This is a guest post by Mistress Steel. It was part of her Steel's Chamber Scrolls which is now defunct. Shared with Permission.
For the purposes of this article I will assume that the submissive is 'new' to the lifestyle and that the Dominant directing them has limited or no experience with this aspect of BDSM.
With most submissives it is important for them to first 'believe' in the existence of sub-space and second to identify the sensations within themselves that are indicators of the existence of that space when they have entered it. There are a few submissives that can be triggered non-voluntarily into sub-space but this phenomenon is somewhat rare and is not the direct focus of this article.
Here is a link to my article titled 'Defining Sub Space' which will describe the stages or levels of achievable space for those unfamiliar with them.
Sub-Space is very similar to other trancelike conditions which are practiced worldwide under names such as prayer, meditation and hypnosis or regression. I include prayer for several important reasons, in many ways common prayer is a focusing of thought and energy on a single point, idea or 'individual' (divine presence). This activity is often accompanied by patterned behavior. Or, repetitious actions which the individual takes prior to and during the activity itself. Patterns in behavior quiet or appear to calm the brain allowing the mind to enter a 'transcendent' state. Consider how you feel when you do a repetitious task over and over again. A part of you develops a rhythm or cadence - you may find your mind relaxes to feel centered, filled, and or a part of something greater or beyond yourself. You may discover that you are humming a tune and often your 'mood' will appear to lighten or stress will reduce. It may allow you to feel more connected to the abundant life that surrounds you each day. Many people describe sensations 'after' prayer such as 'seeing' the vibrant colors of plants or the almost sensual aroma of bread from the bakery down the street. There appears to be a 'clarifying' aspect to the entirety of the exercise. Common prayer is something that most people are familiar with in some way or have personally engaged in. That calm space that your mind 'reaches' during prayer or meditation is space. I should also note here that for many people achieving space carries with it spiritual connotations.
The submissive should relax. Find a bed or couch and rest your head in the lap of your Dominant. Close your eyes and allow all of the random and erratic 'thoughts' to diminish. In other words you need to turn off the part of your brain that is constantly chattering at you. Concentrate or focus on the feeling of your head resting against your Dominant. Listen to your own breathing and the sound and feel of that person within their connection to you. There is nothing to fear within space. Venturing here will not harm you. As you relax you should focus upward or toward your Dominant. For many people it is difficult to 'visualize' a person inside of their brain. We tend to 'see' other people not as snapshots of images but as a complex blending of sensation, emotion and idealization. Your Dominant 'feels' a certain identifiable way to you. Reach for that 'feeling'. Feel their presence.
The Dominant should caress the submissive such as to gently brush back small tendrils of their hair (This is a pattern!). retain physical contact. We are all electrical beings to some extent and a part of what we feel from or radiate TO each other is the movement of energy. This flow of energy can be best directed by hard conduits or the maintenance of physical touch during the entirety of the event. When a Dominant touches a submissive and directs thought AT that submissive that Dominant is actually directing their own physical and mental energy AT the submissive. Practice improves this ability! When the relationship is new the maintenance of this physical conduit is very important as both people are learning how to 'feel' inside of each other. At some later stages a Dominant and a submissive can often 'feel' each other without the need for this physical connection. The Dominant may have an experience which can best be described as empathic or 'feeling thru' their submissive. Learning how to find this space from both directions takes time, patience, natural aptitude and a strong desire.
The submissive is turning 'off' their own voice and shifting their attention or focus to listening 'for' the voice of their Dominant. This is a mental voice 'inside' of the submissive and at least initially a 'physical voice' from the Dominant. The more your brain is 'talking' the less you will 'hear'. The Dominant can enhance the 'scene' for this attempt by limiting things which can distract the submissives brain. Dim the lights. Turn off the phone. Do not have somewhere to go in 30 minutes. Have already eaten your dinner. Have already taken bathroom breaks. Remove anything from the submissives body which may be physically uncomfortable. Some people also light candles and play 'white sound' music. If you do so then make certain that the volume is so low that you can barely hear it. Remember that as your submissive descends into space their hearing will become more acute and that tiny sounds will amplify. (White sound is sound which blurs out other sounds - tapes and CD's can be purchased for this effect!)
The Dominant should speak slowly and softly to their submissive using a flat or monotone voice (This is a pattern!). The content of what is said should be non-emotional or words that will not create an emotional reaction inside of your submissive. Ex: Do not talk to them about something they have done wrong or something that needs doing. You can tell them something like: "your skin is very soft and lovely. . ." Compliments in general or positive commentary will enhance your submissives feelings of being safe, held, wanted, caressed, desired. Good or positive feelings will encourage your submissive to 'reach' for you! This is a mental reaching. In large part your submissive is reaching for that connection to you - this can feel like reaching into your energy stream. I need to note here that several things can impair a persons apparent energy outflow. The most common of these is smoking. Nicotine has effects on the brain, calming or dampening effects. If you are a smoker then at least to some extent you are probably using nicotine to blunt your highs (mental) and level out your lows. Alcohol and any type of medication which alters the brain chemistry may also have residual effects which may essentially 'limit' the potential range and power of your energy. This is also important for submissives, many submissives also smoke or otherwise use drugs or medications which can affect their ability to transcend space. For a submissive reaching 'for' a Dominant smoker, that Dominant may feel 'flat' or without the vibrancy that a nonsmoking Dominant may feel like.
The submissive may feel themselves to be flowing along their Dominant's energy stream. This connection is important. Once a submissive has entered Space the Dominant should maintain physical and verbal contact with them at all times. The submissive may feel that their connection to reality is thru the Dominant so abandonment in Space can be terribly frightening and almost certain to cause a serious loss of trust when the submissive re-tops. Some submissives actually visualize this conduit or connection to their Dominant as being similar to a cord of luminescent light that connects them together. Their Dominant is their safety. By vacating apparent reality the submissive is releasing themselves to a level of personal vulnerability (should children wander in to see them zoning . . . etc. . . ) The submissive trusts that their Dominant will protect them mentally, physically, emotionally and even spiritually when they have flowed into their Dominant in space.
Space in some ways is the removal of daily debris from the sensory array. By limiting the brains imput to a few tightly controlled or monitored sensations and sounds the brain moves away from the cacophony of mental sound and within that movement becomes capable of highly enhanced potentials. To some extent it may be considered that Space is a higher level of brain functioning or the individual is selectively using specific parts of the brain in a more efficient way. It allows the brain the ability to view and experience incoming data in totally different ways, which inevitably alters how the spacing individual will view reality after they have exited space. Movement thru Sub-Space is often called flight!
When the exercise of achieving space for the first time is achieved it is crucial for the Dominant to realize that the effects of space will linger inside of their submissive for a long time. This makes aftercare vital. Your submissive will need comfort, reassurance and what can best be described as cuddling.Do not limit this after care to when you (the Dominant) believe that enough has been given but allow your submissive to cuddle or maintain physical contact for as long as they feel the need. If this exercise was done after dinner then it is an excellent idea to cuddle for a while then climb into bed together where physical contact can be maintained. The Dominant should be aware that at this point their submissive may be too 'close' to space and that sensory contact (such as sex) may be difficult on them mentally. The event may be more than enough for them to process that night. Other submissives will become extremely aroused by the event and need the completion of intimate relations. If your submissive appears to only want to cuddle - let that be enough. You will or may see variations from one extreme to another as you explore Space further with the same submissive.
Further notes: Space has some unique properties. One of these is the ability for the submissive to regress. Sometimes this occurs involuntarily when there is something in that submissives past that the submissives subconscious believes the submissive needs to face or deal with. The Dominant needs to be aware of this potential and at least be capable of being supportive should such a flashback occur. If you (as a Dominant) feel incapable of dealing with the type of material that your submissive reveals then it is an excellent idea to locate a good mental health care giver () to work through these unresolved issues with your submissive. Revealment of such an issue is seldom a bad thing. Try not to be judgmental regardless of the content of what you hear. Remember that it is quite possible that your submissive in top or normal space will have blocked the memory - (they will remember almost everything after releasing it in space). The brain usually releases such memories when IT believes it is safe and healthy to do so.
Written by F.R.R. Mallory - also known as Mistress Steel. This article may be excerpted from Extreme Space, The Domination and Submission Handbook, Safe, Sane and Consensual, Dangerous Choices or other books by F.R.R. Mallory and shared here with her permission. Please click on the book title for information on how you can order a copy of these books and others by F.R.R. Mallory.