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BDSM and Aftercare: Supporting the Tops and Doms in Your Life

BDSM and Aftercare: Supporting the Tops and Doms in Your Life

BDSM and Aftercare: Supporting the Tops and Doms in Your Life

Some ill-informed sections of the media might question where "care" comes into a BDSM lifestyle, but this would only indicate the ignorance that still exists in some quarters. Participants in the bondage, discipline and sadomasochism lifestyle know that this isn't the harmful, violent kinkiness that some areas of pop culture - and society as a whole - might have you believe it to be.

What really is BDSM, and why is aftercare important?

Rather than being about causing harm to another person, BDSM for most people is about sensations. This may involve power play or sensory play. It will typically involve discussions about who will be the submissive party and who will be the dominant one and should involve the key elements of safety, agreement, and consensus.

Aftercare is another must-have element of a successful BDSM lifestyle. This includes everyone involved caring for each other, in terms of emotional and physical health and wellbeing. Healthy BDSM is not just about looking after subs, either; doms and tops also need caring for, too.

Aftercare explained

In simple terms, aftercare is the emotional and/or physical care-taking that should happen after a BDSM encounter - and many other types of sexual experiences. The majority of BDSM experiences involve people taking on fantasy roles and aftercare is an important part of bringing everyone involved back to reality. This is vital for establishing day-to-day relationships and roles, and is a bit like setting the reset button and allowing yourself and your partner to re-establish your equilibrium and resume your position in your day-to-day existence. Aftercare marks the end of a BDSM experience and the start of real life.

What type of aftercare is required?

Collar and Shackles

There are many different types of aftercare, and what you or your partner needs will depend on the type of BDSM experience you have had. If you have experienced a lot of pain play, for example, one or both of you might want to be wrapped up in something cozy or simply need cuddles. Alternatively, aftercare could involve a simple drink of water, a warm meal, or a massage of the areas where the sub’s Collar and Shackles were positioned. A simple awareness and care for areas affected by the dom’s actions, such as places where a Titan Dildo were used, can be really important when it comes to resetting the balance of an everyday relationship.

Titan Dildo

Reflective conversation

Honest conversation should almost always play a vital part in BDSM aftercare and in the support of the tops and doms in your life. This is a time when both parties can show their vulnerabilities. It is a time to debrief and really focus on the emotional needs of everyone involved in the BDSM encounter. Some questions you might ask include:

-How was that experience for you?

-Why did we use/not use our safe word?

-Did we cross any boundaries?

-Was something activated or triggered?

-What did you enjoy the most?

-Was there anything that you didn’t enjoy?

-Is there anything that you want to or don’t want to try again?

Who needs aftercare?

You may automatically think of the submissive when it comes to the question of who needs aftercare, but it is not only the sub who needs looking after. While it can be draining and difficult for a submissive to be powerless for long periods of time, the dom may feel the same about having to yell at someone they care about or having to maintain a role or uphold a persona.

Understanding the drop

This is also part of understanding BDSM encounters, which often involve the bodies involved being flooded with adrenaline. When the sex stops, adrenaline levels plummet and bone-weary fatigue will follow. Aftercare can help to bring everyone’s body back to feeling "normal" and ready to resume day-to-day life. Aftercare can help to manage this drop and is all about making all parties feel good. It helps to reset the nervous system as well as the emotional balance.

Understanding the drop

It may not just be about acting immediately after a BDSM encounter, either. Sometimes, partners need time to process events and may benefit from aftercare and open conversation days after things have unfolded. Talking about what went well and what didn’t is a great way to build and maintain trust, and also to find out what you and your partner really like and don’t like. This can form the basis of future sexual liaisons, paving the way to better encounters every time you play.