Duality of Aftercare
I really hope the word “aftercare” isn’t unfamiliar to you.
I truly hope you all find a Dominant or play partner that cares about you after a scene. However informal, or minimal, some acknowledgement of the sacrifice the bottom just endured, should be the minimum. Even if it’s just “can I make you a cup of tea”, to allow them to just sit and absorb what has just happened. Time is a gift in itself after some intense scenes, to allow you time to recalibrate, and slowly return to the here and now.
Aftercare is how we minimise the mental reverberations of a session, as well as the physical impact that echoes on in the days that follow.
It is a really personal part of the process and the need for it (or not) varies greatly between people, both tops and bottoms.
“So much of this job is intuitive.”
Submissive Care Labels
As a Pro-Domme that builds aftercare into our time together I don’t have a checklist approach – it’s about as far away from one size fits all as it is possible to get. And I can’t flip you over to read a label, so if you can’t vocalise what you need in that moment I have to try and read you.
So much of this job is intuitive. Empathy is vital and never is that needed more than at the end of a deep dive into sub space. If you have ever experienced this and then been harshly shoved out the door, you will know how detrimental that can be.
I find this particular section of a session to be super important after a humiliation scene for example. I may have degraded this person, made them feel completely vile and disgusting (which they loved and got off on, obviously). But at the end I have to reassure them and offset that damage. It was a game, it was playing – of course I don’t think they are disgusting people. I have huge respect for anyone that lives their truth and has the courage to come see me, and give voice to those perversions and kinks – I need them to know that afterwards. That said, I don’t need to repeat the same reassurances every time they come necessarily. Sometimes I can just hug them, put a hand on their shoulder, sit next to them in silent solidarity. I just need them to understand my support is right there.
It’s hopefully reassuring to know there is no one right way to do it, but there is definitely a wrong way. The wrong way is to offer none or to berate someone that asks for some.
We all have different comfort levels with personal space, so a Domme that doesn’t like or want hugs can still offer her submissives aftercare in other ways.
It’s definitely not all about hugs. I have been out to dinner after a session to slowly ease out of it, for both of us. Because it’s important to remember that Dommes get a drop after sessions too. We need those moments of together too, like processing a shared experience. Only you two will ever know what really happened, the chemistry, the energy – it’s nice to just take a moment to acknowledge it.
“We all have our own ways and preferences, and boundaries still have to be respected during this time.”
Just as it isn’t all about hugs it’s not all about the amount of time either. You may have rush off yourself for one reason or another. Dominants can’t always sit with you for ages while the shock wears off, so don’t be offended if she tells you she only has 10 minutes to spare. On the rare occasion my post session agenda is crammed, I will always allow them time to sit and gather their thoughts, but then I tell them to talk to me after. The next day to send me pics of any damage they are particularly proud of, or to send me feedback. That is not only helpful for me, but it allows them to process it onto a page.
Aftercare is so many things, and so personal. We all have our own ways and preferences and boundaries still have to be respected during this time. If it hits you hard the next day and you are struggling, you don’t get to demand to see your Domme or take advantage of her empathetic nature. If you require more time, arrange it properly. Always respect her time, effort and rare combination of skills.
I’ve talked about this before, but so far this article has been all about supporting the sub. But I can’t end this without touching upon the dominant and aftercare.
We need to know you are okay, that’s the priority. That really helps us process the brutality after a tough one.
We need down time, regularly. Self care is a big thing for us because the job takes so much out of us, and subs/slaves frequently drain our energy outside of the dungeon. Introvert and extrovert tendencies are one determining factor when negotiating aftercare boundaries.
For me, the greatest gift you can give me is time away. I earn big enough money, that I can take a week off when I am feeling burnt out. Highlighted when I’m suddenly aware I’m not giving my best, I’m getting grumpy and I’ve stopped loving it. By paying me my tribute and gifting me you are facilitating that cycle of ongoing aftercare / self-care.
You may well see us being pampered, spoiled but that is what allows us to continue.
I haven’t got time today to go into the upkeep and maintenance schedule that I endure, but a lot goes into being me. So if you can make it a little easier somewhere you are helping.
Aftercare for me isn’t something that happens in the dungeon. It’s in the days and weeks afterwards. Supporting me is aftercare, you can’t drink from an empty well. Replenishing me is how you care for me.
It’s a symbiotic relationship, however you are feeling, it’s a shared process. Because there were two people there that day.
How we all deal with it and how we all heal afterwards is down to our comfort zones and mindsets. As always communication is key, getting too much – just say so. Not getting enough, tribute for additional time.
If you’re into D/s relationships, you might like these clips:
You Give Me Energy
Thrills can come from every avenue of our dark minds. Sexual tendencies aren’t linear and what you considered entirely off limits at first may be your current hottest high. This goes for exposure, ruination, home wreaking and blackmail too. Some clients invite this, they crave it.