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Subspace

Updated: JUNE 20, 2022
Reviewed by Kinkly Staff
on June 19, 2022

Subspace is an altered, trance-like, state of being experienced by a submissive person in a BDSM scenario. It can be accessed through sustained pain play with floggers, paddles or a dominant's bare hands. Less commonly, subspace can also be experienced by a top (it's called "top space"); they experience this as feeling more connected and focused during a scene.

Many subs liken subspace to a spiritual experience and say that it becomes easier to reach as their experience with BDSM interactions increases. That said, there are different types of subspace depending on a person's position within the BDSM relationship, and their interactions with their dominant.

Subspace may also be called flying or floating.

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More About Subspace

The journey toward subspace has a range of identifiable levels, both physical and mental. Although different people and groups refer to these levels by different names and may identify more or fewer of them, these levels tend to include:

  • An endorphin high
  • A long and lasting state of sexual arousal
  • Euphoria
  • A heightened sense or loss of awareness
  • A drop in endorphins afterwards, often referred to as "sub drop."

Subspace is common in two key scenarios. The first occurs when a submissive experiences pain administered by their dominant in a BDSM scene. Instead of using the safeword, the submissive may begin to disassociate and step out of their body. In this experience, the submissive’s body fights the pain with hormones and endorphins.

A submissive is unlikely to make rational decisions about his or her safety or well-being while in subspace. It’s vital that the dominant care for the welfare of the submissive at this time. As with all intense BDSM scenes, aftercare is also key.

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