I was never formally introduced to the bdsm world but I have always found the thought of being controlled a extreme turn on. How do I know if being a submissive is the right thing for me? And if it is, what is the best way to go about entering the lifestyle?
Dear Never Formally Introduced,
Most people will say that their kinky interest always started with turn-ons. The people who are able to explore those sexual fantasies and desires often have more fulfilling sexual lives. So, kudos to you for wanting to learn more about your turn-ons and fantasies to see if they can become more than in your head.
What I suggest you do first it learn the terms and roles available to you. You mention submissive in your question so it's possible you've already done this. There are many different bottom roles that could fit you and one size does not fit all in any of them. I suggest that anyone who has being controlled fantasies specifically start with a bottom role and go from there. That way you can explore the kinky fantasies you have and not overwhelm yourself with the idea of surrendering control of other areas of your life (until you want to/unless you want to).
Once you've pinpointed a role you'd like to play to get started you can dive deep into your fantasies and learn about some of the more specific kinks you've been dreaming off. Perhaps, for example, one of them is spanking. You can learn and read a lot about erotic spanking and how to prepare yourself for your first spanking. Sit down and write out your hottest fantasies to help you know what you are looking for and plug them into search engines. Keep in mind that porn is rarely a reflection on real experiences so limit your porn watching when learning about kink.
The best resources for someone just exploring are the multitude of books and online resources available to you. This website was a good first step and I highly suggest you browse through the hundreds of articles here about a lot of different things. How to Be Kinky and How to Be Kinkier by Morpheous are good starting points. So is Screw the Roses, Send Me the Thorns by Molly Devon and Phillip Miller. If you learn better visually, there's no better place than KinkAcademy, where for a small monthly subscription you can get kink educated. I highly recommend it.
The final step for anyone who might think that the kink lifestyle is for them is to get out and meet people socially. Even if that means doing so from the safety of their own computer. Start out with a site like FetLife.com to find your local community and see if there is a get together you can attend. If not, at least chat with people in a reasonable distance. Learn what draws them to the lifestyle, make friends and ultimately perhaps, lifetime relationships. It's a huge world so don't worry about being overwhelmed. Everyone is at first. Take small bites, don't rush into anything and enjoy the journey.