Introduction to Headspace

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Note: I am preparing a lecture series for a speaking engagement I was booked for, and I am sharing the information here so that anyone and everyone can use them. Today’s topic is Part One of the introduction to kink workshop, where I discuss how head space plays a role in kink. 

Introduction to Kink: Headspace

There are a lot of aspects to kink, which I think people don’t realize. From the outside, maybe it’s the clothes that folks notice, or maybe they heard about a specific fetish and they find it weird. But there is a lot more to kink than that.

First, let’s talk about the mindset.

A huge part of kink s something we like to call “head space.” This refers to the frame of mind a person gets into when they are going to play a kink scene.

There are terms you should know that are involved in this frame of mind. Here are some quick and dirty definitions.

Sub Space: This is a way to describe the peaceful state that a submissive is trying to obtain during a scene. Ideally, they want to become completely relaxed and go inside of themselves. They want to focus completely on the sensations happening to them.

Catharsis: We use this term to describe the feeling of getting into sub space and having that perfect moment of peace. This can often cause a submissive to cry; but it is not tears from the pain or degradation involved in a scene. It is the feeling of finally getting an experience they dreamed of and feeling the way they hoped to feel.

After Care: After a scene, it is important to talk it out if possible. Bringing up any problems can make for a better scene next time. However, sometimes there is nothing to talk about. Sometimes everything was wonderful, and the only thing to do is to remain in physical contact (For example, stroking a Pet’s hair) until they “come down.”

Sub Drop: This expresses the feeling a submissive feels when a scene is over. Sometimes this is due to a lack of After Care, but it can also happen even with an attentive top. Sometimes there is just a feeling of sadness that follows, and it is important to be supportive of a submissive during this time.

Top Drop: We use this term to describe the feelings of sadness a top might feel after a scene. There is a rush of adrenalin and endorphins during a scene, and sometimes afterwards when those hormones wear off, it can leave you feeling let down.

There are lots more terms, but I don’t want to overload you with information since this is meant to be an introduction to kink. These terms are given mostly to illustrate what it is like from a mental standpoint. There is a lot going on under the surface. To an outsider it may just look like a woman in leather hitting a boy who is tied up, but that isn’t all there is to kink. A huge part of it is the mental play, and embracing the roles of Master and Slave (or Top and Bottom or Dom and Sub- you get the idea.)

How do you get into headspace?

A common question is how to approach getting into the right frame of mind. After all, it doesn’t necessarily come naturally to a person to whip another person (for some it does, but let’s focus on the folks who need help.)

I am almost always the Top, or Domme in a scene.

For me, getting into a headspace is mostly about putting on my clothes (I favor a lot of vinyl) and listening to loud music. The clothes are sort of a ritual. It’s a way for me to leave my normal mindset and focus on the mindset I am trying to transition into. The loud music is usually industrial, and that just gets my blood flowing.

This is not unlike getting yourself into other types of mindsets. For example, think of women who take a long time to shave and dress while listening to music before a date; it’s  about feeling sexy. Or think of a man who practices lines in the shower, trying to focus on what to say on a date. Even in the case of putting on something solemn and black before a funeral, you are mentally preparing yourself for the situation you are about to go into.

Kink is just like this. It also requires getting into a mood.


Scene Negotiation:

I know that in the porn movies things just happen. But in real life, we need to focus on “safe, sane, and consensual.” That means talking things out first.

There are several useful scene negotiation forms online, but basically you need to decide a few things:

1. What role do you want to play?

2. What are your soft limits (things you are unsure about)?

3. What are you hard limits (things you refuse to do)?

4. What will you be using to prevent STDs or pregnancy?

5. What is your safe word (red for stop, yellow for slow down, green for go)?

Note: I like to use stoplight colors for safe words because I think it’s universal and easy. I know all the jokes are about silly safewords like “banana pancakes” and you can do that if you want. But it’s best in the begging to keep it simple.

Now, a basic scene negotiation form will help you negotiate those main points, but of course there is more you can consider. For example, there are several good fetish lists online, so you can download one and fill it out with your partner if you want to get more in-depth in your discussions (maybe you are eager to have a serious conversation about adult baby play?)

You don’t have to go overboard your first time out, but you do need to make sure that you both have clear expectations. If you think resentment can build up quickly in vanilla sex (why won’t she go down on me?) trust me that it can build up faster when kink is involved.

Setting Up a Scene:

Once you are in the right mindset, it is important to set up the scene. Sometimes kink is spontaneous, but not most of the time. It is more typical for things to be planned in advance. Here are some things to consider:

Safety: Make sure that if you are using rope, you have something to cut the rope away quickly if needed. Have water handy for your submissive as physical strain can lead to a need to hydrate. Make sure you have a safeword sorted out, or a nonverbal signal if the submissive will be gagged.

Mood: Make sure that your lighting is right, and you have music in the background. Set everything up in such a way that both you and your partner will be comfortable.

Toys: Any toys you plan to use should be cleaned and laid out beforehand, so that they are easy to get to. This is because stopping a scene to dig for a toy can jar the submissive out of subspace. If possible, it’s best to avoid stopping the scene.

Blankets: Make sure there is a yoga mat or blanket on the floor if you intend to have your submissive kneel for any part of the scene.

These are just general concerns, but obviously there are specifics to consider too. For example, if you are doing anal, you should have lube handy. Always be prepared so that things can go smoothly once the scene begins.

Playing a Scene:

Once it is time to actually play, it’s up to you what you want to do! I can’t tell you what your kink should be. However, I do want to caution you to start slowly, and let sensations build. You don’t want to whip someone full-force right from the start. Perhaps run the whip along their skin first, and then let it fall across them lightly. Just let thinks build up so that you can both have time to make sure that you are okay with what is happening, and so that it isn’t too jarring.


In conclusion, the mindset you go into play with is important. I know that isn’t apparent when watching a scene at a dungeon or in a movie. However, I want to assure you that what is going on underneath the surface is every bit as important as what is going on outside of the participant’s heads. Kink is about indulging in fetishes, but it is also about a power exchange taking place below the surface, and without that component it isn’t very exciting or fulfilling for anyone.


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