Ever felt so high you couldn’t get back to normal? People who have used drugs before can confirm it. The drug causes a rush in serotonin and dopamine which then needs replenishment over the next days. This leaves the individual feeling emotionally raw or drained. Oddly enough, this is also a phenomenon in the convention-going community, referred to as ‘Con Drop’ in which they feel burned out and irritable in the days following a convention.
Sub Drop is a popular BDSM product for those who enjoy it. It usually follows a heavy session or intense session where their system has been flooded by endorphins. I say hours or days after because everyone’s metabolic rate is different and processes excess levels of endorphins and dopamine over varying lengths of time.
You may not even notice that you’re experiencing Sub Drop after an intense BDSM scene until you need to deal with something stressful and find that it’s affecting you more than it normally would. You may feel more stressed than usual, be more irritable, or need to be surrounded by people. It’s different for everyone, but the bottom line is that someone experiencing Sub Drop will find themselves acting or reacting in ways that they normally don’t.
It’s just like depression in that your body is trying to reboot its normal levels of stress and happiness hormones. Sub Drop hormones can be affected before and after the Sub Drop.
- Endorphins & Enkephalins: Both of these substances are produced by the body to reduce pain and also cause euphoria.
- Epinephrine: AKA adrenaline. This is your body’s response to stress. To your primal brain, the pain being inflicted during a BDSM session isn’t so much different from, say, a bobcat attack and it responds in a way that it thinks is appropriate.
- Dopamine: The pleasure hormone our brain releases when it anticipates a reward, such as acceptance or climax. Dopamine is a pleasure hormone that some people feel when they experience pain. BDSM is effective for some people, but not everyone.
While you wait for your hormones and natural opioids, what can you do? Sub Drop Aftercare is here to help.
Sub Drop AftercARe
Just like BDSM boundaries And safe words BDSM Aftercare is a way to help your partner feel more pain and pleasure. Here are some things you can do to help them if they become distant or irritable over the following hours and days.
It is temporary. For partners experiencing Sub Drop, it’s important to keep in mind the perspective that it is a short-term state they are going through as their bodies replenish themselves.
Some Subs even keep an Aftercare Kit full of things like sugary snacks, scented candles, even a pair of warm & fuzzy socks to keep them feeling calm in the meantime.
Be there for them, be near them, or ignore them completely. Some Subs need more attention and affection while others prefer to be alone to process their emotions. Others still will want the presence of a person without any interaction — just sharing space in a together-but-solitary way. Sub Drop allows the person to choose how to handle their emotions and must communicate these to the partner.
Colin Hanna is a Volonté contributor and freelance writer who lives in Shanghai, China with his wife. He’s written extensively about sex and human sexuality for LELO since 2010.