What being in ‘Topspace’ is like for me

Now and then one hears about ‘subspace’ or ‘entering subspace’ as part of the submissive experience. The idea is that a certain transition comes over the sub as she is taken into spanking submission. As I understand it (and I’m happy to be corrected on this, not having “been there” myself) this may come prior to the spanking, in anticipating it or dressing for it, or it may come as it starts, or as it progresses — but one way or another a change is wrought as she ‘enters’ her submissiveness more completely.

I find this concept useful, and it certainly chimes with my experience — with women I have topped and spanked. Looking into their face and eyes during a session, or right after it, or observing their change of voice or body response, it is often clear they are quite deeply in another space, subspace.

But I’ve never seen anything written about entering Topspace, and I think the concept is just as useful. Certainly it explains to me what happens to me if conditions are right.

First I should say, although I’m an experienced spanking Top, with (make-no-mistake) ‘the balls’ to dominate as and when required, I’m not an obvious ‘Top’ in real life. But when I’m going to give a spanking or about to start, I can feel a certain transition happening, a firmness of voice, a clarity of purpose and intent coming over me. As things progress and, particularly, as her consent and submission become obvious, I go further into Topspace. It’s not — just to be clear — physical arousal, although that may be present too. It is something closer to feeling powerful and purposeful. I’m guessing this has a hormonal base; testosterone or even adrenelin flowing.

Further, depending on her responses, but assuming she’s delighting in what is happening, this will progress with smacking her bottom harder, seeing it bouncing and squirming, towards … something I can only describe as progressively peeling away my layers to a state of very basic, absolute, undiluted masculinity. In this state I really can, assuming ongoing consensuality (nothing breaks the escalation), give her a very, very, sound thrashing indeed.

It is tempting to call this state “instinctive”, or “animalistic”. But in my experience it’s really not like that at all. It is more like I have reached the very ‘fountain of masculinity’ and am drinking directly from it. It’s a quiet, almost meditative place, with absoluteness and clarity and purpose and power that don’t exist in normal life.

I should add that in this state of mind, with purpose and power pretty much on ‘maximum’, it is easy to overstep and spank too hard. And I have done this, and deeply regretted it. But this is where experience comes in. We live and we do learn.

Mental Rope

Good ol’ pressure of work has taken me away, but now I’m back. What I’ve been thinking about a fair bit is the issues of restraint, that is tying up or tying down for a spanking, and how it totally changes the dynamic. Contrary to the apparently (I’m told) disputatious nature of some of my previous posts — I’d prefer the term “polite polemic” myself 🙂 — I don’t actually have a strong opinion either way. Just some thoughts.

First, handcuffing, or light bondage in general, is undoubtedly highly erotic. It takes the everyday egalitarian power balance and unbalances it – suddenly one person is at the mercy of the other. It is a doorway if not the royal road into “sub-space.” Restraint and coercion is the stuff of just about every sexual fantasy, and that’s great.

It is also, I’m told, easier to bear a spanking when tied down. There’s less “choice”. It is certainly easier to stay in position, which is good for the Top too. It’s rather tiresome to have to re-re-re-position a bottom.

But, there’s always a cost and the cost is subtle, but significant. What is very much a turn-on, from this male POV at least, is her choice to have the spanking and to submit willingly and fully to each smack. If her hands are free and she chooses to or forces herself to keep them out the way, and stay in position, it says more to me than the tied-up-sub just remaining tied up. With each stroke it speaks willingness to submit and renewed acknowledgment of authority given. It’s active submission rather than passive submission.

Although I thought the movie was generally feeble, there was a scene in “The Secretary” that resonated with me (not the spanking scene to be sure). It was when he instructs her to place her hands on the desk and remain in that position until “released”. Of course he was a thoroughly unworthy Dom (run a mile and don’t look back) and so made the “test” absurdly long, but still she would not release herself. She was mentally bound, but those ropes are the strongest… and there’s still nothing on earth as enticing as a strong submissive.

So I would deliciously bind to spank, but for the highest experience as a Top I prefer to apply the more subtle, more demanding “mental rope only”.

How to get the spanking you want: talking taboo

I’m delighted to do a bit of promo for one of the most intelligent, insightful bloggers around – Vivian at The Disciplined Feminist – who has written a 2-part spanking book “How to Get the Spanking You Want: The Complete Guide to Asking for it, Getting It & Making It Better,” available through this link.

Explaining the book on her blog she says: “Of all the emails I get asking for advice, well over half of them are from women (and some men) who want their husband or boyfriend to spank them, but don’t know how to ask, and this question seems to pop up a lot on spanking and DD forums, too.”

I haven’t read the book yet, but the topic has me thinking: why is spanking hard to ask for? (I strongly suspect that Tops want to ask for it as much as Bottoms want to, but the Top mindset is less likely to be actively advice-seeking.) More particularly, why is it hard to ask for in a world where it has become relatively easy to ask for many kinds of kink? Egged on by Cosmo and others, it is quite fashionable to ask to be corseted or tied up, or to use various toys and costumes all under the banner of “spicing things up”.

But spanking (real, hard, non-nonsense spanking, not the pat & giggle stuff) is a much harder thing to raise. I think it is because Spanking Is Violence.

As a man, one experiences very heavy socialisation from an early age to constrain violent impulses. Agression is channeled out of us in every way (other than on the sports field) which is absolutely correct of course. Anyone who hits another person is a criminal. And all the more so with regards to girls – you never, ever hit girls.

To me this is key to why spanking is hard to ask for – because it runs heavily against our socialisation. For him, asking the uninitiated, he is breaking this heavy social taboo. Psychopath! For her, asking the uninitiated may be mistaken for the equivalent submissive pathology: the desire to be hit, hurt …

In fact, spanking is okay (great!) because it is highly ritualised, that is, has associated codes and rules which define actions and limits (the key ones are bottom only + consensuality). It is okay exactly in the sense that other code-constrained violence, notably contact sports and martial arts are okay. These also allow and imply consent to violence-within-the-rules. The rules make the violence productive rather than destructive.

This suggests a way to approach the how-to-ask conundrum. Whether you are a Top or a Bottom, the key to overcoming the taboo is to stress that spanking is rule-based violence, that is, “productive” violence. It produces such things as discipline, intimacy, mentoring, nurturing, eroticism, couple harmony and so on. (It is deeply significant that sex is codified violence too – it is precisely the *rules* surrounding the practice of taking a woman, overpowering and penetrating her, that make it socially acceptable and delightful. Without the rules, it’s rape.)

Well, that’s my 2c. I’m looking forward to reading what Viv has to say, and have little doubt that she has sorted out this question better than I have.

The tango is spanking, is it not?

tango-spank1There’s an old adage: “Dance is a vertical form of a horizontal desire.” If that’s true, and I believe it is, then the tango is spanking standing up.

Why? For a start it is not cute, not shmaltzy, not for wimps. It’s spicey, edgy (in the “screw the roses, send me the thorns” kind of way). It’s crisp. And I do believe a good spanking is crisp and clear in intent and action. Certainly never languid or floppy.

The essence of the tango step, the famous “A Frame,” (heads together, legs apart) speaks to a certain distance and mystery. It’s not about being cuddly, at least not until a lot of other stuff has happened.

It is all about the play of power. The woman in the tango is an incredibly strong figure – not an ounce of weakness there. But she is choosing to be absolutely led. To use his strength, not fight it. If he knows what he’s doing, and he has her trust and full attention, he doesn’t need to force. He leads. It’s all about supporting and guiding, providing structure for her to lean on and bounce off.

And she’s naughty, just a bit. She’s wickedly close, then retreats. Then she gets her feet in the way of his, almost tripping him up. Like her dress, she’s there and not there. Teasing, treading a fine line…

Do this behind closed doors, with a couple of Martini’s, and it can only end up one way. Otk.

Am I talking rubbish? Is this just my fantastical spin, or is it all there, plain as day? Watch this video, tell me I’m wrong… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3e_Rbts5Q9Q

So many different types of spanking, so, a few preferences…

The Internet has been the most fabulous transition in every way, most of all for disparate communities that are not easy to connect, or communities and identities not easy to have in public. No surprise that sexuality led the Internet more than a decade ago, and spanking sites and forums have always been a big part of that. It has released us to be able to say what we are thinking, and (perhaps even more importantly) know what others are thinking. The benefit is – I have had this and have read many many with the same sentiment – is we suddenly feel so Normal and Sane, after having grown up thinking we were weird.

That’s the upside. The downside of all this connectivity, for me, is that it connects me to some stuff that I find pretty gruesome. Here we get into personal preference and assuming it’s all consensual there’s no judgment, but my preference is for “real” spanking, that means hard, but not damaging. For example I find a lot of the Eastern European stuff just too heavy. And much of the hard caning – where is it going? Nowhere that I want to go. For me it’s about authority and clear roles and limits. But it’s not about pain. Sure, forcefulness and pain is necessary to achieve the goal (to make the dominance-submission real.) But it is not the goal itself. A bit of brusque otk with skirt up and panties down, to me achieves more authority than any amount of whaling away.

Also, I want to lay down a marker for intelligence and literacy. Call me elitist, perhaps, but dumb brutality, whacking away at another persons behind … well it does nothing for me. The interest is in the dance of authority and submission, what he says, what she says. Before, during, and after. The brain is the most important sex organ, and ideas and words are the real bearers of the erotic.