Top Space / Bottom Space

Author: Lord Saber ©

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More of Lord Saber's articles can be found on the D/s World E-zine.

This article is copyrighted to the stated author(s) and can not be reproduced, copied, reprinted, or posted without the consent of the author. It is used here with permission of the author.


I struggled mightily this time to get a column together. The last several weeks I've dealt with a couple colds, my computer getting hit with two different viruses, the death of a cousin, and several other such "minor traumas." I was thinking of taking this issue off, until I got inspiration from reading the latest column of a leatherman named Jack Rinella who regularly publishes his thoughts in an email newsletter called "Leatherviews," which you can find out more about at In his latest column, he talks about "headspace" in D/s and play situations. And while I'm not going to quote Jack directly, it did prompt me to think about what "headspace" means to each of us.

And it prompted me to thinking about this thing we Doms call "Top and/or Dom space" and what subs call "bottom/sub space." There are times I do scenes, especially with someone I've played with for awhile, where they go off into some kind of "zone" or "space.". Bottoms often talk about zoming out, going deep into this mythical area called subspace. While I've had bottoms I've played with go there, I tend not to try to reach it, if only because when I play, I enjoy "the ride," as opposed to trying to reach for some mythical goal.

And yet there have been numerous times recently where I get into a groove when I play, where everything else melts away, and I'm in my "zone," where nothing else besides my partner and me matters. Of course external factors do matter to a point. A scene in a dungeon filled with writing, screaming enthusiastic players lends itself well to getting in a zone like that, the energy of each scene feeding off each other. Or even in a private residence, where it's just the two of you and you've taken the liberty hopefully of locking the doors, unplugging the phone, and generally ensuring the "real world" won't bother you.

Conversely, nothing kills a scene or this "zone" faster than any kind of interruption. I remember being in Dallas a couple years ago for an online chat channel party and doing a flogging scene with a nice lady in the corner of a hotel conference room. There I was getting a nice rhythm going, when all of a sudden one of the other guys there yells out "Hey LS, the Mariners are up 10-3 in the fourth, and the Huskies are ahead 40-7 against Miami!" Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!! I tried waving him off until finally I stared at him, and put a finger to my lips. He got my message. After my scene ended and I realized no one was even watching or caring much about what I was doing, I got rather depressed and crashed big time. There's a certain energy in playspaces, one that was severely lacking in that room that evening. Given the crowd, maybe that wasn't surprising.

For me, being in Top space makes me feel indestructible, kinda like the "hacker" in that James Bond movie where at its end he stands up and shouts, "I AM INVINCIBLE," only to get doused with liquid nitrogen and frozen to death instantly. So, no I wouldn't recommend you yelling that anywhere in public even if you feel that "high" after a scene. Even though it can be really tempting, people may tend to look at you funny. *s*

And for subs that go way deep, who can no longer speak and are off in their own little world during a scene, I'm sure it's much the same thing. Since I'm not a sub I can't speak to that. But still I'm sure they too are in their own zone. Getting that rhythm going and getting in that "zone" can be a wonderful thing for both Top and bottom.

And while getting there is "half the fun," maintaining it can also be a good thing, albeit fragile. Connecting with another person in scene is always a tricky thing. When it goes great, it's exquisite. When it doesn't work, it can be as I'm sure some of you know, a real drag.

So what happens if you don't attain this "nirvana?" Don't fret, don't feel you or your partner are "failures" because you didn't get there. Maybe one of you is tired, emotionally or physically, or again maybe there's not that connection there. And too, don't panic. Just keep on doing what you are in the scene. When I play, I play for the fun of it as I feel all of us should. BDSM is not about goals, or who should be what, it's about having fun. It's about improvising, making do with the toys and situation at hand. There have been a handful of times where I've somehow managed to keep a scene going well that I thought was going downhill fast by remaining calm and sticking to what I planned to do originally. Forgive the football analogy, but it's like a team getting a big lead, losing it, not panicking, just sticking to their game plan and eventually getting their lead back and winning the game.

If this column seems a bit rambly, I apologize. I'm dealing with random thoughts on what at times can be a randon subject.

Til next time,






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