Kink and BDSM play can often be physically and emotionally strenuous. As such, you need to step out of your BDSM characters post-sex by checking back with your partner. After having a wild romp with your partner, you will probably find yourselves lying in bed with post-orgasmic bliss.
When that happens, who is responsible for and what is BDSM aftercare in the first place? These are considerations that you and your partner need to make.
Both partners need to be taken care of after sex, regardless of whoever is dominant or submissive, especially when the BDSM scene involves kink.
What is BDSM Aftercare?
Simply put, it’s a post-sex wind-down procedure, and If you’re reading this, you’ve probably had a BDSM experience or you’re thinking of exploring BDSM. Whichever the case, there are specific considerations that you and your partner need to make before diving in.
Some of these considerations are not obvious, while others are. Unlike popular belief, it’s not just about dressing in a certain way or tying your partner up with ropes.
There is a need for both of you to discuss what fantasy interests you, set your soft and hard limits, identify the keywords, and then, most importantly: the BDSM aftercare.
Although aftercare takes place ‘after’ a BDSM scene, there is a need for you to have a conversation and engage in forethought on the matter.
The aftercare practice is meant to make sure that both partners feel cared for and safe after playtime. It refers to the attention and time given to partners after engaging in an intense sexual experience.
Despite the pre-negotiations, safe words, and consent, there is still the need for people to be communicative and considerate once play is over. This lays a perfect backdrop for a healthy BDSM relationship.
Aftercare types vary depending on the type of BDSM play that you engage in. This is why you need to discuss this with your partners so that you can prepare the aftercare items beforehand. Some of these items include comfy pillows, massage oils, water, snacks, etc.
Some of the common activities to undertake during aftercare include a dominant keeping their sub hydrated by offering some water, dressing physical wounds that occur during play, dropping them home, hugging, talking, cuddling, or preparing a meal for them.
Of course, there is more to it. That is why we consulted a sex therapist to get insights about aftercare. We compiled a list of things that you and your partner need to keep in mind:
Prep Work Should Be Done in Advance
There is a close relationship between before care and aftercare. That is why prep work needs to be done beforehand to ensure a smooth aftercare procedure. The same applies to boundaries and safe words, which points to the importance of communication.
Both partners need to discuss this amongst themselves. Hence they will set expectations on what they need for aftercare. Some people prefer a glass of water, others time to cool down, or even a hug. The idea is to create room for both partners to understand each other’s expectations. It also allows both partners to plan since, after the session, they might need more time to provide aftercare.
BDSM Aftercare is Both Physical and Mental
Maintaining a healthy BDSM relationship calls for mutual respect and understanding. These two factors are the result of open communication and trust. Both partners have to play by the rules of their relationship. However, during sex, some dynamics are exploited.
This creates the need for aftercare, which is both physical and mental. Different dynamics play out in BDSM play which does not reflect how either of the partners feels in their daily life. For instance, if you call your partner useless, it is necessary to reaffirm your authentic, caring feelings for them by pointing out how you care for them during this time of after sec care.
As part of mental aftercare, the dominant has to reassure the submissive partner that the things they mention during sex do not reflect how they perceive them daily. Such reassurance should also involve genuine and light touching, which is not typical of the BDSM encounter. Ideally, physical and mental aftercare allows partners to return to reality so that no one feels abused and used.
Aftercare for Dominants is Essential
As mentioned previously, It is easy to completely bulldoze the dominant’s needs during aftercare due to the role they play during a scene. However, it is essential for them to get the right aftercare because they have the added responsibility of executing and planning a scene. In most cases, they also tend to be hyper-vigilant in an attempt to look out for their submissive’s interests.
All this, coupled with the altered state of consciousness they experience while playing in a scene, often results in an emotional fallout once the BDSM play is over. This is why they need aftercare to help them adjust back to their normal mental state.
Extended Aftercare Counts – Not Necessarily After Sex
It’s normal for your partner to get feelings days after a scene. In such a case, it is necessary for you to extend the care to the next day or even the next week. However, post-sex aftercare is a must, so is checking in with your partner weeks and days after.
What Works for Your Partner is Not Universal
Like all things, the type of care will vary from person to person. The key thing is to establish effective communication and openness. Your partner might want to be left alone post-sex while another one wants to be smothered with hugs and blankets.
That is why we emphasized communication beforehand. To create a supportive environment, both partners must outline and understand expectations. The worst thing one could do is to assume that they know what their partner needs after a BDSM session.
Restraint or Bondage
A key part of bondage often involves rope bondage or restraints. However, there are simpler methods, such as using furry handcuffs or silk scarfs to tie your partner to the bed. But in most cases, you might find that you have tied your partner too tight and have blocked blood circulation. In such instances, aftercare should include gentle massages on your partner’s ankles and wrist to get the blood flowing.
In other cases, bondage often causes muscle cramps. So as part of providing this care, you and your partner can enjoy a warm bath, do some yoga, or stretch to ensure that your muscles loosen up after the scene. It’s also advisable to keep hydrated with a glass of water and a blanket to keep your sub warm.
Some of the classic examples of impact play involve using a whip, flogger, or paddle to spank your partner. Impact play is enjoyable due to the power dynamics and sensations. However, it can be painful due to the intensity, and thus, your partner can be left with bruises, marks or inflamed skin.
One example is, you can apply antibiotics on your partner’s skin if there are any abrasions. Else, you can wash the injured places. In cases where there are swollen spots, you can massage or ice those injuries.
Other ideas involve stroking your sub’s skin with ice cubes or feathers; this can feel sensual, loving, and even erotic. Providing this type of after sex care rebalances the dynamics and intense sex.
Since BDSM is fantasy based, the scenes and roles to be acted out are seemingly limitless. Some scenes might involve a tyrannical boss, a mousey headmistress, etc. The ideal aftercare for role play can involve a candid discussion on how each of you felt during the role lay session.
Sharing your thoughts on what can be improved and what happened allows you to connect with your sub. Also, you can enjoy a shower, a tasty snack or cuddle together as a way to connect as you acclimate back to your mental state.
Humiliation often stirs up intense emotions in both the dominant and submissive. It also involves degrading scenes and name-calling. This can be erotic for the sub, but after all, is done, they need emotional care due to the intense emotions and feelings which are triggered during play.
BDSM aftercare is ideal for a sub who has been humiliated and may involve praising, kissing, and holding them to show affection. Reassurance also comes in handy. Also, both partners can process the scene together and share their thoughts regarding the entire experience. This restores equilibrium in the BDSM relationship and hence enhances intimacy.
Some of these tips might not work for everyone in some exceptional cases. As mentioned in the beginning, aftercare activities are not universal. So it’s up to you and your partner to open up and discuss the matter by simply asking; you’ll get to understand your partner’s expectations and what works for them.
But the purposes of providing this type of care remain the same, to help couples acclimate back to their normal mental state. It also helps couples unwind physically and mentally, thus enhancing intimacy. For this reason, aftercare is a key component of enjoyable and safe BDSM play, alongside safewords and open communication.
BDSM aftercare is fantastic when done right and your partner will go through all the pain just to get that side of you.