BDSM & Aftercare - CherryDTV
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BDSM & Aftercare

If you practise BDSM, you will most likely be aware of  the importance of establishing physical and emotional boundaries with whoever you are playing with. These may include an in-depth discussion of fantasies, hard limits, soft limits and safe words.

Following these steps is essential to ensure comfort for everybody involved in a play scene. However, a step that is often overlooked is aftercare. The intensity of giving or receiving in a BDSM scene encourages a rush of endorphins and adrenaline. And when a scene is finished, is likely to plummet. This feeling is referred to as ‘sub drop’ and ‘top drop’. So, before you run head-first into any BDSM scene, you need to know about aftercare. Aftercare helps lighten the profound effects an intense scene can have on your body and mind.

submissive woman being collared by dominant male

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Why Aftercare?

A BDSM scene is a powerful thing! Even if you’ve done the activities in the scene a hundred times before, your body will have a physiological response to pushing your limits. The surge of adrenaline and endorphins lead your body to a temporary imbalance. And the rush of these chemicals leaving the body, known as sub drop, can be unsettling.

Cortisol is your body’s response to stress. And while you might be a willing participant in these types of activities and even find them to relaxing, your body will react accordingly. Being on the receiving end of receiving punishments or being bound, potentially in uncomfortable positions. Mentally and emotionally, you may feel exhausted, confused over your enjoyment and you may be disoriented and feel dissociated. This is all very normal.

This can all come as quite a shock, especially if you’re not expecting it. But the guidance and aftercare provided by the Dominant should help ease the symptoms and bring you back down safely and comfortably. Symptoms of lethargy, nausea, pain or dizziness may also occur after getting lost in a BDSM scene. So effective aftercare is essential for recharging, reconnecting, and regaining composure in a newfound sense of reality. My advice for practicing effective aftercare is as follows, but remember that negotiation of aftercare is very important as everybody’s needs are different!

Examples Of Aftercare

1. Caring For Wounds and Injuries

Any bruises, abrasions or other injuries need proper care. The Dominant should clean and bandage any abrasions. As well as rubbing ointment or applying an ice pack onto a well punished bum to reduce inflammation and bruising. A first aid should always remain on hand in the event of any mishaps during playtime.

2. Replenishment

Some water, tea, Gatorade or a Berocca will hydrate you and replenish any lost electrolytes. Signs that indicate dehydration include stretchy skin, sunken eyes, dry mouth and rapid breathing. Also have something light to eat! Snacking after play is great to bring the sugar levels back to an equilibrium. Fruit or some salty snacks like roasted nuts are a great choice!

3. Cuddles

Physical affection after any type of BDSM scene is great because it will re-establish the balance in the D/s relationship. Cuddles are great because the release Oxytocin, the love chemical. Or you can even give each other massages, but the sub gets to receive first!

4. Shower Together

Cleaning each other off in the shower is sexy and refreshing. A moment in the shower submissive back from subspace in a gentle and comfortable way. And being clean makes you feel good!

5. Talk & Laugh

Communication after a scene is so important. There can be discussion of what your favourite parts were, what you would like to do more of next and as well as what you would want less of, or not at all. The two of you can also laugh about any funny or embarrassing moments that may of happened during the play.

6. Watch A Movie, Play Games Or Listen To Music

This is an obvious one. Winding down with a good movie or nice music is great because the two of you get to cuddle and enjoy each others company. Playing board games or online games can be super fun too.

young couple watching a movie together and cuddling

7. Sleep

It’s normal to feel lethargic from all the hormone activity in your body after a play scene. A good and restful sleep is a crucial form of BDSM aftercare. Some people simply need a nap (sometimes with their partners), while others need a full night’s (or more) of rest to allow their bodies to repair and return to normal.

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Aftercare Makes For Stronger Emotional Bonds

Couples or play partners who practice aftercare will naturally develop closer, more intimate bonds with their partners than those who don’t. After sex, we’re particularly vulnerable. We’re naked and we’ve hopefully just had an orgasm. Our bodies are awash in oxytocin and dopamine. We need to ensure that positive state of mind continues. Everyone feels good when they know their partner cares for them, and what better way to show it than tending to them when they are in a vulnerable post-sex state of mind.

It doesn’t matter if you’re friends with benefits, in a long-term relationship, a one-night-stand, or married; aftercare is still important. While it may seem odd to engage in aftercare with someone you’re not seriously dating, it’s still important. It’s not about making someone fall in love with you or trying to make a more serious relationship out of something casual. It’s about making sure everyone is cared for with respect and tenderness. So that they can leave a sexual experience feeling good about themselves. Take some time to connect with your partner and reflect on everything that happened in a positive, kind way. The kind of relationship you’re in doesn’t diminish the need for making sure everyone feels good about the play that took place.

Aftercare Helps Relieve Underlying Sexual Shame

While sex and BDSM play is not shameful and should be safely enjoyed by one and all. It can however, sometimes bring up feelings of shame due to the sex-negative messages many of us faced growing up. While the logical mind tells us that sex is normal and healthy, our subconscious can store these shameful messages. After sex and that delicious post-orgasmic high, your body can suddenly unearth the subconscious shame. This might be especially relevant if one or more parties was raised within a conservative or religious background

bdsm after care

Keeping The Post Sex Sadness Away

Have you ever felt like crying after sex? You know, when you have a truly amazing orgasm and then feel sad for no reason? This is called “post-coital dysphoria,” or the post-sex blues. It’s believed to come from the euphoric rush and sudden comedown that follows intense sexual pleasure. It is the brain’s way of recalibrating. Research has shown that nearly half of men and women have experienced PCD at some point in their lives. Aftercare is the salve that soothes these sad feelings. Sometimes people can feel alienated from their partners after the euphoric feelings from sex wear off. Aftercare routines can help.

Have an open and honest discussion about PCD and develop an aftercare routine that makes you feel safe and secure. You might want to cuddle, perhaps you want your partner to stroke your arm, or you might want to have a nice chat or a deeper conversation. If you know there is something after sex or play that makes you feel good, then you need to speak up and ask for what you want. Your partner wants you to feel good, and anything they can do in aftercare needs to be communicated and shared with them.

The Bottom Line

Sex and BDSM is very fun! But it can be an emotionally fraught thing in addition to all the pleasures. So we need to take precautions to ensure that everyone walks away from the experience feeling positive and good about themselves. Whatever form of aftercare works for you is perfectly fine. Just be sure you have a discussion about it before any sexy time takes place. When it comes to play, we all deserve to walk out the door afterward feeling emotionally whole and great about ourselves.

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