If you're new to the BDSM scene either as a Domme/Dom or sub; you may well have heard the term "aftercare" being banded about a lot. And today; that's exactly what we're going to talk about.
Aftercare is a very important part of any BDSM scene and is something you should never neglect. Your submissive is a living, breathing human being with thoughts and emotions. When they submit to you, they are showing themselves at their most vulnerable, and it is very important to ensure their physical and mental well-being is maintained before, during and especially after any play.
Physical aftercare can include a multitude of different things. For example; if you have given your sub a good caning, it is important to help the skin to heal even if you haven't broken the skin. The application of a soothing body lotion can help those buttocks to heal quickly and comfortably, especially if your slave has explicitly asked for you not to leave any marks.
It can also include the application of first aid in the case of cuts to the skin. Ensuring any wounds are cleaned and dressed, with instructions of how to maintain wound cleanliness and prevent infection. A form of aftercare I administer regularly; is the prevention of adverse reactions to nettle stings, if I've engaged in a nettle torture with a sub. Just because My sessions are online, doesn't exclude Me from giving out any sort of aftercare. If I don't ensure My sub receives the care needed to prevent adverse allergic reactions, I could actually be risking their lives.
So I advise them to take antihistamines and to apply calamine lotion to the areas of their body which have received nettle stings. The last thing I want a sub to do is go into anaphylaxis and end up being rushed to casualty as result of our play.
But aftercare isn't just limited to physical care, and it is very important to remember this.
During an intense BDSM session; your sub will experience extremes of emotion, which will change rapidly as the session progresses. This is because the act of being dominated sexually can cause the body to release a variety of different hormones and neuro-transmitters, in large bursts. Think about the "high" you get when you have an orgasm. That's the sudden release of serotonin. As the afterglow fades; you find yourself coming down from that high. That's the serotonin coming down after the peak. You may find yourself feeling weepy, low, and even guilty.
This is exactly what happens in a session. Some subs become so overwhelmed by the surge of hormones and endorphins, that their emotions may change dramatically. They may become tearful and depressed. They may start to suddenly tremble from the adrenaline rush. They may feel very fragile emotionally and physically. They may feel physically and emotionally drained. They may even find their emotions in a place they don't like - particularly in the case of a humiliation session.
It is of vital importance that you take care of your sub during these times. Cuddle them, tell them how happy you are with them, stroke them, treat them with gentle kindness - be HUMAN with them. Offer them a drink. The adrenaline come-down can often lead to a drop in blood sugar. So a cup of tea and a biscuit is essential to take those sugars back up again.
Many ProDommes will ensure all parties have tea after the session, as they debrief. It's informal and relaxed. Both Mistress and sub sip their tea, as they discuss their feelings about the session. This practise also helps strengthen the bond between you and your sub.
If your sub feels the need to be alone for a little while, then give them that opportunity. Just some time to lie down and take stock. But don't leave them entirely alone. Keep checking on them, to make sure they are okay. If they want to talk about their feelings, let them. If they start to cry, hug them. Provide the comfort they need, for as long as they need it.
One of the greatest misconceptions about BDSM is that it is all physical. In actual fact, BDSM is 10% physical and 90% psychological, because it can evoke so many strong feelings, thoughts and emotions. If your sub is not in the right "head space" for a session, then you risk causing some serious emotional harm. So be intuitive. If your gut feeling tells you "okay, this sub is not in the right place for this, now," then listen to that gut feeling. Don't force them when they are clearly not in the right frame of mind to play.
Pay attention to triggers as well. For some subs; certain BDSM practises and scenes can trigger emotions once felt in some past trauma. Be prepared for that and watch out for any signs. The moment you suspect traumatic emotions have been triggered, STOP. NEVER CONTINUE A SCENE if your sub is struggling to cope with it on an emotional level. If they need to put a halt to things, pay attention & stop. The play should be fun - not soul destroying.
I'm not suggesting you should become an amateur psychologist in these circumstances. Simply listening as they vent out their feelings, can be an enormous help. Providing links to further help, can also be of huge benefit.
Whether new or seasoned; aftercare in BDSM is never open for negotiation. Your sub has the right to be looked after before, during and after play. And you have a duty to look after them. Always remember that.