Aftercare is the delicate softness that is warranted after a shared kink/BDSM or sexual play space where one has stripped away an outer shell and now feeling raw and emotional. 

 

Why do I have to do this?

These days I get a lot of questions about aftercare: What does it look like, exactly?  Is it the responsibility of the dominant or the submissive? Does it get negotiated like the rest of BDSM play? When does it take place and how long should it last? 

As you can see, there is a lot of ambiguity that revolves around aftercare. As a professional dominatrix who plays with multiple individuals (sometimes in a single day!) I will cover the things I consider after a session to ensure everyone is walking away feeling the zing of pain and full of the zest for life.

What does aftercare look like?

It can look like many things!  Like almost everything in BDSM play, aftercare truly is person dependent. Here is a brief list of what it COULD look like for some people:

  • A pat on the head and hearing you say, “you did a good job!”
  • Hours of cuddles and affection, brushing their hair, words of affirmation.
  • Your submissive burrito wrapped in a large blanket with their head in your lap, listening to your breath.
  • A warm meal, a cup of tea, and chocolate.
  • A warm bath along with their hair getting washed.
  • Watching a Harry Potter movie while holding the cane as your wand.
  • All of the above! 

The length of time for each one is, again, person dependent. One style of aftercare might take a quick 5 minutes, while  others last for a full evening or overnight stay. Ending the aftercare early or prematurely before the submissive is ready may result in trauma, feelings of abandonment, abuse or all of the above.

When does aftercare take place?

Aftercare sounds like it happens after the session. But what length of time is that? Some might need it immediately, others want to sit with the sting of it all and will settle back down at a later time. Perhaps it depends on the type of session and activity that took place – especially if said activity leaves you feeling a bit more emotional than usual. Whenever it does hit, you will definitely feel the lull and want to ensure you’ve taken necessary steps to have yourself taken care of. Don’t think about what you might need as a future problem. Trust me: this is the last thing you want to figure out when your brain is in a downward funk. Think about it now and create a plan. 

Things to ask yourself for your plan:

  • Who is safe to call? (To talk about the session or about anything else.)
  • Is your favorite food in your fridge? (In case it’s too late to order takeout!)
  • Do you have your essentials for aftercare? (Consider making yourself a kit.)
  • Did you book a spa retreat in advance?

 

Is aftercare just for submissives?

No! People are often surprised to learn that Dommes also get Domme drop. There is a difference between subspace and top space but the end result (and the feelings that might come with it) is the same. You drop from that high, which means ensuring that you have what you need for a safe landing. 

Dommes can ask themselves the same question to ensure they are taken care of. Personally, I like to have my subs prepare for my aftercare – by booking me spa appointments, bringing me a meal/chocolates, my favorite brand of coconut water so I’m hydrated, having them include it in the tip so that I may treat myself to something lovely and appropriate for a Goddess or getting me a gift off of my wishlist. Subs who contribute to making my life easier are cherished. They recognize that the session and fetishization is only a small part of serving me and that serving me at any state of myself is to truly show their devotion. A devotion that leads to a happier me. 

mae ling cane

Is it the responsibility  of the dominant or the submissive to ensure aftercare happens?

Here’s something that people are surprised to learn: in a healthy kink dynamic, it’s everyone’s responsibility! Yes submissives, you might look to your dominant to take the lead, but if you do not speak up about it then nobody will know and that silence could result in difficult or challenging feelings and conversations for Domme and sub alike. As a sex educator and professional dominatrix, I am a firm believer that everyone should be self-sufficient in taking care of themself in a play space. If you know you require more aftercare, it is up to you to ensure that you set it up yourself in advance! Be proactive and tell your dominant, and if they are not comfortable or unable to give it to you, either decline to play or make sure that you have friends or partners who can and are ready to provide the soft return that you need. If lack of aftercare is a hard boundary for you, you need to let your dominant know. Negotiations are there for a reason! Play does not just include what occurs during the session, but also after the session. The dominant is also not necessarily required to provide the submissive with specific aftercare. Remember, everything is negotiable. The dominant may not be comfortable with giving the submissive such affection, but that should not stop them from receiving it. Everyone plays their part in terms of what they are comfortable with; that is  part of not pressuring your play partner to be more of what you want, and instead accepting them for who they are.  

Yes, a dominant controls the scene – but remember they play within the realms and boundaries of what was negotiated. As a submissive you have a say in what that experience may feel or look like. If you simply do not know, consider things that make you feel cozy and bring you to your happy place. To be able to communicate clearly and know yourself leads to you, and your play partners, to feeling your best self.

In (sexy) conclusion…

Aftercare is  what rounds out time spent together, allowing it to come to a beautiful end. Whether it is done together or apart, all parties should do what they require to feel good. Think about the healing process and what you want to do to encourage and promote a healthy mental state and physical recovery of the body. If you took quite a beating, maybe soak your body or get a massage. Take care of yourself, or find a sexy nurse who is capable of taking care of your emotional and physical needs. Your Domme or sub will thank you for it!

Time to feel it and live it. Aftercare after playing with yourself and aftercare after I have played with you is going to be very different. Book a session with me to go through the myriad of emotions and come back to a safe and soft landing. 

What is your favorite method of aftercare? Comment below.