Are you familiar with the term “event drop”?
I first became aware of this term in circles where I was attending multi-day, alternative lifestyle events. Usually as the weekend is coming to a close you hear more and more people bringing it up in anticipation of the shifts they expect to feel once they get back home. After such intensity and stimulation from watching, learning & play, there can be a lot to process… But more than just the mental processing is the emotional processing. Besides just figuring out how you want to weave the new skill or trick you learned into your next play date, one might also be missing the feeling of freedom and euphoria in being surrounded by so many like-minded friends. On top of getting turned on re-playing hot scenes someone saw or participated in, they might also be having layers of various feelings coming to the surface as a result of what happened in some of those scenes. This can send people on an emotional roller-coaster for a few days after, making them feel sensitive, less grounded, lethargic, or even depressed. Once after a summer kink camp, I felt like I forgot how to put on my make-up and fix my hair for a date I had that night. It can sometimes just feel “weird” to have to be back in reality after spending a certain amount of time in a bubble.
Once I heard the term, I started recognizing where it sometimes happens more and more. It also made me realize how intense stimulation, especially for an extended amount of time, can factor in on our emotions even during the event… There can be times over the course of a weekend conference where people sometimes need to check out in their room, or step outside the bubble to get re-grounded. If someone is unaware of why this happens, it can feel really confusing, especially at events where there is so much to do and experience.
Thankfully, at events like the ones I have attended, a large component of what is being discussed are the emotions that come up during the course of play, and how to address if/when someone needs emotional care-taking. The openness allows lots of opportunity to learn about different people’s experiences of event drop, and expand awareness of if/how it might also be affecting you. For me, this has helped tremendously in my awareness of some of my feelings, understanding what they are or aren’t, but also how sometimes the “events” can happen anytime, in everyday life.
One type of event is when you are meeting someone new, and you feel a big “spark” of something over the course of that encounter. That spark, whether felt by both or not, are things firing off inside of us and being stimulated. We often become hyper-alert, taking in every word, facial expression, and movement we can. Just a short amount of this can leave us feeling unsettled afterwards. Our heads might be spinning up in the clouds as we bathe in the sweet chaos of chemistry, but as that dissipates, the pendulum might swing the other direction and have our feelings feel like they “drop” a little-just like they do after too much caffeine or sugar.
Or this can happen after an extended amount of time together with someone, especially if the person you are sharing time with is new to you, and/or you are both experiencing something special or out of normal environment (especially if there are any chemicals being released in your body by the event-think concerts, amusement parks, etc.). You can have the stimulation I outline above, plus other layers added on… To what degree will really depend on the emotions stimulated or shared during the time together, but the longer the amount of time, the stronger the “drop” might feel. This can include a strong sense of attachment to the person you shared an experience with, and a longing ache for them in their absence.
I have had “drop” after 4 hour brunch dates as well as weekends in Vegas, but when and why varies. Sometimes drop is a shared experience, but not always. It’s important to keep an understanding of emotional boundaries clear, not only to not project too much on others, but also in how both people experiencing drop might play out. Will you both feed the beast of longing? (oh the sweet emotional masochism!) Will there be tension, and difficulty communicating? Will one be distant and withdrawn, while the other gets clingy? Having an awareness helps you navigate your course, hopefully in ways that keep your big-picture goals and intentions in mind.
So the next time you have an amazing overnight with your favorite companion, or a hot play date with a hookup, then find yourself riding a roller-coaster of emotions after, consider if you are experiencing a little event drop… You are not alone, and it is not unusual. It can be a great opportunity to understand yourself better, and find deeper layers within.
Some basic tips for dealing with event drop:
Practice self-compassion and patience. Don’t judge your emotions or energy, try to just observe it, and get curious about what layers lie beneath… Don’t feel like you have to force anything. Let things come and go naturally.
Get re-grounded. Each person has different ways to help feel stable and secure. Some may do this through getting back to everyday routine, some may have special rituals. If you do not have a specific strategy, start thinking about how to create one. The more options you have of how to do this the better, but have at least one. I like to clean & organize or do gardening/yard work, as it not only helps me ground, but it can be a meditative process that allows other layers of my feelings to come through as they are ready, and without over-thinking. If you are in the middle of an event: set aside time from whatever is stimulating you (which can be both a person AND the event…) to get some grounding re-established.
Schedule some self-care time. Do thinks that replenish and nourish you. Take a walk out in nature. Get a massage or energy work done. Do some yoga. Soak in a hot tub with aromatherapy oil. Do something *just* for you.
Communicate what you need to with the person you shared your experience with, but be mindful of boundaries and projection. Take extra time in processing any interactions and communications after. Sometimes sharing your feelings can help your process, but some things you also have to figure out alone.Remember that where your feelings are today are going to shift and settle. Consider avoiding making any big decisions about anything until you feel more on an even keel.
In love & light,