Someone recently asked a question in a comment on my Sub Drop post. They wanted to know about sub frenzy and I realized it’s a topic I haven’t covered before. It’s not actually even a phrase I hear mentioned very often. Which is crazy because it accurately describes a situation that every sub goes through at one time or another.
I think it’s not well known yet because the term has only been around for a few years. At least, I never heard the term until a few years ago. Anyway, I gave them a quick answer at the time, but promised to expand later because it really needed a full article.
So, what is sub frenzy?
I’m not entirely sure where the phrase came from. Like so many terms it just seemed to appear in conversation. And I’m not sure if they really only meant it to have one definition because in my mind there are a couple different aspects to the phrase. The first is how the submissive is reacting to being in a new situation; the second is how people around them (Dominants) are reacting to a brand-new sub. They are obviously heavily connected and it’s really a clever play on words if it was intended. But let’s start with the submissive side.
Sub Frenzy is when a submissive dives in headfirst into the BDSM world. They are in a frenzy to experience all the kinky stuff. Basically it’s being so excited to have this door opened that you grab on with both hands. You want to do everything! You want to experience it all!
It can be a natural enthusiasm for a new thing, but at times it can get unhealthy.
To put it simply you are so overwhelmed with excitement about being a sub that you put all your attention on your submission, or your Dominant, or your D/s relationships, or all of the above. It’s natural and normal to a certain extent, and a similar thing frequently happens in strictly vanilla relationships at the beginning too.
How many of us have had a close friend who got involved with a new partner and sort of vanished on us? Suddenly they have no time for you; they are just completely wrapped up in their significant other to the exclusion of everyone else. I think we’ve all been on both sides of that because new stuff is exciting. And new relationships are the best thing ever!
But sometimes it goes too far. There is a point at which it changes from excitement about a new toy and becomes an unhealthy obsession. Over time most people do find balance. Once the honeymoon period is over you draw back enough to get some breathing room and you have time to do things with other people without being joined at the hip with your partner.
But for submissives the intensity of the D/s relationship can make finding that balance harder.
The rush to experience all the things can lead you to make bad choices. It makes you feel desperate and needy. It can cause you to bypass common sense and drop safety precautions that you would normally take. It can also take over your life. In the end you neglect other things like work, family, or friends as you put all your energy into focusing on just your submission. In short, submission, or any other kind of D/s bottoming, can be addicting.
One thing I need to stress, which I don’t see mentioned enough, is that while most definitions of sub frenzy that you find on the web refer to newcomers in the scene, it doesn’t only apply then. Though it is probably strongest at that time sub frenzy can also happen when a submissive enters a new relationship, or when they leave one and are suddenly available again, or even when they are only able to drop into the BDSM world on rare occasions.
I know subs who have been playing in the scene for years, but only get to do it rarely so when they get the chance, they grab it. The frenzy hits them and they rush to fit in every bit of fun they can. Sometimes they end up overdoing it. So don’t think it only happens when you’re brand new to the scene.
The flip side of the phrase sub frenzy, as I said, is a clever play on words. You have the frenzied rush of a sub trying to do everything at once. But now as we talk about the Dominants’ reactions to them it takes on a different meaning. There tends to be a kind of feeding frenzy around new subs when they either enter the scene or are suddenly single and available because they’ve left a relationship.
Dominants will circle looking for hints that their attentions are welcome. They will ask the sub to play and their feeding frenzy encourages the frenzied rush. It throws the submissive into a high-energy cycle where they want to play all the time. Endorphins are a big part of that because that feeling of floating can be like a drug to a submissive/bottom who is new, or who hasn’t had those feelings for a while.
Now, to be clear I’m not implying anything negative here. Not saying it’s abuse, stalking, or anything of that nature when I say feeding frenzy. I’m not implying all Dominants are predatory either, at least not in a bad way. (Some subs enjoy feeling like prey, and they like a bit of a predator in their Dominants. But that’s a role the Dominant puts on, and not someone who is abusive.) I’m just talking about the normal excitement of an unattached submissive around Dominants who may be looking for new playmates.
However, it does make the submissive feel desirable, wanted, and that makes it easy for the wrong kind of predator to sneak into their space. There are dangerous people who will be attracted to submissives who are on their own, and a submissive may be especially vulnerable to them when new, or newly single. And while in sub frenzy they might not be careful in choosing play partners.
Now the period of sub-frenzy can be a long-term thing lasting a few months, maybe even a year. Or it can be a sporadic effect that happens when a submissive is able to find a brief outlet for their urges, like at a party or a get-together.
Depending on the sub, they might feel like they are obligated to play just because Dominants are interested. They might feel like they have to latch onto the first Dominant who seems to want to make a connection. Subs do have a need to please and saying no can be really difficult, especially when you’re new. Plus that feeling of being popular is invigorating.
But underneath that is the feeling of being lost that a submissive can have when they don’t have a dominant partner. I would say most submissives struggle if they don’t have some kind of Dominant watching over them.
And there are the physical aspects to sub-frenzy as well. When you’re that excited it can be like a high. The endorphins send you flying and you can end up playing way beyond your limits because you’re so new to the experience that you don’t realize the aftereffects.
I’ve seen firsthand what happens when a new submissive shows up and everyone is interested. For instance, I was at a party in NYC once with a lovely twenty-something woman who wasn’t brand new, but she rarely got to play so when she came to parties, she wanted to do everything, with everyone.
She wanted to make the best of her limited time and I must have seen her being spanked by twenty different men and women. Now, some people do play hard. Masochists can be hardcore and when they play they play. This girl however had reached a point where continuing to play with her would have been unsafe, but she was so high on endorphins she didn’t realize it.
She was trying to get people to spank her and people were looking at the deep purple bruises, welts, and were really nervous about it. I wasn’t her mom, or a moderator. In fact, I barely knew her, so there wasn’t a lot I could do. She clearly was insistent on continuing and she was cute, bouncy, and had great reactions so not everyone there would turn her down regardless of the shape her butt was in, but her skin was badly damaged in spots. And I knew the next day when the endorphins wore off she was going to have serious pain.
Worse than that she was risking infection because her favorite implement was the cane, which can cause small cuts and tears. Nothing too dangerous normally but with all of the playing she’d been doing there was a risk.
That is a physical symptom of short-term sub frenzy. She didn’t let being a sub/bottom run everything. She wasn’t neglecting other parts of her life or focusing too much on play. But when she got the rare chance to go to an event, she went all out. Completely just lost in the need to do everything she could while she was there, and not really putting a lot of good judgement into it.
For those wondering, because I’m a bossy bitch, I did step in and gently suggest that if she felt she needed to keep playing, that they should consider untouched parts of her body. That seemed to work as a compromise. When I left, she was still playing but they were caning the front of her thighs which were in good shape and hopefully she continued with other areas and left her butt alone to heal.
I didn’t judge her for playing so hard or wanting to pack so much into a short time because I’ve been there too. Many of us have. But when you’re out of it and not making the best choices it’s important that someone speak up for you. Ideally this will be someone the submissive chooses; someone they trust to look out for them.
When your only in-person BDSM outlets are a couple times a year you just don’t want to stop playing until you have to. The next day though… Try a four- hour flight home when you can barely sit down… ouch. So yes, one way or another, all subs go through some kind of frenzy period.
How do you know if you’re experiencing sub-frenzy?
Well, I think you can probably work that out from what we’ve discussed but I do want to emphasize again that sub frenzy is not necessarily a bad thing. It’s not an unusual thing, but if you are in the midst of it, you should be aware so that you can keep an eye on how it’s affecting you.
You might be experiencing sub frenzy if:
- You are new to the scene, newly returned to the scene, or don’t get a chance to be part of the scene often.
- You act up on purpose, a lot, to get spanked. Bratty sub as an identity is very common with new subs coming into the scene. Many of them eventually move into other roles, while others are happy to stay bratty. But either way you can usually tell a new brat from a mile away because they are in trouble almost constantly and that does wind down after a while.
- You are overly obsessed about your submission or your relationship to the point where other things in your life are being neglected.
- You are making D/s decisions based on your physical desires, without considering safety aspects.
- You are periodically focused on nothing but getting in as much play as possible, even when you’re going beyond your physical limits.
- You are agreeing to things that scare you without being properly prepared because you’re afraid you’ll miss the chance. (This is different from being bullied into trying things you aren’t ready for. Here you are making the choice because you feel like you want to try everything or are afraid you won’t get to try it another time.)
- You are eagerly accepting offers to play from people you don’t know, without checking them out first because you want to play immediately! (If you don’t get a chance to play except parties this is probably going to be normal for you, and that’s fine, but try to listen to your instincts and avoid anyone who sends up red flags.)
- You are overwhelmed with the need to play as much as possible.
- D/s, kink, BDSM, or your Dominant are constantly on your mind and everything in your life revolves around it.
I think that’s enough to give you a pretty clear idea of what to look for, and what you do with it is up to you. But if you’re looking for ways to control it a bit better, I can give you a few suggestions.
- If it’s new and fresh, or a new start, then you can relax and enjoy the excitement, but just be aware that your decisions may be a bit skewed and try to take a few minutes to consider things before jumping in. Try setting up some reasonable limits in advance and make yourself stick to them even if you don’t want to.
- If you have trouble knowing when to quit playing, saying no, or safewording, it’s always a good idea to have a friend or someone you trust as a spotter or protector. You tell them your limits and they will stop things when you reach them. You will want to tell whoever you’re playing with that they are your spotter, so they don’t think someone is just interrupting.
- If you are new to the scene, or newly returned to the scene try not to jump into relationship. Keep play casual for at least the first few months. As we’ve said decisions made during frenzy aren’t always based on logic or fact. As a result, you could end up forming a bond with the wrong person. Or end up bouncing from one relationship to another.
- Even if you want to spend every waking minute involved in kink, reading about kink, writing about kink, talking to your playmates or Doms, force yourself to take time to do other things outside of that. Follow up with your vanilla friends, see a movie, read a non-D/s book. Don’t let your life get out of control because you’re neglecting things.
- If the frenzy comes from being in an exciting new relationship and all you want to do is spend time with each other that’s normal, but after a month or so it might be time to start adding in a little bit of space, slowly. Ease yourself out of each other’s arms at least enough to start picking up the pieces you dropped. Try to find a balance. It’s not easy but you can do it.
And though we haven’t discussed it so far you should know that Tops can also go into a Top-frenzy when they are new to the scene, or newly returned to the scene. It’s pretty much the same thing all around, except that there is less danger for them physically. But I offer the same advice to Tops. Be aware that you are in a heightened state of excitement, maybe not thinking clearly, and try not to get in over your head.
Don’t jump into relationships. Don’t slap a collar on the first sub you play with even if you totally feel a connection. Don’t let it overwhelm your life and take control of everything.
I’m a service sub who also works in a kink-related business. Most of my friends are kinky, and work in a kink-related business, so believe me when I say that D/s is a huge part of my life and I would never undervalue it. Kink and D/s have their place and for some people, like me, that’s a pretty big place, but you still need to find a balance or eventually everything will crash.
As always feel free to shoot questions my way and I’ll answer what I can.
Stay safe, stay healthy, and stay home if you can!