Saturday, June 4, 2016

Personal subspace? Is it unique?

With this post I'm not referring to specific kinks or fetishes.  I am thinking about subspace and its associated feelings.  Just as feeling "happy" is caused by many different reasons in many different people, the basic feeling of "happy" or "joy" is usually described similarly.  The same can be said of sadness, varying causes for similar feelings.

I tend to view subspace as a spectrum.  You have your shallow emd and your deep end.  I believe that subs tend to crave a "comfort zone" within this spectrum that generally matches up with their desires, kinks, and fantasies.  For example, a sub that wants D/s in a "bedroom only" environment likely lingers in the shallow end.  A sub that craves intense and depersonalized TPE type slavery falling into the deeper end.  I believe the majority of subs fall between the extremes, probably somewhere between the 25% and 75% marks of those two extremes.

There are quite a bit of reaources out there describing subspace but the majority of the popular resources are focused upon female subs.  I'm not going to try and argue the differences between submission by gender, but I have found the sexual and paychological connections are frequently wired a bit differently for subs falling in the middle half of the spectrum.

As for male subs... I pretty much have myself as a reference point.  I have been told many times over that I'm "different" than most, but I rarely get a complete answer as to how or why so I have no clue if my views represent "most subs."

What I notice is that the deprh of my subspace shifts quite a bit based upon actions, environment, strictness, and so on.  I'm guessing this is quite common.  Mild dominance = mild subspace.  Intense dominance = deeper subspace.

For the "shifters" out there, or Dommes who have experience with subs that shift and adapt as needed, do you find the submissive personality changes when you are pushed sufficiently deep?

I find that in its shallow form, I'm basically an attentive amd doting boyfriend that notices everything and focuses my attention upon her.  I cam converse, have a strong sense of humor, tease a bit, and am quite functional.  In these cases I connect to bondage and body worship as my deiving factors.

As I progress deeper, things change quite a bit.  My thoughts adjust so that I am no longer included in them, e.g. "What would she like?"  "What would make her happy?" And so on.  There is no "I" anymore.  In this middle state I can anticipate needs, take care of anything without complaint and abide by whatever rules she sets out.  In these cases I connect to domestic servitude, corporal punishment, CFNM, and the like.

At my deepest levels, everything changes.  My persona basically strips down to 3 emotions: fear, remorse, and love.  I love her and will do anything for her.  I fear her and what she will do to me If I disappoint her.  I feel remorse upon disappointing her and receiving punishment.   My entire sense of morality changes: right and wrong become pleases her and displeases her.  While this deep I can barely speak.  My voice is tiny and timid.  I require rituals to act "independently" but require commands or instructions for just about anything else.  All I can think about is her and pleasing her.  In these cases I connect strongly to humiliation, speech and eye contact restrictions, rituals, pain, and helplessness.  
Another interesting aspect is that the kinks I that affect me most profiundly are not what I connect to while in a "comfort zone," they are the things that pull me out of a comfort zone and force me deeper down the spectrum.

Is this normal?  Is this different?  Any thoughts or feedback?  There are times when I feel like I have 3-4 different subs inside of me.

As a random note, I refer to its depth because that's sort of what it feels like.  Being dragged into the depths, light slowly fading away, eventually surrounded by darkness at the bottom.


  1. Interesting....

    I had to re-read the description of your deepest level multiple times because the way I think of my deepest levels is different.

    I believe these "levels" are normal. Given the psychological/emotional repercussions of deep(er) D/s I think they are to be expected.

    For me, I can’t quite decide, but I think my deepest level is your middle level in which there is no “me.”

    When I’m at that place, because there is no “me” my sense of morality does change, as you said, “right and wrong becomes what pleases/displeases her.” But that is what you describe as the deepest level.

    The fact that my morality changes is part of my ego-death (using a term which I feel is accurate if a bit extreme.) It feels “right” as part of the loss of self, but to have my morality replaced by hers is extremely disturbing to me.

    At times I also experience the other aspects you’ve described: the fear, remorse and love. And I require direction for anything other than service-rituals. But, for me, I don’t think of this as the deepest level, I think of this as mostly a transition place as I struggle with the ego-death which is the deepest level for me.

    Sometimes I go from my first level, directly to my last level. Other times, I may spend quite a bit of time in the second level which is quite emotionally difficult for me, often annoying for her, and not the optimal place for me to be of service. She usually deals with this by distancing herself until this phase passes.

    Again, just for me, I’m not sure if my “second” level really is a second level or kind of an alternate level as I resolve inner conflicts about my loss of self.

    I’m not sure if I’m communicating very clearly...metaphysics is often that way. ;)

    Also for me, these levels typically remain (with some smaller variations) for days, weeks, or months at a time, not for an hour or so.

    I think we all have different personas within us, it is just part of human nature.

    My guess (based on a sample of one or two ;) ) is that these "levels" are normal.

    1. Thank you very much. I have done an edit to change "the deepest levels" to "my deepest levels." Ego-death is a great way to describe the feeling. The struggles and inner conflicts you speak of are what I consider to be part of the transition process from shifting between levels. I feel those vividly as they are happening. Like the ego is being strangled or is bleeding to death. There is a very good chance that my "middle levels" are in fact the transition process, but I've been sustained in those feelings for extended periods. My annoying behaviors happen in my shallow level and abruptly cease upon transitioning.

      In regards to communicating this, I am picking up what you are putting down :)

      I am envious you are able to sustain levels. I will occasionally get bounced around them pretty easily, especially if I have to take a work call and snap back into alpha mode. It requires triggers or processes to push me back down.

      Since you hint at another level even deeper, can you describe it at all? I know that I don't ever quite hit full on "slavespace."

      As I read your line on morality replacement it made me think of a movie or television show where the antagonist is a woman in power and her direct male subordinate goes to very unscrupulous means to achieve her will. It almost feels like that is the "worst case scenario" for this type of situation.

      It makes me very happy to find I'm not the only one that notices different levels. Generally the subs I interact with tend to have 1 comfort zone they do not wish to stray from. This is either "kinky and horny" or as a domestic servant.

    2. I wanted to thank you for your blog in general and for this topic in particular. :)

      It is so rare to find thoughts and feelings about the deeper aspect of D/s.

      I completely agree that the struggles and inner conflicts are part of the transition process from shifting between levels. Even though it is transition, I too find the struggles and inner conflicts can go on for weeks at a time. It is quite painful.

      I don’t know if it is desirable or not that I sustain levels. There are ways in which it wonderful that I do so. There is an extended place where I feel maximally alive, unlike anything else I have ever experienced--colors are brighter, etc. and it can last for weeks or months. It is very addicting. I crave returning to that (I haven’t been in a D/s relationship for several years.) The flip-side is that I fear the consequences of what happens when the relationship turns.

      I don’t know if such extreme levels of submission create a human dynamic which is ultimately unstable. In any event the kind of pain is soul-disturbing or “self-disturbing” in ways that I believe no vanilla break-up can ever be.

      It has been a number of years now and I still can’t decide how or if I want to proceed.

      I was able to be in my alpha mode at work without it affecting my sense of myself because I saw it as just a role I was performing and so it didn’t alter my sense of myself in relation to her.

      I didn’t mean to suggest there is a deeper level still for me. For me the deepest level was being ego-less (in the sense of my only sense of self is in terms of maximal service to her, as defined by her.)

      I too have been described as being different than most, and as you’ve mentioned, I never got a complete answer. What I’ve surmised (and I think I’m right, though never completely certain) is that I take the power exchange in a deeper way than most. For me it becomes a type of religious experience (as William James explored in “The Varieties of Religious Experience.”) There is a tendency to make judgments about well everything. ;)

      I don’t believe that my need to seek such deep levels says anything better about me. And in many ways I wish I didn’t have such a deep void within me that causes me to seek such levels.

    3. Thank you again, Watson. I agree that there isn't much out there delving into these deeper spaces. My gut tells me that most subs who spend a lot of time there probably aren't on computers :)

      Your fears are very real. It is addicting to feel this way. If things go south, it is soul-shattering. I've had it ripped out from under me a couple of times and it leaves you feeling decimated and empty. I think the ability to sustain it requires a Domme that is VERY in tune, in control (of herself and you), and with a clear vision of her own fantasy life.

      You are lucky that you were able to switch on and off your alpha like that without over-writing what was going on underneath. I have yet to develop that skill.

      Thank you for clarifying the bottom level for you. I've heard people talk about reaching a state of detaching that seems yet deeper, but that seems more like trauma coping to me and I have yet to experience it in D/s.

      Your last 2 paragraphs resonate with me on a very deep level. I've met Dommes that have hated it and ones that have loved it. What I have been able to piece together is that I'm able to "truly let go" of the ego, while many cannot or will not do that. I think that is the "deeper way than most" that you speak of.

      I think what scares me the most is that I know I cannot be truly happy without this.

  2. An interesting post. I really liked your pool analogy FS. I think it works quite well and is akin to the transition that my mind goes through as I sink into it. I'm sure that I've never been in the deep end, much as I might like to. I know when I'm in the water, to use your analogy, I get very "floatie". I never really thought about it as water, but more of a mind body disassociation in the clouds. When I am there my conscious brain is gone and I only strive to please her and would submit to anything she requires of me. I can also become hyper sexual and want to be used to the extreme--giving over. To prove the love you spoke of, and devotion, perhaps.

    I know, and my Mistress definitely knows, that my nipples are immediate switches to that space. Just a pinch an a twist and I'm on my way there. I'm reminded of a movie scene, I'm pretty sure it's from "Wild at Heart" where Willem Defoe grabs Laura Dern's nipple and pinches it very hard; the camera lingers--makes me squirm.

    There are of course many other things that my Mistress does to take me there. Verbally taking charge will often do it. For example, just the other day we were out for a walk in the woods and out of the blue she told me to take all my clothes off. I didn't hesitate and removed everything, you mentioned CFNM. I was told to walk home that way carrying my clothes. I was very quickly transported into subspace, and floated home.

    I'm not sure what you mean when you say?
    "Another interesting aspect is that the kinks I that affect me most profiundly are not what I connect to while in a "comfort zone," they are the things that pull me out of a comfort zone and force me deeper down the spectrum."

    I live as a girl while at home, and that effectively keeps me in a shallow subspace. Is that your comfort zone?

    1. Thank you very much.

      I strongly feel the desire to be useful (e.g. used for pleasure) but it often stops after leaving the middle states.

      It's interesting you bring up nipples... I actually just had a conversation about this yesterday. My nipples serve as triggers as well, but it heavily depends on how they are treated. If it's pleasing, I "stay" where I'm at. If they are tortured, I go deeper. I believe in one of my chapters from fs01 I wrote a scene as "she teases his nipples she's like adjusting a radio" or something like that. I have been conditioned to only be able to orgasm if my nipples are stimulated (something r from eMs sub has stated as well). Being told that is pathetic tends to drag me deeper as well. I will have to watch Wild at Heart again. It's on my movie rack but I haven't watched it in 20 years. I don't come across many Lynch fans unless I mention Twin Peaks.

      I do find it interesting that you are able to enter such a deep level so quickly. I have a struggle with ego-death like Waton (watson I'm guessing) described where I offer resistance that must be broken first.

      I will answer your last two questions together. Being forced to dress takes me out of my comfort zone until I reach my deepest space. It pushes me into a state of nearly constant self-consciousness and shame that doesn't go away until shame is completely outweighed by her desires. Adding a hat is enough to take me from shallow to middle. Keep piling it on and I am slowly beaten down into deep. I crave this process of being beaten down if that makes any sense. Forced Fem is part of that. If I go from shallow to fully dressed, it just makes the beat down happen faster. I hope that makes sense.

  3. Thank you everyone for the very thorough and in-depth replies. It makes me very happy that a thought I had 5 minutes before I went to bed generated some of the best responses I've ever received from other subs. I will reply to each set of comments individually.