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.
For an introduction to D/s headspace and the first two stages, see Part Two.

Stage three: Being Under
I don't even know where to start with what this is like, so I'm going to throw out some adjectives.

Quiet: I mean this literally. My brain is quiet, my surroundings are quiet. I've had scenes where I just plain couldn't hear anything except my partner's voice. Everything else fades completely into the background.
ETA: Because I've suddenly realized this might give the wrong impression: I'm not quiet, my brain is and my surroundings seem to me to be. I'm quite loud!

Passive/docile: Being under means I have basically no initiative. I can’t think of things I want to do because that part of my brain is just plain off the grid. If I’m really under, I’m not going to do anything I haven’t been told to do, even to the point of not doing things that would otherwise come automatically, like, you know, orgasming.

That said, I saw this quote on Clarisse Thorn’s great essay on headspace, and I completely agree with it: “I don’t care how deep the subspace is, I can always come out if the client tries to fuck me without a condom." That particular issue doesn’t come up for me, but I can always come out if: there’s a fire, there’s an earthquake, something seriously upsets my partner, etc.
(For comparison, a few of the many things I won’t come up for: I’m in an uncomfortable position that won’t cause me any damage; I can’t understand what my partner is saying; my mouth is dry.)

Vulnerable: This is kind of the biggie, in some ways. I’m in a highly suggestible state; I’m probably naked; and I’m inviting someone to bruise and hit me. It’s hard to get to a more vulnerable place than that.

I have very few protections for my vulnerability in this state, and I’m voluntarily giving most of them up. When I’m thinking “I can’t do that, I can’t do that" in the fighting stage, it’s usually because I’ve been asked to do something that makes me more vulnerable—and then I do it, because I want to, because that, for me, is part of the point of the game.

I do keep one big protective shield—I rarely open my eyes when I’m under. This is partly because visual distractions can throw me back to Stage Two, but it’s also, absolutely, because of the vulnerability aspect. I frequently wonder if, as I get “better" at bottoming, I’ll open my eyes more, but I honestly don’t know.

All of this vulnerability might sound scary? But for me, it means that every time I go under and nothing bad happens (in fact, great things happen!), my trust in my partner is reinforced. It also means a really heavy dose of freedom—from stress, from stupid anxieties, from having to be stoic, from having to keep my guard up around people. My guard is all but gone when I’m under: I’ve got my eyelids, and that’s it.

Shameless: All of the “do I look unattractive like this?" thoughts go quiet. They’re still there—no amount of meditative-brain-space can fully cancel out societal conditioning about the Vital Importance of Always Looking Fuckable to Hugh Hefner—but they’re so quiet as to be unremarkable. (NGL, this exact thing? Is one of the best parts of being under. Fuck that conditioning.)

Humourless: When I’m under, I have no sense of irony and very little comprehension of tone. It’s a good gauge for how under I am: if my partner makes a joke and I stone-face, I’m under. If she says something that would normally be rib-hurtingly, table-poundingly hilarious and I sort of twitch at the corner of my mouth, I’m under. Sometimes I’m aware of the humour; it doesn’t matter to me that it’s funny.

This also plays out as simplistic: I just plain don’t process anything past very simple sentences—and sometimes even those don’t get through. For instance, recently my partner said “now" and I heard “no," which was briefly distressing for both of us, me because I didn’t know what I’d done wrong and her because she couldn’t figure out why I didn’t do the thing I usually do when she says that, and whether something was wrong.

When I’m under, 90% of questions I’m asked get answered with “huh?" I keep it together enough to say “yes" to “are you okay?" and “no" to “are you uncomfortable?" or the rough equivalents, but anything past that is just out. There is no witty banter when I’m under. There’s not even inane banter. There’s sometimes my partner talking, which when I can process it is usually hot and awesome and helps me stay under, but my contributions are almost entirely non-verbal.

Next up: coming out of D/s headspace, plus a conclusion.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-05-02 02:13 pm (UTC)
mistresscurvy: (Lyn-Z)
From: [personal profile] mistresscurvy
I just plain don’t process anything past very simple sentences—and sometimes even those don’t get through

...lollllllllllllllllllll :D

It's really interesting reading these entries, because it's not like it's anything I wasn't already aware of, obvs, but it's different to see it broken down like this. It's making me think about how I would articulate my own process, which is different but complementary, also obviously. My brain is currently full of lots of other things I'm still trying to process at the moment, but depending on how that goes, I may try to in a couple of days.