Saturday, December 31, 2011

Arousal vs. Subspace

If you read my blog it's probably safe to assume that your sexual interests fall somewhere outside of "the norm."  At times within the lifestyle (or fantasy of the lifestyle) there's a tendency to develop fetish and fantasy scenarios where the line between arousal and subspace triggers get blurred and they can seem almost inseparable.  This is usually way more confusing for me than for women. 

While one could argue it's impossible to generalize for everyone, most with a lot of experience within the BDSM realm tend to agree that this is true in most cases.  Male arousal is often equated to a light switch.  You're on or you're off.  Female arousal is closer to a pot of water on the stove (or a tea kettle), it must gradually heat up before it reaches a boil.  Subspace tends to manifest differently across the genders as well.  A female sub will usually fall into subspace first and then she gets aroused.  A male sub will usually get aroused first and then fall into subspace.  In many cases these happenings might be instantaneous and this is one root of potential confusion.

Some terminology I will use:

Turn on - something that instigates arousal or increases sexual desire/frustration if already aroused.  This includes erection attempts that are prevented by chastity.
Subspace trigger - something that initiates the sub's fall into subspace or increases the depth of subspace if he is already there.

The easiest way to separate arousal from subspace is to find a scenario where one is present but the other is not:  Stroking a sub's cock will make him aroused but it doesn't necessarily trigger subspace.

Trying to find a state of subspace without arousal is almost impossible.  A through and through submissive will likely put himself into subspace while masturbating. A sub that is performing an unpleasant chore with negative thoughts about it may simply picture his Domme's order or remember the potential consequences before he falls into a basic level of subspace and resigns himself to the task at hand (pleasing her/avoiding punishment begins to outweigh the unpleasantness of the chore).  Arousal accompanies this realization.

To summarize it simply: subspace always includes arousal, but arousal doesn't always include subspace. 

This leads us to the submissive loop.  You get aroused and are in subspace.  You go deeper into subspace and it makes you more aroused.  You get more aroused and it opens you up to deeper subspace.  They feed each other but jumping subspace levels may require some outside factors present (either in reality or in the sub's mind). 

Turn ons can take on many different forms.  While many of these are visual stimulation or fetish-related, they can also include personality characteristics or "reasons that we love her." 
A few examples:
-A particular hairstyle, style of make-up, perfume, or bodily characteristic.
-An article of clothing such as lingerie, boots, gloves, fetish apparel, etc.
-A seductive action, motion, or posture.

Subspace triggers vary greatly as well:
-A phrase or attitude indicating the D/s "roles" are now active.
-A command, activity, or ritual frequently performed in D/s play.
-Fetish related items such as bondage gear, spanking devices, etc.
-Emotional triggers such as humiliation, emasculation, depersonalization, pet names, etc.

If you have any amount of experience with your partner you likely have picked up on many of these and you can always grill them to get their list.  Having a sub write out his fantasies will often reveal most if not all of them.  Knowing these things can open many doors to exploiting male sexuality.

Any turn on can become a subspace trigger through association.  Include said turn on in D/s play regularly and even over a short period of time that turn on may become a subspace trigger.  This may happen already with certain things if a sub has a fantasy that pops into his mind upon seeing them. 

Most subspace triggers act as a turn on.  This is a bit more delicate since certain activities may appeal to a sub that is already in deep subspace but give no appeal if they are in a vanilla state.  However, the more experiences the sub has with that trigger, the more likely they are to respond favorably if confronted with it out of the gate. 

Since a lot of subspace triggers bring on both arousal and subspace, a sub can easily be mind fucked into thinking a trigger is a true stand alone turn on.  e.g. if pegging a sub puts him into a deep subspace, teasing him about getting a hard on from being ass raped will probably immediately put him into subspace, give him an erection and cause some emotional turmoil where he feels fucked up about it. 

Overall, being able to acknowledge the difference between turn ons and subspace triggers is probably the main point of this post.  They are quite different even if the result is the same.  I think there's a lot of novice subs out there that probably get freaked out at what gives them a hard on and maybe this will help them understand themselves a bit better.  There may be some novice Dommes out there that this may help shed some light on the inner-workings of the submissive mind/penis and provide some creative ways to fuck with a sub.

I have included a list of my own turn ons vs. subspace triggers in case you wanted additional examples.

My turn ons/fetishes:
-Breasts, thighs, curves.
-Eyes, lips, facial expressions.
-A woman's aggressive and dominant personality.
-Women wearing fur or fur-trimmed clothing.
-Women wearing certain styles of boots.
-Women wearing certain styles of gloves.
-The touch of fur.

My subspace triggers:
-Bondage: both restraining and ornamental (e.g. collars).
-Tease and denial or chastity.
-Inequality of power. 
-The removal of "true" choice and freedom.
-Expectations of perfection and strict consequences.
-Feeling inferior.
-Having actions or activities forced upon me.
-Justifications for cruelty (e.g. this is for your own good, you can't control your penis, etc.).
-Mind fucks.

New Year's Eve

Well, it's new year's eve but Mistress has to work tonight.

If you're alone and bored like I am, feel free to hit me up on my chat box.  If I'm AFK it may take a minute or two for me to respond but I should be on and off most of tonight.  I have a post I am working on as well as some drawings.

Kink, Society, and Emotional Damage

It's very common within the BDSM community to encounter others that have endured a significant amount of emotional damage over the years.  While there are those that just embrace kink with a clear conscience, these individuals are often the minority.

If you are new to the lifestyle or searching for a partner, it's good to keep this in mind.  

I have had a lot of Lesbian friends over the years.  I'm not really sure how it happened but the majority of my closest friends over the years have usually been women and I was usually someone they felt comfortable talking with, so even those that weren't publicly gay would still share that fact with me.  I have had a few homosexual male friends as well.  What's relevant about this is that I have seen a lot of similarities between homosexuality and those that engage in the D/s lifestyle.

We could debate nature vs. nurture into the ground but I have learned to accept a few things as being common across the two:
-No one really chooses to be this way.  It is just part of who we are.
-We can't make it "go away."
-There are those that know what they are naturally and those that "discover this" about themselves later on.

It is the last statement that is at the heart of this post.  Based upon my experiences with many people in the BDSM community as well as homosexuals of both gender, I have come to believe that there's two types of people in both lifestyles:
-People who were that way from day one (or as early as they can remember).  aka Nature.
-People who became that way over time in response to the experiences they had during their developmental years.  aka Nurture.

This means you will find Dominants and submissives both of a natural demeanor and those that have become this way as a result of external factors.  If you are lucky enough to find someone of a natural demeanor they will usually (but not always) carry less emotional baggage.

Something interesting I have found is that there are a lot of differences across genders in societal expectations and how those affect kink-role development.


-Women tend to be more in tune with themselves sexually at an earlier age.  They tend to accept themselves more easily.  It is easier for them to talk with close friends about their sexuality and kinky things without fear or being rejected or ostracized.  This puts them in a position to experiment and learn what they like and don't like through real world experience.  They are also more likely to accept any kink they might embrace and be secure with their sexuality.  

-Social norms and mores developed over the past two-thousand years in western society have only recently been challenged and are still in the process of changing.   The traditional women's role is one of holding a lesser station in life while being physically and intellectually inferior.  While this is becoming less common, it's still a frequent occurrence to find women that have been raised in this type of environment with feedback given by female authority figures echoing these sentiments.

-While society has done its best to give women equal opportunities and eliminate the "glass ceiling" it is far too profitable to keep women feeling insecure about their worth and appearance.  There is a constant pressure to be thin, wear expensive clothes and make-up, and impress with what you look like rather than who you are.  Basically, every attempt is made by commercialism to keep women's self-esteem low.


-Men are taught to be sexually insecure.  Religion teaches men to be ashamed when they masturbate.  Men have no one to talk with about their inner desires and kink.  They face sexuality alone and with constant fear of shame.  Men are more likely to spend much of their life feeling fucked up about being kinky.  He may fantasize about it for years before ever approaching it in reality.

-"Successful" men are attractive to the opposite sex.  Men are supposed to have sex with as many beautiful women as possible and try to be successful enough to bag a trophy wife. The men that do this are looked upon with respect and envy.  Sex is supposed to feel good and they are taught nothing of emotional connection or intimacy.  Men are supposed to value quantity of conquests over the quality of the experience.

-The appearance of a man's relationship is valued more highly than the actual substance of the relationship.  Men are taught that the fulfillment from sex should be from having sex itself. 

How these contribute to being dominant or submissive:

-The external factors faced by a confident women can cause a reaction that pushes her to reject the expectations of society.  She basically tells them to eat shit and now burns with an even greater fire to be in control.  This can serve as a "scale tipper" tilting her towards dominance (e.g. a man is no longer equal, but inferior).

-If a woman has her self-esteem broken down over time by external factors, she may look outward to determine her self-worth.  This can take two paths: 1. She accepts her inferiority and develops a submissive personality. 2. She fights against her insecurity and wants to be dominant (even if she is not).

-A man may wish to be dominant to be in control and to be free to interact with multiple partners.

-A man may flat out reject the societal expectations and focus on his sensitivity.  For some reason this usually tilts him towards submission.

-An insecure man may battle self-loathing for who he is vs. who he wants to be.  He may react in a couple of ways: 1. He will take out his anger and insecurity through dominance.  2. He gives in to the insecurity and becomes submissive.

Overall, while society has the ability to make a dominant woman more dominant, it also has the ability to rob her of that dominance.  It also does very little to build her up unless it's by her reaction and desire to be confident/dominant. 

While men are taught by society that it's good to be dominant, there is something to remember.  In a pack of wolves there is the alpha, the beta (the alpha's right hand man), the omega (the butt of every joke), and the rest of the pack (the majority), and there can only be one true alpha.  While they should all want to be dominant, very few are naturally dominant.  Everyone else is stuck in some no-man's-land limbo where there's expectations for who we should want to be and who we really are.

Societal expectations (and their effects on family) are something we experience pretty much every day of our lives.  It takes a long time to change us but that change is very real.  In most cases it isn't enough to steer someone to kink and their kink role but it almost always makes us predisposed to a particular kink role if the situation presents itself.

Trauma has the most immediate, significant, and long-lasting effects on a person.  It is the effects of trauma that I refer to as emotional damage.  Once it's there it's almost impossible to eliminate it and even if you can overcome it, you can never change the fact that it happened.  Emotional damage is often a large contributor to who we are and who we become in the future.

How emotional damage may affect a submissive:

-It is how a sub relates to love.  They crave abuse or to be controlled but want it to be done safely and in a loving relationship.  This is often the result of extended physical, sexual, or emotional abuse from parents or other close parties that "loved" them.

-It is what a sub has come to know and expect.  This is often rooted in a sub's self-worth and appeal to the opposite sex.  They have accepted their view of themselves and feel it is natural to be treated this way.  This is often the result of extensive discipline by a parent, humiliation in early sexual encounters, and emotional abuse.

-The sub feels like a weak person.  They feel they aren't strong enough to get by on their own and aren't smart enough to make wise decisions.  A dominant provides that direction for them.  This is often the result of extensive emotional abuse from parental figures.

-The sub feels sexually inadequate.  They believe this is the only way to please a person of the opposite sex and in turn the only way they will be loved.  This is often the result of repeated failures in dating and significant sexual humiliation during early experiences.

-Fear of abandonment.  The sub believes that any lover will leave them unless they succumb to their every desire.  This is often the result of being abandoned by loved ones and feeling at least partly responsible for it.

How emotional damage may affect a dominant:

-They must be in control.  A dominant may refuse to ever be in a situation where someone else holds control over them. This is often the result of being the victim of a violent or violent sexual attack.

-They refuse to be weak.  A dominant never wants to feel weak or helpless.  This is often the result of being the victim of a violent or violent sexual attack.  In other cases the parent they were closest to may have been the victim of extensive spousal abuse and just "put up with it."

-It is how a dominant relates to love.  They are "looking out for what is best for the sub."  If they view love as stern discipline that contributes to a person's overall well-being, development, and decision-making, this may be how they show love to someone else. 

-I hate all [gender]!.  They have had repeated and/or significant negative experiences with members of the opposite sex yet still find themselves sexually attracted to them.  This is often the result of being the victim of violent/violent sexual attacks or significant emotional abuse.

This is only a small sample of the possible situations where emotional damage has contributed towards someone's submission or dominance.  Not all individuals engaged in the D/s lifestyle will carry these kinds of wounds but they are very common.  Knowing how to deal with emotional damage can also serve as a balancing point for the other party in a yin/yang relationship and bring you closer together.  It may lead to some ups and downs along the way but these issues surface in vanilla dating as well.  I guess I just feel that D/s can be very cathartic for both parties if the right kind of complimentary relationship can be found.

Humiliation Boutique - New Sales 2 (caption drawing)

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Romantic Gestures and D/s

Below my hard shell of a cynical exterior, deep down I am a through-and-through romantic.  It was through chivalry and picturing the "perfect date" or "perfect evening" that I somehow groomed myself to a submissive mindset. 

This is a bit more difficult with D/s.  To an experienced Domme, "Romantic gestures" are often hard to perform, and even harder to find ways to have it be well-received.  This is because it's not really yours to offer, it's her's to take.  If you live in a world of established ritual and expectations, acting independently is often frowned upon. 

That doesn't mean we should stop trying.  Even when serving a strict micro-manager or uber-strict power Domme, it's still possible if you take the time to get to know what makes her tick.  This isn't always the easiest, but sometimes a certain look, saying a few simple words, or prostrating yourself in a certain way can really touch her heart.  I've always found these times to be the most rewarding in all of Femdom.  I can feel her love encircle me, her arms wrap around me as if saying "mine!" and her inner flame ignites into a blinding sun. 

I think the key to this is to vastly surpass her expectations and cater to her dominant and romantic triggers.  To find ways to give her something she never knew she wanted but loves it now that it's happened... this is never easy, but always rewarding when you succeed. 

I'm not quite sure how this looks from the outside.  Does it look like a sub over-stepping his bounds or is it more like a man madly in love and searching for new ways to show his love?  I do hope the latter as I hope this is more of a positive characteristic of mine rather than a negative trait.

Milking - Fetish and Submission Implications

This seems like a suitable follow-up topic for my last post.

For health reasons, the prostate must be discharged regularly.  The prostate will it regularly fill due to semen production but as it fills it will reduce the capacity of the bladder, causing more frequent urination.  Excessive backup can cause painful swelling of the testicles, prostate, and the plumbing that connects them.  In addition to normal build up, toxins will build up as well.  Regular discharge clears the prostate of said toxins and improves long-term health.

When long-term chastity and orgasm denial come into play, regular milking is recommended in place of normal ejaculation.  This is normally performed via prostate massage but it can be achieved in other ways, at least one of which can ruin the ability to orgasm naturally.

The appeal of milking in orgasm denial is that if done slowly and in the absence of stimulation to the penis, the prostate should discharge without an orgasm.  Sexual frustration will not be relieved and none of the post-orgasm sub-crash side effects will occur.   Since I have never been milked I cannot verify this through first-hand experience but those that practice this regularly seem to have found common results.  I have experienced non-anal milking techniques and can verify that the "slow dribble" semen discharge has the same reported results.

It's been only recently that I've really considered the possibility of being locked up in chastity for an extended period of time, so while milking has been something I've researched, it's not something that I've really thought about deeply on an emotional and submissive level. 

Looking at it now leads to a few "what if?" type fantasy questions and the potential psychological and submissive reaction.

Milking in itself is a bit humiliating and symbolic of deep dominance and submission.  The Domme wants to much to prevent you from achieving an orgasm but does value your health enough to keep your plumbing clean.  The thoughts that a man's sexual pleasure should be ignored, that his post-orgasm behavior is inferior so orgasms should be avoided, or that he should only cum while being violated all speak in some way to my submissive nature (my brain says no, my inner sub says yes).  The term "milking" itself conjures up images of a domesticated animal being drained of its fluids.

The penis as a flesh and blood dildo. 

Most Dommes I know prefer sex with an actual penis.  After a prostate milking a sub's cock can still be aroused, but it will supposedly take hours to days for it to recharge enough fluid to actually ejaculate.  So... after he is milked she can ride his cock for hours without worrying about him cumming and his unrelieved sexual frustration will grow and grow.  I can't really say much about this except that I think it's hot.

A mind fuck can be applied with this same knowledge.  If a chaste sub is promised a release and X number of minutes to jerk off and orgasm as many times as he can, milking him immediately before release will rob him of the orgasm and his attempts will be in vain, only contributing to his sexual frustration.

Creating an association. 

If a sub is only allowed any form of ejaculation (with or without an orgasm) through prostate stimulation it seems likely that a fetish association would develop over time.  In these cases the sub may equate ejaculation with anal violation and begin craving that as his primary means of sexual relief.  This would be quite a mind fuck to turn a man who once craved sex into a sub that shakes his ass and wants to be pegged via strap on.  I doubt many Dommes would actually want this to happen, but I'm sure there are at least a handful. 

A different kind of association.

This might seem a little bit unfair in some ways, but if enough negative reinforcement were placed on a sub's post-orgasm behavior, and his deeply submissive state while mired in prolonged sexual frustration were to be positively reinforced, it could be possible to make a sub actually prefer to denied orgasm.  I think this is a two-sided coin in that I would guess that a Domme would be proud of a sub's self-control if he preferred to serve her well without an orgasm.  On the flip-side, a sub that doesn't crave an orgasm is probably a bit boring and less fun to fuck with.

Putting it all together.

What I can realistically gather from these ideas are that in most cases, turning the sub's cock into a human dildo of great endurance is probably a good thing, yet reducing the sub to an ass slut or robbing a sub's desire to orgasm probably aren't desirable outcomes.  Thus, there is a delicate balance to find. 

From what I can gather:
-A sub should receive enough penile stimulation or actual orgasms (even if infrequent) to keep him craving them. He can be kept further off balance if shame is associated with actual stimulation or orgasm.

-Milking should be unpleasant.  This can cover both physical and emotional angles.  Uncomfortable restraints, a ritual beating before and/or after, and humiliation could see to that outcome. 

-Chastity periods between orgasm should be of a known duration.  That's not to say that the duration can't change due to reward or punishment, but having a set date will keep the sub's anticipation for his next orgasm up and prevent him from defaulting into an undesirable state.

As a sub, I can say that my deep subspace persona starts to hate itself both immediately before and after climax for my loss of focus and obedience.  This gives milking some appeal when thinking as a sub.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Revisiting Chastity

I know I have posted about chastity in the past and it seems to surface every so often.  I had a chat the other day with an ex-Mistress.  We parted on okay terms so it's nice every now and then to chat.  It's also interesting to note how we have both changed over the years.  She has remained extremely dominant for many many years but something that she has developed more recently (since our relationship ended) is mandatory chastity.  We toyed with it a bit when we were together but due to significant discomfort we reserved the chastity device for play and I was on the honor system when she wasn't present.

We only talk every few months or so but she has gotten more and more hard line on this topic as time has progressed.  Her stance is that an erect penis makes all boys naughty. A good sub isn't naughty.  Sexual frustration and desperation increase obedience.  To have a well-behaved and extremely obedient sub he should be kept locked in chastity.

To be honest, when she first started gravitating this way she started to scare the shit out of me... the strength of her belief had become unshakable and enforced chastity became a major turn on for her.  I honestly think that if her (now an adult) son were 13 years old again in the present tense, she would probably have locked him up and waited until he had a girlfriend to whom she would have given the key under the direction that he should only unlock him if he's been obedient.

She is not someone that believes in permanent chastity.  She enjoys watching a penis throb in anticipation. She enjoys watching a male orgasm.  She enjoys intercourse with a live human cock that is still attached to a man's body.  She's not anti-cock. She's not the type that would make a device permanent with welding or epoxy.  She just thinks a cock should be locked up, but that it should also be released (when it deserves to be).   If you talk to her about chastity she talks like it should be as natural as eating, breathing, and regular personal hygiene. 

I can see how I have changed because she's no longer scary.  Chastity plays heavily into my subspace triggers and some of my more major turn-ons (e.g. humiliation via teasing and taunting).  That being said, I generally love to orgasm, which turns me into an oxy-moron and I would not classify myself as a chastity enthusiast.

A few things are standing out to me now that didn't before.  I believe that the reason chastity turns her on is because she would only deal with subs that want to get erect and want to orgasm.  It gets her off to take that away, especially if he hates it.  Yes, she is of the "loves it because he hates it" disposition.  Coincidentally, my own submission is strongly drawn to the "she loves it because he hates it" style of dominance and I feel like this is starting to create an erotic chastity association with me. 

The other thing is that I haven't been in true subspace very often over the past two years.  I have been able to self-induce it through fantasy but the lack of a D/s dynamic in our current relationship has made these deep, rewarding experiences few and far between.  What I have found lately is that if I finally reach a deep level of subspace when it gets time to cum, I almost beg not to as I am hit in the face by the realization that this feeling will crash and it will be an indefinite amount of time before it happens again.  All of a sudden long-term orgasm denial has become appealing since I can keep my submissive feelings and obedience for a longer period of time. 

It kind of makes me feel fucked up when I think about it.

Slave Competition Game #8 - Hold the Books

This will probably be my last game idea unless inspiration strikes.  Dealing with my dysfunctional family this week has led me to a rather dismal state of mind.  Please forgive the piss poor drawing, it's only meant for example.

This is a variation of the bell game I posted as a comment on Lady Grey's post, Roadblocks.

I'm going to go ahead and pull out all the stops here and include all of the variations to increase difficulty as part of the idea, so this could be made as easy or difficult as you would want it to based upon what gets included and excluded.

-Collar with jingle bells hanging from it (or a snug fitting elastic choker with bells)
-Wrist and ankle cuffs with jingle bells hanging from them (or snug fitting elastic with bells)
-Nipple clamps with jingle bells hanging from them.
-Ball parachute with an attached weight and jingle bells.
-2+ large heavy books.  Phone books are probably the safest and they are free.

-Have the subs stand with their legs spread (the wider they are spread the harder this will be) and their arms extended outwards and their palms facing upward. 

-Place 1 or more books on each hand. 

-The subs are to hold the books at shoulder height and stay still.  If a book is dropped on the floor or lowered below the nipples they are disqualified.

-If a bell rings the sub will receive a quick stinging swat with a crop to each ass cheek.  If a bell rings while receiving the swat they shall get another swat until they can sturdy themselves enough to take a swat without ringing a bell. (Swats with items heavy enough to move the sub's center of gravity will probably make them drop the books right away so a lighter spanking tool is recommended). 

-The last sub holding their books up wins. 

Slave Competition Game #7 - Human Crane

-Dangle a strong magnet by a string from the bottom of a ball parachute so that it is roughly ~14-16" from the floor. Strong magnets can be found at science supply stores or a larger object such as a magnet bar designed to hold kitchen knives to the wall could be used. 

-Place ~5 metal objects on the floor that will conduct magnetism.  They can be of varying sizes and weights or all the same.  Heavier will cause more strain, smaller will be more difficult to pick up.  Fishing weights would be relatively inexpensive and be both heavy and small, but I'm not sure if they would all conduct magnetism.

-Restrain the sub's hands behind his back.

-Star a timer.

-The sub must hover over the object on the floor and squat down low enough to have the magnet touch the object and pick the object up.

-The sub that picks up all of the items off the floor in the fastest time, wins.

-If a sub falls down or his knee or butt touches the ground he will be disqualified. 

-For added difficulty items like nipple clamps or clothes pins will make it more difficult to concentrate.  A posture collar would make it more difficult for the sub to see the objects on the floor with any amount of precision so he may have to scoot around while squatting.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Just what is subspace?

I received a request to try and adequately describe what subspace is.  I'm not sure if I can do this or not, but I'm going to give it a try.  While there may be some medical connection of subspace to the production of certain brain chemicals and those brain chemicals may have some addictive qualities, I'm not well-versed enough in what those may be so I'm going to steer clear of it for now and it probably isn't really relevant to this post anyways.

Subspace reduces someone to a child-like state of focus.  In this state the Domme becomes the sub's whole world in the same way that a young child might feel like his parents are the whole world.

He will define himself in terms of her.  Her behavior towards him and her reactions to his actions will determine how he feels about himself.  The morality of this world is determined by what brings her pleasure and displeasure.   

The feelings are difficult to describe but it's like your soul is overwhelmed by your love for her and the only thing that matters is what she desires.  It is a total surrender to her will.  In this state the world makes total sense.

While subspace and arousal are heavily linked, they are not the same thing.  e.g. Rubbing a man's cock will get him aroused but it doesn't mean he's in subspace.  Once subspace is introduced, arousal and subspace can often feed one another in a loop with deeper subspace leading to greater arousal and greater arousal leading to deeper subspace. 

Subspace has varying degrees at any time that can be "shallow" or "deep" depending upon the situation.  It's a lot like being drunk.

Early levels: Willing surrender (equivalent to being tipsy).
Middle levels: Desperation to please (equivalent to being drunk).
Deeper levels: Loss of self and independence (equivalent to being wasted). 

No subspace at all is the equivalent of being sober.
**Note: I am not comparing subspace to intoxication, just that the intensity of subspace varies from mild to extreme in a similar way and it is usually a process of moving deeper or more shallow. 

Environmental variables have a lot of control over subspace.  These are often symbolic or developed through association but they can be used to trigger subspace or deepen it.  A collar is an easy example of this.  If a Domme orders the sub to get his collar it may trigger an immediate drop into subspace or push him into deeper levels of subspace.  Rules and fear of punishment can also trigger subspace even if the Domme isn't immediately present.  With certain things in place, it's possible to create a subspace loop without that will perpetuate itself within the sub.

Depth of subspace often affects what a sub is willing to endure and enjoy. If deeper levels of subspace are reached, the sub is more likely to willingly submit to more extreme/intense activities.  He may hate something physically but love it emotionally because of subspace.  If he is in an earlier stage of subspace he may (want to) reject an activity outright but when in deeper stages of subspace it may turn him on.  The deeper the subspace, the narrower his vision will become and at its deepest stages, he can only see her. 

Orgasms can affect the difficulty of achieving subspace.  The more recent the orgasm, the more difficult it can be to return to subspace and reach its deeper levels.  This is why many Dommes create a post-orgasm ritual or activity to eliminate or reduce this down time. 

Subspace can be addictive. A sub may not only crave to be in subspace, but as he progresses, he will inevitably desire ever deepening levels of subspace.  Ideally this progression will mirror the Domme's desire to escalate their D/s relationship to greater levels but this is not always the case. 

Overall, I guess subspace could be described as the intensity of emotional surrender a sub feels towards his Domme.

And yes... this post was woefully inadequate at capturing just what makes the feeling of subspace so "magical."

Dominant Anger vs. Out of Control Emotion

There is a fine line when discipline becomes abuse.  The defining characteristic between the two often stems from the state of mind a Domme is in when they occur.  Symbolically, this serves as a strong representation of dominance vs. bitchiness. 

There's a lot of women out there that will throw a fit if they don't get their way.  These are usually vanilla couples but the woman finds ways to break her man down over time until his behavior resembles submission.  I'm sure you have all seen this before, but I'm also sure that you wouldn't describe these women as "dominant." 

I often describe this contrast as "Queen vs. Princess," and I feel this serves as the dividing line between discipline/punishment and abuse.  A Queen rules calmly.  She may be strict and punish severely for rules infractions, but it is governed by principles.  When she is wronged she voices her displeasure and may manifest that displeasure through physical punishment. A Princess is a slave to her emotions.  When they erupt she reacts immediately and without restraint.  Simple displeasure may appear as anger and hatred until her mood calms. 

This has great implications when looking at the D/s dynamic. 

The calm Queen exerts dominance.  A sub's natural response is submission and order is restored.
The explosive Princess throws tantrums.  A sub's natural response to her attacks is defensiveness and fear. 

This is not to say that a Domme can't lose her cool, but ideally this is either a special case, isolated incident, or something that has been "built up to" through D/s interaction.  If a sub makes a chronic mistake for say, the tenth time and it has something the Domme has actively tried to correct, it is reasonable to assume that her intense disappointment will likely bring about a stronger reaction than if this was the first occurrence of an accidental oversight by the sub.  If she is in the act of punishing and releasing some pent up anger over a sub's infractions, for her to lose herself in the moment and build intensity as she goes, this isn't necessarily a bad thing and it will often lead to some of the more intimate and rewarding D/s activities in its aftermath.  These activities generally contribute to the overall D/s dynamic of the relationship.  While the Domme may be hurting the submissive, her love protects any serious damage from happening on both an emotional and physical level.

When out-of-control emotions take over from the start, the end result is usually damaging to the relationship and these are the cases where abuse can surface. 

Gift Giving

I love to give gifts and I am often given credit as being a great gift giver so I thought I would share my thoughts on giving gifts.  I realize this would have been a more useful post a few days/weeks ago, but the inspiration didn't hit me until last night.

It's the thought that counts.   That being said, it's important to remember, it's the thought that counts. 

DO NOT give... a vegetarian a gift certificate to a steakhouse, a recovering alcoholic a membership in a beer/wine of the month club, a paraplegic tap dancing shoes, a deaf person an ipod, or a blind person a new TV.  This kind of gifting falls into the category of "thoughtless" and will undoubtedly hurt feelings.  Some of these examples might seem extreme, but there's tons of lesser examples that fall into this category as well.

DO NOT give a gift that implies a not-so-subtle HINT unless you know damn well it is consistent with what they actually want.  e.g. don't give a smoker nicotine patches unless they've said they are actively trying to quit, don't give a woman a membership in a weight loss meal club unless they've said they wanted that, a balding man a hair club membership unless they've said that they wanted that, etc.  While you might think you have their best interests in mind, it's insensitive, shitty, and passive aggressive.  You are projecting what you think they'd want when in actuality you are hurting their feelings.

It's the thought that counts is hard to adhere to unless you think about what the implied thought actually is.  This thought shouldn't be what you think they should be, but an understanding of who they are and what they like. 

As you get older people are less likely to say "I want X or Y," and this is why it's often easier to shop for children.  Giving a good gift is easy even though it might seem difficult.  The more time you spend with someone the easier it is to find the perfect specific gift.  For people you see infrequently (such as extended family) your gift will rarely be perfect, but it can be very good by simply exercising your existing knowledge of their interests and translating that to gift form.

Distant in-law #1 you know loves to micro-brew.  You have no idea about micro-brewing.  A gift certificate to an online store specializing in micro-brewing supplies and ingredients will be superior to a gift certificate to Kohls. 

In-law #2 has a serious collection of art-house films on DVD/Blu-Ray.  You have no idea what they have and don't have.  A gift certificate to a store that stocks Criterion collection movies (such as Barnes & Noble or an online store), to a local theater that specializes in independent and foreign films, or even a Netflix subscription (if they already have one it will just stack on their current subscription and save them money) should go over better than getting them something completely unrelated or taking a stab in the dark on a movie they may already own or didn't like. 

When all else fails, you can always ask.

For people you see more frequently this can be a lot easier since you have a regular glimpse into their day to day life. A good gift for them splits into three categories:
1. Something you know they want (and/or related items).
2. Something you know they need but haven't purchased for themselves.
3. Something that shows that you know them and what they like.

#3 is basically the same as my previous examples.

#2 probably won't seem as appreciated right off the bat but you will likely get repeated thank you's down the line.  e.g. if you know they eat a lot of rice but generally boil it on the stove, a rice cooker is an easy gift that just about everyone can use and appreciate.  If you share rides and know their windshield wipers suck, drop for a pair of top of the line Bosch Icon wipers (make sure you get the year/model of their car before doing this). 

#1 is easy since it's already been known.  If you plan to get them more than you know they already want or you know someone is already getting them the "big" one, build off of that idea.  If she wanted a specific coat, in addition to the coat go after a matching hat, scarf, and gloves that are consistent with her style.  If he wanted a Dewalt Cordless drill, an extra battery and charging station always comes in handy.  These serve as a great complimentary gift and will make them think of you each time they use the item, even if you weren't the one that bought the big one. 

Re-gifting a bad gift or gifting something you got for free only works if the item is perfect for someone else or you really don't care what they think of you.

Remember that it's the thought that counts... but it's the thought that counts.  I received a bottle of booze from my relatives for the fourth consecutive year this year when I haven't had a drink in over 10 years and haven't had more than 1 drink in a sitting in over 15 years... and earlier this year I even told them that I don't drink at all when they wondered why I wasn't having wine with dinner.  At least booze can usually be re-gifted without hurting anyone's feelings but my own.

If you are a sub buying a gift for your Mistress, it's usually not recommended to buy any BDSM gear unless she picked something out that she specifically wanted.  Submissive fantasies often skew the gifting process if you choose one on your own.