Subspace vs. Slavespace

Author: yielding slave to Master Stern ©


All articles are used with the permission of the author(s).


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 it happened.
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 around me.

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.






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