Sub drop: reaching the lowest point

Author: Kitteh
A to Z | Basics

Experiencing BDSM involves joy, ecstasy, and intimacy. At the same time, our inclinations come with a lot of responsibility and mental challenges. Not everything always goes smoothly. Even if a session is conducted safely and all boundaries and limits are respected, a so-called drop can occur. This is an extremely negative emotional state that can be caused by various factors. On the submissive side, this is referred to as a sub drop.

Why does a sub drop happen?


Despite sufficient communication in advance, it can happen that you misjudge a situation as a sub. For example, if something that you expected or wished for in advance turns out to be unpleasant. Even within the limits, situations can arise that are judged differently during the game. This can also depend on the form of the day or the play partner. Instead of excitement, Sub suddenly feels unwanted or excessive pain. Humiliation, which otherwise feels good, is perceived as hurtful. In addition, there is the “shame” of having misjudged oneself, of having failed.

Subs’ expectations of themselves

Subs often feel that they always have to live up to a Top. If you don’t manage to endure a certain punishment or complete a task, this can lead to self-doubt. Especially when the safeword is spoken and/or a session is broken off, it can feel as if you are not good or strong enough. Despite all the aftercare, these thoughts can gain the upper hand and lead to a sub drop.

The feeling of shame

Another cause for a drop in a submissive person can be their feelings of shame. In our minds, it’s ingrained that pain and humiliation are bad things. We shouldn’t feel enjoyment or arousal from them. Many BDSM practices are seen as abnormal or perverse. This can lead to feelings of shame about one’s inclinations. Especially as a submissive person, you often allow things to be done to you that are very off-putting to others. This feeling of being abnormal or sick can lead to a sub drop.

Sometimes the cause of a sub drop is not tangible

The human psyche is highly complex. Humiliation, fear and pain also have a subconscious effect on us. Our emotions are uncontrollable, especially in extreme situations. Sex, pain and especially BDSM are such extreme situations. They demand a lot from our brain. It can happen that our subconscious sometimes decides differently than planned or expected. A sub drop is also possible with a time delay or triggered by certain actions, situations or words.

What can you do if you experience a sub drop?

Better safe than sorry. Don’t just talk about your limits and your consistency in general, but also repeatedly. You should also ask certain questions directly before playing, for example about your form on the day and your current wishes and needs. Aftercare is also essential for your mental balance, so that you feel supported and can let the situation fade away slowly and consciously.

However, a drop can also happen despite all caution. Be aware that such downs are human and there is no need to feel ashamed or justify them. It also doesn’t make you a bad Sub. From a neurochemical point of view, a drop is usually due to a rapid drop in hormone levels. For this reason, Doms can also experience a drop. Just being aware of these two things can help enormously.

How to deal with it cannot be generalized. Every interpersonal relationship is different. Needs in emotional and sensitive situations are individual. For some, communication can be very helpful. For others, non-verbal, physical affection is important. You can find some approaches here. In case of emergency, you can always turn to a BDSM support service.

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