What is Sub Drop & Top Drop? Mood Shifts After Intense Sex Aren’t Uncommon

Everyone’s pretty much experienced the highs and lows of a roller coaster – the excitement and anticipation you feel as you reach the top and the thrilling rush afterwards. But as you also know those feelings dissipate afterwards and you might even need time to process what you just went through. For example, it might have felt really good in the heat of the moment but now you’re not sure how you feel. While not exactly the same as a roller coaster, the highs and lows of sex in the kink community can feel the same. This is known as sub drop and top drop – “sub” referring to the submissive partner and “top” being the dominant partner.

“‘Top drop’ is a term used after a very high, fast-paced BDSM session, when the dominant partner experiences a major mood shift, such as guilt and/or depression, once the high-high of the experience has settled down,” Megwyn White, Clinical Sexologist and Director of Education at Satisfyer , explains to SheKnows. “‘Sub drop’ is a term also used after a very high, fast-paced BDSM session, but when the submissive partner experiences a major mood shift after an intense session.”

White says it’s common for both dominant and submissive partners to experience feelings of guilt and irritability during the after-stages of BDSM and intense mood shifts are “completely normal.”

“This is because the body is on such a high-high during the session, and afterwards, when moods are back to normal, it can feel depressing when that euphoric feeling goes away,” she says. “This is a common feeling for BDSM participants because of how intense some sessions can get, the major high wears away after activity is complete.”

To help prepare for the sub drop and top drop, including after-care measures, read on for White’s tips.

Always communicate with your partner

To best prevent the feelings of intense sadness after a BDSM session, White says it is critical to openly communicate with your partner. “Sharing how you feel, whether it’s positive or negative, will help both partners feel safer with one another and build their level of trust,” she explains. “Open and honest communication at all times is always most important. It can also help you in understanding what you are getting out of BDSM and what it means to you, which can support evolving your play in a more conscious way.”

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