Saturday, January 26, 2013

A Question of Sub-Drop

"I had my first (proper) session with a dom last night. in the past its been just during sex (not even tied up :() . but this was without sex, just teasing and orders. It had me so high! I wish it had lasted longer. I love submitting. but today I'm feeling insecure, low, depressed, anxious... Sub-drop can't come from a more casual first encounter can it? I feel completely out of sorts :(."

I think that sub-drop is a bit different for everyone, and there are lucky people who never seem to experience it at all. But when it happens, it is absolutely no fun.
Sub-drop can be a bit like PMS--it sweeps in and takes over, but it's hard to pinpoint exactly what's wrong. It's just there making you feel crappy, and taking you on an emotional roller-coaster ride that no one wants to be on.

My understanding is that technically, the high comes from a rush of neurochemicals such as dopamine and serotonin. One cannot maintain that high level of those hormones, and when they drop, cortisol and prolactin levels rise, leading to the depressed and "Off" feelings that we call sub-drop.

So yes, I do believe that sub-drop can be a side effect of even the most casual of encounters.

I don't think that it's necessary to just let sub-drop swallow you up though. Everyone has different ways of coping with it depending on their relationships and personal makeup.
When time with the Dominant isn't an option, I would say that the best thing to do about it is be nice to yourself--self aftercare if you will.

Eat chocolate, listen to music you like, take walks in places that make you happy, exercise, read a good book, spend time with friends and family, etc.
Anything that you enjoy and which makes you feel stable and good will help a bit, as will activities, (like exercise) that increase endorphin levels.

I hope this answered your question adequately, and that you start feeling better soon.


  1. Glad you so obviously enjoyed that particular session, but sorry about the subdrop. i seem to suffer quite badly and hate that feeling. Mind you as you say it is a good excuse for chocolate!

    1. Joolz,
      best excuse everrr for chocolate!

  2. I find talking with Master about it a little will relieve my subdrop. Even if he's at work and I have to do it by phone. I used to get it a lot more early on, but now it is pretty rare.

    1. ksst,
      That really does help. I wonder if it occurs less frequently over time because we get more used to the up and down?

  3. Hi, I'm new here. So that's what happened to me? I've been wondering why I felt like crap and was so insecure. This is such a new journey for my husband and me. A little over a week ago he told me I was going to workout with him. Before kids we worked out together all the time, but honestly, since we started our family 11 years ago (we've been married going on 24 years) exercise has been on the back burner for me. My husband is a college coach so I have no excuse. Well, he put his foot down with me and ordered me into our bedroom to work out. I was confused until I saw what he had in mind. This was so much more than a workout. He wants working out to be mixed with pleasure so I stop thinking of it as one more chore to add to the list and make it the enjoyable experience it used to be. He put me through a pretty hard and intense workout and the entire time he touched me, caressed me, licked me, and pleasured me incessantly. He was in total commanding coach mode (which I love) and it was like an out of body experience for me. I’ve never had that happen before. I was buzzed for hours and felt so good…and then came the crash. I didn’t equate it with our “sexercise” session. And it’s not like he left me after it was over. He held me while we talked and laughed, but then later I felt so lonely. I've been beating myself up over it and what hasn't helped is that he hurt his back and has been out of commission for the last week.

    1. Anon,
      welcome to my crazy corner lol.
      Since you are in the wonderful position of being married to your Dominant, I think that you might find any extra time you can spend together to be helpful--even if it's just cuddling on the couch or chatting over lunch.
      I have found that Alpha's time and attention help me more than anything else.

      I think that sub-drop isn't always an instantaneous experience. And sometimes the time spent together afterwards just isn't enough to stretch through the "withdrawal" period.

      Don't beat yourself up about it! Sub-drop happens to many of us.
      Realizing what is happening and discovering things that help prevent or deal with it can be part of the D/s journey for those of us who do experience it.

      Also, sometimes it is possible to plan ahead a bit--knowing what might be coming, maybe you can eek out extra time together the next day as kind of a preventative measure.
      And yea, chocolate rocks!

  4. Thanks, lil. We talked it out today and have come up with some ideas that will work for us to work through the sub-drop transition time.

    ~No longer Anonymous...just Elle.

    1. Elle,
      nice to see you un-anonymously!

      I'm glad that you got to talk and come up with some ideas. I hope they work wonderfully.

  5. Finally replying to this! I asked the question. Thank you for the answer. I feel a little less crazy or pathetic. still a bit embarrassed about it. Luckily I'm now working with my exclusive play partner and he's excellent at taking care of me after. he knows I'm timid and a bit needy at times. he always makes sure I'm okay and safe. I think in future I'll try and prep myself if i end up in a more casual situation.

    1. Amanda,
      I don't think that it's anything to be embarrassed about--you are certainly not the only person who goes through the joys of sub-drop.
      Glad to hear that things are working out well for you.


Play nice.