Aftercare – What it comes down to

Author: Marina
A to Z | Basics

Aftercare

Aftercare refers to the mutual psychological and emotional support of the players after a BDSM session by talking and reflecting on the experience and, if desired, giving each other physical affection. The goal is to deal with post-session feelings as best as possible without feelings of shame and to signal to the nervous system: You are safe.

This refers not only to the period immediately after a session, but also to days to weeks afterwards if one of the parts implicitly or explicitly indicates the need for it.

Why do you do that?

One session can cause a huge rush of hormones in the body. If the hormonal balance levels off again after a session, this can cause extreme emotional fluctuations and lead to negative feelings. In the worst case, there is even a risk of a crash – also known as a drop. Even without the possible threat of a crash, it makes a lot of sense to do aftercare to strengthen the bond and trust between the players. For example, by talking together about the experience and exchanging cuddles.

What needs to be taken into account during aftercare:

The intensity and specifics of aftercare vary from person to person and should be discussed before the session, especially if you are playing with a new partner and are not yet familiar with each other’s needs. For example, some people don’t like physical affection and prefer to keep their distance, while for others it is essential.

Aftercare also includes taking care of a possibly injured sub. Even if injuries do not appear or persist until the next day or later. The same applies to a psychological crash that occurs with a delay. In addition, aftercare must be independent of performance or behavior. Because aftercare is about fundamental appreciation and care as a human being. Refusal of aftercare as a means of pressure or punishment is an absolute taboo and can have serious consequences for one of the parts. Most of the time, aftercare is only seen as a duty of the dominant part to the submissive. But even top players have aftercare needs and can suffer a drop. For example, out of shame or guilt over social taboos that were violated during the session.

What options are there for aftercare?

Non-sexual physical affection is a top priority for most people when it comes to getting back to the present. But some also like to continue or incorporate sexuality and bring themselves to orgasm with the help of their partner or a toy.

Conversations and positive reinforcement: The voice of your playing partner alone has an extremely calming effect for most people. Take the opportunity to talk about what went well during the session, what you liked and to thank each other for the experience.

However, things that didn’t go well or that you didn’t like shouldn’t be discussed immediately after the session, but rather in a less tense moment. It is important that these are addressed in first person language.

Other ideas include having a snack or cup of tea together, watching a movie together (light and fun) or putting on a good vibes playlist, taking a bath or going for a walk together. Always remember: it’s all about calming your nerves.

Take time for yourself: self-care

A session is extremely physically and mentally exhausting. In addition, you can do self-care to process what you have experienced. Self-care is about taking time for your own body and mind and recharging your batteries. Remember to drink enough water, put on your favorite clothes and do something good for yourself. For example, with a warm bath and chocolate, a walk followed by meditation, a good book, your favorite food or favorite film. Or all together. Some write down their thoughts and keep entire SM diaries. Whatever is good for you is right.

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