (in that as much is received as is given), it's still sensitive to the needs of all involved, and it's still beautiful.
And that's it! My D/s manifesto.
Tl;dr version: Kink is awesome and I've liked it since forever and ain't nothin wrong with it.
Also, here's a great article on what you need to make a 24/7 D/s dynamic work: