If you’ve done bdsm with power play or pain play, you might be familiar with sub drop. It’s important to know that you or the person you’re playing with might lose their shit in some hours.
Oops, I forgot about it. I experienced surprise sub drop the other day.
A new friend–let’s call them Desire again–massaged my neck and lower back for almost an hour in the south living room. It was our second massage.
Accidentally, I slipped into subspace when some pain overwhelmed me. Desire pushed on ouchie places of adhesions in my shoulders and upper back. The pain was purposeful, and I have a hard time understanding how much pain is ok and how much is too much.
How would I know what’s too much? Often I don’t know how I feel until the next day, about anything. It can take me a while. Real time feedback requires a ton of concentration. Even then, I might not really know.
It gets even more confusing when a perverted part of me likes the pain, right? I love and cherish that perverted part of me, and I’ve done such good healing work via bdsm.
The adhesions in my lower back hurt even more than the shoulder places, when Desire pressed on them. But by then, I was open and ready.
Unfortunately, Desire and I had not discussed pain play beforehand–it just happened. Probably they did not know I’ve done years of bdsm. Ideally any kind of play would be predicted, with safewords negotiated, boundaries addressed, and aftercare plans made.
Desire held one hand still on my back, maybe doing energy work, as they kneaded hurt places of my shoulders. The combination of feeling safe from their still hand on my back with the pain was delicious. And the safe feeling from their consent questions activated something valuable in me. I was enthusiastic to go there. Yes.
But slipping into subspace was confusing because we were not having sex. I had never gone into subspace during a massage before. Partly I wasn’t aware it was happening. It was confusing because I was still able to talk.
Desire and I talked throughout the entire massage. In the past, when I’m in subspace I lose my language.
But I was high for three or four hours, after the massage. Wow, I was not expecting that bliss to flood me for a long time. I sat on the porch and just sang for almost an hour. I was intoxicated with dull pervasive joy.
Then I had a phone call with the housemate I like to touch, and I was sweet and chill from the joy chemicals bouncing around inside me. That was a welcome reprieve from some low grade conflict we had been having. An easy phone call felt healing to the relationship.
I don’t use weed, alcohol, or other drugs like that. So being high is a big deal for me. I hadn’t planned for it.
content warning: vague mention of sexual violation
My spouse and I did a ton of bdsm, the first two years of our relationship. It was amazing fun. I skillfully processed sexual violation trauma from my childhood and youth.
Hmm, that started by accident also, come to think of it. It would just happen. But once I figured out what we were doing, I started to trigger it intentionally, curious.
We rode that wave all the way to shore. I would ask my spouse for pain, domination, and reenactments of early violence. This would induce a PTSD panic attack. Then I would force myself to stay with the experience and feel my feelings, rather than running from the feelings and dissociating like I usually would.
I’d induce PTSD flashbacks, then let myself panic. But it was within a scene of overwhelming sexual pleasure. So sexual pleasure would mingle with the panic and horrific memories in a powerful way for transformation.
I reprocessed my trauma by reliving it with a very safe person in a safe way. Maybe like EMDR, but sexual energy / cunt magic was the main energetic motivator.
The stuck trauma problems must have gotten unstuck. I’m still not happy with violation and rape that was done to me when I was a little kid, teenager, and young adult. But it no longer has as much power over me. It’s no longer fucking up my life.
Genius, to be sure. My spouse and I were having sex often twice a day at that time, and the bdsm was exciting. We bonded a lot, as we went places together that are Advanced. Much of it is a blur, but I do remember some extremely intense scenes and experiences. My apologies to the neighbors.
Mostly I’m deeply grateful to my spouse for never batting an eye at my strange requests. Nothing I asked for was too much for him. He never shamed me or even seemed phased. No thought, memory, emotion, or longing was a problem. I definitely confused him a couple times. But we are smart learners, together.
He did his best to hurt me how I wanted. Our consent was beautiful. His love was and is the hottest thing in the world.
After the first two years, I needed sexual healing through bdsm a lot less. We still slip into it sometimes, and we maintain our verbal and nonverbal safewords. He does aftercare for me all the time.
But I don’t need pain or power play as much anymore. Our sex these days takes different paths, including ritual, intense comfort, delicious vanilla, my rich, language-y fantasy life, and countless blowjobs. Yes, love is very good.
That’s why I forgot about sub drop. Wow, what a thing to forget. Of course, there’s a low that follows the high.
The morning after the massage from Desire, I was feeling guilty for entering subspace on accident. I was embarrassed like I was bad for doing that, even though it was not my intention. Also I felt alone–I really needed some aftercare checkin and reassurance. Something meaningful, vulnerable, and intense had happened for me, even if for Desire it was just a normal massage on a normal day.
I emailed Desire and told them I had entered subspace during the massage. I didn’t want to need anything, and in a way I felt fine. A speedy reply seemed unnecessary, but actually I was drowning.
It wasn’t about Desire and what they did or didn’t do. More about a lifetime of feeling used and abandoned, starting from a very young age.
That history is potent. But in truth, my emotional state was a classic sub drop freakout of insecurity and emotional pain. The abandoned feeling is related to dopamine(?) levels dropping–some chemical process inside me. That’s what aftercare is for. I was not prepared.
However, this is not my first rodeo. I txted Desire about the email. That began a conversation that was helpful to me, and I felt much better by the following day.
On the porch I bravely asked Desire, “Did you know I was going into subspace?”
“I had not consciously thought that, no,” Desire said.
It’s funny because I was not consciously knowing at the time either. Just showing up for touch, for my body’s process, the possibility of healing, and to connect somehow with a new friend.
My body will do what it will do. And I trust my body now. It will let me know if I find a hard no or need to get up and leave.
Otherwise, I’m curious and learning. I have an emotional first aid kit and know how to use it.
Sub drop is real. If I do more bdsm with Desire or anyone, I will keep in mind that eight to 12 hours afterward, I will lose my shit for about half a day and plan accordingly.