You just had the dirtiest, most fulfilling, and challenging scene with your play partner. A few hours ago you were basking in the after-glow of phenomenal sex. Now, you’re suddenly feeling sad, lethargic, and even guilt after the kinky play. What happened?

Introducing: sub drop.

What is it?

To understand sub drop, we need to know what’s happening to your body and brain during a scene. Subspace is the brain space during a scene when you’re feeling particularly the light and floaty. Your thoughts may lack clarity and, depending on how deep in subspace you get, you’ll likely need some time before you’re forming sentences. All this is the result of your brain being overrun by endorphins and adrenaline.

Sub drop is what happens when there’s a quick and sudden depletion of those very same feel-good hormones, usually a few hours or days after the scene. It’s important to understand that there’s nothing wrong with you. This chaos is only temporary as your body recalibrates your hormones.

Sub drop can make you feel sad, depressed, lethargic, and somewhat emotionally (and physically!) drained. You’re also likely to experience feelings of guilt or doubt about what you enjoyed. There are also people that report physical symptoms of sub drop such as headaches, nausea, or chills.

What about dom(me) drop?

Submissives aren’t the only ones affected by the day-after blues, dominants are just as susceptible to the drop. It can manifest in a sense of guilt, shame, or feelings of surprise leaning towards shock at their previous-night behavior.

What can prevent or help against sub drop?

Of course, prevention is better than cure, so doing the prep before a scene can get you a long way to sub-drop-free living. First, make sure to eat a good meal before a scene. Just avoid anything too heavy and probably don’t stuff yourself (that’s for during the scene, am I right).

Hydration is the rule of life and while we’re all for breaking rules, staying hydrated will serve you in your other antics. Sip on water during the hours before the scene and make sure to keep water handy for when you need a quick pick-me-up during.

The time before a scene is also perfect to check in with yourself. Are you already feeling a bit sad or particularly sensitive? A heavy-impact scene might not be the most ideal activity for you at that point. Instead, let this be a possibility for your D-type to channel their ultimate pleasure dom(me).

For after-scene activities an obvious one is aftercare. Aftercare, typically provided by to dominant to the submissive, covers any immediate post-scene actions. While these are different for everyone, basic aftercare includes hydration, blankets, and lots and lots of cuddling.

So you prepped, had proper aftercare, and are still feeling uneasy the day after? That’s fine, we got you. A simple activity that can help ease you out of sub drop is talking through it. A good thing to keep in mind is your communication with your D-type partner; are you talking the day after a scene? For me, day-after communication is huge in how significant or non-existent my drop is.

Whether it’s through texts, phone calls, voice messages, or even memes, contact with your partner can often lift any malaise you’re feeling during sub drop. Let them know beforehand that you’ll need some extra attention the day after! Note: having needs is not the same as being needy. The right partner will meet them.

Besides talking to your (scene) partner, here are some activities that could help ease your sub drop. The most important thing is to connect to the world; don’t go into hibernation.

  • Meet up with a friend for coffee, lunch, dinner, anything that’ll stop you from drowning in your feelings;
  • Journal about the scene you had and your feelings after but make sure not to sentimentalize or wallow in any negativity you might experiencing right now. Instead, approach this almost as a scientist, somewhat from a distance; what did you enjoy? What surprised you? What do you want to tell or ask your dom(me)? What pushed your emotional boundaries most?
  • Watch a comfort movie: Anything light-hearted and familiar will do the job. Make yourself some tea, get a snack, and allow yourself a few hours that are just entertainment and recovery. My go-to is, probably unsurprisingly, Twilight.
  • If you’re not feeling too stiff (or sore, ahum) dancing will relieve some of the anxiety and sadness your body is holding onto. Put on some feel-good tunes, turn up the volume, set an alarm for however many minutes (I’d start with ten), and keep moving, dancing, jumping until the alarm goes off!
  • For sunny days: Get your ass outside and soak up the rays. Go for a walk, get yourself a light drink, and get your daily dose of (the other) vitamin D.