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What Is BDSM Aftercare?


After care is the period of time that occurs after a scene in which there is a period of recovery for the participants and where they will take care of each other’s emotional and physical needs. It’s a time of reflection and sometimes even spiritual awareness through sex. After care is not sexual in nature, and nor should it be treated as such. All scenes, regardless of the type of play of the people involved, should include some form of after care. In the most basic form, the aftercare can be described as the willingness to provide support and attention to your partner after a play session to facilitate the return to an everyday state of mind. Some scenes, and role playing, will require time to reconnect to the basis of reality and to re-establish roles that existed outside the scene. Sometimes a scene might be very intense either physically and emotionally and the participants might need assistant in recovering from that and to unwind. Dominants should not be neglected in this after care as well, as some dominants might feel the loss of power, and complete control that occurred within the scene and also experience a drop.

 

Male Dominant Providing Essential After Care To Submissive Woman

 

BDSM scenes, no matter the type of play, undoubtedly have the potential to change a person’s head space. It is this change to the headspace, which is as a result to chemical and hormone levels, as to why after care is important. Endorphins are produced along with dopamine, which can affect how you react to pain and derive pleasure from that pain. Once you have ridden through this, the brain will often release levels of prolactin to help modify and control the levels of dopamine within your system, prolactin has often been linked to mood swings, irritability and to feelings of depression and alienation. These chemicals and hormones, are also responsible for the enjoyment of male chastity. It is for these reasons as to why after care within BDSM is so important. The engagement of after care is not just about making sure that the other is okay, but the intimacy that occurs between participants can strongly increase the bond and levels of communication between them.

Best Practices In Standard BDSM Aftercare

Prior to engaging in a scene it might be wise to negotiate forms of aftercare as well. Some people might have different requirements for their aftercare – they might enjoy being cuddled or they’re more than happy to remain in the presence of someone but be given some food and drink and to be left alone until they come to you. People need different things and it’s important to recognise and compromise on the level of aftercare that individuals need following a scene. With that in mind, there’s no single form of aftercare that is readily available and we would like to reiterate here at HellsC that aftercare is something that will need to be negotiated just as a regular scene would be. Here is what a standard aftercare procedure might look like.

  • It is wise to negotiate through the required level of aftercare before the scene starts. After care might vary between types of play, and intensities of play. The needs of both parties will need to be discussed and a mutual agreement formed.
  • After an agreement has been made and assuming all other negotiations are out of the way then the scene is clear to proceed.
  • Following the conclusion of the scene, the top will ensure that they enter into a state of nurturing where they will attend to the sub. The sub needs to ensure that, assuming they are in an alert state of mind, they will also need to take on both a caring and appreciative state of being.
  • If there has been any physical injuries the top will attend to the wounds and disinfect and dress the wounds. The top will also remove any restrictive restraints, debris or any harmful materials from the submissive. Accessories such as nipples clamps, vaginal pumps and other accessories will also need to be removed. If a blindfold, or mask needs to be removed from the submissive then they should consider removing this by giving warning, and ensuring that it is done slowly. They might also choose to leave it on for a short amount of time, and adjust the lighting, to make sure that the sub is not assaulted with bright lights.
  • The submissive will be guided safely and carefully to a comfortable and warm spot that is nearby.
  • Blankets may be given. It is important to note that a submissive may feel hot at the time, but their body temperature may have the tendency to quickly decline.
  • The dominant should have access to clean water. The use of straws might be necessary as a sub might be impaired temporarily and not have full control of motor skills. A straw will prevent the spillage of water. A dominant should never force the submissive to drink, and should instead offer it and give them the water. Allowing the submissive to drink at a time of their choosing.
  • The dominant will ensure that they are providing positive and verbal reinforcement to the submissive to help guide them into a state of mind where peace and serenity exists.
  • The dominant may provide touching to skin that was not used or affected during the play session. This touch is not to be considered a sexual touch, nor used as such. It should also not be intended to torture. The type of touch used should be one that is aimed to provide soothing and relaxation. It should be intermittently applied and with respect given to the submissives needs.
  • The dominant should also provide the option of giving the submissive chocolate (on the provision that there is no medical condition which forbids this.). Chocolate will not only assist with increasing blood sugar levels but also aid in the release of oxytocin.
  • The dominant should continue providing intermittent and positive reinforcement as well as a nurturing touch. The dominant should, whenever possible, continue to provide nurturing and assistance to the submissive until the submissive is alert and awake and in a position to care for themselves. They also need to be in what is considered to be a good head space. The dominant should not leave the submissive before this time as doing so may lead the submissive to feeling abandoned or in a position where they might injure themselves, for example falling over because their legs have not yet recovered.
  • All toys used, need to be cleaned and put away in a proper and safe way. Any metal sex toy devices that was used needs to be cleaned and correctly stored and any leather equipment that was used also need to be cleaned, cared for and correctly stored.
  • All parties involved should ensure that the others are in a positive mood, and good frame of mind, before leaving.

 

After Care Might Include Hugging And Being In Close Proximity Or Might Require Positive Communication

 

Aftercare For The Dominant

In some situations the dominant will also experience a drop and require after care. Ultimately, the dominant is still responsible and required to care for the bottom during after care, though mutual agreement might come to some form of arrangement regarding this. It is unwise for a dominant to extend themselves during play in such a way that would compromise their ability to provide care for the submissive. If the top regularly experiences a drop, then it might be advised to organise a third party with which after care can be arranged with.

 

Babysitters

Although it is normally advised that a dominant should be in a position to provide suitable after care, there may be rare instances where this is not possible. A submissive might require more time than usual to come down, and a dominant might simply be not in a position to do so. In such a situation a babysitter might be utilised, that being a third party kink friendly individual who can take on the responsibility of after care for the submissive. In such situations it is still highly recommended and considered to be good practice for the dominant to spend at least 15 minutes with the submissive so that immediate feelings of abandonment and hopelessness do not set in. The babysitter should be a mutually agreed upon person by all involved which can continue the responsibilities of aftercare once the dominant is required to leave.

 

Abandonment Of After Care In Bdsm Is Considered To Be Highly Unethical

The Dangers Of Sub-Drop In BDSM

It’s difficult to talk about the idea of head spaces without referring to the drop. Commonly it is more associated with submissives and known as sub-drop, but the feeling and sensation can also occur within dominants and be known as dom-drop.

It is a mind state that is similar to the sensations of depression and will occur after an intense BDSM scene. It is caused by the sudden drop of endorphins and adrenalin that will occur after the spikes within play. There is speculation as to why it occurs less within dominants and the most rational train of thought is that Dominant types experience a different form of energy than their submissive counterparts, a dominant doesn’t necessarily experience the same endorphin and emotional high as a result of the activities. The symptoms of a sub drop will often include:

  • Difficulty with memory, details and making decisions
  • Decreased levels of energy
  • Strong feelings of guilt and helplessness
  • Strong feelings of pessimism
  • Excessive sleeping or insomnia
  • Increased irritability and restlessness
  • Loss of interest in activities that were once deemed to be pleasurable
  • Appetite loss and over eating
  • Persistent feelings of sadness, anxiety or ‘empty’ feelings
  • Thoughts of suicide

 

Subdrop and domdrop can have a variety of different symptoms but the ones listed above are the most common. In some serious cases of subdrop it could involve flu like symptoms and result in sickness as a result of the stress to the body lowering the immune system. As you can see in the above symptoms sub drop is almost always accompanied by feelings of depression, anxiety or lethargy. The symptoms might present themselves almost immediately or they might take up to 72 hours to form. One sub might get sick and feel nauseated while another might get headaches, and another still might decide to sleep for the next day. It affects people differently. It might be prudent if you are a dominant to ensure that you let your submissive play mate know after a scene that you are there for them and that you will be checking in with them over the next few days. This is an excellent form of aftercare that should be practiced. Delayed onset of sub drop can be surprising. You might find yourself riding the high of the experience and all of a sudden your body will just crash.

There is however some steps that you can take to help minimise the effects of sub drop and potentially even prevent it from happening.

 

Tips On Avoiding Sub Drop

1. Food And Drink.

Some dominants will often ensure that their sub has had a light meal and water before embarking on a play date. Consumption of food will not only improve sexual performance, but also aid in recovery as well.  Admittedly, not all scenes have this time however it is useful to get to know each other, finalise any last minute negotiations and consider it as a form of tension building foreplay. It is important that you are well hydrated before playing a scene, and the food will ensure that there is a sustained releasing of energy throughout the scene.

2. Consume Chocolate.

The effects of chocolate are well known and it is often said to incite the same chemical release that occurs during sex. Eating chocolate after a period of play helps mirror the effects of oxytocin and will assist in the building of intimacy during after care between play partners.

3. Physical Contact

Reaching out to the partner that you have just played with is beneficial in preventing a drop. Having the ability, and the time to come down with them after a scene indicates good BDSM practice. It might be just cuddling on the couch for an hour, or watching a movie and being near each other, it might involve going across the road for a coffee and holding hands. Physical contact increases the level of intimacy and releases chemicals into the body which can minimise the effects of a sub drop.

4. Completing A Task Or A Chore.

Through completing a task or a chore, hopefully a productive one that is both simple and easy will not only allow you to distract yourself, but also give you a sense of accomplishment.