What is BDSM Aftercare? Learn to Comfort for Your Sub

From this article, you will learn about BDSM aftercare methods - from feeding favorite dishes to pillow talk after session
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Last updatedLast updated: August 17, 2021
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There’s a lot that goes into a BDSM relationship. In addition to actual sex, BDSM is about power, control, and trust. Furthermore, BDSM sex can involve a lot of heightened emotions. There’s a lot to digest after engaging in play which is why BDSM aftercare is so important.

While traditional relationships should involve proper communication and checking in with your partner, BDSM relationships need even more of this. We’ve put together a simple guide and BDSM aftercare kit that will help you walk through different actions you can take after engaging in BDSM play. We hope that it will help strengthen your relationship, build more trust, and allow you to experiment more in a safe space.

What is aftercare

Let’s begin by talking about aftercare. As its name suggest, aftercare happens after a sexual act. While communication is also vitally important before engaging in a sexual BDSM act, that is for another article. Here we’ll talk about afterwards.

Also important to note is that aftercare should happen relatively soon after engaging in play. Emotions are raw and you and your partner may need some consolation and reassurance. If you wait until the next day, those emotions might not be properly digested.

Finally, there is a difference between sub aftercare and dom aftercare. While dominants need special care too, the priority and focus should be on submissives. It is they who are receiving both emotional and physical pain and are the ones stretched to their max.

Why is it needed in BDSM?

What is BDSM Aftercare? Learn to Comfort for Your Sub

We’ve touched on this briefly but BDSM relationships Trusted Source Bondage Benefits: BDSM Practitioners Healthier Than 'Vanilla' People Despite the fact that their sexual preferences are listed in the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders as potentially problematic, people who play with whips and chains in the bedroom may actually be more psychologically healthy than those who don’t. www.nbcnews.com are much different than traditional relationships. First, there is an unequal power dynamic. The Submissive must trust wholly in the Dominant but even then, there may be scary or overwhelming feelings.

Before you can go further in BDSM play, there needs to be a debrief to find out if everyone was indeed comfortable. Limits should constantly be readdressed and if any needs come up, they should be met.

Sub/dom drop meaning

In this article we’ll talk about the Submissive and the Dominant. These terms are gender-fluid and there are many combinations. However, the Dominant is the one who controls the scene and the Submissive needs to follow.

Both subs and doms can experience a drop feeling. In essence, it is when emotions and hormones, such as endorphins and adrenaline reach their peak and then drastically decline or dry. The natural high you experience is amazing but afterwards the return to reality can be far too overwhelming.

It’s important to know what a drop is because if you experience it for the first time, it can be all too overwhelming. Some aspects of a drop feeling include feeling exhausted or lethargic. Furthermore, you may have troubles calming down and instead have an agitated state. Sleep and appetite can be affected.

One aspect subs may especially experience is feelings of helplessness or worthlessness. As for doms, they may feel guilty or embarrassed at their enjoyment.

These are all natural and normal feelings. There is nothing wrong with experiencing them. However, they do not need to be so overwhelming. BDSM aftercare can lessen these strong emotions and allow you to find pleasure and joy in your next round of play.

Submissive aftercare

If you are a Dom, there are some important aspects of BDSM aftercare you can participate in. Your sub may feel shy or embarrassed so you may need to be the one to direct them in these activities.

1.      Talk

We’re putting talking at our number one slot, not because it should come first but because it is the most important. Communication is vital to a healthy BDSM relationship. We can’t stress this enough. From an outsider’s perspective, BDSM looks like the Dom controlling everything. Those in a relationship, however, know that the Sub has control, too.

Talk about what happened. Talk about what went well and what could be done differently. Talk about how your sub was feeling and what changes they want to be made.

For longer play sessions, it can be hard to remember everything that happened. It’s up to the Dom, then, to try to replay the session step by step to see if there were any issues along the way. You can also bring up areas you felt the sub responded to, either positively or negative, to see if they felt that way, too.

Now, as important as talking is, immediately after a play session is probably not the best time to sit down for a lengthy chat. Your sub has other, more immediate needs that need to be met. So, time your talk appropriately. Also, remember to keep talking. Afterwards, later that day, and the next day. Give your sub time to process everything and keep checking in with them.

2.      Take off the gear

What is BDSM Aftercare? Learn to Comfort for Your Sub

BDSM gear can be uncomfortable; that’s part of the point. While it’s fun during play, afterwards you should gently take off any extra gear from your sub. Even the most attractive pieces of gear, like the ZALO & UPKO Doll Designer Collection Rose Ball Gag, should be removed and stored properly.

For those that are using specific sex toys, such as anal beads, resist the urge to clean them right away. While sex toys definitely should be cleaned properly, priority should go to your sub. Toys can wait a few hours for proper cleaning.

3.      Gentle touching and hugs

Your urge may be to wrap your sub in an enormous bear hug. If your sub is ok with this, great. But remember that it is not about your needs right now. Gently approach your sub. Start with small caresses and light hugs.

Their bodies may be sore and they may want their space. Furthermore, if they have been restrained, they need the time for blood to flow trough their bodies once again.

As for their emotional state, some subs need a bit of space. If your sub flinches or complains they feel suffocated, don’t just leave them. Instead, sit next to them. Your presence, even if you are not touching, can be very soothing.

4.      Disinfect the injuries

What is BDSM Aftercare? Learn to Comfort for Your Sub

Injuries are a part of BDSM, although they should be minor and proper attention to safety needs to adhered to at all times. If your sub has a sore bottom from a paddle, gently rub them with a soothing lotion.

Wrists may be sore from being tied up, so gently massage them to encourage circulation. Any small cuts should be disinfected and bandaged. Finally, medication such as ibuprofen can help lessen the sting of any toys and help calm their bodies.

5.      Give beverage

If you think of a BDSM play session as a workout, it seems natural that there is a need to hydrate. Provide cold, clean water for your sub. If it has been extra strenuous, you might want to consider a workout drink with vitamins and electrolytes.

Some subs have a history of low blood pressure. In this case, provide juice and a snack like chocolate. This will get their blood pumping faster and will give them quick energy to start the recovery process.

6.      Massage

What is BDSM Aftercare? Learn to Comfort for Your Sub

For massages, be sure to go at the pace of your sub. They may find more physical touch too stimulating at the moment. In this case, let them know you are there for them when they are ready. For subs that are feeling sore, a gentle massage can be great. Massage will help work on the muscles that became too tense during play. It increases blood flow and calms your sub at the same time.

7.      Take a bath

What is more soothing than a hot bubble bath. The beauty of a bath is it can either be enjoyed by a sub on their own or, if your sub is willing, both of you can experience it together.

A warm bath will help with sore muscles and will also create a soothing atmosphere. Have on hand a calming bubble bath, such as one scented with lavender. Gently wash your sub to show they you want to take care of them.

On a practical note, a bath or shower should happen after play, regardless if your sub needs to regroup. A lot of bodily fluids will be in play, not to mention specific lube, which is crucial for comfort and pleasure Trusted Source Five unexpected health benefits of using lube Less friction, more pleasure and fewer yeast infections? Yes please. Writer Alley Pascoe makes a case for investing in good quality lube. womensagenda.com.au , so a good cleaning will help transition from play to life.

8.      Music or movie

What’s your sub’s favorite movie? Or what is a song they absolutely love? Put on the movie or play the song to show your sub how much you care about them. You can think of it as a reward for a strong play session.

9.      Reassure

There are a lot of complex emotions that come out of BDSM play and unfortunately, one can be a feeling of worthlessness. As a Dom, you need to reassure them that they are wanted, they are loved, and they are respected. It takes a lot of strength to be a sub, so be sure to remind them of this.

10. Write in journal

What is BDSM Aftercare? Learn to Comfort for Your Sub

Communication is key but it doesn’t always have to be in the form of speaking. Instead, some people are just better communicators when they write. Encourage your sub to keep a journal. If they are worried, assure them it is for their eyes only.

Even if your sub never shows you their journal, keeping one will allow them to better process their emotions. They may be able to work through an issue by writing about it. Then, when they understand exactly how they are feeling, they can then come to your and talk about it.

Journal writing also allows subs to see patterns. Perhaps they have a negative, overwhelming feeling after a play session that they aren’t sure about. They can then look back in their journal to see if they experienced it before, and then understand if there is a similar trigger to then avoid in the future.

11. Wrap in blanket

When anybody comes down from an adrenaline high, the body reacts in different ways. One of these ways is to be extremely cold.

Wrap your sub in a cozy blanket, one they love and are used to. This will get their core temperature back up while also help them feel secure and protected.

12. Comfy clothing

There is a good chance that your sub will have very little clothing on after a play session. While they should be first wrapped in a blanket to keep warm, comfy clothing should then be procured. Their favorite sweatpants and sweater will continue to keep them warm and comfortable.

13. Favorite food

Hopefully, you are aware of your sub’s favorite food but if not, be sure to ask ahead of time. Depending on how long your playtime is, both of you, and especially your sub, will be hungry.

Have a nutritious but welcoming meal ready. Whether it’s homemade lasagna or take-out sushi, have something ready to replenish your sub’s body.

14. Keep in contact afterward

There are different BDSM relationships; some are long-term and some are short acquaintances. Whatever you indulge in, recognize that it takes a lot of trust to be so open with someone. For those that are in a partnership, be sure to regularly check in with your sub. As for those that part ways afterward, there should still be at least one follow-up conversation, just to make sure everything is ok.

15. Leave alone

Is your sub mentally and physically ok? Have you had expreinces with them before? Are they asking for some space? It is ok to leave your sub alone if they request it. They just may need to process on their own, or want to sleep. As long as they are not in danger, if they are ok with it, you can leave them alone.

16. Build aftercare kit

Preparing an aftercare kit is a great way to show your sub how much you care about them. Fill it with their favorite snacks and drinks. Add in their favorite bubble bath and lotion. A favorite stuffy and maybe even a shirt with your scent on it. All these will show the care and dedication you feel towards your sub.

17. Podcast

YouTube has plenty of options available, including podcasts and ASMR videos that provide aftercare for each type of roleplay. For example, you can give your sub you listen to this thought-through aftercare monologue from DDLG relationships:

Dominant aftercare

There is a lot of attention on a sub and their aftercare but dominants need care, too. If you are a dominant, it’s important to have a support system ready just in case.

1.      Learn to recognize the drop

A dom drop can happen and there are certain warning signs to be aware of. Some of these include feelings of guilt, a loss in activities, including sex, and difficulty making decisions.

2.      Third party

For those doms that have needy subs, the help of a third party may be necessary. They can attend to the practicalities, such as removing and cleaning bondage gear, such as the Kinky Play Bondage Kit. They can also help take care of you while you are taking care of your sub. There is no shame in asking for help.

3.      Friend to comfort

If you can, find a friend who also belongs to the BDSM community. This way your struggles won’t foreign and instead your friend can help walk you through the different emotions you are feeling. Having somebody understand exactly how you are feeling will validate those emotions while also making it easier to talk about. You don’t have to go into the details of your life choice because the other person has already experienced it.

4.      Deep breathing

What is BDSM Aftercare? Learn to Comfort for Your Sub

If you are feeling overwhelmed, take a moment to collect yourself. Deep, even breaths will regulate your body. You can count to ten, practice meditation, and perform some stretches. These small actions help you focus on your body so it can function normally again.

5.      Oral sex

We’re going to add this in for BDSM aftercare, just in case. If you are a dom that needs to put their mind back in order, oral sex just may be what you need. Think about asking your sub for this, however, as they are still fragile and may need space. If you need a third party, and your sub is ok with it, then oral sex may help you sort through your emotions.

Final thoughts

Whether you are a veteran of BDSM play or are new to the scene, there is a lot of preparation that must go into a relationship. Dominants take on a lot of responsibility and control and one of these aspects should be in the aftercare. Both you and your sub can experience a drop feeling. The spike in hormones can evaporate quickly, which is when BDSM aftercare becomes so important. Respect your sub’s needs but also be there to comfort them, run a bath for them, and give them their favorite foods. As for dominants, be aware of your own feelings. Play time can take a lot out of you and if you need help from a friend, it is ok to ask for it.

References

1.
Bondage Benefits: BDSM Practitioners Healthier Than 'Vanilla' People
Despite the fact that their sexual preferences are listed in the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders as potentially problematic, people who play with whips and chains in the bedroom may actually be more psychologically healthy than those who don’t.
2.
Five unexpected health benefits of using lube
Less friction, more pleasure and fewer yeast infections? Yes please. Writer Alley Pascoe makes a case for investing in good quality lube.
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