Guest blog: What is subdrop? And how do you tackle it?

Image by the fantastic Stuart F Taylor

A reader got in touch recently to ask if I’d written about subdrop before, and frankly I could always do with more of this because I love the excuse to pick up new topics. On this topic, though, I don’t have much experience: I’m out of practice with kink play, and I think even when I used to do it regularly I wasn’t hugely affected by subdrop. Luckily for me, @ht_honey – whose fabulous blog can be fond here at Happy Come Lucky – was kind enough to share her experience of what subdrop is, as well as some fun and playful strategies on how to tackle it when it rears its head after a play scene.

What is subdrop, and how do you tackle it?

What is subdrop, and what can anyone do about it? Subdrop is an emotional and physical low after the emotional and/or endorphin high of an experience. It can happen in other areas of life, but here I am talking about the drop that comes after a scene or experience.

Subdrop is something that is talked about a fair bit in BDSM. One thing that I like to keep in mind is that if you are getting subdrop, it is because you have had some action and hopefully it was whatever flavour of fun floats your boat or tickles your fancy.

It isn’t really surprising that there is a rebalancing that goes on in the body. The rush of chemicals in our bodies during intense play can make us high, and it follows that when that high subsides, things don’t feel so good.

Some people experience drop quickly after a scene and will often know whether they need food, warmth, comfort, solitude or anything else. I thoroughly recommend hydration, food and warmth to anyone who has played. Our bodies gallop through our energy reserves and seem to totally forget how to prioritise sensible systems like warmth for a while. Looking after these needs is a must.

Communication and chocolate

For others, subdrop is much more of a sneaky little git. It likes to hide, lulling you into a false sense of security that everything is fine while it slowly creeps closer and starts whispering in your ear. For me, it manages to do maximum manipulation of my mood about 48-72 hours afterwards. That is the time that the little subdrop git takes advantage of there being more distance from the event and less of the afterglow. It also seems to know that all those post-scene conversations, excited recollections and debriefing will have started to dwindle a little.

Some people get the mainly physical tiredness and a sense of disconnection. In those cases, physical self care goes a long way and I’d definitely recommend building in some sort of treat. I am a very firm believer in naming your treat – something to vanquish the subdrop git. I have duelled with him and sent him packing using Maltesers as my weapon of choice – for me, they work best if there is a little bit of silliness involved in the eating. Like, seeing how many I can balance on my tongue without them falling off, repurposing a marble run as a delivery system, or if you have a handy coconspirator, all sorts of target practice challenge games. The blend of silly and chocolate is too powerful for the subdrop git to stand a chance.

The other thing that subdrop does, which is about as welcome as the sudden appearance of the tory cabinet in a sex dream, is to caress and boost any feelings of insecurity that you may have lurking in the corners of your mind. This is hard to beat with chocolate alone. My most recommended technique is to tell the people you played with and friends that you are feeling fragile and that you need reassurance, validation, cheek or whatever else. I definitely don’t recommend deciding that you don’t want to be a nuisance, pretending that everything is fine and hiding in a corner while subdrop has a negativity rave in your brain. I can neither confirm nor deny whether I have done that in the past.

What else does subdrop do? The troublesome git likes to twiddle with your tolerance settings and see if it can make you snappy and short tempered. It may also make you feel more disconnected than normal. If these things happen, you need to know what works for you. If you are one of those strange people that loves running, that can be good. Personally I love a walk outside and finding some trees to hug.

Subdrop is different for everyone

Everyone has their own personal service subdrop git with its own specialisms. It is important to find out what yours does to you. Once you have studied your adversary, you can devise your action plan. For me, I know that it is important to plan to be busy on the high risk day. The busier I am, the less chance there is for subdrop to get hold of my brain. In addition to planning a busy day, I like to ensure that I have the vital supplies in stock. Even if I dodge the drop, those Maltesers are never going to go to waste.

Planning is important but subdrop can be hard to predict. Sometimes I have had really intense play and got off scot-free. At other times, I have experienced drop after something that felt quite light at the time. There are many strands of life that get woven together to reduce or intensify drop. Stress levels definitely have an impact, as does tiredness, general health and where I am in my hormone cycle – honestly, the combo of drop and PMT can make me a scary entity – I recommend being very nice and I will try not to bite.

I have been asked if the kinky play is worth the drop that comes after. I utterly and wholeheartedly say that it is. The play makes me soar high and nurtures and nourishes who I am in amazing ways. The drop isn’t a pleasure, but when you understand it as your body adjusting the soup of chemicals in your system, it helps you a little down the route back to your normal calm.


  • Purple Rain says:

    Love this. Cuddly blankets are essential aftercare for me!

  • Shannon says:

    I need to talk or get this out somehow. Last night was probably the most amazing night of my life – swingers party- never been there before- lol a lot of fun. Then I was played with a lot my boyfriend in front of so many people. I was zoned out for quite sometime- in the midst of having o have no idea how many orgasms- my body feels like I went to the gym sore. But I can’t stop crying. He left- expected- he is at work. And I can’t stop . Wtf is the matter with me.

    • Girl on the net says:

      Hey Shannon – I am so sorry to hear you’re struggling. There is definitely nothing wrong with you – this kind of drop is something lots of people experience, although it’s horrible that you’re experiencing it so hard. I hope that you have some nice things you can comfort yourself with while you ride out the post-awesome-orgy crash, and that when your boyfriend comes home you can talk through it/hug/do whatever you need together <3 x

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