Let's talk about subspace, aftercare and sub drop

Discussion in 'General BDSM discussions' started by Smallest, Jun 21, 2012.

  1. Smallest

    Smallest Moderator

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    We can also talk about the dom/me versions of them, of course.

    This comes up because me and Sir were talking after an intense session, where I felt like I didn't get enough aftercare and had really bad sub drop, neither of us knew what I needed to get better, and I was having trouble (during the scene) getting out of subspace to safe word.

    Anyway, I'd like to hear experiences, ideas to help out, and whatever else you have. I don't know a ton about subspace but when I look back and wince, it makes me feel as though I should- especially since I mod here. I'm better at seeing things in other people.

    Likewise, what do you do for aftercare? Our usual is just washing up, water and food, then laying down (or laying down first, or both). I can't have him touch or cuddle me, it just makes me go all foggy and... well, I just need a couple minutes of space. I know there's a section in the FAQ, but this is as good a place as any to have a discussion on it, rather than a how-to.

    And when aftercare fails, or despite everything nothing's okay, what do we do for sub drop? I can't talk, there are a hundred reasons why I am not a good judge on what should be done when I have it. Usually Sir just stays with me and listens if I want to talk.
  2. subarama30

    subarama30 Member

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    I have never experienced sub drop myself. I tend to go to a pretty happy place after we have played. We always lay together touching, kissing and talking afterwards. He tends to do a once over of my body too, checking that I'm ok, for his piece of mind more than mine.

    I think it's a very personal thing, the places we go in our minds, I think you are doing pretty much all you can to deal with things.
  3. sebastian

    sebastian Active Member

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    Don't let the fact that there's a section in the FAQ deter you from discussing something. That FAQ is just things for new people to think about. And my knowledge of subspace comes more from reading about it than seeing it first-hand. I've only played with two guys who definitely went into subspace during a session, and one of those two guys is someone I've only chatted with, not met in person. So I'm far from an expert on this subject.

    The sub I've chatted with is an interesting case, actually. When we chat, he sometimes 'spaces' or 'falls'. He says that he feels very disconnected from his body. At first I thought he was just saying it to impress me or something, but when he really spaces, he becomes incoherent, and I can see it in his chat. He stops using punctuation, begins making spelling mistakes, and then types gibberish. He remains capable of interacting, and I can talk him up from that place. When we've skyped and he's spaced, he gets very dreamy-sounding, like h's hypnotized. The first time it really happened to him, he got very scared and stopped chatting with me for a month or two, but then he came back and we've explored that place a few more times. I've never heard of someone who can go into subspace purely from verbal play. It fascinates me, actually.

    The other guy I took to subspace was a very experienced daddy who has realized he's more of a boy. I tied him standing and started flogging him and using a combination of a paddle and an electric toothbrush on his ass. He zoned out very quickly, started shuddering and making occasional moans. I used him that way for about 10 minutes, but then decided that he was sufficiently out of it that he couldn't safe word--he wasn't responding coherently when I asked him if he was ok. So I untied him and laid him down on the bed. When I jacked him off, he had the most violent orgasm I've ever seen--it looked like a full-on grand mal seizure. After he came, it took him about 5 minutes to come out of subspace far enough that he could talk. But he recovered fairly quickly after that. Sadly, shortly after that session, he found a regular boyfriend, so I never got a chance to take him back to that place.

    So that's what I really know about subspace--two very different methods of reaching it. I don't know that every sub is capable of reaching it. I've read some writings by experienced subs who say they've never hit that place; they often feel frustrated by it. Maybe it's something psychological, maybe it's something physiological. I don't know.
  4. Smallest

    Smallest Moderator

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    Sebastian, that was really interesting to read. I like having an open dialogue on things.

    Subarama, more than nine times in ten we're like that, just content and perfect afterwards, but obviously not every time. It's frustrating.
  5. wendywatkins

    wendywatkins New Member

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    Hello all ;) New domme here!

    I have a problem with dom-drop.... But I have a hard time admitting that I need aftercare! I am new to the scene, and have only worked with my current sub twice. He wants a FWB relationship, but basically just a mistress.

    I am completely comfortable with that; except he doesn't want things to get personal at all! He doesn't even want to kiss on the mouth! I feel like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman...

    The problem is, a D/s relationship is inherently personal, right? I would have thought as a sub he would have been more understanding... Don't get me wrong, he's a great person, I just don't know if aftercare is also something that's too "personal" for him?

    How do you approach the topic of this with a new D/s relationship? And how do I get over the fact that I'm too proud to admit that I need a little extra attention after a scene?
  6. Smallest

    Smallest Moderator

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    You should be having serious conversations about what was good and bad in play, and limits, and so on- that would be a good time to bring it up. I'm terrible with pride, even as a sub, so I can't help with that.
  7. sebastian

    sebastian Active Member

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    Some subs can be very selfish. That sounds like a contradiction, but it's very true. I tend to think of them as 'fuck me subs'. They want to top from the bottom and tend to treat the dom as a tool in a fantasy of their devising.

    If you don't like the limits the sub wants to set, you are entirely within your rights to tell him that you find his limits unacceptable and therefore you won't play with him. You can tell him that kissing is mandatory, and that you need cuddling after play. Of course, he's free to reject that and look elsewhere.
  8. wendywatkins

    wendywatkins New Member

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    @Smallest- We did talk after about how the scene went, and talked before about limits. I will do my best to set my pride aside next time....

    @Sebastian- I feel like you hit the nail on the head. It's like he should have hired somebody to act out his fantasy with him instead, you know? As if he's treating me like a prostitute! (hence the Pretty Woman reference)

    I'm going to have to put this sissy bitch in his place and make sure he knows who's in charge... Just because I'm new to the scene doesn't mean I don't know how to control a man :devil:
  9. sebastian

    sebastian Active Member

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    Wendy: Exactly. Make it clear that you're in charge, your rules are what counts, and if he doesn't like it, he can look elsewhere. Given that there are more subs than doms, he'll have to wait in line, and you should be able to find other subs fairly easily.
  10. MastersLil1

    MastersLil1 New Member

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    The first thing Master and I did was read read read about things and spoke loads before we even done anything.. When we felt ready and could feel the anticipation growing we sat infront of the computer and "went shopping together"... as soon as they turned up in the post i wanted to play straight away but Master would not let me... Hes self control I feel protected me alot from the sub-drop.. Since then we both make conscious efforts.

    I make sure he does not begin to feel guilt or anxiety by talking about how safe I feel with him during and after..

    and as someone said above he checks me over and we lay close and often fall asleep together.. but communication is SO important and im so glad we didnt rush into this all... i realise with out making the mistake how dangerous it can be x
  11. Smallest

    Smallest Moderator

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    Lil, the problem is that sub drop doesn't indicate anything went wrong in the scene, or that anything was miscommunicated. Many times, such as almost every time I've experienced it, it comes seemingly unprovoked, after play that was enjoyable and often not anywhere near limits. As outlined above, there are ways to help it, but it's not easy to prevent.

    I can't tell if you misunderstood that, or if you're just going a bit offtopic (with the talk of not jumping into BDSM, and communication being important, which I hope everyone reading knows). It's fine to go slightly offtopic, it just makes me a bit lost in how to reply.
  12. impkitty

    impkitty New Member

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    This is a topic which has interested me since discovering it - well after I should have known about it, I might add! I'm fairly sure I experienced it without realising it at the time, but since I have depression issues arising from my body's inability to keep my 'happy hormones' topped up anyway, I didn't make the connection. If so, I'm not sure you need to go into sub space to experience it, maybe someone can clarify that? As I understand it the drop occurs, literally with the sudden drop back to, or less than normal levels of adrenaline, serotonin etc ?

    I haven't the experience to know what the cure is but when my mood dips I will always back the vote for care and of course chocolate too as a very short term fix.

    What I've wondered is whether a natural inclination to (clinical) depression makes a person more prone to it. For me at least, happy stress (I'm thinking good scene or sex might count) and bad stress has the same effect in draining the 'happy' hormones and they just aren't replaced fast enough, thus giving rise to a big down. I know depression is a hard subject to talk about but is there anyone out there with experience and if so do they take any additional care before, during or after the scene?

    {This is my first post here, so I hope I've made sense and haven't stepped out of line ... because, wow, choose a serious topic to start on, why don't I? I won't be offended if I need a nudge}
  13. sebastian

    sebastian Active Member

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    Sub drop and subspace are not inherently connected, although they are not totally unrelated. For some subs, subspace is triggered by the release of endorphins during pain play. But not all subs who drop into subspace need pain play to achieve it. When those endorphins wear off, the body's natural systems can experience a crash (like a crash after a sugar high), in which the body's endorphin levels drop back to normal and maybe below normal. So to the extent that sub drop is biochemical, it is a byproduct of subspace.

    But not all sub drop is biochemical. For some it is largely psychological. BDSM can produce a sense of time flowing differently, with 6-8 hours flying by in what feels like 2-3 hours. When the awareness of time returns to normal, the body can crash from simple exhaustion. BDSM can also produce a sense of heightened awareness, of extra concentration, and of a sort of hyper-reality. When these feelings return to normal, they can produce depression because life seems less special; the sub realizes that she has to return to her mundane life and duties. And for some subs, exploring their dark side can trigger feelings of disgust, self-loathing, memories of past unhappy or abusive experiences, and so on. The sub may feel she's unworthy, a filthy pervert, or worthless. None of these are primarily about biochemical shifts. In that sense, sub drop may have nothing at all to do with subspace.
  14. impkitty

    impkitty New Member

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    I've looked up a few explanations of sub drop, but honestly your description is encompasses far more than I've seen before and is really well explained. There's certain pieces falling into place for me...

    {as an aside, this may be what you have on FAQ, but I seem to be failing using the site, because whenever I click FAQ on the top bar I'm only finding answers to technical questions- am I missing a separate FAQ in the threads?}
    EDIT: OKay, I need to get some sleep, yes I have seen the newcomers' FAQ - I must have missed that thread ...and then decided to go looking in strange places today.
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2012
  15. RopeRanger

    RopeRanger Member

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    impkitty, Since we all post from personal experience we’re all qualified to post. The reason I’m a member here is because this is the least critical, judgmental forum I’ve found. Jump in with both feet.

    From a Dom side, I’ve experienced Dom drop, though I don’t feel that term is quite as descriptive for me as it seems to be for subs. I would equate it more to red-lining an engine rather than a drop. I was raised in the south and taught to be a gentleman: men don’t hit women, you’re always polite etc. On the flip side we don’t hide crazy we parade it out on the front porch and give it a party so I don’t normally have “guilt” issues with my kink, power exchange, or any pain I may cause to reach our mutual satisfaction.

    My drop often is tied to the sub’s aftercare. If they had a …pleasurable is not the right word… satisfying session then my decompression typically consists of exhaustion more than anything. I make an effort to take my sub into subspace which means we prepare with a discussion and reminder of our limits, I have to keep a keen eye on her as she tends to push herself very hard, and then aftercare is especially important because if her head space.

    Once I have her back in a good place I often need time to get out of Dom mode and back into normal everyday mode. I tend to schedule our sessions so that I don’t interact with the public until the next day. That way I can sleep it off.

    Any Dom “drop” issues that I have experience have always been produced by cheating the line between soft/hard limits. This has almost disappeared as I’ve grown in experience. I found that the fastest way for me to come out of it was though self-critique, not self-condemnation, but a true lessons learned thought process followed by a debrief with my sub in a non D/s setting.

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