I just spent four days with Sir. Now I’m dropping. This post is part educational and part self-exploratory.
What is sub-drop?
What is sub–drop? It’s an emotional and physical low, that begins anywhere from a few hours to a few days after an emotional/endorphin high and can last hours to weeks. The specific term sub–drop comes from the kink community, because it’s typically experienced by submissive individuals after an intense scene… top-drop is, from a biochemical perspective, the same thing only experienced by the person taking a dominant role in the scene… However, you don’t have to be kinky to experience sub/top-drop. You don’t even have to be involved in a scene to experience it. (sour
I experience drop when I come back from spending x-number of days with Sir. At first I didn’t recognize it as drop. The symptoms are similar to that which I experience after an intense BDSM scene/play:
- Depression and a general feeling of sadness.
- Irritability, and while searching for the cause I may erroneously blame it’s source on someone or something else.
- Feeling antsy, like I need or want something to do, something to “ground me”, but can’t pinpoint exactly what this is.
- Headachey. General malaise.
- Over-thinking, especially if I don’t recognize it as dropping. I have all this stuff I’m feeling, and I want a reason for it, so I over-think. Typically, I over think my relationship with Sir.
These symptoms usually last 1-3 days for me.
So what happens in the body during sub-drop anyway?
I like how this author explains it:
Unfortunately, the human body is designed for steady-state mediums, not peaks and dips, so when we experience a high (naturally from emotion or induced by an activity/drug) our body can get overloaded.
If you have too much of a particular hormone in your system, the receptors for those hormones get “full” — they’re all occupied and there can be extra hormone molecules floating around your bloodstream just waiting their turn to do their thing.
This is why sub-drop doesn’t happen immediately: there’s a time delay that is dependent on your body’s metabolic rate for dopamine and seratonin, as well as how much of those hormones you produced.
Furthermore, when you have an excess of hormone A floating around, your body produces another hormone (hormone B) that tells your body “hey, we’ve got too much hormone A, let’s stop making it to conserve resources and not overdose.”
So the entire time you’re metabolizing hormone A (aka coming down from your biochemical high), your body is producing more and more hormone B… By the time you’ve finally used up the hormone A that was floating around, you now have an excess of hormone B.
This is when your sub-drop hits you. Your body doesn’t have the happy-making hormone A available anymore, and you still have lots and lots of hormone B telling your body “we don’t need hormone A.”
Typically sub-drop happens after an intense BDSM scene or play. But I experience it after just being with him for a few days, even when we haven’t had an intense scene/play. Why is that?
The answer may lie in subspace.
Ok, so what is subspace?
For the purpose of this post, I’m not referring to the typical (modern) definition of subspace, which is defined as the endorphin/adrenaline high that masochists experience from pain. I’m referring to the original definition of subspace, who some differentiate today by renaming it “submissive mental space”.
Blogger fcsy has written much on this topic and we have had many personal conversations over the years about the difference in definitions. Fcsy defines it in the following way:
Submissive mental space is a psychological shift that some subs experience when their standard personality is replaced by their submissive one. When someone enters that space, they become an entirely different person. So many aspects of themselves undergo a change: their thought process, the way they perceive the world, their values, their priority structure, how they see themselves, and so on.
It can be a struggle for subs to understand or articulate what they are feeling in this space. On its basic level, they can tell that they “feel submissive.” In many cases it is accompanied by (sometimes confusing) arousal. If you or someone you know has ever been in a position where they were unable to “get into it” or unable to have submissive feelings, it means that they were unable to reach their submissive mental space. source
The difference displayed by the space shift may be mild or drastic depending upon the person. The contrast is most obvious when a person’s submissive persona differs greatly from their standard persona, e.g. someone that is an alpha CEO by day, submissive by night.
It is also very common for subs that enter submissive mental space to become sexually aroused and remain that way for extended periods of time, frequently for the duration of being immersed in that space. source
I believe there is also an increase in hormones that happens in submissive mental space as well. Maybe not the sudden dump that happens during a BDSM scene, but a more steady release into system, dependent upon how long they have been immersed in it. (For the purpose of this blog, when I say “subspace”, I’m referring this submissive mental space.)
Whenever I’m in Sir’s presence I am constantly flowing in and out of subspace. No, let me correct that. I’m in a constant state of subspace; it’s the level of subspace I experience that fluctuates. The deeper I go, the more my submissive persona is felt, and thus portrayed. But there is always this underlying hum of submission. I am always aware of my place, in relation to Sir.
The reason for this is two fold: 1. He is dominant by personality. It’s not a role he plays. It permeates everything about him, and this feeds who I am as a submissive; and 2. He spontaneously reminds me of my place from time to time… with his words, with a look, or with a gesture. Gestures include giving me a physical reminder that this body is his to use however he wants (ie/ a pinch, a punch, a squeeze, forcing a quick orgasm from his pussy through my clothes, bending me over the couch and taking his pussy).
When we’re just hanging out, watching a crime show or documentary, cross stitching (me), gaming or cooking (him), doing laundry and what-have-you, I’m experiencing a low-level subspace. Subconsciously I know a reminder is coming eventually.
Also subconsciously, my inherent submissive is reacting to his inherent Dominant, with an undercurrent of thoughts; is he good, is there anything I could/should be doing for him right now, am I being pleasing, etc. Then the reminder, or a play session, happens, and the level of subspace sores. Afterward, it returns to a low hum.
We live an hour apart and we have our children 50% of the time. Our time together is grouped in days. So when we’re together, it means I’m immersed in subspace for days at a time. But when we are apart, I go cold-turkey until I see him again.
Well, when you look at it that way, taking into consideration all the hormone fluctuations and mental stimulation that occurs from subspace and drop, it’s no wonder I drop hard and struggle on the days we are apart!
So what is the solution?
Our lives cannot be combined right now. Moving in together at this time is not feasible. Realistically, I believe we are at least two years away from sharing a residence.
So I ask again, what is the solution? How do I manage this in/out, up/down cycle of subspace vs subdrop, without driving myself crazy or burning myself out?
There are several suggestions on the interweb about how to manage drop. Do a quick google search and you’ll see these range from typical self-care antidotes to eating chocolate. To be honest, I already do many of these things. They can help, to a certain extent.
Maybe what I’m needing is something that bridges the time in between seeing Sir? Maybe if he were to assign me a task to work on during our off-days? Thinking off the top of my head….
- a research and written project (ie/ could be on a topic that he wants to know more about so I’m being helpful to him, or in regards to an area where self-improvement is required on my part, or something just for “funsies” like a fantasy)
- random tasks at his request (ie/ sending a naughty photo/video, writing something on
myhis body, a command to “stop what you’re doing and cum for me”)
- colouring him a picture
- a task over time (ie/ “you’re to orgasm for me three times a day”, or “you’re to edge for the next three days”, or “find a song that makes you think of us/me”)
- a command to wear a diaper, or insert a plug when I leave the house to remind me these holes belong to him, even when we aren’t together
Perhaps he would be willing to explore this task idea as a bridge, since these are not rules or protocols that require ongoing observance (something he is not fond of). Rather, once he assigns a task, it’s left up to me to ensure I follow through. If I don’t, then yes, he would have to address that the next time we were together.
Ceasing D/s is not an option. It is who we are, it’s how we express ourselves, it’s enjoyable and makes us happy. The drop that comes after subspace is part and parcel of the lifestyle we live. Like the muscle soreness that comes from working out regularly. It’s worth it. It’s something to manage.
Finding a way to manage it successfully, that’s the question.
Does anyone have any other ideas that might help bridge the gap in time apart, while addressing subdrop?