What is Subspace in BDSM?

Subspace is a trance state that many BDSM lovers experience during intense kink play. It is a dissociative feeling that causes the bottom to be more vulnerable and less aware of their own boundaries.

It requires specific triggers and deep trust in the Dom to reach this level of pleasure. The drop back to normal can be draining or even traumatic for some.

What is subspace?

Subspace is a state of mind that creates feelings of euphoria and can feel similar to an orgasm. It is a result of many physical and emotional sensations that are bombarding the body during intense play in a BDSM scene. Subspace is a highly individual experience and can take some time to reach. It requires a very high level of trust in the Dom and often involves deep levels of intimacy and arousal.

The subspace feeling is caused by the release of endorphins in the brain. These are the body’s natural opiates that can be discharged through pain, exercise and stress as well as sex and love. Subs in subspace may feel as though they are floating in the air and can sometimes see their partner perform kink in their out of body experiences.

Doms in subspace may be able to use this state to their advantage and can easily manipulate the sub in ways that would not be possible if they were not in subspace. This is why it is important to be fully aware of the submissive’s needs and boundaries during a session, even when they are in subspace.

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Doms that do not respect a sub’s safe words and other limits when they are in subspace are not acting responsibly and may be dangerous to the sub. They should also be prepared to deal with the effects of a sub dropping out of subspace, which can include emotional and sometimes even physical distress that can take a long time to recover from.

How do I get into subspace?

Getting into subspace can be hard for some subs, and it’s a goal they work toward over time. They might use a lot of play techniques to try to get there, including teasing and arousal. They might also use pain-play, which is usually more likely to trigger it.

Sustained pain-play can bring the sub into a state that’s dreamlike, where they feel serene and detached from the outside world. Subs may talk about not being able to concentrate, whole-body buzzing sensations and warmth and a feeling of floating. It’s generally considered a pretty amazing experience, especially if it’s paired with toe-curling pleasure and the feeling of being in a safe and trusting relationship with their Dominant.

Getting into subspace can be very intense for both the sub and the Dom, so it’s important that it happens in a safe way. Generally, it’s best to have a fully-negotiated plan in place before doing any pain or subspace play, to make sure the sub’s safety is taken care of and their boundaries are respected.

How do I get out of subspace?

The triggers for subspace vary from person to person, but it can often be induced by blindfolding, bondage and other sensory deprivation techniques. It can also be triggered by extreme pain or other intense experiences, such as a flogging session. When someone is in subspace they are much more at the mercy of their Dom and should be watched carefully.

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Many people describe a feeling of almost euphoria when they are in subspace. They may be completely unaware of what is going on around them and seem to be in a dreamlike state. They will usually have heightened senses mixed with paradoxically greater pain resistance and difficulty focusing. It is not uncommon for a sub to reach a point where they cannot speak, and must use gestures to communicate their safe word and other needs.

When a sub is in subspace it is very important that the dominant takes good care of them both during and after the experience. This means making sure they have a blanket and water, giving them space to recover and then spending time with them talking about the experience. It is also very important for a dominant to make sure they know their subs well before trying to induce subspace.

The best way to get a sub into subspace is to gradually increase the intensity of the pain they are experiencing in ten minute intervals. This will cause the body to release large amounts of endorphin and makes it more likely to enter subspace.

What happens in subspace?

In subspace the bottom experiences a mixture of feelings, some described as being like a blissed out dream state, others like flying or being in a trance. Everyone’s experience is different and a Dominant can have a huge influence on whether a sub is able to reach subspace or not. Generally it means that the bottom is partially detached from reality, highly suggestible and may have trouble focusing or communicating. They are thus completely at the Dominant’s mercy both during and after the scene and a Dom / top who takes this seriously will ensure they can safely navigate the experience.

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Subspace is also associated with heightened senses, giddiness and a paradoxically higher pain tolerance. The bottom may lose track of time or experience a psychedelic sensation similar to the feeling that accompanies running and that is known as “runner’s high”. They may even have difficulty speaking, often needing to use sign language or a combination of words and gestures to communicate with their Dominant in order to safeword if they are needed to do so.

This is why it’s important for a sub to have a Dominant that they trust implicitly and to be clear and concise about their needs during the scene and after it ends. If they don’t, and the Dominant doesn’t take care of them afterwards, it can lead to a mental and emotional crash known as sub drop where the bottom becomes giddy, weepy, depressed or withdrawn.

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