Of Bondage, Books and Bathos


rope

BDSM devotees are well aware of a phenomena known as “sub-drop”. It refers to the slightly depressed feeling submissives are often prey to, the day after a play session. Think of the downer you might get after a night of drinking or drugging. Or even the day after a big event. This is a bondage-specific kind of come-down.

But strangely, it only seems to affect subs and not doms. Thus the basis of the moniker “sub-drop” as opposed to “bondage-drop” or “BDSM come-down” or “rope rebound” or…

…I could go on…feel free to add your own suggestions to this list…

Being an avid (addicted?) reader, I sometimes get the same feeling upon finishing a particularly engaging book. Not every book. Not even every good book. Just particular kinds of books.

It never happens after a non-fiction work: even the most amazing work of history. It has to be a novel. It has to be fairly lengthy. It has to be a story which has lived with me and in me for several days. It doesn’t have to have a particularly gripping plot, like a mystery or a thriller. And I can’t predict which books will give me biblio-drop. There are just certain characters and certain settings that invade my being.

So when I finish that book, the beings leave me. And I feel abandoned.

This is what happens with sub-drop. It is not just the come-down from the adrenaline rush that one gets with any, good sexual activity. This particular bathos contains an element of abandonment. The sub has been, for a brief time, in the power of the dom. A good dom gives the sub care and control, in an intense setting. That’s how I feel about a great book: it has cared for me and controlled me. And then abandoned me.

books

With both bondage and books, we, for a short while, dwell in fantasy. We become, not someone else exactly, but something more, or less, than we are. We become us without our baggage, our anxieties, our self-doubts. Even taking on another character’s baggage, anxieties and self-doubts, is a break from ourselves. A hiatus in the psychological maelstrom.

Yet on the morrow, we are back to all that. Back to ourselves. Back to being our own character, in our own, all-too-familiar setting, Back to caring and controlling ourselves. And we’re not very good at that.

I just wish that, like good doms, the authors who have dominated me, would call me the next day to give me succour.

None of them do.

Bloody writers….

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