What is Subspace? (PART I)
Where did the word subspace come from? Subspace is a scientific and mathematical term but interestingly, was later popularized by the writers of Star Trek. In the series Star Trek subspace is a form of interstellar travel or way of transmitting information via faster than light travel technology.
Later, Courtney Brown, Ph.D., professor of political science and statistics at the University of Georgia in Atlanta redefined the term as, “separating the physical from the nonphysical realms without imposing a more rigorous view of dimensional complexity on either of those realms.” (p. 22, Remote Viewing: The Science and Theory of Nonphysical Perception)
To expand further on Brown’s definition, he then implies that while in subspace one can not only reach higher states of consciousness in different realms but that one can also reach other dimensional beings. “An aspect of each of us exists in subspace, as do other beings. People who no longer reside in our physical space “live” in subspace. It is not accurate to say that these are “dead” people, since they are very much alive.” (p. 43, Cosmic Voyage) Basically Brown is saying that subspace is the space between the physical and the non-physical world. Trippy right!?
Other words relating to subspace
There are many other relative words that can be described as a similar space to subspace, one being Akasha. The Akashic records are a widely known dimension in which all of the records of the past are imprinted. However, the origin of Akasha basically translates to “subtle space.” It is a place accessible by the mind, in between realms, where higher consciousness and knowledge can be obtained.
Another word that I am drawn to in this regard is Ukiyo. The Japanese word Ukiyo translates to “Floating World” and was popularized in the Edo-period Japan (1600–1867). Ukiyo was not only a concept but also a district that inhabited the most erotic and hedonist brothels of the time.
But the origin of the word, as it insinuates, translates further to "transient world" of Buddhist tradition. It became of word known to describe a hedonistic, carefree, extravagant, naughty type of lifestyle; a space between reality and fantasy.
"Living only for the moment, savouring the moon, the snow, the cherry blossoms, and the maple leaves, singing songs, drinking sake, and diverting oneself just in floating, unconcerned by the prospect of imminent poverty, buoyant and carefree, like a gourd carried along with the river current: this is what we call ukiyo." ("Tales of the Floating World", c. 1661)
One term that particularly fascinates me, Eroto-comatose lucidity, is a sex magic ritual originally created by Aleister Crowley in 1912. The book Modern Sex Magick: Secrets of Erotic Spirituality describes the ritual and how to reach Eroto-comatose lucidity:
“A common form of the ritual uses repeated sexual stimulation (but not to physical orgasm) to place the individual in a state between full sleep and full wakefulness as well as exhaustion, allowing the practitioner to commune with their god.”
“In the first part of the ritual, the aides seek repeatedly both to arouse the ritualist sexually as well as to exhaust him.”
“In the second part of the ritual, the aides seek to come close to awakening the ritualist through sexual stimulation alone. Most practitioners agree with Crowley that every means of arousal may be used, such as physical stimulation, genital stimulation, psychological stimulation, devices (such as sex toys), or drugs (an entheogen like hashish, marijuana, or other aphrodisiacs).”
“The goal is not to fully awaken her or him, but rather to bring them to the brink of wakefulness.”
“This step is repeated indefinitely until the ritualist reaches a state between sleep and wakefulness in which communing with a higher power may occur. The ritualist may also conduct spiritual work while in this state, or witness mystical events.”
THE VERSION RELATIVE TO YOU-Submissive SUBSPACE Definition
Okay, now that a little historical background has been given, I will get into the meaning of the subspace that I primarily will be referring to. Subspace is also a term coined by the BDSM community meaning an altered state of consciousness, mainly achieved by a bottom/submissive through physical sensory pleasure or pain, psychological scene play or both.
So why does subspace occur?
It is quite scientific when fully examined. When the body is overloaded with a host of different sensations, whether pleasurable or painful, the body goes into a state of fight or flight. When our body perceives this sort of overload it triggers a sympathetic nervous system response which releases numerous chemicals. These chemicals mainly consist of adrenaline, endorphins, and enkephalins (primarily released during painful scenes and acts as a natural pain reliever).
Because these chemicals can act on the brain in the same way as morphine or psychedelic drugs, it can induce a trance like state. During this trance one may feel many different things including:
- Out of body experience
- Enhanced sensory perception
- Decreased sensory perception
- Feeling of floating
- Feeling of a connection with a higher consciousness
- Ability to recall past memories or past lives
- Ability to connect with deceased loved ones
Any of these states can produce a huge shift in consciousness as well as feelings of great euphoria and bliss. However, as the high subsides (this can occur immediately or hours or days later) the parasympathetic nervous system kicks in which can induce exhaustion, lethargy and even temporary depression. *This reaction called subdrop and is discussed in this blog post.
Why are we discussing this??
This state of consciousness is very relevant to the sessions that I offer, especially when it comes to my Bondassage and Elysium sessions. To easily reach subspace the use of headphones and a blindfold, which is standard in any Bondassage session, is essential! By creating an atmosphere free of distraction, through the use of specifically selected musical beats and sensory deprivation, the mind and body are free to let go into a world rarely experienced.
However, not everyone can reach this state. It is not guaranteed nor should it be an expectation.
As Aleister Crowley wrote, as well as other mystics and shamans throughout time, sex magic or intense sensory stimulation has been used for centuries to reach higher states of consciousness.
Subspace can be a very spiritual experience. Depending on the participant, subspace can either be simply a chemically induced body response or it could be small proof that indeed there is more than the small existence that we know to be our reality.
There are several aspects that are necessary in order to fall deep into a subspace realm. Whether through conscious thoughts/actions or a subconscious awareness one must:
- Be grounded and relaxed (I take time to do basic energy work prior to starting a session in an effort to ground and relax my subs)
- Feel like they are in a safe space (I have spend much time and effort creating a space that is beautifully magically. I also take the time to do clearings to create an energetically safe environment.)
- Feel safe with a partner or practitioner (One of my main jobs is to ensure that all of my subs feel safe and loved during their time with me)
- Be willing to let go (The need to have control is the leading cause that inhibits clients from reaching subspace, especially the first time. However after several sessions the process becomes easier.)
- Keep an open mind (Those that have some sort of awareness that certainly there are dimensions beyond our 3D world are more likely to feel comfortable navigating beyond our reality. Those having experience with any sort of hallucinogen are familiar with this concept. From a shaman point of view, the belief is that there is a lower world, a middle world (that in which we reside) and an upper world. Experienced travelers are better able to navigate between worlds.)
However, I have seen anxious, logical minded, inexperienced subs, to my surprise, go into subspace. This is always exciting for me because they come out of a session with a shift in consciousness that can leave them questioning the world around us for the better.
Whether you see subspace as simply a chemically influenced body response or you see it as small proof that indeed there is something beyond our perceived reality, it can be fucking awesome! So what are you waiting for? Let’s give it a try!