Subspace - what is it to you?

Discussion in 'General BDSM discussions' started by ReallyGreen, Mar 20, 2009.

  1. ReallyGreen

    ReallyGreen Member

    After the last thread debacle I'd like to attempt a new thread format here. I'm going to post my theories on a topic, some of the history about why I think it works, and I welcome everyone to either A: Criticize my means & methods (I prefer constructive criticism, but if you think I'm stupid and misguided I'll try not to lose any sleep) or B: Post your own thoughts and methods below and maybe we can all actually learn something.


    I think of subspace as the mental/psychological "altered consciousness" that happens during a good session. While this is regarded as hypnosis or hypnotic suggestion by the medical community, I would like to point-out that unlike the magic-trick of people "thinking they are a chicken" or inducing a deep sleep the reality is that consciousness is never lost, the sub never loses control of his or her actions, and its impossible to "suggest" that they are something radically different than themselves. (ie. Nobody is going into subspace and coming out a chicken).

    Franz Mesmer.

    Dr. Franz Mesmer was an 18th century German physician (university at Vienna). His popular theories on animal magnetism and planetary influence of the human body have long since been regarded as nonsense (but in an interesting note; his theories that lunar activity influences madness in certain people was THE original connection to full moons and werewolves. This may seem incredibly stupid to 21st century readers BUT there were over 300 reported attacks and 110+ deaths attributed to a werewolf or werewolves in the Gevaudan region of France in the 18th century and clinical lycanthropy was also first diagnosed in the same era.). Mesmer's theories would later be built-upon by surgeon James Braid and become hypnosis.

    In current common usage Mesmerize is a synonym for awestruck.

    James Braid.

    Dr. James Braid (university Edinburgh) familiar with Mesmer's idea's on animal magnetism but ignoring his theories of astronomical influence first documented his work on neuro-hypnotism in 1841 based on a mesmerism demonstration. He was clear to point-out that hypnotism never produced any of the claimed phenomena of mesmerism including clairvoyance or ESP (phenomena which Mesmer himself disclaimed but charlatans would claim ability of). Hypnosis was regarded (and still is by myself) as a natural and obtainable neuro-psychological state of increased attention via focused breathing, physical relaxation and sensory suppression.

    The original goal of hypnosis was not for psychoanalysis (although Dr. Freud did use hypnosis before he codified psychoanalysis) or as a party trick, but as Analgesia a blocking of pain receptors by mental concentration for surgery before the invention of chemical anesthesia.

    Yes, the same psychological state you find yourself in while licking your Mistresses (or Master's) boots was what kept people from passing-out or dying during invasive surgery.

    Prerequisite history lesson over we get to how all this comes together during sex and BDSM scenes especially.

    Subspace: The psychological state of selective hyper-attention and suggestibility.

    Why: While in subspace people have shown a remarkable ability to endure discomfort and pain (useful in BDSM), to help remove any inhibitions the sub may feel for certain humiliation (licking boots, toilet play etc), respond truthfully to embarassing questions, and generally help the sub overcome any preconceived emotional hurdles or mental blocks the subs wishes to overcome, or the Dom wishes the sub to overcome (example: deepthroating) and of course massively enhanced sexual release.

    How: I will cover these particulars in other threads (they are too long to go into here and each really deserves its own thread for discussion), but I've had tremendous success with aromatherapy, color (especially room color), sound & music, taste and flavours (an erotic favorite of mine during sensory play), and of course physical pain and its side-kick, the "endorphin rush".

    In summation: Subspace is the tool of BDSM and D/s IMHO. Doms and subs wishing to grow together can and should utilize subspace more than they rely on strict S&M or humiliation (also useful tools don't get me wrong). I believe the ability to enter subspace sooner, more easily, and stay in that psychological mindset longer should be the goal of every sub where as being able to withstand a certain number of caning strokes would be a goal set by the Dom and worked towards (for example).

    Again I welcome any criticism or questions (for sake of reading I didn't get into anything too deeply), and hope you all will feel free to post your own ideals, theories or practices of subspace in this thread.

    Peace & Happiness,
    ReallyGreen. :)
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2009
  2. Sparrow69

    Sparrow69 Moderator

    Very good post. In my experiences, most people know of sub-space, but refer to it as "my happy place." We're taught in all walks of life that when faced with something difficult or painful, to find a happy place and use its warm comfortable embrace to dull the pain. Medically and Metaphysically, this singular action of endued self hypnosis releases a stream of endorphins into sections of the brain to override pain sensory transmitters while boosting adrenaline and serotonin. These three chemical releases are felt as "the wave" washes over you deadening the pain sensors in your body, while enhancing the sense of tingly pleasure most associate with sex of habitual drug use. It is this reason that the hypothesis of sexual addiction is now more then ever becoming a popular topic of psychological discussion.

    It is my view that as this country sheds its taboo view of human sexuality, more prevalent views of sex and sexual behavior will bare to light that this chemical rush, which occurs naturally, and with no side effects, is in fact more addicting then Heroin or cigarettes or alcohol, as all three produce similar chemical releases, leading to their addictive natures, yet they produce harmful side effects by adding toxins to the body.
  3. ReallyGreen

    ReallyGreen Member

    I am very much interested in the cause and effects of endorphins, adrenaline and serotonin have on persons in subspace, and how they might be used to enhance sex or sexual play. However my current education and research is along the lines of psychology and behavioural reactions, I very much intend to educate myself on biochemistry, chemical response, and psychiatric medicine when I have more time at my disposal.

    Can you recommend any good informative books on the subject of brain chemistry and sex, or on the subject of sex addiction?
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2009
  4. Sparrow69

    Sparrow69 Moderator

    Yes, as a matter of fact I can, and their both psychology books. Dr. Alfred Kinsey wrote "Sexual Behavior in the Human Male" and "Sexual Behavior in the Human Female" based on the study of human sexuality. They are also known as the "Kinsey Reports," and both talk about the physical effects that different sexual encounters have on the brain both short and long term.
  5. ReallyGreen

    ReallyGreen Member

    I read the Kinsey reports for introduction to aberrant sexual behaviour (well the book on male sexual behavior was required but 'female' wasn't so I read that later on break that year. Too many books, not enough class time). Very interesting reads, even to laymen.

    What I'd really like is to see real-time brain scans on persons in subspace or during BDSM sessions, but the current scientific research establishment still half view S&M as a valid excuse to institutionalize someone and so they waste perfectly good brain-scan machinery on boring things like meditation, prayer, and seizures.
  6. Sparrow69

    Sparrow69 Moderator

    Yes, that would be nice to see. I'm sure a privately funded research program could produce such results, and that may be the next step in the studies as to human sexuality and its addictive properties. I'll ask around and see if anyone knows of any testing conducted, or if anyone is interested in performing these tests. I'm sure their are plenty of willing test subjects.
  7. ReallyGreen

    ReallyGreen Member

    BTW. If anyone is interested in taking the class aberrant sexual behaviour be forwarned that it should have been called Seriel Killers: Sexual Fixations. I think half the class was spent on Gein and Dahmer but do you think they could have covered something mundane like foot fetishes? No! I guess if you have a fetish its not worth talking about until you've killed and eaten a few people. (To the credit of the college board this was about the time CSI first went on-air and criminology and forensic science were both high enrollment classes. Gotta play to the audience for that tuition money)

    It was a good, fun and informative class, but not really what i think it should have been covering.
  8. Sparrow69

    Sparrow69 Moderator

    I so loved that class... bu we did discuss fetishes and taboo deviant sexual behavior... and serial killers, but for some reason my teacher was fixated on bestiality... by the end of the class, we could pretty much figure she had a fetish of her own.
  9. ReallyGreen

    ReallyGreen Member

    My professor had a thing for teens wearing rubber. You wouldn't believe the Power Rangers gay fan-fiction that exists on the internet.
  10. Sparrow69

    Sparrow69 Moderator

    yes, yes i would.
  11. ReallyGreen

    ReallyGreen Member

    "Dong-zord strap attack! Pink Ranger Ho! Hi-Ya!"
  12. subspace

    subspace Member

    How did I miss this post? Must have been before my time. Very interesting discussion b/c I have been thinking lately that I rely too much on being in “subspace†in order to submit. I don’t think it is fair to my Top that it is so important to me and I should be able to submit to him no matter when or where we are and “subspace†should not be our focus. My Top is beginning to use subspace a reward for good behavior, in my book the rush from a good subspace session is better than any drug out there.
  13. pyroaquatic

    pyroaquatic Member

    in my opinion (other than sounding like something from a sci fi movie) subspace is sensory overload.

    it is a shame i have only experienced it once. that is where the trust comes into play because She could have commanded anything and i was quicker than a whip (flogger, whatever). However, she just applied ice cubes to the back she flogged for thirty minutes and it intensified the experience.
  14. subspace

    subspace Member

    Very interesting what you say about the ice cubes and sensory overload. My therapist has requested that I “ice dive†(dunk face into ice cold bowl of water) when feeling high anxiety instead of dealing with it in other ways. She said it is a natural way to reset your nervous system, interesting ehh?
  15. pyroaquatic

    pyroaquatic Member

    that is an excellent tip, with the ice cubes and all.

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