What is Aftercare?

Aftercare refers to the care and support provided to individuals after engaging in BDSM (Bondage, Discipline, Dominance, Submission, Sadism, and Masochism) or intense sexual activities. It is an essential part of the BDSM experience and focuses on the emotional and physical well-being of all parties involved.

Why is Aftercare Important?

The goal of aftercare is to prevent the emotional “drop” as we come down from sexual activity. Intense sexual activity can lead to a kind of natural high because of the increased endorphins and adrenaline in the bloodstream. When we have sex our bodies release oxytocin and dopamine; after sex, when those chemicals have depleted, we experience a small comedown. Scientifically named: “post-coital dysphoria”, our bodies and brains experience a come down after intense sex. Ending a scene or sexual experience too quickly can make that high disappear too quickly as well. This leads to an emotional state known as drop. 

What Does Aftercare Offer?

1. Reassurance and Affirmation: Aftercare often includes reassurance and affirmation to help participants feel safe, loved, and valued. This can involve verbal affirmations, gentle touch, or acts of tenderness that help reaffirm the emotional connection between the participants.

2. Communication and Debriefing: Aftercare provides an opportunity for participants to communicate and debrief about the experience. This can involve discussing what went well, any concerns or boundaries that arose, and any adjustments or improvements that can be made for future encounters.

Aftercare Activities

Aftercare typically involves activities and practices that help the participants transition from the intense and often physically demanding experience back to a state of emotional and physical stability. Common elements of aftercare include:

1. Physical Comfort: After intense BDSM activities, it is important to attend to any physical discomfort or injuries. This may involve providing pain relief, applying soothing lotions or ointments, or simply ensuring that the participants are physically comfortable.

2. Emotional Support: BDSM activities can evoke a range of emotions, including vulnerability, excitement, or even feelings of guilt or shame. Aftercare provides a safe space for participants to process these emotions and offer emotional support to each other. This may involve cuddling, holding, or simply talking about the experience.

3. Relaxation and Calming Activities: Aftercare often includes activities that promote relaxation and help participants transition to a state of calm. This can involve activities such as gentle massages, warm baths, or engaging in soothing activities like listening to soft music or practicing deep breathing exercises.

4. Hydration and Nourishment: Engaging in intense sexual activities can be physically demanding and may lead to dehydration or exhaustion. Aftercare may involve providing water, snacks, or a warm beverage to help replenish energy levels and promote physical well-being.

Thing To Remember About Aftercare

Studies have found that aftercare can positively affect emotional well-being, relationship satisfaction, and overall post-play recovery. Participants reported that aftercare helped them process their emotions, reduce any potential negative aftereffects, and maintain a positive connection with their partner(s). At the end of the day, aftercare is really about connecting with your partner to make sure that you both have an enjoyable, safe, and fun time.