(By David Williams, AKA FtMyersArtist)
Sub drop comes in two forms: Physical sub drop which is a reaction by the submissives body to the strains of a scene, and mental sub drop which is an emotional response that can take place much after the scene is done. Neither type should be taken as a weakness of the submissive, on the contrary, the occurrence of either usually indicates that the sub has been pushing them self in the scene to go as far as they can.
It is the duty of the dominant to understand and look out for signs of either type of sub drop and cut off the possible bad effects when possible or at least minimize them.
Physical Sub Drop:
Physical sub drop is a result of the body’s reaction to the trauma of a scene. This is not meaning the scene must be overly traumatic to cause it, regular play such as flogging and spanking is taken as trauma by the body and it reacts to protect the internal organs accordingly. When the body feels threatened it centralizes the blood flow, drawing as much of the blood flow into the main trunk to protect the vital organs. Even though the play is not causing any damage per se, the body can react as though it was really having the shit beat out of it.
The first result of this can be a noticeable paleness to the limbs as the blood flow is limited. This can be hard to see especially with hose/gloves or ropes etc. The second symptom is a cooling of the skin and a clammy feel to the limb. When the blood flow is centralized the limbs receive less blood and thus less oxygen. Also the blood does not sweep away and clean the muscles as effectively due to the lower flow.
The body expends a great deal of energy doing all of this as well as any orgasms, movement, endurance, standing, kneeling, etc during the scene. This can cause a rapid drop in the blood sugar level for the submissive. The blood sugar drop can result in headache, crankiness, irritability, depression, nausea, and actually becoming angry and aggressive.
All of these things are easily remedied.
First, upon taking the submissive down, feel their limbs. If they are cool to the touch do not flex and stretch them. Rub and massage them gently and lower them so they are below the heart as you rub and the blood flow will return in just a few minutes. As they heat up and feeling returns as pins and needles sensation, then they can flex and stretch the limbs. Doing so before can cause very quick painful cramps as the blood flow has not been able to remove waste material from the muscles. Also, submissives often feel very cold when they come out of sub space, have something to wrap them in until blood flow is normalized again.
To combat possible blood sugar drops, I keep apple juice boxes in my play bag usually. Apple juice is a good source of fructose, an easily metabolized sugar. Don’t use soda or alcohol to raise the blood sugar of a submissive as the complex sugars take a long time and they will get the stimulants into their system before the sugar and that will intensify any problems. Keep the juice at room temp as well, very cold liquids into a heavily worked body can cause immediate and painful cramping. The body will give the submissive the craving to drink the juice until it feels the sugar levels rising again so you don’t need to worry about dosage or how much . . .just have a few juice boxes and the submissive will know when they have enough.
After that have water on hand as the water will help the system cleanse itself after hard play and restore vigor to the body. Don’t push the sub and submissives don’t push yourself to recover before you are ready. The body will need a varying amount of time after a scene and it changes not only from sub to sub but also each person and each scene will be different. Don’t be in a hurry to jump up. . .especially with numb limbs, you can fracture an ankle that way easily. Give time for recovery and realize, it is not a sign of weakness to need a few minutes to get back on your feet.
Type 2, Emotional sub drop
While it is fairly easy to define physical sub drop by symptoms, emotional sub drop is far more nebulous in form. It varies to a great degree person to person. Emotional sub drop manifests itself first as a feeling of detachment and then progresses further from there. The main cause of this is a lack of contact with the dominant of the scene. Unlike physical sub drop, emotional can happen immediately or days later, I have even seen weeks after the scene.
The main problem is that while it is easy to say “Oh you are shaky, you need blood sugar” it is hard to see the emotional aspects without very good communication. The problem lies when a submissive (especially someone new or who has been pushed beyond soft limits) is scened by a dominant and then the two do not have contact afterwords. Sometimes another dominant who is the submissives friend can take the place but when the submissive starts to feel a lack of contact it can start a feeling of guilt. Once that starts further lack of contact can bring on feelings of remorse, more guilt, embarrassment, and even in extreme cases self loathing.
What goes on is really quite simple. The submissive and dominant share a very intense scene. A bond is created there. It doesn’t matter if you are just friends or if you are just playing. The bond it creates is very real in the subs emotions. When there is no contact the submissive feels rejected like they did something wrong. Even if their conscious mind says “It was just play” the subconscious says “But they would have contacted me unless I did something wrong”. This feeling eventually becomes the pervading emotion about the play and often creates a feeling that the sub has done something stupid or wrong or is not good enough to be contacted.
Whatever contact a dominant has with a submissive before a scene (a few emails a week, calls etc) they should continue after the scene for several weeks at least. Positive reinforcement, telling the submissive you enjoyed it, earnest compliments, these things help the submissive process the emotions. Having contact you can also head off any doubts or questions the submissive may have and make the scene a positive memory and experience. Don’t blow sunshine up their ass. . . false praise and flattery will be scene as over compensating. . .be honest, keep in contact and be available if they have any questions or worries.
It goes without saying of course that when a scene is done, you don’t just leave the sub standing there alone or laying there. Take the time after the scene to nurture them and look for aspects of physical and mental sub drop. Take the time to give the sub the reinforcement and after care they need and make sure the submissive is ok and feels good about the experience. The amount they need is different for every submissive and some will need almost none while others need a great deal of nurturing. This is not an indication of weakness or the severity of the scene it is simply that some need more aftercare than others do. I have seen “dominants” just leave a sub on the floor to make their own way. . .it is my sincere hope that they may one day experience things from the subs point of view to understand what they do to others by not taking the time to finish what they started.
Very good descriptions. So much better than “just leave them, they’ll get over it.” (grrrrr)