Sub drop.

Declared among submissives as a horrible affliction and the bane of  play and relationships. We try to understand what it happening when it starts to bring us down and if we don't know what it is can scare us into never playing again. It's true; sub drop can be bad.

For those of us who don't know, sub drop is the physical and emotional reaction to the drop in endorphins and adrenaline that we induce through play and intense situations. It can lead to the light floaty feeling called sub space. It can make you feel depressed and bring flu-like symptoms. The range of symptoms is wide.

I've heard it related to withdrawal from controlled substances. It can get that bad. It's also believed to be more common in long term relationships than in casual play encounters.

Physical Symptoms

  • fatigue
  • crying
  • aches and pains
  • stomache aches
  • cold hands and/or feet
  • stiffness
  • cravings for sweets

Emotional Symptoms

  • sadness or melancholy
  • anxiety
  • aggitation
  • depression
  • fear
  • confusion
  • guilt
  • shame

Preventative Measures

There are things you can do to help you prevent some or all of the symptoms of sub drop. First, make sure you've had a decent meal before play.

Eating a light high protein, low carbohydrate meal an hour or so before the scene can help alleviate a lot of symptoms, just make sure to have enough digestive time before you play and make sure not to over eat and be stuffed Lots of vegetables will also add nutrients that can help the submissive recover from a strenuous scene and of course, plenty of water before and after the scene will help as well. ("Sub Drop" - Subs Helping Subs, captured 5/14/13)

Then, if you are fit and healthy then stretch before play. It warms the muscles and prepares your body for the stress you will be putting it under.

What else can you do? You can be aware that it may happen. "Be prepared" isn't just for the Boy Scouts. Have water on hand, fast sugars like orange juice, a blanket and make sure you have someone to snuggle or talk to if it isn't the person you played with. (Not all Doms provide aftercare for casual play.)

Aftercare

Taking care of yourself after you play is a personal responsibility that I wish more submissives would take upon themselves. Not all Dominants give aftercare or give sufficient aftercare. If you negotiate aftercare when you negotiate the play then you might get what you need, but make sure you know what you need to feel better and do it. We are all adults here, hopefully. We can take care of our needs and don't have to rely on anyone else to do it for us. Own up to it submissives! Don't blame sub drop or lack in aftercare on someone else.

Now, for aftercare, you should treat your physical needs first. Bandages, blankets, and beverages. Replenish the fluids you lost and treat yourself carefully as if you were in a sports event. Rest.

After Aftercare

In the days after play time, if you feel down or sad, plan some time to sleep, be on your own and recover. But not too much. Follow up with the person you played with if you can. If not, find a sympathetic friend and go have coffee or something. The key is to not close off the world. You need to get out and remind yourself that you had fun and this is just an after effect of it.

Don't be ashamed that you dropped. No matter how much experience you have, you may drop. Even if you haven't had sub drop in years, a particularly intense scene could leave you droopy. It's okay. Just take care of yourself.

A Drop Kit

Lastly, it might help you to have all your needs for sub drop together in a central location. You can put it together before you play or have a dedicated bag for sub drop recovery.  What would you put in it? Well, that depends on what you need to feel better after play. Blankets, teddies, and Gatorade are common. Pain meds, journal, phone card, sentimental bits and bobs and more.

A drop kit can be helpful for Dominants and submissives that experience moderate to severe drop after play sessions. The drop can be associated with feelings of loneliness, mental and physical exhaustion, confusion, insecurity, tremors and many other physical symptoms. It is important to take care of yourself during times of drop. This kit will put all the things necessary at your fingertips.

This is by no means an exhaustive list, please feel free to add your own personal selections. Let me know what you need for your Drop Kit in the comments!

  • Warm blanket
  • Bath salts
  • Bubble bath
  • Scented candles
  • Incense
  • Favorite book
  • Prepaid calling card
  • Hard candy
  • Favorite beverages
  • Lotion
  • Journal
  • Relaxing music
  • Letter from your partner
  • Stuffed animals
  • Coloring books/crayons
  • Gift card to favorite restaurant
  • Vitamin E
  • Favorite movie