By Raven Shadowborne © 1999
There is quite a bit of controversy over the existence or non-existence of Dom-space. Quite a few dominants describe similar experiences during a session that they term "Dom-space". Often, new dominants will ask if such a thing exists and if it does, what is it. Depending on who you ask, is the answer you will get.
Dom-space is the dominant's equivalent of sub-space. Like sub-space, each person's experience with Dom-space varies. No two people will have exactly the same experiences with this occurrence.
Unlike sub-space, the dominant does not lose control of their thoughts or actions in most cases. The opposite occurs instead. Those who have described Dom-space say it is like an intensifying of what is going on in a session. Some say they can feel the presence of the submissive, his/her heartbeat, breathing, and even thoughts. Some have described it as a mental bonding in which the dominant and submissive reach a place together in which words are no longer necessary and pure instinct takes over. Some have said that when this occurs, they just "know" what to do and when to do it, in order to get exactly the response they want. It is often described as feeling like the toy (whip, crop, whatever) is nothing more than an extension of their arm, a part of them instead of something wholly separate from them. Most people who have experienced this, say Dom-space includes a heightened sense of physical arousal beyond just an erection. During such an arousal, every nerve in the body becomes extremely sensitive, some say to the point where you can feel the very air touching your skin.
Some people use the term Dom-space to describe a mental mindset. Using the term this way pertains to the mental feeling of control and power that occurs in a dominant. This use can occur outside of a session as well as during a session. It is more of a personal experience, whereas the other definition often includes the submissive. This is a more singular sensation, which gives heightened awareness of one's personal power and position. It can be quite strong, to the point of affecting the dominant's body with physical arousal, or increased strength. It's a mental adrenaline rush. Many describe it as a very heady feeling that often hits when the submissive blatantly shows their submission. For example, a submissive agrees to try a golden shower even though he/she is unsure if she will enjoy it. Seeing the submissive kneeling naked, waiting to receive the shower, can create a major head rush of power in the dominant. Or the submissive accepts a permanent mark of ownership such as a tattoo, brand or piercing. Watching (or participating) the submissive take this mark willingly, can cause an overwhelming feeling of ownership, responsibility and power in the dominant as well.
Like sub-space, Dom-space requires the right atmosphere or trigger in order for the dominant to enter Dom-space. For some this could be something as simple as the submissive kneeling without being told to, or as complex as a very involved scene. How intensely Dom-space affects the dominant is also highly personalized. For some it is rather mild, for others they describe it as being almost psychic to the point where they can "see" the submissive and feel them even with their eyes closed.
The ability to enter Dom-space is affected by such things as physical health and stress level. If a dominant is ill, or overly stressed, Dom-space may be impossible to reach. For some, failing to reach Dom-space, is the equivalent of impotence. It can be a painful blow to the ego. However, failing to attain Dom-space once in a while, does not mean you've lost your "dominance" or your liking for b/d or s/m play. It simply means you are human, and like any other human being, your mental and emotional states are affected by your daily experiences.
For those who have experienced such emotions or reactions, Dom-space is considered a reality. For those who have not experienced, it is often dismissed as a fantasy. It is up to you to decide if you believe it exists, or not.
- Also see the page [ http://www.fetishalliance.net/Stories/SM_Learning/Headspace/domspacebyravenshadowborne.htm ] on Wikipedia