There is a great deal of talk about “sub” space.  It is usually thought of as that floaty place where you just fly away and allow things to happen with nary a care in the world, very much a “High.”  There are reasons for it as described, especially as a result of Sadomasochistic play.  Pain and high exertion will release endorphins into the blood stream much like the “runner’s high.”  I have always heard it is something dearly to be sought.  (I am a sadist, thank you, and I don’t tend go there.)  Those times I have assisted in moving someone into that space have usually been remembered by all parties with a smile.

But that is not always the case.  Being slowly brought to a state where you are naturally anesthetized along with the accompanying difficulty in communication leaves you in a space where things CAN happen that are NOT what you would desire.  Sooooooo?  Where is the responsibility there?  It is easy to see that poor masochist, tied, spanked, slapped and flogged to the point where they can no longer communicate as the unwilling victim and the cruel, violent sadist as the uncaring perpetrator of abuse.  That is easy.

But we are adults.  We talk consistently about negotiation and communication, asking for what you want and educating yourselves to the point where you understand the actions involved and the possibility for harm.  If you have a desire to, or a tendency to go into “sub” space, then understand that about yourself, and take responsibility for it.  Warn your partner, because, as “SherynB” said in a masterful article “Assent Matters”, we are not Mind Readers, and no matter how careful and caring and trained and observant we may be, we do not wish to be the victim of mistakes either.

I must add a caveat here.  “SherynB’s” article is on an adult membership site and the location is NOT suitable for minors nor for people not wishing to expose themselves to that sort of website.  If you are curious about the article but do not wish to become a member, I have permission from “SherynB” to copy it at request.

The Eroticist


  1. Natalie

    I think, as with all sexual interactions, assigning blame to one party or the other is generally going to be a mistake. Sex is something you do as a couple, and the dom/sub or S/M roles don’t change that. The onus is absolutely on the COUPLE to be clear on what is consensual and what isn’t up front.

    In fact, I know you were appealing to a common misconception, but I’d venture to say that a dom/sadist who actually IS properly described as “cruel” or “violent” has fundamentally misunderstood his role. I expect you’d agree. Similarly, I’d venture to say that a sub/masochist who thinks he can’t or shouldn’t discuss something as important as “I’m trusting you to send me into subspace and here is what I’m comfortable with and what I’m not” has ALSO fundamentally misunderstood his role.

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