It’s customary when writing about Dom Drop to start by saying that people don’t generally know it’s a thing. I’m not gonna do that. If you Google ‘top drop’ or ‘dom drop’, you’ll find articles about it. Instead, I’m going to do something I haven’t seen anyone do, which is write about it from the inside. Because I’ve got a pretty rough case of Dom Drop right now, and writing about it feels a bit like therapy.
Dom Drop, for those of you who aren’t familiar with the idea, is a depressive state that sometimes settles in after a scene. The most common trigger for it is probably a sense of guilt over the dark desires that domming brings to the surface. It’s a worry about “am I really a monster?” I’ve had that kind of Dom Drop. What I’ve got today ain’t that kind of Dom Drop.
Last night I was dealing with a boy that I’d only made contact with a few days ago. We shared an unexpectedly intense connection, a surprisingly strong charisma. For me, it triggered very strong dominant instincts, an urge to control and possess the boy, and I found myself getting pulled in. It felt really good, because the boy seemed to be experiencing the same things from the other side. We’d discussed the intensity of the feelings and from what I understood, we were both comfortable with things, although he’d expressed some hesitancy and admitted he needed a strong hand to push him through that hesitancy.
So last night, things felt very real until suddenly the boy declared that he wasn’t feeling it, that I was pushing too hard, that I wasn’t engaged, that where I wanted to go wasn’t enough for him. End scene. (I’m being intentionally vague here because getting into the actual details feels too close for comfort.)
Since then, I’ve been feeling waves of emotion that I eventually realized were Dom Drop, the most intense I’ve experienced in a very long time. I don’t get Dom Drop very often, so that made it doubly surprising.
First there’s confusion. What’s going on? Why is this happening? This doesn’t make sense. The sudden loss of control is so at odds with the powerful feeling of control that it’s disorienting.
Then there’s the sense of guilt. Not guilt in the “this was wrong” sort of way, but guilt in the “this is my fault” sort of way. Why was I pushing too hard? Yes, he said he needed that, but I should have been more cautious. I thought I was very focused and engaged, but maybe I wasn’t. I was in charge, so this has to be my fault. Rationally I’m aware that the boy shares responsibility for not communicating clearly during the scene, but emotionally, it feels like I should have done things differently, that I should have been more aware, that I should have been able to read his mind.
Then there’s the feelings of incompetence. I’m no good at this. A real dom would have seen the signs and headed this off before it happened. Maybe the boy sensed my incompetence and felt like I wasn’t really dominant after all. If I’d been better, he would have responded more to what I was doing.
Then there’s the self-loathing. Why do I put myself through this? I’m old and ugly and shitty at this stuff and no one really wants to submit to me and I’m useless and…Normally I keep those feeling locked away. But when the rest of my feelings are turbulent, these feelings escape Their cage easily and just start gnawing at me.
Then there’s the rawness. I feel like I’ve scraped my emotional insides with a cheese-grater. Normally I manage my feelings pretty well. I have a lot of emotional self-control and know how to soothe my feelings when they’re troubled. But right now, I’m struggling to keep control of my emotions. You know the episode of ST:tNG where Sarek develops the Vulcan emotional Alzheimers? It’s like that. Lots of stuff bubbling to the surface. I almost started crying at breakfast.
Kinksters understand that Dom Drop (and Sub Drop) are about feelings of guilt and shame. But as I see it, Drop isn’t really about that at all. It’s about the loss of the heightened reality we experience during a scene. When I dom, I get to experience a state of hyper-powerfulness, in which I feel godlike. After the scene, if Dom Drop sets in, it’s because I’m clinging to that heightened reality, unwilling to return to my mundane reality where I’m just me. It’s about loss of that transcendent state where I’m more than I usually am. The world goes from brilliant color to black and white.
And that’s why I’m so fucked up this morning. The loss of control was so sudden, with no warning, that it feels like getting sucked out into space when the outer wall of the spaceship ruptures suddenly. I’m drifting in a void of powerlessness unprepared for it, without the things that normally provide me a sense of confidence and self-control and worth.
I know eventually that these feelings will settle out, that my self-control will return. But I think I’m gonna be pretty raw today. What I really want to do is curl up in my room and listen to depressing music. Unfortunately, I have a long day ahead of me, an important meeting where I have to give a major presentation, so I’m gonna have to cobble together some sense of control pretty fast. It’s sort of like that lyric from Evita:
Call in three month’s time, and I’ll be fine, I know.
Well, maybe not that fine, but I’ll survive anyhow.
I won’t recall the names and faces of this sad occasion,
But that’s no consolation to me, here and now.