A gift freely given always has demands , the gift is in fact a form of demand that is highly codified and filled with expectations. Like a laundry list the slave and master has a well thought out list of demands and expectations that are to be met, why not just call it a negotiated exchange? Sure its not as sexy as saying gift*. (*see gift and politeness theory Derrida post modern theory)
Heigl suggests that if the slave were to walk away there is no master, if the master were to walk away there would always be another slave. When the master walks away he is saying that the relationship is no longer useful or holds any value. The slave in many cases will manipulate in an attempt to sabotage the relationship because it (the relationship not slave) did not meet their expectations instead of feeling they were free to talk about the situation and ending things on their terms.
The slave tries to find uniqueness and distinctiveness in submission, something that has already been externally determined: the slave behaves thus. When the slave attempts to feel important and call attention to their gift they are like everything and everyone else and reduce the offer as a part of the larger system of social exchanges. By terming submission as a gift there is an attempt at turning submission into something special, an attempt to exaggerate importance and to make significant the everyday banal social interactions.
If there is no such thing as a gift why do people keep insisting they are giving something freely?
Think for a moment of the Christmas Holiday. If you were truly free of obligation one would feel to attend a family function and accept what is given to them without bringing an offering themselves, being free of guilt and the idea that it is only politeness. The stress of Christmas is based on the economy of the gift exchange*. (*see also election donations and volunteerism)
So a gift equals demand, and can be in form of greeting, and stories (think of being offended when your greeting has been returned with silence) that are design and establish social order, and my gripe is really with the misuse of the term gift because I can recognize what it is, what it does and what expectations and obligations come from receiving. One only has to reflect on memory of receiving a gift, and wanting to return it but not doing so in fear of offending the other person. I have given gifts back upon receiving them, because I either did not want to be indebted to the person who gave it or I thought it violated social order.
If the gift of submission is so precious why does the slave continue to call attention to it?
It is so cliche.