What is Aftercare in BDSM?

BDSM can create this massive hormone-high that can make it hard to transition back into “real life.” Aftercare helps ease this process by providing physical and emotional care for both Doms and subs.

This can include anything from a Dom kissing their sub after a session to them holding them when they’re exhausted. It’s important to negotiate aftercare beforehand so that both partners can feel comfortable with the method of aftercare they agree upon.

Physical

The physical aspect of aftercare can include removing any props or equipment that were used during play, providing food and drink (especially water – it can be dehydrating!), cuddling or even just hanging out with your partner, if they don’t want to leave immediately. This can also be a time to reaffirm that you do care about them in a way that’s different from the usual dynamic of your relationship, which is especially important if they are submissive and have been consensually tied up, spanked, beaten or otherwise physically controlled during BDSM play.

Many people don’t consider that Doms need aftercare, because of the stereotype of them as being super-strong and independent, but this isn’t the case – they can suffer from fatigue just like anyone else. Aftercare can include making sure they have access to something to eat and drink, and giving them reassurance that they are loved and valued.

Sometimes, this can even involve a little pillow talk, where you boost each other up and give positive reinforcement for the experience that just happened. This is a great thing to do for all kinds of sexual experiences, but it’s especially useful for BDSM play because it can help you feel ready for the next time! Then you can move on to more intense play if that’s what you both want.

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Mental

Dominants and submissives alike can benefit from BDSM aftercare. While this often looks like physical care, it can also include mental and emotional support. It is a way to help both partners transition back to the real world from the blissful headspace nirvana of BDSM play.

It is especially important for Doms and subs to take aftercare after intense scenes in order to avoid a drop or withdrawal. This can happen to both men and women and it is usually caused by prolonged pain or an arousal spike. The symptoms can vary from person to person and can last hours or even months. During this time, it is a good idea to stay hydrated, eat well, and practice meditation. It can also be helpful to have a trusted third party who can run errands or perform other tasks for one of the participants.

Aftercare is an integral part of the BDSM community. While it may be difficult for those outside of the kink community to understand, this practice is vital for ensuring safety and maintaining a healthy relationship. Some people make a point of writing aftercare into their contracts formally, while others discuss it or simply take care of each other. In the end, it all comes down to being considerate and communicating throughout a scene. Providing aftercare ensures that both parties walk away satisfied with their experience.

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Emotional

In the context of BDSM (an umbrella term that encompasses bondage discipline, domination and submission, and sadomasochism), aftercare refers to the physical and emotional care-taking that occurs after a kink experience. Because kink often involves adopting fantasy roles and intense physical and psychological play, it can be emotionally and mentally taxing on participants. Aftercare helps to ease them back into reality, and it may include things like lotioning up sore spots, cleaning up sex mess, and snuggles.

During a kink scene, both Dominants and Submissives can experience an adrenaline rush that leaves them with feelings of highs and lows. Highs can include a sense of euphoria, pleasure, and love, while lows can include anxiety and discomfort. During aftercare, it is important to focus on these emotions and help to ease the transition between them.

This can be done by rubbing lotion on any bruises or cuts, cuddling, and talking about what was enjoyable and what wasn’t. It can also be a time to discuss the fantasy role that was adopted and what needs to be changed for future experiences.

While BDSM aftercare tends to be focused on the submissive, it is just as important for Doms to provide it. They can do this by rubbing down their partners, taking them to a cozy location, and even playing calming music or movies.

Spiritual

The headspace entered during BDSM play, which encompasses bondage discipline, domination and submission, and sadomasochism, can be deeply immersive and euphoric. It’s also oftentimes a highly internal experience where the submissive is taken to deeper aspects of themselves and may have their feelings hurt. It’s not uncommon for people to be consensually tied up, spanked, hit, humiliated or otherwise physically and psychologically controlled during BDSM scenes, so aftercare is important as a way of gently bringing a person back into reality.

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This aftercare can be very personal and varies from one person to another, but it’s important to discuss your needs and expectations with the other party before a scene takes place. It can include anything from a warm shower to a sultry massage to cuddling, as well as verbally communicative activities like complimenting, sharing positive reinforcement and talking about how the experience made you feel.

It’s also a good idea to have a plan in case something goes wrong, as this will make it easier for both parties to deal with any negative emotional or physical effects that might arise. Even if you’re not into kink, this is a great practice to get in the habit of as it can benefit your relationship in many ways. It’s also a great way to avoid Dom drop, which is the feeling of overwhelming discomfort that can sometimes hit tops and bottoms after intense kink or kink-related sexual experiences.

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