One of the things that I think many practiced people of the BDSM community pride themselves on is their ability to positively follow up sex. We like to throw around the word “after care” like it’s vernacular rather than jargon—the way that we also generally assume having a first aid kit with a pair of tuff cuts next to the condoms is a common. But the fact is that, for as important as after care is, it’s really easy to overlook or misinterpret what your aftercare routine should consist of, regardless of the scenes you’re practicing.
So, if you’re new to BDSM, feel like your aftercare routine needs some work—or even just new to sex—this list is for you.
1) RETURN TO A NEUTRAL POSITION
It’s really easy to give into the temptation to just stop when both you and your partner hit your breaking points. Sex is a massive form of exercise, not just for your heart, but for your muscles as well. It’s a combination of cardio, body resistance, repetition, and sometimes weight lifting, which means that even a fifteen minute session can put your body through the ringer (and that’s excluding a number of kinky activities that can contribute to the strain you feel). The most important thing that you can do after you finish having sex, though, is to make sure you and your partner are in comfortable, neutral position.
Your muscles need to be given the chance to relax, to cool down, and to start repairing themselves. Your heart needs to be given time to relax, and your brain needs a few minutes to cut its way through the hormonal and emotional fog. But if you stop in a funny or uncomfortable position, you’re leaving your body vulnerable to the possibility of muscles cooling down in unnatural stretched/constricted positions—which you’ll end up feeling later, just the way you would if you didn’t give your body a proper cool down after going to the gym.
2) ASSESS YOUR BODY
Be aware of what hurts and how it hurts. Are your muscles sore from standing? Is your backside sore from being spanked? Can you match the ache with the action, and is the aftermath within the realm of discomfort you are used to? Make sure that you are considering all of this, because the sooner that you assess your body, the sooner you’ll be able to spot potential problems or injuries caused during the scene.
No matter what the scene consists of, a good cuddle afterwards is highly important. This is especially the case if you’ve been on the receiving end of a heavy spanking, or if you’re into humiliation scenarios. You could be anywhere from giddy to tearful by the end of a session, and the most important thing that you can do for your emotional health after a hard scene is to stimulate as much Oxytocin production in your brain as possible. Oxytocin, “the cuddle hormone,” strengthens bonds, inspires trust, and establishes a feeling of safety and belonging in a relationship, so taking the time to cuddle is very important to your ability to expand in your submission and to reinforce that the activities you’ve just done are part of a good, healthy relationship.
4) GO TO THE BATHROOM & HAVE A SHOWER TOGETHER
This is technically two different things, but because they happen in the same room, I’ve put them together. Although there aren’t conclusive studies to indicate that urinating after sex can help women prevent UTIs, your bladder was probably just repeatedly squished, poked, and contorted, so if you need to go, then by all means, go!
While you’re in the bathroom, consider taking a hot shower together. If you don’t think you can stand long enough, take a bath. Use the shower as an extended opportunity to cuddle, touch, and continue to stimulate that Oxytocin.
5) HAVE A SNACK TOGETHER
You’ve just exercised. The next step is to make sure that you restore electrolytes and give yourself something light to nibble on while your body settles. My Dom is English, so naturally post-sex snacks consist of tea and Dairy Milk chocolate, but you could get as elaborate as a full meal, or go as simple as a packet of salty crackers and some water.
6) WHATEVER YOU DO, DO IT TOGETHER
We are at our most vulnerable during and after sex. We’re sharing our bodies, our desires, our hopes with another person. As submissives, we are even more vulnerable. We’re broken down by our Doms, pushed to our physical and emotional limits. The catharsis that we get from that exchange might be our motivation for doing it, but it’s not uncommon, silly, or wrong to feel guilty, upset, sad, or ashamed of where and how we broke during the scene. More than anything, aftercare is about healthy ways to combat those feelings, to allow us the opportunities to reassure ourselves and to be reassured by our Doms that we are good girls and good boys, that what we made it through and what we accomplished made our partners proud and our submission deeper. So, whatever you do after a scene, make sure that it includes being together as a couple, reinforcing the most positive and fulfilling emotional aspects of your submission and your Dom’s dominance.
This is far from a complete list of aftercare ideas, so if you have something extra that you and your Dom do, comment below.