littlemousling: Cropped photo of Bebe Rexha, showing her (hotass) torso. The word "please" has been added. (bebe rexha)
[personal profile] littlemousling
From the kink/BDSM FONSAQ, prompt: What does 'headspace' refer to? I've seen it in some prompts above and it's not the first time I hear about it, but I don't really have a clue about what it means.

For disclaimers and a discussion of "flying," or endorphin-rush headspace, see Part One.

Type two: D/s
This type is called "subspace" by just about everyone, and I'll use that to refer to it if I have to describe it to someone not-my-partner, but she and I just call it going under, because that's what it's like.

Science-y part: yeah, I have no idea. Your brain has … different types of waves? And I’m pretty sure going under registers as theta. That’s as far as I can take you on the science path.

What it feels like: Have you ever done yoga with Savasana at the end, and the teacher tells you to try not to think about anything, while staying wide awake? Possibly other forms of meditation are that way, too. (Also possibly I've totally misinterpreted the Savasana instructions. I am so far from knowledgeable about yoga it's not even funny.)

So: it's like that. You're not thinking about anything, but you're WIDE awake.

It doesn't just happen the way flying seems to, though—it’s an active process. So these are the basic stages I experience, to give you an idea. Please note, though, that these stages are just my interpretation; they’re not in any use in the BDSM community. They came out of my brain for the purpose of this essay.

Stage one: Click
The first stage is one moment, one instant where my brain goes "yes, all right, let's do this." Basically, I have reason to think* that we're going into a scene or that my partner wants me to go under, and then she does something that, for me, translates as "I'm taking charge, you can stop thinking now."

To give an example from fic, this would be the classic-for-a-reason character A puts hir hand on character B's nape and character B goes all lax.

*Just to be clear, even when we don't say it, that doesn't mean we haven't communicated it. And if I wasn't sure or didn't want to, I would say something. The "click" isn't involuntary; it's something I let myself do, because I want to.

Stage two: Fighting for it
The click isn't enough. If it were enough, I'd have put myself in some pretty stupid situations accidentally (being under on public transit? Not my idea of a good time. A click on public transit? Bring it on).

It's not actually that easy to turn my brain off. So the next little while is me fighting to do that, and in some ways it really is a fight. Luckily, my partner's on my side.

Basic train of thought during this stage:
Oooh, here we go. Oh, nice, do that again. Ugh, I bet I look really bad from that angle. Wait, stop thinking about that. Oh! Yes! Yeaaahhhh ... I don't know if I can do that, I don't know if I can do that, I don't JUST FUCKING DO IT, ME, okay, that was easier than I thought, now focus, FOCUS, don't think about what your belly looks like when you're curled forward, think about not thinking, think about not thinking, not thinking, oh I was almost there! ... ooooh, that again, please, mmmmm ....

And then it trails off. It's like drifting off to sleep: you remember trying to fall asleep, but you don't remember actually doing it.

(Also there's way way more "fuck, yes, that" sorts of thoughts in there IRL, but I didn't want to get repetitive on y'all.)

This stage usually isn't that long, although it's really really hard for me to gauge time when playing. If I had to guess, I'd say five minutes or so? But it can reoccur, usually at lower "volume," during the next stage, mostly when there's a pause in the action. I gather that there are people for whom very long pauses (eg kneeling in the corner) are part of the game--I don't think I'd be very good at that.

For me, my partner makes all the difference between this and Savasana: it's not me, all alone, fighting my brain. It's us, together, finding the physical and emotional tricks that will turn it off. Sometimes these are pretty gentle--easing me into the state--and sometimes they're forceful, like reaching up into my psyche and finding the off switch. (Does that sound bad? Let me be clear: it’s awesome. I love both, but that second one, when it happens, is everything I love about BDSM rolled up into one.)

Next up, the main jazz: being under.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-05-01 03:36 pm (UTC)
were_duck: lady gaga black and white photo of her draped in chains and wearing cigarette sunglasses (Gaga In Chains)
From: [personal profile] were_duck
This post really resonates for me, especially the 'fighting for it'. The first time I went under I was surprised at how actively I had to work to do it, and sometimes I would sort of 'surface' in the middle of the scene and have to work back to it. In those moments it's like everything is an active choice, even stillness (which is why kneeling in a corner works for me, but obviously that's different for everyone). This step was something I never really consciously expected until I found myself doing it, and the fact that it takes that degree of commitment and choice from me as a sub, and collaboration with my top on getting into and maintaining headspace is so important to how I relate to D/s dynamics.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-05-04 02:59 am (UTC)
rabid_bookwyrm: Black and white illustration of an anthropomorphized margay cat (Default)
From: [personal profile] rabid_bookwyrm
I just call it going under, because that's what it's like.

Me too!

March 2014


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