What is Sub-space?
It’s way of feeling, influenced by our biology.
In the context of BDSM “subspace” refers to a mental and emotional state experienced by some submissive individuals during a scene or play session. It’s a feeling of an altered state of consciousness, characterised by a profound sense of relaxation, euphoria, and detachment from the physical world.
We primarily consider it a psychological and emotional state, forgetting that it does have a direct biological effect.
Feelings of pleasure, transcendence, and emotional vulnerability.
The Science Bit
Subspace is often associated with a deep sense of trust, surrender, and an intense focus on the dominant partner or the dynamics of the scene. When a submissive person enters this emotional state, they trigger this biological response. A release of endorphins, adrenaline, and other neurochemicals that induce heightened feelings of pleasure, transcendence, and emotional vulnerability.
This neurochemical high can vary in intensity and duration. All BDSM players need to be aware of how to move forward, without a chemical crash.
Endorphins are natural pain-relieving and pleasure-inducing substances produced by the body. Endorphins can induce feelings of euphoria, relaxation, and a decreased sense of pain. This release of endorphins may contribute to the overall sense of well-being and pleasure experienced during subspace.
This release of endorphins may contribute to the overall sense of well-being and pleasure experienced during subspace.
Intense emotional and psychological experiences of being in subspace can trigger the release of adrenaline and other stress-related hormones. These particular hormonal responses can increase heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing rate. They may also enhance sensory perception and contribute to a feeling of an altered state of consciousness.
Because the individual biological response or experience is so varied some may have more pronounced physiological reactions. While others may experience a more subtle shift in their bodily sensations and barely sense a drop at all.
Help them by transitioning slowly back into a balanced state with a sense of security by providing physical contact, such as cuddling or holding them. This allows them time to relax, decompress, and regain their bearings. Avoid sudden changes or overwhelming stimuli.
Name it! Knowing that subspace drop is a normal part of the experience can help alleviate anxiety or self-blame if it does occur.
Supporting Someone Through Sub-Drop
It’s important to note that while subspace can be a positive and fulfilling experience for many individuals involved the joy of subspace will always be accompanied by a drop. Aftercare helps to stop this drop, guilt and shame from being so intense but sometimes a drop is inevitable.
To help someone while they experience it you must prioritise open and honest communication to ensure they feel supported and have an opportunity to express their thoughts and emotions. Offer comfort, validation, and actively listen without judgment.
Everyone’s experience with subspace and drop is unique, so it’s crucial to listen to the individual and adapt your support based on their specific needs. If drop symptoms persist or worsen, encourage the person to seek professional support from a therapist or counselor experienced in BDSM-related issues.
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