Navigating subspace: into the depths of a submissives mind

Author: Lynn
A to Z | Basics

What does subspace mean?

In BDSM, the term “subspace” refers to a trance-like state of consciousness that a submissive person can reach during a session, i.e. when performing BDSM activities. This refers to a deep, relaxed state. It is often reported that the real self detaches itself from the role taken on. Many subs also refer to this state as “flying”. It can be compared to the phenomenon of a runner’s high. This refers to a feeling of elation, a flow, an almost meditative detachment that some runners report.

But be careful: like everything in BDSM, submitting to another person should always be safe, sane and consensual. Responsibility plays a major role, also towards yourself.

How does someone get into subspace?

This state is caused by our hormones. Our body not only needs endorphins to create a trance-like space in our own head. The release of endogenous cannabinoids is also necessary. The neurotransmitter dopamine, which influences our reward center, also plays a decisive role.

However, the general psychological attitude also has an influence: because only the relinquishment of responsibility, the depth of devotion or the detachment of the real identity from the play role enable the submissive part to fully enter the subspace. Here, the Bottom can do things that the real self might even reject. This deep state of suspension in the fantasy world or the role construct enables the participants to have completely new experiences. Once this stage has been reached, Top can delay the game a little longer in order to keep Sublonger in this pleasant state of suspension.

How does that feel?

The feeling in subspace varies greatly from person to person. In general, it is not easy to explain or describe feelings. Some subs describe it as a kind of intoxication-like state that creates the feeling of being outside the body. It’s a bit like watching yourself play from the outside and simply enjoying the situation. Others simply experience subspace as a meditative experience. A state of dissolution and complete happiness.

Total relaxation

The thoughts of everyday life dissolve completely in subspace. Only the here and now counts. It is therefore comparable to a kind of spiritual experience or a drug high. Ultimately, it is a kind of trance state. But not triggered by concentration, meditation, hypnosis or drugs, but by submission, excitement, surrender or pain. This requires a lot of trust in the partner playing on top. Because only those who really feel comfortable and can relax will be able to immerse themselves in the subspace.

What do I need to consider?

“If you fly high, you’ll fall low, maybe we were too naive.” That’s what the German band “Die Ärzte” sang in a sog from 1998, and it’s a point that shouldn’t be ignored with subspace. Because an emotional drop, can certainly occur here. If you want to fly, you have to be able to land gently. That’s why the dominant partner should closely accompany their partner and support them during the landing to avoid a drop. This also includes good aftercare. Some Subs describe circulatory problems that occur on return. Something to drink, a snack or at least glucose should always be kept ready.

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