For me, seeing The Girl in subspace is one of the most beautiful and fulfilling experiences I have.
Taking my sub there, ensuring she gets the best from it is both a responsibility and a joy. The better I can make it for her, the better it is for me. The better I understand it, the better I can make it.
This is one of the areas that my professional knowledge helps me. Knowing the physiological responses I’m inducing enables me to control them, heighten them, or regulate them. Taking the time to know my sub and her responses so well has enabled me to hasten or slow her descent into subspace, to keep her there, or allow her to return from it. Even so, I’m pleased to say there are still surprises, much to learn.
So, what is happening? Bear with me…
There you are, a beautiful gazelle living on the savanna. Wandering around, minding your own business when all of a sudden you feel the heavy thump of a predator’s paw on your rump, and it hurts. Has your flesh been torn off, your leg broken? It doesn’t matter, one of two things are going to happen in the next few minutes: You’re going to run away, or you’re going to get eaten. What you need right now is a hormone in your system that can raise your pain threshold for those few minutes. It’ll either help you ignore the pain while you run. Or ignore the pain while you get eaten.
That’ll help, too, rushing into the parts of your body you need to use right now, helping you to run, focussing your little gazelle mind in the task at hand.
You can see quite quickly how these two hormones provided a survival advantage, why they evolved.
Before the descent into subspace a sub has a latent loading of adrenalin, manifesting as arousal. During play, primarily impact play, a Dom can induce the release of endorphins.
The endorphins raise her pain threshold, so to maintain subspace firmer impacts are needed. Rush in too quickly, though, and the endorphin dump wil be too large, mistakes too jarring and subspace lost and subdrop deeper.
Deepening subspace gradually, controlling the releases of endorphins, means a sub can become tightly focussed, her world becoming only the immediate, the present. Her Dom.
But a sub isn’t a gazelle, she has a complex brain, a mind, a sentience that the gazelle doesn’t have. This is where two other hormones come into play. Because our brains are much more complex than a gazelle’s, endorphins trigger the release of oxytocin and serotonin. A sub will feel a euphoria from the seratonin, accompanied by a desire triggered by the oxytocin not to run but to give herself.
The balance between the hormones leads to an ever increasing focus on the “now” as the brain tries to retain consciousness, using all its available function in that task.
Properly managed with a close attention to her responses, a Dom can induce a primal level of awareness without conscious thought, other altered states of consciousness or take consciousness away altogether. He can recover her, or keep her in subspace for sustained periods. And it’s beautiful.
It’s this cocktail of hormones that cause the ‘in the moment’ focus of subspace, the intense euphoria, the deep trust. But also the memory loss, and it’s the depletion of these hormones, particularly serotonin that causes subdrop while the body builds up the levels again.
Managed with practice during play, subdrop can be minimised (though not eliminated) by ensuring a measured and consistent release, by not overstepping pain thresholds, but following them, by ensuring not all her serotonin is depleted, and by drawing her out of subspace gently, tenderly.
During play saying something or acting in a way that jars against a sub’s instinct, will cause her to flip into flight instead of relinquishing herself. The descent to subspace lost, the conflict between euphoria, trust, the need to submit and the sudden immediate realisation that something is wrong, causes a worsening of the conditions that will lead to subdrop, exaggerated again by the knowledge that she was yielding when she shouldn’t have been. This is harmful to a sub. Rarely do I say it, but if a Dom has made a sub feel that way, she should give him a wide berth from then on.
Because even if he then says the right things for a while, this hypnotic subspace can open subs to abuse from predators, who’ve learned just enough about them to convince them they’re safe. But if the instincts don’t match, if a Dom has made a sub feel unsafe once, a sub will never feel safe enough to yield as she needs. That knowledge will mean her complex non-gazelle brain will always retain enough awareness to be able to run away, instead of relinquish.
And if she’s doing that, she can’t drop out properly. And it’s when she’s dropped out that the psychological aspects kick in, and the true depth of trust and beauty seep into me too.
After this rather analytical Subspace post, I’ll follow up later in the week with another, more expressive post…
© Charles Rochester 2016