Private scenes, public parties, or kinky cons can give us a fantastic rush of happy emotions, new friends, and new experiences. It creates a natural high of endorphines, your bodies natural anti stress hormones, that can feel amazing physically, emotionally, and mentally. With the ups comes though the downs and some people experience “drop.” “Drop” stems from the sudden lack of endorphins within your body leaving you in a state of crash/withdrawal. Though many consider drop primarily a submissive/bottom experience this isn’t the case with many tops and con attendees both experiencing drop at some point.
You know that feeling after a long exciting event when you’re all around done and exhausted? You may have found yourself being irritable or mopey the next day for no apparent reason? Yeah, that could have been drop! Drop can set in anywhere from right after a scene to a few days later and can range dramatically from mild to severe in it’s effects. Scene drop specifically is more common between committed play partners due to the emotional openness these relationships can create. Even within an individual every drop will be a little different with symptoms to anxiety or depression. These can include emotional instability, feelings of guilt or doubt, fatigue, and changes in appetite and sleeping patterns. Generally these symptoms go away fairly quickly as your body balances itself back out. By being aware of the possibilities of drop and taking a few proactive steps you can make the experience less draining and pass smoother.
Disclaimer: If symptoms persist or you experience desires for self harm or are suicidal seek professional assistance immediately.
Hydration is a really important part of your bodies ability to regulate itself. Make sure you’ve drank some water before playing and have a bottle ready for when you’re done. You don’t want to chug it but sip it slowly to help your body come back to the happy middle. Also, something with simple sugars such as orange juice can do wonders at preventing/recovering from drop.
“Aftercare” is the combination of things you need to do or have after a scene to help you come back down from the space. Some people need alone time, some need their favorite stuffie, a piece of chocolate, or cuddles. It’s important to be open during negotiations so that everyones needs can be meet without issues. The worse thing is when one person expects an hour (or more) of post scene cuddles and the other party wants to be left alone but they didn’t talk about it before hand. This can lead to uncomfortable, possibly hurtful, situations from the parties involved. If the pair had talked openly about what they needed and/or could provide a surrogate cuddler could have been identified so everyone gets what then need. I also generally recommend participants check in with one another a few days later. This checkin allows for all parties to communicate anything thats come up in the days following a scene such as marks, injuries (they do happen and you need to communicate them), drop, ect.
Part of the puzzle that often gets left off in the aftercare discussion is self aftercare. Sometimes we drop harder then expected or our drop is delayed and our play partner can’t be with us if drop occurs a few days after the scene. Being able to take steps on your own to cope and work through drop is crucial. One important tool to have prepped is your “Drop Box.” The Drop Box should include things that can be used for both physical and emotional comfort and will differ person to person based on personality, likes, and kinks.
- Bath melts, bubbles, or salts
- Scented Candles
- Favorite drinks or snacks
- Coloring books
- Gift card to your favorite store or restaurant
- Favorite movie
- Favorite stuffed animal
- Mini first aid kit
These are just a few examples of what you might keep handy for if/when you experience drop. You’ll also want to have partners or friends you can reach out too. The lonely feeling that comes with drop can be one of the hardest to handle but having someone to connect with even over the phone can do wonders. Getting out of the house can also help particularly if your drop is stemming from a major event like a con. Physical exercise and the outdoors can also help your body get it’s hormones back in balance.
Overall know that you aren’t alone in these feelings. Drop happens to people no matter what their role or dynamic is tops, bottoms, doms, subs, switches, all go through it. With some prep ahead of time you can dramatically reduce your recovery time.
Do you have kinky questions you’d like to see answered or explored? Send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.