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Aftercare FAQ

Aftercare involves attending to the intense physical and psychological feelings that can occur after a BDSM session, continuing that deep connection you felt. During the session, there is the possibility that both parties will be so immersed in the scene and that connection that one or both will lose themselves in that space mentally (yes, yes, yes, that’s what is supposed to happen! *g*). Yet, it’s important to come out of that space afterward, and that is part of what aftercare is about. Health should be considered both physically and mentally for overall well-being, AND to ensure that the pleasure can continue for future sessions!

Cleaning Up

First things first. Both Dom/me and sub should clean up the scene and themselves before all else. A shower works well as time for decompression from the experience, whether you have feelings ranging from energized to completely exhausted. Afterward, straighten up the area of props, disinfect and put away toys. In some Dom/me and sub relationships, the sub is required to do this work alone. If so, this time can be truly useful in getting in touch with and thinking about the connection you felt with your Dom/me during the scene, unwinding from the physical and emotional intensity that you sooo enjoyed moments earlier.

Once this is done, take care of any bruises with ice or arnica (found in most drug stores) and elevate the bruised area higher than your heart, if possible. Open wounds should be treated with antiseptic as well as bandaged up to prevent infection. The better you take care of things now, the more quickly you’ll be ready to have another session, and chances are, you’ll be wanting that sooner than later…*wink*

Nourish Yourself

BDSM activities can be physically exhausting (no complaints from me… *g*). Drink tea, juice, or water—long or super-intense sessions can cause some dehydration.  Also, eat some light foods like crackers or toast to reenergize, kind of like runners do after a marathon. Chocolate is a popular aftercare snack as well, as it helps to quickly release endorphins.

Rest. This is a MUST. Rest, rest, rest! This will allow you to build back to normal energy levels and relax muscles from any strain they may have felt during the action. If you were, perhaps, tied up for a period of time or administering a lengthy spanking (one can only hope…*g*), your body will need some time to relax; time that can also be used to process the scene and enjoy a sense of emotional release and muse over the recent events.

Psychological/Mental Aftercare

Besides physical exhaustion, emotional exhaustion can also commonly occur post-session. Be aware of your partner’s emotional state. Cuddling, kissing, hugging, and light massaging are all common and are a great way to spend time after a session. Sometimes, Vanilla sexual activities can be a part of aftercare, depending on the preferences and needs of a couple.

The energy produced and exchanged and released by the body (you’re telling me! *wink*) may leave you in a whirlwind! Talking with each other about the experience and emotions felt is a common part of aftercare, and will likely leave you feeling relaxed and peaceful.

Why Aftercare is So Important

On a mental level, because adrenaline is often built up so high during a BDSM session, it is possible for the sub (and Dom/me, in some cases) to experience adrenaline crashes, because adrenaline burns off very quickly. Support and comforting attention are the best ways to reconnect with the positive feelings, the warmth of the experience taking back over while resting.

And of course, physically speaking, taking care of the body is important or else recovery from bruises, etc. may take longer, and no one wants that (desire doesn’t like to wait! *g*) So use antiseptic and ice and bandage up so you can look forward to your next scene…which you may already be planning while you’re resting! *wink*