In this post will be addressing some of the most important aspects of BDSM play – subdrop, Domdrop, and aftercare. as a person who has been both Dominant and submissive, I have firsthand experience of both. Although remarkably similar in one regard (ie a generally shitty, cranky, anxious mood, which Penny Berry briefly mentions here), they are different in their causes and some of their other symptoms.
What is Subdrop?
In BDSM, Subdrop is frequently talked about. It is the feeling after a session in which a submissive begins to experience a sort of low after the high. In a neurotransmitter sense, then it’s a bit like any endorphin high -once it’s over, there is a sort of sadness, loss and a desire for more of the same high. With that can also come feelings of guilt, shame and worthlessness, for example:
- I can’t believe I did _____ with him, he must think there is something wrong with me.
- I can’t believe I let her beat me like this, I’m so pathetic to let a woman do that to me.
- Why did I enjoy doing _____?
You may also experience sadness and a sense of loss, such as:
- We didn’t do enough ______ last night, now it will be ages until we do that again.
- I displeased him last night, he will probably think I’m a bad submissive.
- ____ didn’t go right, it was an awful session because of that.
It’s important, as a submissive, to understand that these fears and thoughts are common and are usually a part of the come-down. As a submissive, you need to be on a look out for these signs and communicate honestly and clearly with your Dominant. As a Dominant, you need to be on the look-out for these thinking patterns and be sure to address them quickly before your submissive gets sucked even further in.
What is Domdrop?
The seldom-mentioned Domdrop, or “Topdrop”, is the equally low mood that Dominants can experience after a session which is usually (although not always) more of a sense of stress and anxiety than loss and longing.
For Dominants, the triggers can vary in cause slightly, such as:
- Incorporating an activity that the submissive didn’t enjoy.
- Making the submissive cry (this gets to a lot of new Dominants, who then feel very guilty)
- Creating a scene that didn’t go as planned
- Not being as “into it” as they thought they’d be
- (For couples with a sexual dynamic) Not being able to perform
Just as it’s vitally important to look out for a submissive’s needs, so to is it important to look out for a Dominant. Submissives, if you see a marked change in your Dominant’s mood, be sure to speak to them and comfort them, if necessary.
What is Aftercare?
When we think of aftercare, aftercare can be applied to all things in life. Be it the new wardrobe that we just assembled, that workout we just finished or the new tattoo we just had placed. Anything that requires some form of construction or activity usually requires some form of aftercare.
While I don’t suggest you plunge yourself into an ice bath or polish your partner with a soft cloth and a can of Mr Sheen, here are some ideas that you can add:
Number one on your list should always be first aid. Particularly if you’re getting into heavy impact play where cuts and grazes might happen, you need to make sure you address any damage to the skin appropriately. Gauzes, saline rinse and an antibiotic ointment are always a good idea. Pain relief may also be necessary.
A Fluffy Blanket To Share (Or Not)
One of my favourite aftercare tools comes in the form of a lovely fluffy blanket. After being bitten and tickled and tortured in every which way possible, it’s a lovely sensation to soothe me. With soft music and candle light in the room, it can really help you come back down to Earth. Sometimes we like to snuggle under it together, and other times he just holds me while I rest.
Have Something To Eat And Drink
Back in our old apartment, we used to have a mini fridge in the bedroom. We lied and said it was so we could have tea in bed, but really it was so that after a session, we could have something to eat and drink to stop us feeling dizzy. I would generally advise something simple (such as flavoured water) and something with protein, like a granola bar. A word of caution: Avoid alcohol after a BDSM session as it can intensify feelings of Subdrop & Domdrop.
Have A Shower Or A Bath
You may want to shower to freshen up, or you may want to pour your partner a lovely warm bath with scented bath oils to soothe their aching muscles. If it’s something you enjoy and it helps you relax after a session, go for it.
If you are non-sexual, just a hug and a cuddle can help you come down safely. Even if you are sexual, just spending time together and connecting can help you realise and remember that your partner does still love you and care about you.
Just talking after a scene can help you both really connect. Whether you talk about what you enjoyed, what went wrong or what you want to do next time. Whether you whisper sweet nothings or tell your partner how proud of them you are and how much you love them. All of that is up to you.
Cry, If You Need To
Make no mistake, sometimes BDSM can draw up emotions or feelings you didn’t even know you were feeling. Maybe something has really been bugging you and catharsis has finally let you release it, if that’s the case, don’t feel as though you need to repress it. You may also feel confused in subdrop and have some mixed feelings about what just happened, know that it’s completely okay to release them. If you want to, you can always share them later.
For Dominants and submissives, massage can be great. Whether your Dominant is feeling tense and fearful and needs help relaxing or your submissive has some indentations from the rope that are causing some discomfort. If you like, you could even trade massages as a sort of conclusion to the scene and so that you can both relieve each other’s sore and tense spots. Why should one of you luck out?
You knew this was coming, didn’t you? Sometimes (ahem, quite often) BDSM play can create sexual energy, and that energy as to go somewhere. If you and your partner want to, there is no reason that you can’t involve sex in or after your BDSM play. It doesn’t need to be rough, some of our most intense sessions have ended with making love. Don’t forget, BDSM isn’t all about pain, and when your partner submits to you, it can give you intense feelings of pride towards them.
Get Some Sleep
Kinky fuckery can be draining, and certainly if you’ve been wriggling, writhing and screaming. Even if only a quick 20 minute nap, a little bit of shut-eye can leave you both feeling more refreshed.
What are some of your favourite aftercare techniques? Which do you think you will use? Let me know in the comments!
Stay safe and have fun!
Hugs & kinky cuddles,