Evie and I were talking the other day, and she asked, “What are the top reasons people come to your group?”
I have been running Submissive Safe Space (SSS), a discussion and support group for s-types in San Francisco, for the past four years. I thought of three topics off the top of my head that keep coming around. S-types (as I prefer to call them — its non-gendered and takes into account submissive and slave types) come to the group when they are new to the scene, when they are ready to begin their search for a Dominant or Master, and when they are crisis.
Generally, the newbies find us when they are looking for information to get them started on their journey and to make friends within the community. Enjoying BDSM in the S.F. scene is all about building friendships and relationships.
It’s a smart s-type who realizes if he, she or they wants to explore their kinks and find their special someone(s), it is best to start by meeting like-minded people. SSS has been a good resource for gathering information and exploring burning questions. Hearing how other s-types found their D-type helps generate ideas about how you may want to approach your own search for a Dominant play partner or D/s relationship.
Also, hearing other s-types share their stories is a good education in the pitfalls involved — BDSM is intense, emotionally and physically. Evie and I focus a lot on education and safety for a reason. Building your resources and educating yourself is about exercising personal responsibility. Being an s-type does not mean giving up your personal responsibility — if anything it is quite the opposite.
Which brings me to the type of personal crisis that brings an s-type to the group for support:
Often a new s-type comes to our door crying and having difficulties with emotional self-regulation. When I inquire further, it comes out that they have recently played and had an amazing scene. Now it’s a day or two later, and they are depressed and crying, perhaps even feeling insecure and ruminating on negative thoughts. This is sub drop. During a BDSM scene, adrenaline, endorphins and oxytocin are all released in larger than normal amounts. It literally makes you high. I have had scenes that left me unable to drive safely. And I have had scenes so intense that I was high for days.
What goes up must come down; eventually your body needs to return to baseline. Sub drop can be very difficult to handle, especially when you are new to BDSM, but the group members’ collective wisdom has come up with a Sub Drop Toolkit we share with our teary newbies.
- Negotiate your aftercare before the scene. Everyone has different needs. Some people need cuddles and a sleepover; others need space. Figure out what you need and ask for it.
- Stay hydrated and eat well. I used to be so hyped up before a scene with my Dominant, I wouldn’t eat on the days we played. This is a bad idea. Extreme swings in blood sugar levels will contribute to sub drop. Drink plenty of water and be sure to have a snack ready after you play. You will likely be hungry. Figure out what you need; s-types generally tend toward either sugar or protein. I love fresh fruit after I play. Eat healthy in the days following your scene.
- Get plenty of sleep and be gentle with yourself the day after. Cuddling up with a good book and a cup of tea in your favorite cozy clothes is a nice way to promote floating down rather than dropping down. Cuddling with your Dominant is even better!
- Connect and communicate with your Dominant in the days after. Getting together and connecting for reassurance and support helps ameliorate the effects of sub drop. I am a switch, and there have been times when I get together with my s-types for tea or lunch a couple of days later, especially if we have played hard or the scene was very challenging. Text, email or phone if you can’t meet up.
Our group meets at the SF Citadel, and we are grateful that the dungeon owners have given us the space for free. They recognize the importance of providing support and education to kinky community members. If you are not lucky enough to live in a place where there is already an established s-type discussion and support group, consider starting one yourself and promote it on FetLife.
Do you have a special way of easing sub drop? Share it in the comments section!