Sub Drop: A Comprehensive Guide to Sub Drop in BDSM

Sub Drop - Learn all about Sub Drop in BDSM

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Sub Drop. It’s the emotional hangover of BDSM, and trust me, it’s real.

“Sub Drop” (sometimes written Sub-drop or Subdrop) is a commonly encountered but often misunderstood phenomenon. It refers to the complex interplay of emotional and physiological reactions following intense BDSM scenes, experienced by the submissive partner in a D/s dynamic.

Think of it as the emotional hangover of BDSM, and trust me, it’s real.

In this guide, I’ll explain the intricacies of Sub Drop, highlighting the pivotal role of aftercare in managing this unique condition. Understanding Sub Drop is not just about recognizing its symptoms but also about ensuring the emotional and physical well-being of participants through effective aftercare.

What the hell is Sub Drop?

Picture this: you’ve had an amazing BDSM scene, riding high on all those feel-good hormones, and then – boom! You’re hit with a wave of blues, or you’re as tired as if you’ve just run a marathon. That, my friends, is Sub Drop. It’s this wild mix of emotional and physical reactions that can sneak up on you post-scene.

Sub Drop is like being hit with a wave of blues

Sub Drop manifests as a sudden onslaught of negative emotions and physical symptoms after a BDSM scene. This experience contrasts starkly with other post-scene feelings, characterized by a unique blend of emotional and physical reactions, often catching participants off guard.

The psychological aspect revolves around feelings of emptiness or sadness, while the physiological aspect might include exhaustion or a sense of physical depletion.

The extent of the sub drop you experience will depend on your level of experience with BDSM, how you are feeling on the day, what activities were done during the scene, and how intense the scene was.

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For example, a quick spank and some sex isn’t going to make most people experience sub drop. But SOME people might. Likewise, an extremely intense scene involving hard impact play may cause sub drop in many people.

How long does Sub Drop last?

Sub Drop can last from an hour to two, all the way up to several days. As indicated above, the length and intensity of the Sub Drop you feel will depend on many factors.

If you are experiencing long periods of Sub Drop then you may want to reduce the intensity of your BDSM scenes. Or at least communicate to your Dominant that you are experiencing Sub Drop as having them with you may help to alleviate the symptoms.

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Do Dominants experience Sub Drop?

Dominants don’t experience Sub Drop, but they may experience “Dom Drop”, the Dominant’s equivalent of Sub Drop. It is very similar to Sub Drop, in that it is caused by the come down from a scene.

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What causes Sub Drop?

So, why does your body do a 180 turn post-BDSM and fill you with all these negative emotions? During a scene, your body is all hyped up on endorphins and adrenaline. Once the scene is over, these levels drop, and sometimes, they take your mood and energy with them. It’s not just the physical stuff; the emotional intensity of a scene can also leave you feeling a bit out of sorts.

What is the difference between Subspace and Sub Drop?

Subspace is the euphoric, happy, relaxed state some people experience during and right after a BDSM scene, caused by the endorphins and adrenaline which was released due to the play. Subspace is over in a matter of minutes or hours.

On the other hand, Sub Drop is the opposite. It’s once your body gets rid of all those happy chemicals (which can take several hours or days), leaving you feeling low, anxious, and generally having negative thoughts and feelings.

Think of Subspace and Sub Drop as the Ying and Yang of BDSM.

Symptoms of Sub Drop

Sub Drop can manifest in various forms.

Physically, you might feel tired, shaky, or cold. It might present as fatigue, shivering, or a drop in body temperature.

Emotionally, it’s like a mini existential crisis – feeling sad, lonely, or just blah. individuals often experience feelings of sadness, loneliness, or detachment. On a cognitive level, symptoms may include confusion or a lack of concentration. You might experience some brain fog that makes you feel like you’re walking through molasses. 

How to manage and prevent Sub Drop

No matter what anyone says, if you’re a sub then you will probably experience Sub Drop at some point in your life. There’s no way to 100% eliminate it, but you can certainly reduce it with three practical steps.

Sub Drop can be alleviated by good aftercare.

1. Tell your Dom if Sub Drop is likely

If you know that you are the type of sub who frequently gets Sub Drop, let them know. Tell them what to expect, and how they can help you through it. If you’re used to large Sub Drops then you probably already have a coping mechanism in place, but they still might want to help.

Communication plays a vital role in a D/s dynamic as I’m sure you know. Helping partners understand what forms of aftercare will be most beneficial in mitigating the effects of Sub Drop is key.

2. Good aftercare

Post BDSM scene your partner should be giving you some aftercare. In fact, in my book Sensational Scenes I talk about how aftercare is actually part of the BDSM scene in my eyes. It’s one of the 4 phases of a great BDSM scene. (Learn more in the book here).

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When negotiating a scene you should have already told your Dominant what you need during aftercare. Then they can be sure to provide that to you. It might involve providing emotional support through active listening, offering physical comfort, and ensuring a safe, nurturing environment.

You also have a duty of care to yourself. Part of your aftercare routine might include self-care, such as getting adequate rest, staying hydrated, and engaging in soothing practices. Maybe a nice long hot shower is your way of bringing yourself back to the real-world after a scene.

As well as the clear out of chemical highs experienced during the BDSM scene, you might also experience some feelings of shame or guilt around the activities which you were involved in. This is perfectly normal. So reminding yourself that you did nothing wrong, that you are a good person, and that you are allowed to enjoy your sexuality can also help reduce feelings of Sub Drop.

3. Daily check-ins

The second thing you might want to do is daily check-ins in the days following a BDSM scene, especially if you don’t live with your Dominant.

This might be you calling them on the phone, or them calling you to have a chat. Hearing their voice, talking through what you enjoyed about the scene, and generally knowing someone is looking out for you can really help your moods.

Additional resources

  • To hear how Moineau experiences Subspace and Sub Drop, have a listen to our podcast episode on Subspace.
  • The Art of Submission. Our course for submissives wanting to learn more about the D/s lifestyle and how to make their fantasies a reality. 

Concluding this guide to Sub Drop

Well, that’s all, folks! We’ve taken a wild ride through the ups and downs of Sub Drop and discovered the cozy blanket that is aftercare. Remember, whether you’re a seasoned player or a curious newbie in the vast and vibrant world of BDSM, aftercare is your best buddy when trying to reduce the effects of Sub Drop.

It’s the secret sauce, the cherry on top, the comforting hug after an adrenaline-packed adventure. It’s like the cool-down after a workout – it helps you recover, reflect, and relish the experience. So, chat about it, plan it, and make it as unique as your journey.

And hey, if you ever find yourself in the clutches of Sub Drop, know that it’s as normal as craving chocolate on a rainy day.

Keep exploring, keep communicating, and most importantly, keep enjoying every moment of your BDSM journey. Till next time, stay safe, respect boundaries, and sprinkle your adventures with heaps of aftercare. You’ve got this!

The Art of Submission. A course for beginner submissives
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