Monday 5 May 2014

BDSMonday - Description of Subspace

It’s BDSMonday!

Today’s post is about subspace.

Have you experienced subspace, or played with someone who went into subspace? How were your experiences the same as (or different than) the description below?

This is a description of subspace I originally found when I first experienced subspace and was very new to BDSM. This isn’t my writing, and I don’t recall the source (I believe it’s from The Fetish Information Exchange). Enjoy!

"Subspace has another meaning which is considerably more difficult to define, especially for those who have never been there. The best way I know how to describe it is that it is like a spiritually transcendent state of complete and overwhelming bliss, the after effects of which can last for hours and even days. I have heard it referred to as “a spiritual high.” While this is happening, the submissive/bottom is often said to be flying. It is similar to, but exponentially more intense and powerful than, what is often called “runner’s high.”

There are deeper reasons why the variety is so diverse. A whipping scene will often start off very lightly, with the top using a small whip to sensitize the bottom and get them into the rhythm of the scene, switching to heavier and heavier whips as the bottom gets deeper and deeper , more and more receptive to additional sensation.

This word we use to describe the psychological (mental) and physical state the submissive can - but does not (always) have to - reach as a result of BDSM interaction. On the Internet especially you will a lot of stories and articles about “subspace”. Most of these unfortunately got it dead wrong. This leads to a lot of confusion. For example “subspace” and orgasm are often mixed up.

One thing we do know: having an orgasm while in “subspace” is biologically next to impossible!

Now is where we can see the fundamental differences between “subspace” and other BDSM-experiences (driven by other motives). If and when the body decides not to go for the orgasm, but instead to go for “subspace” we are getting to the “deer in the headlights”. And also the point where the dam breaks.

If endorphins production continues - remember, we still do not know exactly why - trance and light forms of hallucination occur. THAT is “subspace”!

Someone “in subspace” is easy to recognise from the outside. They are no longer able to drive a car, or even a bike. They seem silent, absent-minded, slow responding, uninterested. In other words “not really here”. That again is not the same as the warm, glowy, dreamy feeling after an orgasm. Somebody ”in subspace” is “not on this planet”, so to speak.

"Subspace" is dangerous in some ways. People "in subspace" have very different levels of perception and awareness. They will see a traffic light as interesting colors that changes all the time. They do NOT see it as a warning signal. To them, a house is a fascinating stack of bricks with intriguing patterns - NOT something people actually live in. If you would slit the throat of someone “in subspace” they’d probably tell you they’d consider that an interesting and fascinating experience. They do NOT recognise the life threatening situation. Someone “in subspace” is INTOXICATED! Intoxicated as in: under influence of drugs.

"Subspace" is a form of trance. Trance in its essence is a state of being, different from your “normal” state of being. During trance your mind excludes most of its input and concentrates on just one or only very few impulses, completely disregarding all others. There are many ways in which a trance can be induced. Prolonged dancing for example, or hunger, prolonged physical activity. Hypothermia, recreational drugs, high fever, lack of nutrition, dehydration AND BDSM-activity all can induce trance. Just like repeated physical activity

"Subspace" can last for anything from several hours to several days. For the duration of "subspace" reflexes slow down severely (this is the result of the slightly intoxicating effects of enkephalins on the cortex) and much of normal, everyday logic no longer works. Someone in subspace cannot make responsible, consensual decisions.

As said, subspace is easy to spot from the outside. Pupils widen, responses slow down, appear illogical or simply do not occur. Food and sustenance is no longer important, people hear you, but do not understand you, they cannot find the right words and some submissives even stop breathing temporarily. Someone “in subspace” - as far as physical behavior and signals are concerned - is very similar to someone, under the influence of recreational drugs. The trance itself is important to them, feeds them and leads them. Nothing else matters and that - for example - includes sexual arousal. Colours, sounds, scents are individual, seemingly incoherent experiences. if you have never been here, you haven’t been “in subspace” (yet). And that’s fine. it is just that “subspace” is very different from everything else.”


If you're interested in doing a guest post for BDSMonday, please let me know! You can comment, or email me: tq.strange (at)

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