LG - I'm really taking time to think about the M/m of masochism for me. I've just gone and looked up the four humours, to understand where I might fit into them and I feel I am a combination of Melancholic and Sanguine - tending towards melancholic. The interesting thing is that in my work I'm definitely a leader, but not at all in the choleric sense (that is my father!) More in the encouragement, "isn't this hard, but let's keep working", "YES! your're getting there sense". I take no pleasure in dominating the process. Yet, I would hate not to have control at the same time.
So, to follow your template like the good submissive I am (!), I think it is relatively easy to find examples of "pure" Masochism - in the sense of someone wanting sexual gratification selfishly for themselves, with no regard for the feelings of the inflictor of the punishment. I'm thinking of a S and M scene someone recounted to me, where a man sat all night being a human ashtray for everyone else, lying on the floor, not speaking or communicating. It's the part that exists purely in one's fantasy I suppose.
The small m variety, which has many nuances, is not really a term I use about myself - though I'm not averse to it really. It's the closest word we have to describe being turned on by being controlled by someone else - in a consensual setting. I have realised over time, that the traditional, big M assumption that masochism is the enjoyment of pain is wholly wrong for me. I used to think I did in my playing days. I would go into sub space and take a huge beating. I would egg the dom on to do more. Therefore I was really in control all the time. Hence it was "playing".
But now, in D/s, I find the pain horrible, it's having all control taken away which is the turn on - a condition created and reiterated by the threat and carrying out of punishment. I KNOW I can't take a hairbrushing in any sort of way that's bearable. I have no control at all over T''s knee. And that opens up my whole personality and makes me feel acceptable through and through. It's a healing place. I suppose to use your example, it let's me be my real self, undone, opened up, surrendered (not without a constant struggle!)
It feels like Alice through the Looking Glass - I pass into a different world of 'me' on the other side of my self-control. I am free to feel loved, I am released from angry defiance and rejection of nurture, I can regress through the pain, after-sting and mortification of punishment into a simpler place of relaxed being. I feel I want to find a new word - something like restoration, redemption, something spiritual to describe the process. Masochism orginated in the name of an author of a story about the cruel dealings of love. Our reaction to the word is instantly one of "that's depravity". It is not joined up emotional thinking. Small m masochism gets closer, but doesn't go far enough.
I will keep thinking about a new word!
Hope this is of interest, LG