If you are new to BDSM you might not be familiar with aftercare. Aftercare refers to the soothing care provided to someone following BDSM play. It often includes cuddles and snacks, but everyone’s needs are different. Even if you are an aftercare pro, it’s important to brush up on your skills and knowledge.
1. Dominants also need aftercare
Often when we talk about aftercare, we think of the submissive. Submissives indeed need aftercare immediately following a scene.
However, after the scene has subsided and the sub has woken up from their nap, the Dominant may be feeling a bit of a drop as well. Although less talked about, Dom drop is very real.
Often, my Dominant needs reassurance that he didn’t go too far and that everything was perfect.
Dominants take extra care in crafting their scenes and need assurance that what they are doing is working.
Your dominant may want some more alone time following a scene. Be respectful and allow them their time to decompress. The Dominant has just done the heavy lifting for the scene while we got to sit there screaming for more.
Afterwards, they held and cuddled us through some heavy emotions. They may be emotionally drained and need some distance.
As always, communication is of the utmost importance.
Talk with your Dom beforehand about what feelings they typically experience following a scene. I find that, for most Doms, the drop they experience is a bit delayed. They may not even realize what they are going through, as Dom drop is not as talked about as sub drop.
Assure them that their feelings are normal and that you are here to support them in this equal partnership.
2. Your Dom is not a mind reader
Communicate the aftercare you expect before initiating your scene.
If your Dom is new, they may not be aware that aftercare is essential to your BDSM experience. Take time before your scene to talk about the aftercare that you expect. A perfect time to go over what you expect during aftercare is when going over your hard limits and safe words.
Your BDSM contract (if you use one) can include your aftercare expectations.
At this point, you are probably wondering: what are my expectations?
You should include anything that allows you to feel comfort, assurance, and ultimate relaxation. Cuddles are a must-have for many subs. Maybe you want to bring your weighted blanket and be wrapped up in a burrito while watching some cartoons.
Your Dominant may not know what relaxes you most. Expecting them to magically know your needs will cause both of you stress. Be very explicit about your needs and be willing to provide the items you need for your aftercare. This could include a favourite blanket, snacks, or a streaming password to watch shows together.
3. Aftercare is non-negotiable
You do not need to be in a committed relationship to request aftercare. Aftercare is essential to any BDSM scene.
If your Dom tries to tell you that they will not provide it because you are not in a relationship, state your boundaries around aftercare. Inform them that you will not negotiate on aftercare regardless of relationship status. They might be a Fake Dom if they refuse to listen.
Take some time to decide the specifics around your non-negotiable aftercare terms.
Chief suggests the bare minimum is for the Dom to simply be present while the sub reorients to reality. Not all Doms will be willing to provide burrito blanket services. It’s up to you to decide if their presence is enough to get you through or if you will be finding another Daddy to happily roll you up.
Remember, this is an equal partnership, and your needs are just as important.
4. Crying is possible for both parties
If you are newer to BDSM you may not have experienced sub drop before. Sub drop is a common occurrence after an intense scene. The euphoric highs of the scene begin to wane and give way to some intense lows. Sub drop is very intense and real.
However, the sub might cry for reasons unrelated to sub drop. Potentially, the scene helped you release some old feelings you didn’t know were there. It’s ok to have a good cry and let out whatever you’ve been holding on to.
Likewise, the Dominant may be settling down from some an intense high as well. Or, if in a committed relationship, it’s possible that they are feeling empathy for their sub. It can be a miraculous thing to watch someone you love experience intense emotions.
Don’t worry about holding anything back. Even if you are not in a committed relationship, it doesn’t mean you have to hide your emotions from one another. Remember you are both human and deserving of compassion.
5. Aftercare needs to involve sensory soothing
The sub has just been beaten emotionally and physically. They have had orders and directions yelled at them. All these sensations can cause sensory overload. The sub needs to be reset to zero again after the scene. Their sensory input needs to be taken from 100 to a soft zero.
Turn the lights down low, stop any loud music, and bring the sub to the bed or couch for some cuddles. Remember to keep things soft and gentle. Every sub has different needs, not everyone will want cuddles and that’s ok. Some people may not want to be touched at all. This is where that explicit communication comes in.
Talk to each other and communicate aftercare needs. What is soothing to one person may be a trigger for another.
Aftercare is different for everyone, and everyone needs aftercare. BDSM is an intense experience not to be taken lightly. Scenes can take an emotional toll on both parties. The Dom and sub must both communicate their needs before the scene starts.
The aftercare you provided for a different partner may not be right for your current partner. Take time before your scene to ask your partner what they need.