In the past couple of weeks I have been helping a number of people with the same subject and I figured it would be worth making a post of it.
For the sake of ease, I’m going to make use of my own version of the term “subspace” that I have used for years because I will go crazy if I have to continuously type “submissive mental space” to contrast that against the endorphin high definition you find in most guides. So for the sake of this post, if I write subspace, I mean submissive mental space.
Another key point here is that there are noun and adjective versions of these words:
- submissive the adjective = ready to conform to the authority or will of others; meekly obedient or passive.
- submissive the noun = a person who submits to another (in this context, to a dominant).
- dominant the adjective = important, powerful, or influential.
- dominant the noun = a person who dominates another (in this context, over a submissive).
Subspace is an altered mental space that falls at the core of submission. It is not a mindset. It is not a feeling. It is a different persona within you that is separate from your rational vanilla self. Subspace is more easily noticeable in submissives that have a strong vanilla persona, but even people with shy or subdued vanilla personas still have a subspace. It is separate and it is different from who you are in public. e.g. alpha CEO by day, submissive/slave behind closed doors is an extreme example.
Two things stand out about subspace:
- It is sexual. You will be aroused.
- It rewrites the way that you behave, process information, and perceive the world.
Arousal is often the great differentiating point between someone that has a “submissive personality” vs. someone that is “feeling like a submissive.” When you enter subspace, you will be aroused.
The rewriting of perception is a bit different and harder to describe. It’s easier to illustrate it with an example. The dominant orders you to kneel and places a collar around your neck. You get hit with a wave of emotion and fall into subspace. When in subspace, the dominant may seem so much bigger and more important than before. You might feel smaller. Their words carry more weight. You lose your ability to resist. If they scold you, you feel bad and want to cry (whereas in your vanilla person you might tell them to fuck off). Your desires shift to be pleasing to them and see them happy. You find yourself aching for their approval. Right and wrong become something else. The rest of the world seems unimportant.
Have you ever felt anything like that before? If yes, you have experienced subspace. You became someone else. Your submissive self.
Discovering how your submissive self works is a matter of understanding the boundaries of your subspace as well as its triggers. While I have written about triggers recently, a brief breakdown is that subspace triggers are acts, words, phrases, rituals, rules, ideas, objects, environments that cause you to shift into subspace from your vanilla persona.
In most cases, these triggers will either be related to a particular fetish, trauma, or they can also be rooted in themes/symbols. A collar symbolizing control and ownership. A kneeling ritual to symbolize status and devotion. A type of embrace to show protection and care. A forceful command. An embarrassing act. Often, the verbal reminder of why an act is being performed is enough. These “speak to” your submission and can do anything from nudge you to shove you into subspace.
A continuous use of triggers over an extended period of time can ensure that a sub will remain in subspace or even fall deeper into it. Done right, it requires minimal work and there are ways to make it self-perpetuating. If a collar drives their subspace, attach a bell and tell them that every time they hear it jingle they are supposed to remember that they are owned. This may very well keep them fully immersed in subspace even in the absence of directly dominant acts.
On the other side of the coin are dominants. Dominants, like submissives, also have a dominant mental space (domspace) which is separate from their vanilla persona. This explains how a dominant can be mild, gentle, and polite as their vanilla self and intense and sadistic in their dominant persona.
Also similar to subspace, domspace involves arousal and emergence of a dominant persona. This may be harder to notice in someone who has an alpha vanilla persona, but this is where they become a dominant instead of just having a dominant personality.
Domspace can also have triggers that will assist in or fully activate their dominant persona. These often just fall into things they like to do or rules they may have chosen to cater to their domspace, but a submissive can also attempt to forcibly activate their domspace if they know their triggers.
I would try to write more about domspace triggers but seeing as I don’t have a domspace, I feel I am better off keeping it as general as I can.
Finding out your individual spaces and their triggers can take some time. It can take longer if your subspace or domspace run very closely to your vanilla personas. It is also very valuable for a submissive to share as much knowledge of their subspace triggers with the dominant as they can. This is sometimes a difficult and embarrassing thing to do, but dominants aren’t mind-readers and giving them the confidence to be dominant works a lot better than having them guess through trial and error.
Dominants may wish to keep some feeling of mystery and avoid sharing their triggers with the submissive. However, in cases where dominants and submissives seem to have trouble finding their footing together, especially with newer or inexperienced dominants, it may be wise for them to share the way their space works with their sub. That way the submissive can try to provide an environment that is conducive to the dominant’s domspace.
Hopefully someone will find this helpful.