How to deal with sub drop (both in lifestyle play and after seeing a Professional Dominant) – by Miss Siren Thorn
More than a decade ago, my personal interest in BDSM was what initially prompted me to explore the scene in Toronto. As the years progressed, kink became a part of my professional life as well, with fetish content production and ProDomme. Both necessitate an understanding of the intricate and colourful psychology behind alternative sexuality. With my experience and personal views to draw from, it is my hope that this article will provide some helpful insight.
A quick google search of sub drop and you can find slight variations of the same concept – it is the ‘come down’ feeling a submissive/bottom gets after the high of an intense BDSM scene. These feelings can manifest in many different ways – sadness, panic/anxiety, loneliness/isolation, self doubt, anger, defensiveness, denial, guilt, etc.
Sub drop happens at different frequencies for different individuals – sometimes after a scene, always after a scene, only after certain scenes, or not at all. Sometimes, it may not happen right after the scene, and maybe you feel the drop a few days later.
The first thing to acknowledge is that sub drop is completely normal. Try not to feel ashamed of having these feelings or interpret it to mean that you are in any ‘less’ control of yourself or your life. Particularly for those who are used to being in control in their vanilla lives (perhaps you are an executive, entrepreneur, parent, or otherwise in any other role that requires a high degree of control and responsibility) – it can be difficult to reconcile with the fact that you have just engaged in a deeply submissive side of yourself. Perhaps this side is even hidden from most people in your life.
Take a few deep breaths and remind yourself that it is normal to occasionally feel negative, come down type feelings after engaging in something so exciting but also so vulnerable (and private, for some). It does not mean you are any ‘less’ in other roles in your life. E.g. being submissive/into kink does not make you any less of a competent CEO, executive, parent, student, consultant, sales associate… you get the idea. Unless you are sacrificing excessive time and resources to the detriment of other parts of your life, try not to feel ashamed for exploring your sexuality. Fulfilling sexual pleasure is a human need, even if some of us are more ‘bent’ than others and into things beyond missionary sex. (OK, and even if your sexual pleasure is the removal of sexual pleasure by giving the Domme your chastity key).
So what can you do if you are experiencing sub drop?
This can vary greatly from person to person, situation to situation. It is different if you are playing with someone you met through a kink personals site versus seeing a Professional Dominant.
If your scene partner is someone you know in your personal life (e.g. a friend), do not be afraid to reach out to them. Say if the scene was mind blowing, but you’re left with subdrop afterwards, you can tell them, “I had an amazing time and really loved when we did X, Y, and Z… but now I’m feeling a bit down. Doing certain things affected me more than I expected. I’d love to touch base with you a bit. Can we do this when you have a moment?”.
Talk about the positive and challenging parts of what you have shared together. Remember that they may be processing emotions as well. Even though the other person may not have been in a submissive role, they may be experiencing their own subdrop type feelings (commonly referred to as dom/top drop). They may have a hard time reconciling what they just did with someone, with their pre existing conception of themselves (“Am I a bad person for being so excited by hurting someone – even if its consensual?”). Or perhaps they just want/need to get back to other parts of their life after the experience. Every kinkster is different.
How you deal with sub drop by reaching out to the other person can be different with a Professional Dominant. They often have many different clients to manage, along with their own personal lives, so their time is at a premium and not readily available without tribute. This may be an authentic, personal passion of theirs, but it is also a profession.
Many Professional Dominants will not reach out to you after a session, not because they do not care about you as a human being, but to maintain boundaries. Some clients want to move on with other parts of their life after the scene, so the ProDomme will err on the safe side and respect this.
So it is up to you as the client to respectfully reach out, but be realistic and also realize that they are limited in how much aftercare they can provide. Write a respectful, well thought out email about what you loved about the experience, how it made you feel before/during/after, and what things you have discovered you’re not into). Many ProDommes are open to feedback, but you can ask to be sure. Realize that the ProDomme is very busy and may not respond right away or at all. Regardless, the act of writing it out and expressing your thoughts/feelings to someone can be very cathartic.
If it is not easy for you to reach out to your play partner or ProDomme, ask yourself if there are other supportive people in your life you can open up to. If not, investing in a professional therapist (who is kink friendly), can be very helpful.
Aside from reaching out to the other person, self care is truly key in dealing with sub drop. So first off, don’t self flagellate and shame yourself for feeling sub drop. Realize sub drop is completely normal. Secondly, try to reach out. And third (and perhaps most important) – take care of yourself. Write out your thoughts and feelings. Go for a hard training session at the gym to regain a sense of control in your life (if you’re feeling guilty about having been submissive). Indulge in hobbies and things that make you feel happy and relaxed. Do something that engages your mind and gives you some reprieve from excessive emotion. Enjoy the natural world and go for a walk. Watch a hockey game. Or perhaps your version of self care is throwing yourself back into other roles of your life – taking care of family, tackling a tough work project. Whatever you choose to do – realize that you can also take care of yourself.
Pat yourself on the back for being courageous enough to try something new or something you’ve always fantasized about – and do something enjoyable that will help you transition more seamlessly back to your ‘regular’ life.