In a way, it´s a bit weird but I got this question over and over again in the last 4 weeks when I was discussing BDSM on Munches and in chats.
Let me start with stating I’m a huge fan of giving words your own meaning for your own private context. If you define submission to go out and walk in the park with your dominant than that’s fine with me – you can call yourself a submissive or a slave and it can mean the absolute same thing for you in private.
That said I’m also a big fan of words having a defined meaning so everybody can talk about it in public. Words can be redefined for your private use but not to discuss things with other people.
So here is the Standard viewpoint I think most people can agree on and where a discussion can start:
A submissive has a choice – she can say no to a request, she can use a safeword and can her dominant expect to honor that.
A slave has no choice – she can’t refuse a request, she can voice she is on her limits but her owner can decide to still continue whatever they are doing.
In reality, there are of course a lot of other things that play into this – but I also think that you never start out as a Slave in a relationship or in a play – The way I always saw it, you start as Dominant & Submissive and over time it changes to Owner and Slave (in various degrees).
I had submissives that asked me to take their safeword away and then play with them and It’s a huge honor & responsibility if they ask for that.
Vice versa it´s also a Huge honor when I actually accept that and do play without a safeword, which I did in the past only with a very selected few.