Rope Drop – dealing with it

Call it rope drop, bottom drop, top drop (this one rhymes!) whatever you call it, it’s a real bummer!

Have you ever had this happen?

(switching to 2nd person writing, which I almost never do)

You go to a weeknight tying event.  You meet a great friend a do a scene onstage.  You’re in a great mood, she’s in a great mood. The rope co-operates, the scene is hot, the patterns work well, and the imagination is firing on all cylinders.  Suspensions work, ground-play works, you have a great connection and intimacy, both sexy and fun! So much laughing, enjoyment, and pure bliss!

It’s a great night!  Great pictures, compliments from onlookers, you’re on cloud 9, and so is your partner!

Sure, you’re out a little late, but there was no alcohol involved and you feel great the next morning – you practically wake up glowing.  That next day you exchange texts with your rope partner about the great time and talk about which ties you liked best and how wonderful the whole night was.  All the next day, you are practically floating!

The next day, two days after the scene, things are different.  You begin to second guess. Physically, you don’t feel well. Insecurity sets in, but you can’t put your finger on it.  Did your rope partner really have as great a time as you thought at first? What if she suffered an injury and just hasn’t told you about it?  In fact, you may wonder if she will ever tie with you again.

You wonder about the onlookers at the event.  What did they really think? Was your scene too dangerous, too pedestrian?  Were your patterns boring, or lacking in inspiration? Were you inconsiderate to the person who interrupted your scene, wanting to be the next to tie?

By noon on the second day, you almost feel as though the world was coming to an end.  You know it’s not, but that’s the way you feel. You may feel panicky, even with shortness of breath.  You try to objectively look at your partner’s texts from the day before and they are perfectly friendly, and positive.  But then, she texts you, and she is feeling the same way, depressed, and maybe irritable. Maybe it even seems like she doesn’t want to hear from you.

You want to reach out to someone and talk, but no one would understand your mood, except your partner and she is inaccessible.  By late afternoon of the second day, you straight out feel like shit. Depressed, you engage unenthusiastically in whatever evening activity you had planned and go to bed.

The third day, things seem not so bad.  You kind of wonder what the big deal was.  Hey, the scene went great! She’s not upset with you at all.  Checking back on the texts, there’s nothing to indicate that she was in any way down on you or the scene!

The weekend is coming up, and you have an event planned for Saturday and will probably tie at the event.  Things are looking up!

(end 2nd person writing (thank God!))

So, what happened?  Rope drop happened!

I am not a doctor, or a psychiatrist, or anything like that, but this is just my experience and the experiences related by my partners.

A day or two, usually two, days after a great tying experience, there is a big downswing in mood and outlook.  Sometimes it can be very profound and disturbing. I propose that this is entirely physical, and not mental. It’s not an indication of mental “un-wellness”, and people need to be careful not to mistake it for this.

I’m going to propose an analogy:

Let’s say you have 25 units of “happiness” most days in your body.  Some days, you have 27, some days you have 23, but most days you have 25 units.  The units of happiness you have depend on your physical well-being, the actual things that are happening to you in the world, the weather, your diet, etc.

Usually, you can’t “borrow” happiness from the future.  For instance, you can’t go to the “happiness bank” and say, “I’d like to borrow 4 units of happiness for today, and I’ll pay them back at ¼ units of happiness per day over the next 16 days”.  You can’t do that. The happiness banker is a mean old man, and he won’t let you.

You also can’t “reclaim” happiness from the past.

The exception is a rope scene.  (See, I’m writing this article, so I can make up any rules I want!)

Let’s say that in a rope scene, you actually TAKE 6 units of happiness from the future.  You are at a “31” in a rope scene – you feel fantastic!! So, on a normal happy day you are at a 25, then you go up to 31.  As your rope partner is flying in rope, you are flying too, using those “taken” units of happiness!

The “happiness banker” doesn’t really appreciate your going so far into “happiness debt” and says,  “I want my happiness units back right away.” He is a mean old man, after all.

So, you are at a 19 level of happiness two days after a great rope scene.  Yuk, you feel like crap! Everything is dark and gloomy. All the bad thoughts and feelings that I was talking about at the beginning of this article are manifest in your mood and outlook.

The third day, you’re golden.  You are back to a 25 level of happiness.  All is good.

My analogy is absurd in many ways, of course, but it illustrates the complex system that the human body uses to regulate health and mood.  I’m going to say the word “serotonin” and equate it to “units of happiness” for the rest of my article.

In my simple, non-educated view of serotonin, the body releases serotonin under certain conditions.  How do you keep the serotonin flowing, and most importantly in this discussion topic how do you “rebuild” it when you “use it up”?

Tips to rebuild your “happiness bank”

All the activities that make you feel better to build up your happiness bank.

  • Get plenty of sleep.  This is the most important one.  “Sleep is that golden thread which knits the tattered sleeve of care.”  Sleep rebuilds serotonin. Lack of sleep “uses up” serotonin. The day after the scene, make sure to get plenty of sleep.  This is absolutely key.
  • Have a great diet – eat protein, avoid simple sugars, eat vegetables and drink plenty of water.  If you are experiencing rope drop, you don’t need “sugar drop” bringing you down even farther.
  • If you drink coffee or tea, don’t miss your daily dose.  It keeps you on your regular cycle.
  • Give yourself extra time to get to work, and to make appointments.  Extra stress is irritating when you are dealing with rope drop. Getting places early will give you an extra reassuring bit of confidence when dealing with the uncertainty and doubt that accompanies rope drop.
  • When you feel down, take control, and say “I expected this”.  Look for it. Maybe you’ll say, “Hmmm, not so bad”. Maybe you’ll say, “This is so awful!”  But don’t let it come crashing down on you like a tidal wave of surprise.
  • Do something different.  Break up your pattern. Go see a vanilla group of people, or person, or a relative, to take your mind out of the rope drop.  See a movie. If you play sports, that kind of physical exertion is a great way to distract yourself and build back up your “happiness bank”.
  • Remind yourself, as rationally as you can, that this is a physical reaction, and physical and mental go together.  Catching up on your happiness bank is a lot like catching up on your sleep.
  • Try not to make conclusions during this period.  Don’t decide “never to do rope again”. Be generous and giving to your rope partner.  They are probably going through the exact drop that you are, with the same timing.
  • Do “ropey” things.  Arrange your rope bag.  Neaten up from the last scene.  Get ready for the next scene. Plan a scene.  Watch a Hajime Kinoko video. Remind yourself why you do rope in the first place.  But do it all in an easy, relaxing way, a restorative way.
  • Do nothing.  Give yourself a break.  Turn off your obsessive/compulsive tendencies.  Sit through an “Ancient Aliens” program. Watch “When Calls the Heart”.
  • Write an article on rope drop (like I am).  Express your thoughts and feelings, get it down on paper.

It’s not the end of the world, in fact, it’s the beginning of your next great rope scene.  Don’t let rope drop get you down. Power through it. Make it work for you. Relax.

Rope drop is a bummer, but it’s only a cycle.  What goes up must come down. What goes down must come up!


Thanks to @miss_khaos for fleshing out some of these ideas and reading the draft.

Thanks to @evievane for her book

“The Little Guide to Getting Tied Up”

She treats this topic very well in Chapter 8.

first published on my profile page:  felixdartmouth

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