• Alexandra Gold

Sub Drop, Top Drop, X Drop

Updated: Jul 15

Sub Drop, Top Drop, X Drop: The Three Models of Understanding the X Drop


The X drop, otherwise known as the Sub Drop (used regarding submissives) or Top Drop (used regarding dominants) is sometimes explained as the after-effects of high adrenaline and endorphin rushes from a scene. The X Drop can result in feelings of loss, disconnect, and fear. There are several models used to understand and explain the X Drop and the accompanying emotions. These are as follows: the biochemical model, the theories of grief model, and the identity development model.


First, some have proposed that the X Drop can be explained biochemically, relating to the chemical processes that occur in our living bodies.


Since the increase of hormones and chemicals has produced a trance-like state, as play ends the submissive may feel out-of-body, detached from reality. As the sub's system stops producing morphine-like drugs, and as the parasympathetic nervous system kicks in again, the sub may feel a deep exhaustion, a sharp drop in temperature, as well as incoherence and un-coordination.

When the endorphins and adrenaline settle down, the X drop sets in.


Secondly, we can understand the drop through the theories of grief. There are a variety of ways to comprehend grief and the ways it manifests in people. To understand the role of grief in the X drop, we must first grasp the basis of the following three models. These three models put forth ideas that may aid in understanding the short and long term impacts of the X drop.


The premise of the Parkes-Bowles model is that when an attachment to a loved one is broken, feelings of grief are a normal adaptive response to the loss and eventually result in reorganization and recovery of thoughts and identity.


The Lindemann model suggests that the psychological process of coping with a significant loss requires the bereaved person to let go and adapt to a new environment in which the deceased is not included. Through a scene, you may form new relationships with your past and your past roles.


The Kubler-Ross model proposes a series of emotions experienced by people who have lost or are losing a loved one, in which the five stages are: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and finally, acceptance. These stages may occur in succession after a scene.


While the emotions following a scene may not exactly parallel one of these three models of grief, there are similarities, and these similarities are beneficial in studying and softening the impact of the X drop.


Lastly, the third suggested model for understanding the X drop is self-development. The process of forming a new identity can involve the “loss” of the old identities, and with this loss may come a sense of anxiety, bereavement, or fear. Growing from one stage to the next is a disorienting experience. You are losing the way you make sense of the world, and thus experiencing the X drop.


When studying the effects of kink on mental health, one must explore the role that the X drop plays. There is no certain set of guidelines for looking at the X drop, however, it is an essential part of practicing alternative sexuality that entails a deeper look into oneself, one's partner, and the community at large.


Further research at TASHRA must ask:


Are some individuals more prone to experience later X drop than others? What exactly are the emotional dynamics of later X drop? How does the community support the experience of X drop? Does later X drop involve identity change?

To begin to answer such questions and understand the X drop in its entirety, extensive research must be conducted.

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