Both bottoms and tops show increases in relationship closeness and reductions in psychological stress from before to after their scenes
Some research has been done on the psychological aspects of drop.
The link to Sexual Outsiders is here
Dr. Richard Sprott at the California State University wrote (1) in the 2016 Journal of Positive Sexuality that ‘drops’ can happen to anyone.
A couple of days after a magnificent BDSM scene with her Dominant, KittyK feels unusually sad and insecure. While it was one of the high points of her D/s relationship with SirStephan,“I feel a little lost and unconnected, maybe even a bit embarrassed, even though Sir has been so attentive,” she reports.Then there is Samuel, who attends his first full weekend kink/leather event–filled with valuable classes and exciting play parties. He connects with some awesome people and gets a sense of being immersed in this world that he has always dreamed about; he feels a great sense of belonging. A few days later, after he gets back to his everyday work and home life, he finds it hard to concentrate, he feels exhausted, and he lacks interest in the usual things that bring him pleasure and satisfaction
Sprott believes there are two different types of drop – immediate after-scene drop and drops that can happen days later.
He theorizes a ‘drop’ can be a process of grief and bereavement. Grief ‘refers to the emotional and cognitive reactions that a person has when one experiences a loss or separation.’
He also believes drops can be the result of a person losing their identity.
He wrote: ‘One’s self, or a central identity, is changing in some way. And that change involves a loss of the old self – the old identity.’
‘For some people, the shame of being kinky and having done what you did may be the reason for a drop. We have so much societal disapproval and perhaps what they did conflicts with what their ideas of what a good person does…‘It’s a terrible thing for someone to feel bad about who they are – it’s why [the bdsm] community is so important
a BDSM scene, may involve a state of consciousness called “flow.”…if individuals are experiencing peak moments or moments of flow during one of these BDSM scenes, these profound states of consciousness might be “what is lost,” afterward. The incredible mental state is no more.These peak experiences can be felt at the level of the group, of the community…having this side of a person’s sexuality and kink identity supported and expressed when, in comparison, most other spaces and events do not support or allow expression, can be powerful and very impactful. Event drop can include peak erotic experiences in the whole, but larger BDSM events usually involve a community-space (communal) brand of peak experience which are not necessarily erotic. This peak experience involves the release of a part of ourselves that we often feel necessary to keep under wraps, and so community kink events can impact our identities and self-concepts just as much as a deeply personal, individual peak erotic experience may.BDSM in particular may heighten the “erotic equation” that heightens the possibility
of a peak experience: BDSM scenes often involve some sort of barrier or constriction
(physical and/or psychological barriers) that is then overcome, so that the person finally
consummates their desire, achieves erotic release. This intensified experience may result in peak experiences which then can have significant impact on one’s consciousness, identities, relationships, intimacies, etc. And then the experience is over, and so it would not be unusual to experience a loss, with a resultant grief process.
The symptoms of drop will generally set in within 24-72 hours after an intense scene in which endorphins and adrenaline received a spike commonly associated with sub/top space, and thus will result in a crash with symptoms reminiscent of depression which may include:
- Difficulty concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions
- Fatigue and decreased energy
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and/or helplessness
- Feelings of hopelessness and/or pessimism
- Insomnia, early-morning wakefulness, or excessive sleeping
- Irritability, restlessness
- Loss of interest in activities or hobbies once pleasurable, including sex
- Overeating or appetite loss
- Persistent aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems that do not ease even with treatment
- Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” feelings
- Thoughts of suicide, suicide attempts
Treatment for drop owuld be
Several known techniques tend to limit, mitigate and even eliminate drop.
- Vitamin B and Fish Oil If you plan on having some heavy play sessions in the near future, start taking some extra vitamin B and Fish Oil supplements a few days before the scene and for a few days after. This will help replace many of the minerals that will be lost from your adrenaline and endorphin highs to decrease the potential for drop, and mitigate its effects.
- Food and Drink Ensure you have eaten and hydrated properly before a scene. Intoxicants will generally work against hydration, best practices indicates to avoid mixing play and intoxicants.
- Gradual Scene Build Up and Decline Drop is far less likely to occur with gradual scene build up, gradual scene decline, and extensive, intimate, aftercare. This creates more of a wave on the beach effect that slowly recedes back to the ocean, rather than a spike and cliff drop.
- Eat Chocolate Eating chocolate during aftercare helps mirror Oxytocin and allows greater long term intimacy bonding potential during aftercare. Oxytocin release can greatly mitigate and ward off the effects of drop.
- Contact reach out to the person you played with or the person who provided you aftercare if you experience drop, knowing they care enough to talk with you on the phone for a bit, meet for coffee or curl up and watch a movie with you can often eliminate or significantly reduce drop as much of drop is an emotional experience due to hormone imbalance. If they are unavailable or it is inappropriate to contact them, spend time with or call a friend or loved one. If you’re not sure who to call because you don’t have many vanilla friends, make some kinky friends you can call and can call you during experiences of drop where you can each mutually help cheer each other up.
- Antacids if you are also experiencing flu like symptoms it is likely do to a minor build up of lactic acid in your system. While a severe build up of lactic acid (such as from hanging suspension syndrome) can cause lactic acidosis which may cause instant death or slow death due to the blood becoming septic, far more commonly a minor build up from play can be overcome with some rest, water, and TUMS. If you are in doubt, see a doctor, preferably a kink friendly one.
- Pampering a bathrobe, some chocolate, a hot bath with candles, good book and some general relax time can work wonders for curing drop for many people.
- Sunshine a natural vitamin D boost contained within sunlight can be a great aid to help battle drop.
- Mild Excercise such as a light jog, yoga, aerobics and similar can help release endorphins if you have many left in your body which will help mitigate the experience of drop.
- Get Busy move a muscle, change a thought. Do a task to distract yourself, preferably a productive one, something simple and easy like making the bed or doing the dishes. Not only will you distract yourself, but completing a task will help improve your current esteem levels by providing a sense of accomplishment.
- Journaling write your feelings out until you run out of them. Sometimes it can help to organize your thoughts on paper and just getting them out is enough to help you feel better. Once you do you might be able to look at them and assess which feelings are most useful to you.
- It goes away if all of the other techniques aren’t working, at least keep in mind the negative feelings will pass, usually within a few hours to a day. This will make it seem like a waiting game, but it’s better than focusing on and feeding the misery. If you are experiencing severe emotional issues consider if you aren’t experiencing paraphilic drop, or if you might otherwise benefit from counselling or having your hormone levels audited to ensure their normalcy.
Amy’s Top 25 Subdrop Remedies
- Cuddle someone/something! Your partner, a friend, a stuffed toy, your pet.
- Make your favourite hot drink and sip it slowly, noticing how it tastes and letting the cup warm your hands.
- Eat some chocolate or whatever your favourite sweet treat is. Not enough to make you feel sick, just enough to give you those feel-good chemicals.
- Cook yourself a simple, healthy meal and enjoy eating it slowly. Something with protein and vegetables.
- Watch your favourite film or an episode of your favourite Netflix show. Something lighthearted is better.
- Write in your journal.
- Post to your blog, if you have one.
- Share how you’re feeling on your kinky social media of choice. Sympathy and virtual cuddles from friends who get it can be surprisingly cathartic.
- Listen to a comedy podcast or watch some stand-up. Laugh until your tummy hurts.
- Curl up under a cozy duvet with a good book or a magazine.
- Meditate. There are thousands of free guided meditations on Youtube, or try the Insight Timer app.
- Masturbate! Orgasm can perk you up no end.
- Go for a walk. Preferably somewhere out in nature, but to the shop at the end of the street and back will work in a pinch.
- Sit in your garden, if you have one, or a nearby park. Fresh air is important.
- Buy yourself something, if you can afford to. This could be as elaborate as that dress you’ve been lusting after for months, or as simple as a fancy coffee.
- Tidy up your room or work space. I always feel better and more clear-headed when my safe spaces are neat and tidy.
- Take a bath or shower. Spend as long as you like luxuriating in the hot water. Use your most decadent shower gel or that fancy bath bomb you’ve been saving.
- Play loud, upbeat music. Optional extras: sing along loudly, dance around your room for the length of a song or two.
- Call someone you miss. Your mum. A grandparent. Your best friend in another city. Just pick up the phone, say hi and catch up.
- Create something. Whatever your creative talent is, use it. Play your instrument, bake a cake, write a page of your novel, knit a few rows of your latest project.
- Take a nap. Even an hour of shut-eye will help recharge you a little.
- Exercise. Hit the gym, go for a run, or do some yoga. Moving your body releases tension and clears your mind.
- Get your hair cut or your nails done. No drastic changes! But a bit of pampering can really raise your mood and make you feel good about yourself.
- Just sit with the feeling. This is a mindfulness technique. Sit, feel, and think: I am feeling rotten right now because I am subdropping, but I know this feeling will soon pass and I will be okay.
- Do something for someone else. Whether it’s a chore that’s normally your partner’s but they’re super busy today, or getting shopping for an elderly neighbour, caring for others takes you out of your own head.