BDSM play releses all sorts of neurochemicals that cause awesome euphoric feeling such as sub space. What chemicals? Epinephrine, norepinephrine, enkephalins, dynorphins, dopamine, cortisol, prolactin, endorphins, oxytocin, addrenaline.
Adrenaline and norepinephrine are released first when playing by experiences extreme stress or pain. They reduce our perception of pain while increasing heart rate and also cause your body to release energy stored as glucose from cells (presumably so you have enough energy available to respond appropriately to a threat) while increasing bloodflow to the brain. The increased bloodflow to the gives more oxygen to both the brain and muscles while making you super alert to your surroundings… all so you’re ready to fight or flee.
When under the influence of adrenaline you have a heightened sense of fear to basically propel you into action that will save your ass. Of course, these are stressful on your body which releases chemicals like cortisol which will affect you later…but right now you focused on fighting or fleeing. The unused adrenaline and norepinephrine will be reabsorbed shortly while the enkephalins start to regulate your body functions while also dulling pain and relaxing the body. As this happens…she drops out of subspace.
I could go on about the science behind all of the specific chemicals involved but as I write this, I’m finding it hard to express clearly what is really going on and give you the big picture. So I”m going to take a step back and try again.
|Subspace…so pretty even if she doesn’t think so|
A bound and whipped slave is flooded with ‘feel good chemicals’ that gets her high as a kite and she can’t feel pain in normal ways. These effect physical sensations.
These “feel good chemicals” have a side effect: they trigger stress hormones.
After the scene ends, the regular chemicals kick in to clear the feel good chemicals out of your system and start returning you to normal. These regulator chemicals DO effect mood as well.
|Subdrop can be more intense the next day|
When the feel good chemicals are completely reabsorbed, she is left with a dose of stress hormones and regulator chemicals, both of which can combine to make her feel down and depressed. This depressed feeling is subdrop.
The more intense the scene, the more intense the subdrop as more chemicals are put into her system.
If you do nothing, she’s left with a body full of mood altering chemical tend to push her towards depression and feeling worthless.
So what can you do? The answer is simple: make her release the ‘trust chemicals’ that cancel the out and neutralize the regulator and stress chemicals. The more standard way to make her release the trust chemicals is cuddle and nurture her. Strokes and touch cause it to be released. Checking in with her after is wonderful. Even a simple text or phone call can give her a shot of it. And all the while, over the next couple days, she’s be given a boost with regulating her system and neutralizing the stress hormones.
The initial subdrop can be pretty intense and also commonly result in a drop of body temperature (the chemicals effecting body temperature have been played with)…so a warm snuggly blankie and a stuffie…it’s all good and while help with shivers too.
Now some Doms are not really capable of this kind of tender care –so if that’s you…some warning to the sub is only fair. Myself, I come from the genus Ursus Teddicus and honestly care about my sweet little girls so snuggling is not so much an issue for me. I enjoy it and like to connect and be emotionally available for her after –and actually find that her taking the beating causes me to trust her and open up more to her.
Also, so subs don’t suffer from this or are emotionally closed off or are simply either don’t experience the same negative effects of subdrop or the trust chemicals aren’t easily released so the actions fail to achieve their mark with them. I’m writing this as a general rule and explanation of the science going on behind the scenes. And now should understand a bit more about why subdrop occurs and understand how aftercare can make a big difference.
Feel good chemicals: endorphins, enkaphalins, dynorphins, dopamine
Regulator Chemicals: cortisol, prolactin
Trust Chemicals: Oxytocin. As I write this it occurs to me that it is commercially available. Hmmmmmm.