One of the first things I learned as a new submissive to the BDSM scene
was that the most desired place to reach during a scene was "subspace."
The first time I found myself in subspace, I realized why everyone was
so eager to get there. The physiological and psychological descent from
total consciousness to the relaxing, uninhibited plane that is sub-space
was mind-blowing - indeed, mind-expanding - especially the first time
Like most new submissives, I realized I was on to something and began
a pursuit of this state of being that engulfed most of my weekends and
my free time thoughts. Not only could I indulge the fantasies of a Dominant's
control, fantasies I had carried since childhood, but now I could expand
upon them. I could take the fantasies one step further. In subspace, I
could let myself go altogether - become totally engrossed in a shameless
display of wanton sexuality in the midst of a meditative state of relaxation,
and do so with the blessing, the approval and the encouragement of those
As my experience as a submissive grew, and my opportunities to play expanded,
I became more attuned to the methods by which subspace is actualized,
and was able to achieve it not only through the Dominant's exquisite use
of torture and pleasure, but by coordinating its occurrence in my own
mind as well. I remember playing with Master Stern before i became His
slave, and with the first strike of the flogger, I was in subspace. While
I would like to credit His flawless skill, in that instance, it was obvious
that the need for outside stimulation began to decline the more often
subspace was obtained. (Someone recently compared the ability to put oneself
in subspace to being able to "see" the images in a "Magic
Eye" drawing - it may take some time to adjust your vision at first,
but eventually, the hidden picture is visible to you almost immediately.)
It wasn't until Master Stern accepted me as His slave and had begun the
process of teaching me to live as one, that I became aware of a new place
I could go; a place that shares some qualities of subspace, but is entirely
different in other aspects: slavespace. My first encounter with slavespace
was during a period of isolation in a small closet where I stood in the
dark at attention for nearly an hour. (I can't remember what happened
to put me there, but I was being punished.) It was the longest period
of time I had been isolated up to that point. Some of my former Dominant
play partners issued punishments of standing in the corner or isolation,
but they usually lasted no more than ten minutes or so, and were seriously
lacking in effectiveness.
Master Stern and I had discussed how important it was to both of us that
He be consistent with me; in other words, if He told me I would be punished
in a particular manner or for a specific length of time, He would not
"reneg." I wanted (and still want) this from Him, because it
is a visible display of His commitment to the relationship, and because
if I have to be punished, I want to insure that I will hesitate before
repeating the mistake.
A slave's first hour in isolation is not as easy as it sounds. I went
through several emotional stages during the hour. At first I whimpered
and felt sorry for myself. (if I remember correctly, I was still stinging
from the corporal portion of the punishment, and it took several minutes
for me to calm myself.) Initially I believed that Master Stern, like all
the Dominants before Him, would let me out early. He would release me
with a warning that "next time" the punishment would be carried
out. After approximately 20 minutes had passed, I began to worry that
He might not - that He might actually have taken seriously the discussion
we had regarding consistency, and I panicked. Of course I meant it when
I told Him I wanted Him to follow through, but I wasn't in the closet
at the time of our discussion!
I had a short conversation with myself about opening the door and just
walking out, but i put the thought aside. I am sure if I had done so,
I would have been placed right back where I started, and the clock would
have begun again at zero.
At one point, when the position of attention was becoming uncomfortable,
I began whimpering again. It was a calculated move on my part. I hoped
that discomfort could be heard through the door (assuming Master Stern
was even in the room), and He would stop the torture that was causing
me no sexual excitement at all.
Eventually I realized that I was going to have to carry out the full sentence,
and the remaining time, (although I wasn't sure how much was left), seemed
unbearable. I couldn't leave or communicate with Master Stern, and I found
there was nothing left to do but think about the reasons I had been placed
there. With almost instant clarity, I recognized that no part of the punishment
was undeserved, and I became ashamed of my behavior. More than anything,
I wished I could leave the closet and make a tearful apology to Master
Stern and beg His forgiveness. As I have told Master Stern in the past,
that is when the punishment actually began - when the focus shifted from
my body and its state of discomfort to my mind, and the state of Master's
disappointment in my behavior.
For quite some time, I was amazed that isolation (or corner time, or being
placed in a certain position) could create such a response. I wasn't simply
sorry that I had gotten in trouble, I was sorry that I had created such
an unpleasant situation for Master Stern. I marveled at this for months,
and was always grateful for the opportunity to be punished in such a way.
After even longer, however, the "Magic Eye" syndrome - that
sense of acceptance came more quickly and easily. My hour in the closet
seemed protracted, because within several minutes, I had already reached
the emotional state of taking responsibility for my actions.
The final emotional stage of this process culminated in what I now call
"slave space." I believe it began with emotional detachment
from the punishment and simple acceptance of my role. I understood the
necessity of the punishment, no longer felt sorry for myself, and tried
to focus all my energy on holding a proper form (despite no one looking)
and keeping my mind in focus. I was no longer emotional - I no longer
felt the desire to rush to Master's feet and beg mercy and forgiveness.
Instead, I was able to form in my mind a proper apology, one that befit
a slave who understood why she was being punished.
A long story, and one that boils down to a different form of space; one
in which the slave in me is evident in action and attitude. In slavespace
I think of nothing but my Master. My mind doesn't wander, nor do I consider
what is happening to me in a personal sense. As with subspace, the ability
to achieve slavespace becomes easier as time goes on.
The difference between the two is what I consider most important. Subspace
is a pleasurable place in which I am focused on my own reactions and my
own good feelings. In subspace I am not considering my Master at all,
but am putting all my energy into the altered state of pleasure. It is
undoubtedly a fabulous place to be.
In slavespace, on the other hand, none of the focus is on me. It is all
on my Master. It is a place in which I can obey and serve with a sense
of contentment as pleasurable mentally as subspace is physically. However,
none of the "selfishness" of subspace is evident in slavespace.
While both states function on physiological and pychological levels, subspace
is more a product of the physical and slave space more dependent upon
the psychological. Further, subspace allows acceptance physical and emotional
freedom; slave space allows acceptance of the opposite.
Highly valued and often seen as the pinnacle of the BDSM experience, subspace
can be readily attained by most experienced "players," even
those who do not know one another very well. Its purpose is to provide
a pleasurable experience for the submissive. It is, indeed, that, but
at best, subspace is a temporary condition; its long-lasting effects are
mostly reflective. The most intense portions of subspace last only as
long as the scene, whereas slavespace promotes a far more long-lasting
effect. Subspace produces physical and emotional joy, slavespace produces
contentment and fulfillment - perhaps not as emotionally charged, but
somehow better in the long run.
I am not yet capable of placing myself into slavespace as easily as I
can subspace, but I no longer need punishment or isolation to get there.
I hope that as my training continues, slavespace becomes more and more
accessible, and I will be able to retain it for even longer periods of
time. I now think of subspace as a reward my Master gives me on occasion.
slavespace is the gift He has given me to learn to live within.