Euphoria and BDSM are still an enigma for the larger public that exists outside of the kink community. Here’s what psychological and physical characteristics occur when you keep it kinky.
In this article we are particularly looking at a submissive, or a bottom, and their experience during a BDSM scene. This emotional and psychological result is called a “subspace,” and is brought on by an influx of adrenaline and endorphins.
Just like an orgasm, a subspace is difficult to explain as it differs person by person, particularly because of the varying emotions, responses, and reactions involved. A common misconception of BDSM scenes is that they only involve physical pain — such as floggers, whips, ropes, and other tangible objects. For those within a BDSM scene, subspace is an attainable goal that includes a trance-like euphoria of overtly intense emotions.
For myself, a subspace includes a time and space where only my top and I exist. As cliche as it sounds, there is some science to the phenomenon. The sympathetic nervous system responds to BDSM because of the typical inclusion of pain and pleasure. A release of the natural chemicals epinephrine, endorphins, and enkephalins contribute to drug inducing emotions. These chemicals are a part of the fight or flight response which stimulates a morphine-like result. As a submissive, the chemicals increase pain tolerance, creating a floating feeling when pain is introduced. For many, a subspace creates a drunk or high feeling — pain is gone, problems disappear, and your current state of mind is a dizzy of joyful feelings.
For myself, someone who is a switch, I have been on both ends of the spectrum. Seeing my partners subspace gives me pleasure, and energy, while participating as the submissive gives me a glow that carries on long after our scene.
What do bottoms typically feel during sub space?
- Intense feelings
Typically described as a feeling of floating or flying, a subspace is the ultimate goal for a submissive.
Imagine an out-of-body experience — that’s a subspace. For some individuals, getting into a subspace won’t take much pain or physical stimulation, while it may take others much longer. When your partner becomes less verbal, this is typically the number one sign that your sub has reached a level of subspace. For me, I am completely unable to speak and move. I’m inaudible, feral. Afterwards, I often weep because of the amount of energy and euphoria I experience. This varies from person to person. A good domme will understand the importance of aftercare and the exhaustion that their sub is undergoing.
What do tops experience?
The top, or domme, is controlling the situation. They must be calm and in charge of the scene. For this experience, we introduce a top space. Personally, being on top is a much different type of euphoria. While being a submissive is euphoric, being a top results in connection, concentration, and heightened senses. While my bottom is enjoying their feral state, I am considerably zoned in on their needs and desires. It’s a very different high, but still pleasurable all the same.
How can you make subspace healthy?
Safe words are incredibly important for BDSM scenes, however for subspace, a submissive may become incoherent and may lose all sense of competency. Therefore making safe words completely useless. While in a subspace, the dominant should monitor their partner to make sure the experience is safe both physically and emotionally.
Since a subspace removes any intense feelings of pain, a submissive may ask their partner to hurt them beyond their complete understanding which can result in injury. Both parties involved need to be aware of the safety risks involved during a scene.
Moreover, a subspace is a natural high. Blissful feelings of connection create intense uppers and unfortunately, those feelings eventually come down. This is where emotional and mental safety is important. This drop in emotions creates exhaustion, incoherence, and incoordination. Aftercare, and after play, is pertinent in order to make sure all parties involved don’t become unbalanced.
As both a participant of both top and bottom, I know my boundaries and my levels of euphoria. I know what my partner is experiencing and vice versa. A willingness to communicate and feel safe will create an experience so satisfying that you will want to reach that high again and again.
Cheers to getting your natural high on!