If you're getting into any form of BDSM, you'll need to learn proper aftercare. Here are the basics and a list of suggestions
In short, it’s a fancy way of saying that everyone is okay and happy after playing around in BDSM.
It’s also gently bringing someone back to reality (from the fantasy of play) and helping them feel grounded again and/or re-establishing the normal, loving roles you would normally assume (if you’re in a relationship).
But, there’s a lot to aftercare that many new players might not realize – including special attention to physical and mental or emotional needs.
It’s also important when dealing with physical injuries or “drop”.
When you’re playing around in BDSM, there are often spikes of endorphins and adrenaline (especially if you’re doing something intense). When you crash from this natural high, there is a chance of “drop”. This can include…
These feelings can show up right after a scene or anywhere from 24 to 72 hours after (depending on the intensity of the scene and the Dom/sub’s personality, constitution level, or problems they might be going through at that moment.)
Basically, drop is different for each person and for each scene.
SIDE NOTE – One way to help avoid drop is to gradually go into and recede from a scene.
If you are new play partners, you must discuss/share what aftercare is needed.
If you’ve played often with your partner, you might just need to quickly double check nothing has changed (or you’ve played often enough that you’re already familiar with the aftercare needed).
If you’re new to BDSM, it’s better to start slow and try things that aren’t as intense – you’ll also need to talk during your aftercare to share what works and what doesn’t.
BDSM after care ideas
Remember, everyone is different. Some might need very little, while others might need a lot. It’s not for a Dom to judge what’s right or wrong – rather to take care of their sub.
Did you know that Doms sometimes need aftercare too?
The stereotype is that Dom’s are strong creatures that don’t need help or reassurance – but this is an unhealthy mentality towards Tops. They are human too, and they can experience fatigue or have a rough day. The reason people don’t think about Dom aftercare is because they’re so busy taking care of the other person, they’re just starting to learn the craft, or it’s a professional arrangement that is solely focused on the sub.
If you’re practicing BDSM in a relationship, it’s a balance of making sure both parties are happy and calm. If you’re a professional Dom, you should make sure you have a system in place to take care of your own aftercare – this can be having a friend you can hang out with or call, a partner that can take on the responsibility.
Remember, a sub might need care for a few days after you’ve played. This can be in the form of a scheduled phone call, video chat, or in-person meet up.
However, there are times where that might not be possible, And that’s where a “babysitter” comes into play – this is someone trusted by both parties to step in for the Dom and offer aftercare based on the sub and Dom’s pre-negotiations.
Extended care is important to maintain good communication, deal with any negative feelings that might pop up, and avoid any toxic behaviors.
With all things BDSM, every person and every experience is unique. That’s why communication, positive attitudes, and consensual actions are VERY important. So is not judging or forcing your own BDSM beliefs on others.