Do you want to shape your subspace?

I unwittingly started a series on subspace. Submissive Guide also has a great thread, and not one to be outdone, I will write at least twice as many… *checks submissive guide’s thread* Crap, they’ve got eleven. ELEVEN posts! Okay, I’ll let them outdo me. Their thread is great. 🙂 But it is missing something…

My experience. 🙂 Oh, and the difference between psychological and physiological subspace.

In my experience they are each distinct and slightly different. Though, as I said before, not everyone is going to agree with me. But they are wrong, I mean… entitled to their own opinions and experiences.

Lets cover some bases first.

In a nutshell, psychological subspace is generally achieved through various types of mental stimulation or kink, things like humiliation, emotional play, orgasm control, or edge play. Physiological subspace is primarily achieved through sensory forces; touch, pain and the like. Impact play is a common example. Now, I know what you’re saying; what about the grey area, all the things in the middle. Well, it’s all in the mind of the holder.

Let’s take a slap across the face, for example. Every so now and then, my Master slaps me. I love it. Gets me going immediately. But why? Is it humiliation because adults don’t slap other adults? Something used to shame another person, to teach them you are more powerful, in charge. Only a whore gets a slap across the face, either that or some young buck who doesn’t know what they’re doing. I’m thinking of all those western movies where the more experienced and powerful person teaches the weaker, less knowledgeable person a lesson by shaming them with slap in front of other people. Hence, the humiliation factor. That makes it a psychological subspace trigger then, right? But wait. The tender cheek could redden or even welt under the firmness of a hand. A really forceful slap could even knock a person back. That’s pain and sensory, so it’s physiological then, right?

Yes, and no. This is where it comes down to the bottom’s interpretations. Remember, it is all in the mind of the beholder. It the bottom feels humiliation, and is triggered by that as a kink, then it is one. If not, well then, it’s not. The same thing goes for the pain factor. If they aren’t into it, then they are being pushed out of subspace and into something else. A really skilled Dom will understand their bottom’s kinks, fantasies, and know exactly which psychological triggers will pull them into subspace.

Now, let’s get back to our original topic. There’s a physiological subspace and a psychological subspace, but what’s the diff?

Well, everything. The way you get there is only part of it. What you (the sub floating around in subspace) can do, how you think, your mental processing ability, your decision making ability, if you can talk, are all compromised in subspace. They are also different in different types of subspace. This means your safety is at risk, and at risk in different ways at different times. Let’s say you also don’t know what subspace is, don’t recognize the signs, maybe you don’t even have the vocabulary to talk about it. Now you’re really at risk. I’ll give you an example of that risk in the next post of this series. Let’s get down the nitty and gritty of this topic first.

Let me preface this list by saying subspace is really, really hard to describe. There’s an endless supply of posts out there about it, and no one can do it accurately. Everyone’s experience is also slightly different. It is one of those things that you don’t really know until you try it. However, it is also possible you’ve done it, been out there floating around, and didn’t even know it because you didn’t recognize the signs. I did this myself for years.

Psychological subspace:

  • primarily or entirely mental stimulation to get there
  • light floaty feeling
  • capable of conversations without skipping a beat or seeming off
  • loss of noticing time passage, everything seems to be happening in the present
  • can last for longer periods of time without dropping; possibly hours or most of the day
  • you can drift into and out of over days
  • subdrop less dramatic
  • could be used to drift down from a deep, physiological subspace
  • decision making lightly to moderately impaired, but you may not be totally aware of it
  • highly possible to enter it unwittingly

Physiological subspace

  • uses a combination of physical and mental stimulation, and may have an emphasis on physical stimulation
  • feeling out of the body
  • pain receptors will shut down or off
  • verbal communication reduced or gone in deeper spaces
  • lasts for shorter periods of time; minutes or a few hours
  • Longer time periods (more than a couple hours) can be dangerous
  • coherent thoughts about continued sensory input are ongoing, but you may be unable to accurately describe it
  • Your thoughts and opinions will differ
  • decision making impaired, possibly aware of impaired decision making
  • generally always know when you enter it
  • dramatic subdrop, with significant aftercare needed

Multiple types of subspace isn’t something I made up, nor is it unique to me. If you look around online enough, you will find more descriptions, some of which use the same terms I do, some don’t. There’s also discussions by other subs buried in forum various discussions, fetlife and others, some of which describe even more types of subspace, and some that divide physiological subspace down into at least three different types depending on the hormone rush you get comparable to the fight, flight, freeze response. So do some more research. Find out what’s out there. Arm yourself with knowledge. I’ve got a great story coming up about why it’s important to understand and recognize them both. Look for that in a later post in this series.

One final thought. Fun is fun. Put fun first. Don’t make subspace your goal. Don’t be dangerous. Let fun guide you.

This is post 2 in a series on subspace. Post one in this series was; Do you want to play in subspace? That post validated the reality of subspace, and covered some basics. Post 3 will be a cautionary tale on being safe in subspace; Do you abandon safety in subspace?

3 thoughts on “Do you want to shape your subspace?

  1. I was doing a search on subspace to further expand the ecourse I’m currently developing and I am in love with your descriptions of physiological and psychological space. I had come across these terms earlier and already have lessons about the differences, but your breakdown is very eye opening and worth thinking about. Thank you for sharing.

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