Head Space


Head Space

Do you recognize when you're in a headspace? Is there really Top/sub-space? What is "Drop?"

Headspace is unique and personal as a person’s laugh; we each experience it differently.  Subspace might feel like being spellbound by sensations to one person, floating on waves of ecstasy for another, falling into a trancelike state for a third, or a euphoric experience of intense feelings to another still. Many report a sense of floating or flying, it is an altered state of awareness brought on by a flood of natural chemicals such as adrenaline, epinephrine, enkephalins, and endorphins.  Assuming the bottom feels safe and is emotionally poised to enter subspace, a skilled top can use anticipation, pain, pleasure, fear, and other ways of plucking their emotional strings to release those chemicals. 

Topspace is also a heady place but one that comes more from controlled focus and attention;  it is akin to the flow felt by athletes when they are “in the zone.”  For those who have achieved this state, many report experiences that might include a complete absorption in the activity in which they are engaging, a loss of self-consciousness as the world around them falls away, a warping of their sense of time, and/or a focused sense of clarity. 

Unfortunately, everything that goes up must also come down, which many experience as subdrop or topdrop.  Eventually that flood of neurochemicals dissipates, and many practitioners of BDSM report experiencing drop.  Just like subspace and topspace, drop is unique to each individual, but feeling physically depleted and/or sore, feeling hungover, and feeling emotionally off-balance are all common experiences.  There are those who can predict their drop and those for whom it is different every time, if it shows up at all.  Drop can follow hard upon the end of a scene, or it can take a couple of days to make an appearance.  To ameliorate the effects of drop, kinksters often negotiate specific aftercare - the time immediately following a scene in which the players see to one another’s physical and emotional needs - as well as checking in with one another in the days that follow.  Physical needs might include water to combat dehydration, a warm oil massage to soothe taxed muscles and replenish chafed skin, a bit of chocolate to regulate blood sugar, and/or a blanket to combat feelings of being cold.  Emotional needs could be addressed with a scene debriefing, reassurances that all is well, reestablishing a loving connection, and/or kissing and cuddling. 

Headspace can be an amazing experience, but not everyone gets there easily, and some not at all.  For those that do, aftercare can be an important component.  One thing to keep in mind is that if the goal of play is to spend time together rather than to hit a kinky homerun, it is attainable and gratifying, with headspace as a welcome bonus when it happens.   

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