How Important is AfterCare in a BDSM Relationship? : Very, Very Important

Profound trust is the foundation of a happy, healthy and long-term BDSM Dom/sub relationship. What most people don’t fully realize is that a D/s relationship requires much more trust than any vanilla relationship because a submissive is putting their physical & mental safety in the hands of a Dominant. Hence the emotional intimacy of a D/s relationship is also much deeper and intense as well. The bond these two individuals have is generally accompanied by a Consensual Agreement after a great deal of vetting and discussion. The trust the submissive offers the Dominant must be rewarded. A submissive trusts us during a session, a scene. And this trust should be, must be, rewarded during AfterCare…the time Dominants and submissive spend unwinding from the intimate time they’ve just spent with one another.

Rewarding the Gift of Submission

An effective and devoted Dominant cherishes and loves their sub unconditionally because they accept the sub’s intimate gift of submission. With deep trust in a Dom, a submissive gives over full control of their soul, body and mind. This action is NOT an act of coercion, but a freely made decision by a sub who chooses to hand over control for a period of time (play session or evening or week or 24/7). And we must respect that level of love, trust and devotion.

After the intensity of a long and/or rough session/scene, a compassionate Dominant not only needs to but must show their submissive a great deal of appreciation and affection. This sensual aftercare is more about thanking the sub for their immense trust in the Dominant and for their gift of submission. The act of moving from intense play to sensuousness is to remind the sub that the relationship they share isn’t simply about sexual gratification, but about trust. Sensual aftercare is a way to soothe the sub’s body and mind, to alleviate the intensity of the situation, to cool down from the adrenaline and endorphin boost a session releases into the body of the sub during play. You will read in many blogs written by Dominant and submissives that it is rather commonplace for a sub to sob intensely after a session. They often need to be held for long periods of time after an intense session too. The reason for these needs is due to the extreme dumping of pleasure chemicals into the body and mind. Subs literally get high from sessions, and there is a period of coming down from the high that needs to be looked after as intently as we do while in a session. Thus, aftercare is how we help our subs rejuvenate from the emotional exhaustion; in doing so, we also help strengthen the emotional bonds between us and the sub.

Examples of Sensual Aftercare

There is no one list of what methods are best for your submissive’s aftercare. Each sub and each Dom is different. But you might want to start with these:

  • Cuddling/spooning with your sub
  • Cleaning their entire body with a warm, moist towel
  • Shave their legs, groin area or entire body (This gives a renewed sense of freshness)
  • Take a bath (Some will argue to not do this if skin is broken from rough play, but I disagree. A bath, with the Dom, washing down the sub, will help cleanse the wounds so they are less likely to get infected.)
  • Wash their hair; make sure to massage their scalp AND brush their hair. These intimate acts reassure your submissive—regardless of gender—how much you appreciate their trust in you
  • Give them a foot massage, back massage or full-body massage using scented oils

While it may seem like you’re switching roles, you really aren’t. These acts are all deeply intimate and caring acts intended to make a sub feel cherished and appreciated. And we are in full control of the aftercare. Aftercare, and I can’t emphasize this enough, is not something a caring Dominant skips. For a sub who’s just had a bunch of chemical dumped into their system and is crashing from the natural high, they can feel emotionally drained, even lonely and sexually used as she comes down from a session. Having a submissive feel any of that is detrimental to our community and lifestyle, but even more destructive to a long-term relationship and the emotional well-being of a devoted sub. It is, essentially, torture to no perform aftercare; it is a clear withholding of love.

Touch is the key aspect of effective aftercare. It is how we bond emotionally as humans. We hold babies and touch others as a way to bond and convey our feelings toward others. It is a strong form of nurturing. It is amazing how some simple skin-on-skin contact can so effectively calm another person emotionally.

Important Caveats About Aftercare

There are some caveats to aftercare of course. Aftercare MUST happen, but it is individualized to the sub. Some subs won’t want to be touched at all for a while after the session. They need time to process everything. Others will want to be held immediately. Others may not want to be bathed or shaved.

There is the very rare sub who feels aftercare is more of an insult than an intimate moment to bond. Some submissives enjoy the crash and are to see you simply for the physical abuse and the ability to be emotionally empty for a while, leaving the outside world completely behind. But these are rare masochists.

The same goes for true sadist Dominants. Some Dominants are specialists in sadism and will leave the sub to their own devices. A sub who attends sessions with such a Dominant is fully aware this will happen and has accepted that.

I know there are some of you reading this section thinking to yourself that aftercare makes you look weak. It doesn’t. It makes your submissive know you respect their gift to you. Our lifestyle is about ensuring our submissives will want to return to us, will need to stay with us. The majority of subs want and need Aftercare (there are exceptions, true). The beauty of Aftercare is that we are still fully in charge, but there’s no chance of a safeword ever being used. We decide on the best aftercare. That may very well be no physical touching, or it can be just cuddling. The fact remains, though, that WE are still the Dominant making the decision. We are not weak for caring for our submissive. What makes us weak is NOT caring for them.

Miss Ruby

Miss Ruby

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