After Care

Aftercare is the last act of the SM Femdom scene. It is the culmination, the final act, the finishing touches, the phase where the participants (usually the tops) formally give the fantasy scene a context in everyday reality.

It’s technical purpose is to transition both Domme and sub from the elevated states created in a scene back into normal life awareness . But as any good SM practitioner will tell you, it’s much more than that.

It is the time after the action when the participants come together in mutual affirmation that something special was created and shared. It is when affection and closeness is offered and sought. It is, at very least, the proper time to thanks to the person who has shared this tiny segment of your life with you. It can be, and often is, the most beautiful part of a scene. To skip it altogether is as rude as having a meal at a friend’s house, and bolting once you’ve eaten.

Aftercare is basic in the planning of any SM Femdom scene, especially for intense, edgy scenes where the participants go deep into subspace. Play that is physically heavy, intensely emotional, or improvisational, with lots of twists and turns, can leave your partner shaken, shaky, vulnerable and exposed, making it all the more crucial to guide them back down safely to earth.

Some people, even after satisfying play, may experience “ a Crash”: feelings of anxiety, exposure, embarrassment, guilt or emotional overload. In short, Crash is the SM / femdomme equivalent to the post coital blues and how well you take care of your partner will say a great deal about what the scene really meant, whether it was just a quickie or a deep beautiful bond bringing you closer together as people. Aftercare also allows some recovery if things didn’t go as well as they could have. In a “broken” scene, sensitive, compassionate and intelligent aftercare is all that stands between you and a bad reputation as a uncaring Domme

Aftercare is especially very important following:

  • Scenes that are demanding and intense
  • Scenes that result in tears, screams, orgasm or emotional release.
  • Scenes that involve new partners or new techniques
  • Scenes that involve punishment, humiliation or intimations
  • Scenes that have been interrupted by an accident, injury, fainting or unseemly act of God.
  • Scenes that have “gone bad” resulting in anger, or upset, or ending on a safe word (both top and bottom may well need/appreciate some reassurance if this happens)

Bad aftercare can do damage that is basically incalculable. It can leave your partner feeling queasy, unsatisfied, or used, ruin an otherwise great scene, or damage the trust and affection your partner has in you if you are seen as arrogant, uncaring or clueless in that time of maximum tenderness and exposure. But if aftercare is done well it can double the impact of a good scene. Aftercare can confirm that the scene just ended had meaning and the gifts of dominance and submission had value. It can attach the scene to the rest of your life in a way that it makes sense and is remembered as a good, validating experience, even if it hurt like hell!

As the breathing returns to normal, as you and your partner prepare to return from wherever your play has transported you, there are a number of simple, mechanical activities that need to happen.

  • Removing your partner from bondage, or blindfolding
  • Treating any first aid issues that need to be tended to.
  • A bathroom break might be in order
  • If you and your partner have been standing, sitting down might be nice. If your partner has been bound, stretching out might be good.Holding, talking, being together, allowing time for heart rate and breathing to return to normal
  • Food & drink
  • A transitioning out of scene roles into the roles of equal compassionate friends (unless it is important for one or both of you to STAY in role).
  • Permitting the submissive to redress into comfortable clothing
  • Responding to any physical or EMOTIONAL needs the submissive may have (talking about the scene, tears, etc.)
  • Cleanup of the scene equipment and play area. These can all be ritualized and performed with tenderness to maintain the headspace of the scene even after the mechanics of the scene are dismantled.

Most important

More important even than your partner’s physical condition is their EMOTIONAL state. And unlike the standard aftercare techniques listed above, this process is exploratory and changes every time you do it. Leave time after a scene to be with the person you’ve played with. For a short scene in a one hour play window, fifteen to twenty minutes seems reasonable, but you may need more, may need less. Don’t set a time limit if you don’t have to.

In general, aftercare is a good time to move from roles of play (top/bottom, mistress/slave, etc.) into more equal roles of mutual friendship, nurturing, and respect. Holding, cuddling and touching is nice, depending on your relationship to your partner. Depending on your level of intimacy and the time available, so is bathing together, sharing a nap, sex, or grabbing some food, more talk, reading aloud to your partner, a sponge bath, or a massage. Some like their faces touched… But bear in mind that what works for some will not work for all. What seems affectionate and sweet to some may be mushy and silly to others, or inappropriately intimate, if it involves more kissing and intimate touching than your partner is comfortable with. And Dominants, if cuddling is too touchy-feely for you, at least staying in your partners presence is good form (have them sit with you, at your feet, fetch you drinks, stroke their hair, etc.)

Some ideas for expressing affection that aren’t to touchy- feely include kisses on forehead, hugs, holding hands and nuzzle heads, or hugs given to the side holding your partner hip to hip. Talk is important, and affirmation is your foremost duty. Express satisfaction, (or at least gratitude) after a scene. Tell your partner how nice it was. Murmur sweet nothings. Express gratitude and warmth. If the scene turned you on, say so. “You suffer so beautifully . . . You really turned me on. . . I really love the sounds you make . . . you look so great on that cross . . . your eyes are incredible when you’re tied up… I hope I didn’t go too far. . . Owww lets do this again sometime . . .” Express caring and concern. How did the scene go? Ask about places where the scene seemed to go off track. You want to know these things after all to help perfect your own skills. “How was it? Did you like that? Are you sore? Did the ropes make your hands tingly? What was the best part? What was the worst part? Did I scare you? Was it a good scare or a bad one? Have you had enough? Or would you like to ask for more?”

Your partner may want to talk too, about the scene, about them, about you… There’s no way to know in advance. Let them babble if that’s what they want to do. Be supportive and listen. Having said all this let me reiterate that it aftercare is never standard and the preceding description, while a sound approach in dealing with new people, may bear no resemblance to the aftercare you need. Aftercare is a subtle and what works fine in one instance may be inappropriate, even damaging, in another. Some need a lot of touch and talk to guide them back to their daytime selves, but others want no more than a boot in the ass and a “Good Boy!” Bottoms may wish to be dismissed without a word, given chores, or curl into a solitary ball.

Although aftercare is typically viewed as something the top does for the bottom, tops are people too, and often yearn for affection, gratitude and nurturing. Sometimes when the heat of the scene has passed, a top can find him or herself, exhausted, exposed and feeling guilty about doing bad, nasty things to someone they care about. This is the phenomenon some call top-drop. So bottoms: Remember to express gratitude and respect to the top who has spent the last hour or so being bad to you. Flattery is good “You’re so dominant . . . You really turned me on. . . I didn’t know you were that good with a whip. . I’d love to do this again sometime..I realy loved it when you tied me to your cross.”. No need to lie, but if you can find something nice to say, its nice to.

Article by MissBonnie ©

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