September 20, 2011

Aftercare (Blog Takeover)

As part of my blog takeover by all of readers and followers...I received this question last night. 

"I have a friend who is exploring his Dominate side. We were discussing aftercare. He stated he wasn't good with aftercare because he lacked empathy. Could you write about Aftercare? The importance. The need. The affect."
This is a good question.  Aftercare is something that we all hear and talk about in this lifestyle.  I think aftercare is just as important as pre-care and during-care.  Ok...I made those two terms up, but I think you get the point.  LOL!  I think we can look at this with the illustration of a "bell curve", as seen to the right.

In general, as I noted, there can be three basic stages to play.  There is the warm-up session, also known as foreplay.  It's in this stage that you begin taunting and teasing and getting each other wound up, aroused, and excited.  This is the beginning and up-curve on the illustration.  The second stage is actual play...the meat of your time together.  This is where most of the actual sex and harder play is involved.  This is where the intensity peaks and all the physical sensations and emotions climax.  The third stage is aftercare, or the down side of the illustration.  This is where you slowly come back down from the high you are on, and settle back into normalcy.  Your body relaxes, the sensations subside, the endorphins begin to subside, and you slowly come back from euphoria.

Let me make this part very clear!  Notice on the bell curve how it slowly comes back down from the peak.  There is a ramp up in the beginning, reaching the peak, and then a ramp down period, until you reach the end.  IT DOES NOT ramp up and then just stop at the peak.  In this lifestyle, the ramp down period is just as important as the ramp up and the peak of play.  A sub needs this down time after play to feel her Dom's sensitive side.  She needs to be held.  She needs to be cuddled.  She needs to know and feel she has the appreciation and love she deserves for what she has given to him...her body, mind, and soul.  It is this close time together, after play, that it all comes together.  She is reassured by him of his pleasure with her, and can feel the appreciation he has for what he was able to take from her.  Without the aftercare, she can feel alone and isolated.  She can feel used and unappreciated, and not used in a good way.  Aftercare is just as important as the rest of the scene.

If you are like me, you need scenarios you can understand, so let me use this analogy...making dinner.  You spend time getting everything together for dinner.  You prepare and cook your dinner (ramp up).  Once all has been done and it is ready you reach the peak which is getting to eat and enjoy what you have prepared.  This is the climax and enjoyment of your efforts...a great meal.  Yet, at this point you aren't done.  The kitchen is a mess and there are dirty dishes to deal with and clean.  This is your ramp down period...cleanup.  You can't go to all the effort, enjoy your meal, and then just leave everything laying out and dirty.  You have enjoyed the fruits of your labor, but you also have to get everything back in order to the state is was before you started.  For a sub, it is this time of getting back in order that can be the most important.  It solidifies what you have done as a couple.  It can bring the two of you closer.

I know some Dominants see aftercare as something where they get no benefit.  To them, the control and Dominance is what they need.  I say that it is the aftercare for a sub that will enable a Dominant to get much more of what he needs.  When a sub gets this care, it will make her much more likely to want and need to give even more of herself.  If she feels neglected in a part of her needs, then this will cause problems and drive a wedge between the two of you.  She needs to feel cared for, appreciated and loved.  So, even though some may see aftercare as not important, I think it is more beneficial than you may realize.  This is a two way street...she is giving herself to you for all you need, so give her all she needs as well.  It is well worth the time and energy you put into it.  It will bring all the emotions together and bring the two of you closer.  Don't just use her and leave her to fend for herself.

Use the gift she has given you, but then help her settle back down afterwards, and care for her.  This is part of her needs.  If her needs aren't being met, then she won't be around forever.  To me it sounds pointless to stay somewhere and be with someone that isn't giving you what you need from your time together and in your relationship.  How beneficial is it to you, as a Dom, to not meet her needs?  To not help her become more for you?  To not enable her to become more for you?  Being selfish and only seeing to your own needs will only lead you to being alone in the long run.  So, how important is aftercare?  I guess that depends on if you like having a partner and submissive, or if you prefer to spend your time alone wishing you had one.


  1. DV - I agree that aftercare is so important. I'm not so sure i love the analogy of my feelings and a sink full of dirty dishes. This did make me realize something though. I have learned and grown as much through the time after playing hard as i have from the actual play. I have always fought being taken care of, in any context. Learning to submit to the activities was one thing, being able to let go and crawl into his arms, to let him take care of me, to really need him, that was the hardest thing. And learning to do it has had the most profound effect on our relationship. It is what he has always wanted of me.

  2. DV--aftercare is important to any healthy sexual relationship, not just in a lfestyle relationship. From what I have read about sub-drops and the intensity of a rough and tumble BDSM session, I would imagine the bell curve is a little different after a good caning or whipping. The danger, of course, is that if you cut of the curve at its peak, there is a huge cliff on the other side.

    Greengirl--interesting that you had always rejected after play when it is, for the most part, a woman who wants it and the man who rejects it. It just goes to show, again, how dynamic and varied our relationships are.

  3. Nothing but agreement here. Although I echo greengirl's sentiment about the dirty dishes, I understand it was a difficult analogy to make.

    Great post, thanks!

  4. Hello DV!

    I have to admit...when I first saw the bell curve at the beginning of your post, it conjured up unsettling memories from Calculus class! But I couldn't agree more with your description and assessment of aftercare - perfect!

    Excellent response to a fundamental question!

    Thanks and take care,
    Baby Girl :-)

  5. Thanks for all your comments. I appreciate it and am glad I could touch on a subject that means something to you.

    As for the dirty dishes, let me clarify. In no way am I comparing dirty dishes to a sub or her feelings. It's more of the process of cooking, eating, and then cleaning up. The point is that when you are done with the peak of your play (eating in the scenario), you aren't done and can't stop at that point. There is still work to be done before you can consider yourself finished. Sorry if I offended you, as that certainly wasn't my intention.


  6. No offense taken, at all. I would be hard-pressed to find a better analogy.