Deconstructing Subspace

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Deconstructing Subspace

By Om Rupani

There’s no point in defining subspace. It is a particular locale of consciousness. As with all locales of consciousness, you have to be there to know what it is — Love, Bliss, Union, Existential Crisis, Dark Night Of The Soul, Envy, Resentment, etc.

Let’s instead sketch out a rough map that can help you get to subspace more reliably. Here are 3 pointers.

1. LOWER THE SUBMISSIVE’S VIGILANCE

You are asking someone to surrender to you. You are asking someone to give up control. You are going to have to convince them that it is safe for them to do so. Normally, we take care of ourself with our own vigilance. The more uncertain and dangerous our environment is in any given moment, the higher our state of vigilance.

Vigilance is energy consuming. It is exhausting. If you remain vigilant incessantly without being able to take a break from it, you will literally have a nervous breakdown. Paranoid and manic episodes resemble our vigilance mechanism in overdrive.

DOM’S ROLE IN REDUCING THE SUBMISSIVE’S VIGILANCE:

Be steady. Be calm. And become your submissive’s environment. The Dom is a buffer zone between the submissive and the rest of the world. And the Dom’s claim is, ‘Within this buffer zone of my presence, my field, you can relax because I’ve got you covered. I’m vigilant enough for both of us. I’m keeping watch, so you rest.’

Everything that makes you more uncertain or jittery as a Dom will lower your ability to make this offer to your submissive.

Keep your attention on your submissive at all times. Respond to your submissive’s system moment to moment. This will convey to your submissive that it is safe for them to keep their vigilance turned low. The moment your attention falters, your submissive’s vigilance will go up

SUBMISSIVE’S ROLE IN REDUCING THEIR OWN VIGILANCE.

Trust. Give your Dom a chance to hold you. Give up the narrative that nobody is strong enough to hold you or nobody is interested in holding you.

Forgive! Forgive past breakdowns. Forgive the times in the past when you were not held well. Create new opportunities and occasions for your own surrender.

2. SEDUCE/LEAD/PUSH THE SUBMISSIVE INTO HER CHAOS

At the beginning levels of your exploration in D/S, it is sufficient to say: ‘The submissive GIVES UP control. The Dom TAKES control.’ Well and good. When you have done this for a while, and you have paved the path to subspace with your own experiences a few times, you will observe that a more precise way to describe this journey would be to say, ‘The submissive is TAKEN out of control, and the Dom TAKES the submissive out of control.’ This state of ‘out of control’ is the submissive’s zone of CHAOS. The point of a D/S scene is for the submissive to access her chaos. And because accessing one’s chaos is a dicey affair, it’s good to have someone else there who is holding the container and guiding you into that chaos. And it is very much recommended that someone be there to bring you OUT of the chaos when your ride is over. Once you make this transition from the giving/taking of control to the guiding of submissive to and from her chaos, you will more deeply understand what the Dom-Sub partnership is about. You will understand that it is actually NOT about POWER, centrally. At the heart of D/S play is the Submissive’s Chaos.

DOM’S ROLE IN PUSHING THE SUBMISSIVE INTO HER CHAOS:

Don’t be afraid to take control of your submissive’s system. In fact, get off on it. Be present enough that you can take control skillfully and masterfully.

Deal with your own shadow. Be familiar with your own chaos. Taking someone into their chaos is a shamanic act. Would you trust yourself to a shaman who has not done their own work? Taken their own journey? Dealt with their own chaos?

Be prepared for anything. Initially you may come to this play just looking to add fun elements to your erotic life. That is also well and good. But our Eros is complicated and all tangled up. If you really want to dig deep into your partner’s Eros, you need to be able to deal with everything your partner’s eros is tangled up in. Be ready for all the rest. It’s coming.

SUBMISSIVE’S ROLE IN ACCESSING HER CHAOS:

Know that this is the true point of your surrender. Your primary surrender is to your Dom. Your ultimate surrender is to your own chaos.

Be gracious. To ask your Dom for a scene is to essentially ask your Dom to push you into your chaos. If you are making this invitation to your Dom, follow through! Be ready to go. Plunge in. Be courageous. Do your part. Don’t waste your Dom’s time and energy. And appreciate your Dom for holding this space for you so that you can dive and take your journey.

3. SURRENDER TO THE SUBMISSIVE’S CHAOS

The submissive’s chaos is the king of the scene. The submissive’s chaos rules over both the Dom & the Sub. The submissive bows down to the submissive’s chaos; the dom bows down to the submissive’s chaos. The submissive’s chaos has the final word in what any particular scene is really about.

DOM’S AND SUB’S ROLES IN SURRENDERING TO THIS CHAOS:

Listen to the chaos. Respond to the chaos. Dance with the chaos. It’s ok to set intentions and pick a direction for your scene, but your plans don’t trump the chaos that emerges. Do not resist the chaos, she will always win. If you fight her, she will fragment and destroy your scene. Trust that there are greater forces at play in our soul journey, and the pieces of this journey come through the portal of chaos. Birth is messy. Make room for the mess. Celebrate it. See the potentiality in it.

Integrate. Chaos is not the final step, integration is. Don’t leave the submissive in their chaos. Bring them back. Come back. As the Dom, do superlative aftercare. There can be deep love and affection and bonding in integration. This is heavy-duty Oxytocin land. Enjoy and relish the sweetness of integration. As the sub, don’t get hooked on your chaos. You can’t really hold on to your chaos; you can only hold on to false drama of chaos. Shun the drama. Integrate what you have experienced instead. Come back into wholeness. Do what you need to do to integrate from THIS ONE SCENE. If there is more chaos to be dealt with, grapple with it next time. There is always more chaos to deal with. Our levels go on and on.

— Om Rupani

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A Love Letter to the Anxiously Attached

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A Love Letter to the Anxiously Attached

by Crystallin Dion

My dear,

When you meet someone you really like, and when they make it clear that they really like you back, that's one of the best feelings ever (I get it). But if we’re being honest, you can sometimes be a bit quick to get physical, even to get sexual. Quick to be in a lot of communication, to spend a lot of time together, to use the language of “we, us, and our,” and “boyfriend” or “girlfriend." Quick to “choose” them, to call it a relationship, or partnership, or even love, and to peer all the way into a long and happy (imagined) future together.

Click the title to read the rest.

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Excitement and Boredom in Relationships

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Excitement and Boredom in Relationships

… from an attachment theory perspective

by Maurizio Dreamhunter Alvarez

As I dive deeper and deeper into the world of attachment theory, there's one piece that has been especially intriguing to me.

Excitement and Boredom in relationships. What drives excitement in insecure connection? And why does security appear "boring" to those working with insecure wounds?

Here's some of what I've discovered.

(click the title for the rest of the article)

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Attachment Theory: Notes, Articles & Resources

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Attachment Theory: Notes, Articles & Resources

Join the Conversation !

on the Attachment Community Facebook Group

Articles

One Attachment Style Test

Attachment Style Mini-Questionnaire

Episode #35 of the Shameless Sex Podcast: Relationship Lab - Attachment Theory With Philippe Lewis. Why do some of us push our partners away? And why do some of us want to pull and grasp? Tune in to learn more on iTunes or Google Play:

A brief article on attachment theory

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Get Stubborn With It: A Relationship Manifesto

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Get Stubborn With It: A Relationship Manifesto

by Paget Norton

“The line between madness and stubbornness is a very thin one.” ~Philippe Lewis

You want your relationship to work? You don’t know if you should stay together? Get stubborn. Stop the whining. Take a stand for your commitment. It doesn’t matter if you made it near an isolated lake with five thousand humping frogs in chorus or in front of two hundred of your closest friends and relatives. You made it. You spoke your word. Is your commitment that small that you would leave now that things have gotten hard? And by hard, I don’t mean, “We’re fighting over domestic duties again. We’re not having enough sex. We wish we had money”. By hard, I mean your soul has been gutted from your body and you’re looking for a triple-soul-bypass. That’s hard.

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Some thoughts on why people hurt people...

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Some thoughts on why people hurt people...

…and what might be done about it.

by Rain Phutureprimitive (reposted with permission)

🖤Nearly everyone has experienced trauma or wounding in their lives. Left unhealed, this can lead to all kinds of behavior, choices, actions, emotional states, unconscious survival patterns and illnesses that end up lowering the quality of our lives and negatively impacting those around us.

🖤Every person on this planet has a different threshold for, and response to, traumatic events. What is traumatic for one person may go unnoticed by another. If it landed as traumatic to the person in question, then it was traumatic for them. Likewise, what can trigger this unhealed wounding is also different for each person. The fact that it may or may not make sense to you is irrelevant to the fact that, for them, they may be reliving unhealed wounding and may not even be aware of it.

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Childhood PTSD is no jokes, regardless of your background

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Childhood PTSD is no jokes, regardless of your background

by Curt Hammer

I’m not sure where to start with this...it’s so close to my heart for many reasons. I grew up in a crazy level of privilege in terms of the race, gender, and socio-economic status of my town and school...and my family was one of the poorest in our town. So I supposed “rich-poor” would describe it.

Watching my classmates have every possible opportunity while I wondered why I couldn’t seem to function, even with a great education and many things paid for just by being a part of the town I grew up in...yet I couldn’t seem to understand why I was so...different. ADHD? Anxiety? Depression? Was I just lazy? After 30 years of bad choices and a few good ones, and MANY mixed feelings, I discovered that I had C-PTSD.

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The Anxious-Avoidant Relationship Dance

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The Anxious-Avoidant Relationship Dance

by Mike Thomas

The non-clinical population has an even amount of male and female people with anxious attachment, as well as those with avoidant attachment. The differences in gender are nuanced, but for the sake of understanding attachment from a human perspective, it’s important to step outside of the need to separate men and women’s differences, and step into the human nervous system free of gender distinctions...from there we can look at differences, but connection must be made first in order to cultivate safety in the nervous systems of BOTH partners. This is an art form that requires tremendous patience, but the payoff is well worth it.

Stan Tatkin suggests a method called “catch and release” for anxious partners who have avoidant partners who seem to be “too distant.”

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Click the title to read the rest.

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What’s Good About Anger?

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What’s Good About Anger?

A different look at where anger comes from, and how to engage with it.

by Mike Thomas

Anger is a neurophysiological state that drives upholding boundaries. This is so often misunderstood, it’s nearing epidemic levels. Rage is unchecked anger. Anger is simply the feeling and impulse to protect when boundaries are threatened.

When anger is suppressed, or when it’s not acknowledged as the subtle awareness of a breached boundary (or about to be) internally, it can easily escalate into rage.

When rage happens, anger has been bypassed unconsciously in lack of awareness, or it has been suppressed, resulting in an amplification of that feeling.

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About Becoming a Conscious Leader

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About Becoming a Conscious Leader

by Philippe Lewis

When we begin to show up as a leader, we begin to have impact. We want to make a difference and we begin to develop the skills of social, emotional, and intellectual influence. This is power.

Many also, by the same token, begin to explore the skills of primal and sexual influence, some of it consciously, some not.

We may not want to take responsibility for it because we didn't ask for it. Because we didn't consent to it. Or perhaps it's because it's not our problem, because it's not something we chose. Or perhaps it's not something our "group" has been known to impact others with.

But we do choose to speak up into the world to make a difference.

THIS RIGHT NOW IS THE DIFFERENCE WE ARE MAKING IN PEOPLE'S LIVES, to speak up and be heard.

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The New Calling Out: Becoming the Leader We Actually Need

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The New Calling Out: Becoming the Leader We Actually Need

by Philippe Lewis

Calling out has been used to get the right people to LISTEN.

It's both a form of social signaling (to garner attention towards a problem) and a way to get attention from the person who NEEDS to listen to the impact they had on the speaker, or someone the speaker loves, 
or a community the speaker loves, 
or an ideology the speaker loves, 
or a philosophy the speaker loves.

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Click the title to read the rest.

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How I Rediscovered Platonic Touch As a Father, and How This Matters for the Consent Culture of Tomorrow

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How I Rediscovered Platonic Touch As a Father, and How This Matters for the Consent Culture of Tomorrow

by Philippe Lewis

This article was also posted on the Good Men Project.

You might have read articles about about how boys and men -- at least in the US if not in the western world -- are deprived of touch because of the scripts that narrowly define masculinity, manhood, what a man does and what a man wants (Here’s three: here, here, and here).

I, too, have experienced some version of it, and this is my story.

I grew up in Canada, a progressive country, in a progressive family. I went to schools that taught morals alongside catechism (students could pick either), personal development, and the social side of sex education (not just the biology). My parents never said to me “Be a man!”, never shamed me for crying (both of them cried in front of us), and never taught me and my sister the scripts of masculinity or femininity. If anything, they taught us what it looks like to be a family and making things work by doing the best we can and getting help when we couldn’t.

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9 Ways To Support Partners Who Are Survivors of Sexual Violence

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9 Ways To Support Partners Who Are Survivors of Sexual Violence

by Philippe Lewis

Sexual abuse and assault can happen to anyone. Most often, we hear about it happening between partners, but what is the best course of action when we hear that our partner was just assaulted or that they reveal to us that they have a history of trauma or abuse? For most couples, this is a challenging situation rife with triggers and hurt. This list is a simple way to begin the support process with a partner who needs it. Each item could be a blog post unto itself. If you require further support, please contact me or any other mental health professional directly.

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How To Show Up For The #MeToo Movement

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How To Show Up For The #MeToo Movement

by Philippe Lewis

It seems like everywhere the #metoo movement is leaving men wondering what to do – which is not surprising given that men like to DO things. Sometimes, of course, the incessant doing of men can get in the way and camouflage a feeling of inadequacy or a need to get attention. However, there are men out there who are truly seeing how much work there is to do and are simply ready, willing, and (hopefully somewhat) able to take action, and just need a sense of direction. Because, while this article may be preaching to a choir of clear conscious healthy men (as opposed to their pale substitute, the Sensitive New Age Guy, or SNAG or other types – and then again, even conscious men are apparently committing assault), there’s a multitude of men who are just waking up and looking to make a responsible and healthy difference.

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Do you wish to Harmonize your Masculine and your Feminine?

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Do you wish to Harmonize your Masculine and your Feminine?

I'm so honored to be included as one of the many amazing experts in this article by my friend Maddy Moon! Together we offer amazing value with these practical tips on harmonizing your masculine and your feminine!

Read the article here.

Here’s my piece:

“Your masculine and feminine energy can be experienced as two different energetic/emotional aspects of you: The Brother, who relates to other men as “brothers”, and the Sister, who relates to other women as “sisters”. Because of how we are socialized as we grow up, one is usually less developed than the other. In some cases — especially those who didn’t engage socially with either boys and girls as they grew up — both need to be developed. The trick is to grow them to a degree that they feel mature and in graceful relationship to other brothers and sisters. Do you have close or best friends from the opposite sex? What about of the same sex? Do you have friendships with those you would normally perceive as “other” such that you can feel into them as a mirror for you, as another you?

This tip is simple yet rich: which of your inner Brother or Sister has the least friendships? Ask each of them. Then, consciously allow the one you picked to engage deeply with others and create these friendships such he/she can develop a more harmonious relationship with itself through relationships with others. This is not about “getting” anything from the relationship, but rather about connecting and engaging. Harmony will come from this practice.”

by Philippe Lewis

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CLASS: Fifty Shades of Yes: A class about collaborative co-created consent

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CLASS: Fifty Shades of Yes: A class about collaborative co-created consent

by Philippe Lewis

Recorded at the Hawaii Tantra Festival 2017

This recording begins about 1/3rd of the class in, after the initial connection exercises that involved walking around being a yes, a maybe, and a no (without specific actions required by the participants)

A lot of lessons can be learned when we can consider that someone's "yes" can change from moment to moment, and when we have to remain curious about someone's feelings, pace, desires and boundaries as time goes by. 

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The Stages of Relationship: From Bliss Bubble To... What's Next?

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The Stages of Relationship: From Bliss Bubble To... What's Next?

by Philippe Lewis

Stage One: The bliss bubble

If Stage 1 of a relationship is the bliss bubble, then Stage 2 is reached when the bubble bursts when one or more of the following events happen:

  • The Big Fight: the very first and biggest fight so far, where you get to see how weird and strange and intense and childish and far and deep you and the other person can get when things spiral down. And sometimes, how stupid the initial reason is. For me and Paget, it was about licking a knife at breakfast.

  • The Big Turn Off: where you get to see a piece of the darkness of the other person (or in each other), or how nasty and mean the other person can get, or how you hurt each other and get really turned off by it.

  • The First Betrayal of Trust: where one or both people betrays the other in a really deep way, killing or sapping the other person's trust. This usually leads to the Big Fight and the Big Turn Off

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Unless You Live Under a Rock, Shadow is in Your Face And All Up in Your Business -- and You Blame Others for it.

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Unless You Live Under a Rock, Shadow is in Your Face And All Up in Your Business -- and You Blame Others for it.

by Philippe Lewis

But don't just take my word for it.

I love articles about the "Love and Light" spiritual bypass crap that goes from the indirect bypass/shaming/guilting/shunning all the way to the loud "calling out" of anyone that doesn't behave with pure "love and light" in their heart. 

Well, I've got news for you: unless you've lived under a rock (or in cave, how spiritually romantic), and were raised by the perfect parents (which simply don't exist), then as you've circled the sun you've come to realize that you're not only living in a REAL and GRITTY world, you're also likely accumulated shadow/shit/stuff faster than you can integrate it. And if not you, then the people around you who you have to live with, deal with and be in relationship with. 

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Men, Your Erection Is Not A Sacred Cow

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Men, Your Erection Is Not A Sacred Cow

(PS: AND BLUE BALLS ARE A POOR EXCUSE FOR WANTING SEX)

by Philippe Lewis

Our society has evolved you to think that your erection is a sacred thing.

When you are hard, women are told that something needs to happen: you need to be pleasured, touched, you need to fuck, hump, grind. Everyone has to do something about it.

When you are soft, it apparently means you're not interested or that the person who is with you is not doing something right, not hot enough, not touching you right, not doing what you want in bed. It's someone else's fault.

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