What is Sub drop? Understanding and Coping with Subdrop
Subdrop is a physical and emotional experience that can occur after a period of intense BDSM play. Not too dissimilar to a hangover or a comedown, subdrop is often described as a ‘crash’. It can be characterised by feelings of sadness, depression, anxiety, or physical exhaustion. As they say, what goes up must come down, and so after the intense high of a session, you may find yourself experiencing this drop.
In the BDSM community, Subdrop is a common experience and can be a confusing and difficult experience for those who experience it. It’s essential to understand what subdrop is and how to cope with it to maintain a healthy mind and to make the most of any BDSM session.
This experience can last from a few hours to a few days, depending on the individual and the intensity of the BDSM play. Subdrop can be caused by a variety of factors, including the depletion of hormones such as endorphins and adrenaline, the release of stress hormones such as cortisol, and the emotional intensity of BDSM play, not to mention how emotionally intense a scene can be.
Coping with Sub-drop, the Lola Ruin diary advice
If you experience subdrop, it is essential to take care of yourself and manage your emotions. Self-care activities can be a helpful way to manage subdrop. When you engage in activities that make you feel calm and relaxed, you can help your body and mind to recover from the intense experience of BDSM play. Many of the strategies below are self-care routines I personally use to help ease my own ‘Domme drop’ on the rare occasions I experience it. It may be worth experimenting with these, and even researching other self-care suggestions, so that you can hone your own self care routine based on what works best for you.
Online Resources – Podcasts and Video Discussions – Bondage, Discipline, Dominance, Submission, Sadism, and Masochism
Listening to radio shows and podcasts can be a helpful way to manage subdrop, especially if you enjoy learning new things. There are plenty of shows and podcasts that cover a wide range of topics, from science and history to pop culture and current events. A couple of my personal favourites include “Radiolab,” “99% Invisible” “This American Life,” or “The Blindboy Podcast”. All comforting and very entertaining, curling up with a podcast is a great way to self soothe.
Take Time to Rest and Relax, Self Care
One of the most important things you can do to cope with subdrop is to take the time to rest and relax. It’s important to give yourself a break from your usual routine. You can try making sure your diary is free of social engagements, taking a day off work or school, or simply taking a break from your daily activities. Allow yourself to sleep, rest, and relax, and avoid overexerting yourself physically or emotionally. I highly recommend taking an extra long bath in a dimly lit bathroom with candles and incense after any BDSM sessions, which can help you float back down into reality and really calm your mind and body. Taking time to do nothing except be in the present moment can help your body and mind to recover from the intense experience of BDSM play.
I am a huge fan of yoga (in particular hot yoga), as nothing quite calms my brain like stretching in a room that feels like I’m on a tropical beach. Not only can a gentle exercise like yoga help you physically by improving flexibility, strength and balance, but it can also help relieve physical tension and pain, which is particularly beneficial for those who have experienced intense BDSM play. Mentally, yoga can help reduce stress and anxiety, improve mood, and promote a sense of calm and relaxation, as well as improve focus and concentration, all of which can be helpful in managing emotions and coping with subdrop. Practicing yoga regularly can also improve overall physical and mental well-being, making it a beneficial self-care activity for anyone in the BDSM community.
I especially love the ‘Asana Rebel’ yoga app, and YouTube has a wealth of guided classes, with ‘Yoga With Adriene’ and ‘Kino MacGregor’ being my personal favourite. Having said that, nothing quite beats an in-person hot yoga class!
Generations ago, the Edwardian and Victorian eras in the UK played a significant role in shaping the development and exploration of BDSM practices. Although the specific details and experiences of BDSM during this time may be difficult to prove, it’s obvious that there was a presence of BDSM activities.
In today’s modern and electronic-led society, it’s worth reflecting that hundreds of years ago, subdrop discussions were not commonplace, which contrasts the increased acceptance in modern society today. Reach out to your partner or trusted friends within the BDSM community. Talk about your feelings and experiences to gain support and understanding. Communication is key in navigating the complex emotions that can arise from BDSM activities. Opening up about your subdrop can help you feel heard and validated.
Meditation is a self-care activity that involves training your mind to focus and concentrate. It can be a helpful tool for those coping with subdrop, as it can help reduce stress and anxiety, improve mood, and promote a sense of calm and relaxation. Through regular meditation practice, you can learn to manage your emotions and thoughts more effectively, which can be particularly beneficial after intense BDSM play.
Meditation can take many forms, including guided meditation, mindfulness meditation, and transcendental meditation. It’s essential to find a meditation practice that works for you and to make it a regular part of your self-care routine. You can start by setting aside a few minutes each day to meditate, gradually increasing the amount of time you spend meditating as you become more comfortable with the practice.
I am a fan of the ‘Insight Timer’ app for my meditation practise, which allows you to search for guided sessions or background music by length, and tracks your progress over time (I especially love gong ‘sound baths’). Spotify also has some fantastic meditation playlists if you already have an account there.
Importance of a Good Night’s Sleep
Although we already covered setting aside time to rest and relax, it feels important to have a section just on the importance of long term good sleep hygiene. Sleep is crucial for the body to recover and recharge. When you sleep, your body repairs and regenerates tissue, builds bone and muscle, and strengthens the immune system. Sleep also plays a vital role in regulating mood and emotional stability, which can be particularly important for those who experience subdrop.
Lack of sleep can have a significant impact on physical and emotional health. It can lead to fatigue, irritability, decreased cognitive function, and impaired motor skills. It can also contribute to the development of anxiety and depression, which can exacerbate the emotional effects of subdrop.
To get a good night’s sleep, it’s important to prioritize sleep hygiene. This includes establishing a regular sleep schedule, creating a sleep-conducive environment, avoiding caffeine and alcohol, and engaging in relaxation techniques before bed. As a life long sufferer of insomnia, I cannot recommend getting a good night time routine nailed down in order to be your best self, both in and outside of sessions.
Importance of A Balanced Diet
The food that we eat has a direct impact on our physical and emotional health, and it’s important to prioritize healthy eating habits to manage subdrop effectively. The gut and the brain are closely connected, and the food that we eat can have a significant impact on our mood and emotions.
Whilst indulging in comfort junk food may feel good in the moment, but it can contribute to feelings of sluggishness and lethargy, which can exacerbate the emotional effects of subdrop. Whilst it may feel good to treat yourself to comfort food, try to balance that indulgence with more nutritious, ‘greens heavy’ meals that provide the body with the nutrients it needs to recover from intense BDSM play. This includes eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains. You may also want to consider adding some multivitamins in your diet. And of course, make sure you are staying extra hydrated!
By prioritising healthy eating habits and balancing indulgent foods with nutritious meals, you can improve your physical and emotional health and recover from intense BDSM play more effectively.
Getting Out in Nature
This is truly one of my favourite and most effective ways I manage my mood after intense BDSM sessions. Whether it’s taking a long walk in the woods, visiting a natural beauty spot, or even just caring for your own garden and houseplants, spending time amongst nature can help ground you and calm your mind. Nature has been shown to have a positive impact on mental health, reducing symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress. It can also help improve focus and concentration, which can be helpful in managing emotions and coping with subdrop.
Gardening is another way to connect with nature and yourself. Caring for plants can be a meditative and calming activity and can also provide a sense of accomplishment. Gardening can be done indoors or outdoors, and can be adapted to fit any space or skill level. If there is very little greenery near your home, consider making some by delving into ‘Guerilla Gardening’. This was my own little passion project for 2023, and I am so looking forward to seeing all the native poppies and cornflower seeds I scattered in some nearby wasteland start to appear when next spring rolls around.
Escaping into Media
Escaping into some of your media can be another helpful way to manage subdrop. When you engage with media that makes you feel good, you can help distract yourself from negative feelings and process your emotions in a healthy way. This escapism could include…
Feel Good Films and TV Shows
Watching feel-good films and TV shows can be a helpful way to manage subdrop. These types of media can provide a sense of comfort and familiarity, which can be particularly beneficial when you’re feeling emotionally vulnerable. Some feel-good f TV shows I’m a personal fan of include “Queer Eye”, “Feel Good” “Abbott Elementary”, and for films some of my best comfort watches include “Amelie”, “Mrs Doubtfire” and of course “Back To The Future”. Uplifting and family friendly types of shows can provide a sense of escapism and help you feel better after intense BDSM play.
Reading your favourite books can be a helpful way to manage subdrop. When you engage with a book that you love, you can immerse yourself in a different world and take your mind off negative feelings. Whether you prefer fiction or non-fiction, there are plenty of books that can provide comfort and entertainment after intense BDSM play. This may also be a good time to delve into ‘self-help’ books, which may also help you feel empowered and lift your spirits. This could include re-reading your all time favourite novel, or you could treat yourself and grab something new from this list.
Journaling as a Self-Care Practice
Journaling is a popular self-care activity that involves writing down your thoughts, feelings, and experiences in a journal or notebook.
One popular journaling technique which I love is called “morning pages,” which was developed by Julia Cameron in her book “The Artist’s Way.” Morning pages involve writing three pages of longhand, stream-of-consciousness writing first thing in the morning. This technique can help you clear your mind and process your emotions, setting you up for a more productive and focused day.
Journaling can also be a helpful way to track your progress and identify patterns in your thoughts and behaviors. By keeping a record of your experiences, you can gain insight into your emotional responses and develop strategies to manage subdrop more effectively.
When experiencing an emotional low, it can be helpful to pour some energy into cleaning and tidying your environment. Clutter in your home can lead to clutter in your brain, and taking the time to organize and clean your space can help you feel more in control and calm.Start by identifying one area of your home that could benefit from tidying up. This could be a closet, a kitchen counter, or even just a small corner of a room. Set a timer for 10-15 minutes and focus on cleaning up that area. Get rid of any items that you no longer need or use, and find a specific place for everything else.
I recommend that you spend some time tidying and making your home extra welcoming for yourself before any BDSM session, as you may just want to rest afterwards.
If You Subdrop Doesn’t Shift, Consider Seeking Professional Help
It’s very unlikely that a BDSM session alone will cause your mental health to deteriorate significantly (so long as you are cautious about who you are serving), however, if you are experiencing severe or prolonged subdrop, or if you are struggling to cope with your emotions, it’s imperative that you seek professional help and table any future sessions until you feel better. Consider reaching out to a therapist or counsellor who is knowledgeable about BDSM and kink, and who can help you process your emotions and develop coping strategies. I highly recommend Pink Therapy, which allows you to search for kink positive therapists. A therapist can work with you to develop a plan to manage any lows, including subdrop, and improve your mental health. They can also provide you with tools and resources to help you cope with your emotions and improve your overall well-being.
As well as therapy, seeing your doctor for medication can be very helpful in managing long-standing mental health issues as they help regulate brain chemistry and improve symptoms such as anxiety and depression. Most scientific studies point to a combination of both therapy and medication being the best way to improve mental health, so if you find that poor mental health is affecting your ability to enjoy BDSM, it’s well worth considering.
Subdrop can be a challenging experience, but it is a normal and common occurrence in the BDSM community. Just being aware of it, and reminding yourself that this is only temporary whilst your brain and body re-balances itself after an intense BSDM session can help take a lot of the sting out of it.
By taking the time to be extra gentle to yourself, engaging in self-care activities, and reaching out for support when you need it, you can manage your subdrop and emerge stronger and more resilient on the other side. Remember that self-care is essential to your well-being, and that it is okay to take the time you need to recover after BDSM play. By taking care of yourself, you can continue to enjoy the benefits of BDSM while minimizing the risks of subdrop.
Until next time,