Sub drop is, in my opinion, a very important topic, yet it seems like a lot of people are either unaware of it, or choose to ignore it. It's important to both sub and dom to realise when it happens and act accordingly, as a bad sub drop experience might lead to the sub withdrawing from the BDSM scene, or at the very least cause a rift between sub and dom.
But what is sub drop exactly? Sub drop is something that might happen after a usually intense BDSM scene. The sub might feel very emotional, confused, cranky, depressed, guilty... even angry at him/herself and the dom. This usually happens about a day after the BDSM experience. This can be explained rationally; during a session, the sub builds up a lot of adrenaline and endorphins, and gets in sort of hormonal high (which contributes to getting into "subspace"). After the session these slowly return to normal, but the difference between the high state and the normal state can feel quite big, which might result in an emotional imbalance.
That's the theory. In practice, the effects of sub drop can vary greatly depending on the person and the situation. I'll talk about some of my experiences later in this entry. But one of the reasons why I'm making this entry is to get this topic out in the open, and get people to write about their own experiences. Like I said, I think this is an important topic, especially for newcomers to the scene who might not realise this can happen. I'm not saying this happens or will happen to everyone, but there's no harm in being aware of it.
It's not an easy topic because it's highly subjective. The sub drop is different for everyone, and everyone will have different aftercare needs. This is why I won't give any advice on that, other than my usual "communicate with your dom!!!"
It also seems a lot of people feel better after some chocolate, a long hot bath/shower, and relaxing with a good book or movie. At the end of this entry I'll link to a few articles I found on this topic that have a lot more on aftercare.
As for my personal experiences, I would say I have experienced two different kinds of sub drop: the short drop and the long drop!! (that sounds a little morbid...)
The short drop was something that happened from time to time in my first year or so of doing BDSM sessions. While I always felt great right after a session, a day or so later I would get feelings of guilt and shame. These usually didn't last that long, although that really depended on the session and what exactly I did there, and who I did it with. There definitely were times when I thought about giving up sessions and BDSM in general... this mental sub drop fed my underlying feelings of not feeling worthy enough to have these experiences, and that I should just stay home.
I have to say that lately the sub drop from short sessions hasn't bothered me nearly as much as they used to. Again, it depends on what happened during the session, and my state of mind before, during and after the session. My last bad drop after a short session was late last summer, but in a way I brought that on myself because I wasn't really in the right mindset that day.
The long drops started with my London visits. I only start getting those sub drop feelings a few days after I return home, and they last longer as well. Coming home from my first visit, which lasted 8 days, I had a sub drop that lasted a couple of weeks. So that wasn't just a physical drop but a heavy mental one as well. There were some other factors at that time that probably contributed to feeling down a bit more than usual, but the main reason was definitely my London visit. I had a great time, really, and that's what made getting back to "reality" so difficult. At times I was struggling so much with it, I wondered if it really had been worth the trouble. And at my worst, I thought I would be better off by cutting my ties with my London friends.
Subsequent homecomings were less bad, probably because I knew what to expect, but it's always been something I had to fight. I'm not saying it has become easier, but now I know why it's happening, and know (more or less) how to make it less heavy. As you know, my latest visit was quite intense, especially emotionally, and I have experienced a much longer and intenser drop than usual. However, it's not nearly as negative as my first drop was.
I've come to realise that the one thing I need after a sub drop is attention. It's as simple as that really. Getting it is less simple of course, with my dom being in London and me being home. Ideally Sir would give me lots of hugs and physical contact, but that's impossible, and something that frustrates me greatly every time I come home. Online aftercare isn't the same, although Sir does his best, he tells me I'm a good boy, and sometimes gives me assignments and orders - all a form of positive attention I really need. It still desperately makes me crave physical contact with him, but it certainly is better than nothing!! Still, the feelings of isolation I sometimes get are pretty bad.
For me, BDSM is full sensory experience, not just sight and touch, but smell, taste and hearing as well. This makes it even more painful being apart from Sir; I can see (pictures of) him and hear him if I want to, but I can't touch, smell or taste him anymore. It makes me incredibly sad when I realise, a few days after I'm home, that I only have a very vague imprint in my mind of his smell and what he feels like, and after a week even that is completely gone. That is something very hard to deal with for me.
Also, I would say I not only feel very clingy to Sir, but also so submissive in a way it almost hurts that I'm not on the floor with his foot in my neck. A strong image like that gets stuck in my head and it's very hard to get it out! I want to please him so so bad, it's almost annoying!! The best thing I can do is distract myself with something completely unrelated but even that doesn't always work.
Another thing that flares up when I'm back home is my feeling of loyalty and devotion to Sir. One image I have related to this is of a dog that gets seperated from his owner, feeling a bit lost and confused without his pack leader... Someone else might take him in, but at least the first few weeks, he'll feel the need to go looking for his owner... and instead of dreaming about chasing cats, he dreams about his owner's voice calling to him... :) "come here boy...good boy...who wants a cuddle?" hehe. Something like that, yeah.
Anyway, something like this is very hard to put into words (at least for me), so I'll give you some links to a few other blog posts and articles:
http://subshelpingsubs.tripod.com/articles/subdrop.html I like this one especially because of that ACE thing at the end of the article. Good advice.
http://divingintobdsm.blogspot.com/p/sub-drop-and-aftercare-kits.html A more personal account but with a good description of what might happen during sub drop and how to deal with it.
http://brairthornblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/self-aftercare-taken-from-a-different-blog/ Very long and detailed, with a lot of tips related to aftercare.
I think that's all I have to say about it (for now at least). Feel free to comment, or, even better, if you have a blog, make a blog entry about it! It might be a very un-sexy topic to write about, but I think it's worth sharing one's thoughts and experiences on this.
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