Today, I’m writing on the subject of sub-drop and reflecting a bit on an article recently published by the Journal of Positive Sexuality. Not the sexiest topic in the world, but it’s also not bad brain food and it’s an important topic to be aware of.
For those who do not know what this is: Sub-drop is the experience (on the part of the bottom/receiver) of feeling low, sad, self-conscious, confused, detached or any number of unpleasant things following and intense scene. A similar experience can be had by the top or another participant. In this article, Black and Blues: Sub Drop, Top Drop, Event Drop and Scene Drop (Sprott & Randall, 2016), the authors use the umbrella term “x-drop” to include them all. I’m not particularly in to labeling things “x-whatever” in lieu of a descriptive term, but since I’m not writing about language today, it will have to work.
One thing that I believe is noteworthy about x-drop is that not everyone gets it. Those who do, don’t necessarily get it every time they play, and at some point they may stop experiencing it all together. Generally speaking, it is not a fixed condition and many people never experience it at all. For those who do though, it can be quite a pain.
This article Divides x-drop into two categories: The first being the drop experienced almost immediately after a scene which is popularly associated with the drop of endorphins that takes place after a rush of them. The second is a drop that can be experienced hours or days later. The authors indicate that the latter is not a biochemical reaction (I think that it would be more correct to say that we best understand biochemical reactions as micro-events, not as something that takes place over a period of days or longer), but the expression of loss and bereavement connected to peak-experience and identity (That’s what I’ve been saying! ;)). Though I don’t think that this is the only plausible description/explanation for x-drop, it is a good one.
It’s concluded by the authors that x-drop may be a painful part of a healthy process. I particularly like the suggestion that, “X-drop becomes the felt aspect of the challenge of incorporating the peak experience into one’s life. Or integrating past losses into one’s present life. Or it is the felt aspect of identity change.”
No matter what it is, I recommend against intellectualizing any BDSM/fetish experience at the time of the event. It’s my personal opinion that our reasoning minds, though awesome and essential, will never be as “smart” as our instincts are in the right time and place. Think when your reading, blogging and writing. Feel when you’re exploring, playing and fucking. During play and related head spaces, I recommend for being fully attuned to one’s self and one’s partner(s), and trusting yourself. If you do experience x-drop, it is time to practice care and compassion in whatever way suits you best.
And if you don’t, good for fucking you.