You’ve heard of “drop the mic” and “drop it like it’s hot”… But what is sub drop? For all you ladies and gents out there participating in BDSM, this is very important for you to understand. Whether you are a Dominant or a submissive, experiencing sub drop during a BDSM play session is common physical and mental state that participants can be mindful of, especially to provide compassionate aftercare.


A woman laying in bed with her head in her arms, feeling the impact of sub drop after a play session.


Sub Drop vs. Sub Space

In every sexual encounter, there are different experiences of enjoyment, and there may be some difficulties. Two states of mind that may be achieved during a BDSM scene are sub space and sub drop – two altered mental states that can leave you flying high or feeling low. So, what’s the difference?

Essentially, these states exist at two extremes. Sub space is the ‘high’ achieved as a result of play, also known as “headspace”, “flying” or “floating”. It can be described as an altered mental state that some submissives achieve during very intense play, such as adding in a  very powerful vibrator

Submissives may enter into different levels of sub space at different times with different stimuli. A submissive can stay in sub space for minutes, hours, or even days after a session has ended. Each submissive that enters into sub space may or may not share similar sensations or experiences, and most describe the experience in different ways. 


What is Sub Drop?

On the other hand, sub drop is the ‘down’ or ‘low’ that can sometimes happen after play. It doesn’t mean that the play was bad or that something went wrong. Instead, it’s a combination of heightened chemicals during play that lead to intense sensations and euphoria that can then lead to a “drop” after the intensity of pleasure subsides. 

While all Dom/sub dynamics vary, any sub could experience sub drop at some point in their scene encounters. After all, the emotional and physical effects of the release and drop of endorphins in the body after a BDSM play session or scenario can be intense. 

To better understand what this means, we need to look at the chemicals working through the body.


A man being comforted as he sits against a bed with his head in his hand.


Chemical Compounds

Basically, endorphins are produced by the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus during exercise, excitement, pain, consumption of spicy food, love, and orgasms. They resemble opiates and give a morphine-like effect 

In other words, they produce a feeling of well-being and even have pain-killing properties! The endorphins released during BDSM play are similar to feeling high or ecstatic. 

Once the play is over, endorphins start to fade. This creates an imbalance in hormones and endorphin levels. The endorphins and hormones leave your body in such a way that it takes time to rebuild the balance in your system.


A woman laying in bed, curled into herself and experiencing sub drop.


The Effects of Sub Drop

Sub drop can have physical effects, such as fatigue, sadness, aches and pains, and recovery from marks. 

You could feel like you have a hangover or partied too hard the night before. You could feel lost and depressed for hours or days! The effects may occur immediately after play, minutes, hours, or days after the scenario. Some people recover in a matter of hours, but others could exhibit signs of sub drop for weeks after an intense session. 

But it’s not only subs that experience it. Drop happens to Tops and Dominants as well as subs or bottoms. The most important thing to remember is that it can happen to anyone – new subs, experienced Doms… everyone. It is perfectly normal and the effects can be managed and alleviated.



How to Recover from Sub Drop

In order to counteract sub drop, aftercare is essential. Aftercare is the time after a scene or playtime when you recover and take care of both the Dom and subs needs, whether physical, mental, or emotional. 

This is also a time to reconnect to reality and re-establish roles outside the scene. Some scenes are very intense emotionally and psychologically and the Dom may need to help the sub unwind or recover and vice versa.

The point of aftercare is to make the sub feel accepted, wanted, safe, secure, and comfortable. For a Dom, aftercare is also necessary to reaffirm the connection and reassure that they are appreciated and their actions were pleasurable for the sub too. (Of course, if this isn’t the case, communication is also essential!) 

A drop kit can be helpful for Doms and subs, to prepare in advance for a possible moderate to severe drop after play sessions. The kit may include soothing beverages, bubbles for a bath, comforting food, massage oils, soft music, or anything that will support comfort and care. Often, it’s about bonding and reconnecting to one another, though some may want a bit of alone time to decompress.


A couple laying in bed and cuddling as aftercare.