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Aftercare

Please note:  I have received permission, from each author, to reprint their responses to my "Aftercare" questions.  Their responses and copyright belongs to the author.  If you seek permission to use their work, please send me an email (if their email address is not noted) and I will forward your request!  Thank you for respecting the international copyright law and the authour's work.
 

Here at, Lady Sun's School of Domination and Submission, I like to offer different viewpoints from various other teachers.  Below, one will find a selection of thoughtful and enlightening responses to some questions about "Aftercare".  Seek and ye shall find!

The following author's have contributed to this page:  gemma, Kerosene & Candles, Virago, sub beauty, jean, Janet Hardy (aka Catherine A. Lizst or Lady Green) and myself.
From:  "gemma"  Date:  Fri Jul 6, 2001  2:19 am
Subject:  Re: Sub and dom aftercare.
 

Here are some thoughts to share with you Lady Sun.

1.  What is aftercare?

Yes ..... I agree that it's the things that are done afterward to ensure loving closure to a scene.  But I also think it can really vary depending on the relationship, or even on the stage of the relationship.  I believe that aftercare following casual play is completely different than aftercare within a more longterm situation.  In a casual play situation it tends to be more focused on immediate concerns, whereas in an ongoing longterm relationship I think the aftercare itself is also more ongoing ...... spreading into further discussions, etc. in the hours/days following if necessary.

And no ..... I'm not saying that one is better than the other ..... 
just that they are different for the very reason that different 
scenes can be so different.  Different scenes require different aftercare.

2.  Does it apply to both dom's and sub's?

I must admit that this one really made me think hard, because if I have travelled (subspaced/flown) far enough during a scene then I know that I am in no fit state to offer aftercare to my Dominant.  There's no two ways about that one!  ~s~

But perhaps my total dependance on His care of me afterwards is a way of showing my love and trust.

3.  What actions are performed in aftercare?

Nurturing actions.  Whether it be warm and tender caresses, a needed drink of juice, that bar of chocolate to fix the blood sugars, or the warmth of a cozy blanket I think they are all nurturing.

4.  What is top drop?  Is there a similar thing that occurs to sub's (other than subspace)?

I must admit I have never spoken personally to a Top who has shared an experience of this.

But I think the equivalent for a sub is a "crash", not subspace.  I always thought that subspace is a matter of degree as we travel to that special place we get to .... our happy place.  Deepest subspace is the place to whch we travel when all is well and the endorphins are flowing freely.

For me a "crash" happens when I am suddenly pulled from that state in too quick a manner, and that can happen for a variety of reasons ..... including insufficient aftercare (see note above *LOL*) or even an unwarranted distraction in the midst of scene.  It could even be something as simple as a group of people standing near a piece of equipment and talking so loudly that it makes concentration more difficult.  I think a crash could also occur if a flashback happens, or if something suddenly makes one uncomfortable with the 
action taking place - even if it was previously negotiated.  Although the last mentioned has not happened to me personally, I have heard that experience voiced by other submissives when we have discussed such things.

5. Why does top drop or sub [drop] occur?
Hmmmmm ...... I think I also have to say "see above" as I believe I answered this as I woffled on in Question 4!  ~grin~

It's interesting to read the different responses and I hope some of the Dominants and Dominatrices will also share.

I would just like to mention a sort of appendix to Question 2 
though.  I may not always be in a fit state to render aftercare .... 
but I also think that "pre-care" should be mentioned here.  I know that there are certain actions which help T to centre himself, and there are ways I can show him that I value him before we start to play.  I like to think that those little touches perhaps help prevent "Top drop" because they show my love and submission.

Hope that all made sense and didn't seem too long-winded!

gemma

P.S.  Please excuse any typos ...... for some reason the "preview" button seems to be missing from the posting choices tonight!
 

From:  sub beauty 
Date:  Fri Jul 6, 2001  12:45 am
Subject:  Re: Sub and dom aftercare
 

This thread struck a different cord in me, perhaps
something others feel??

What is top drop?  Is there a similar thing that occurs to sub's(other than subspace)?

i have experienced something i call subbie crash and for me it happens a few days after a scene, usually 3 days.
i refer to it as crashing because it feels much like coming down from a high or PMS with attitude, emotions run all over the place with an overall feeling of depression.
Bouts of crying and/or extreme bitchiness are not
uncommon.

Why does top drop or sub [drop] occur?

My best guess is that it is a leveling out of hormones and endorphines but i have no hard evidence to back that up.

What is aftercare?  What actions are performed in aftercare?

When i crash i find the best after care is to talk with the Dom whom i scened with, for me just making the connection with my scene partner helps. Discussing what i am feeling and why and knowing it is ok.

Does it apply to both dom's and sub's?

That i do not know for as i said this is part of my experience but, i have had conversations that lead me to believe that i am not the alone and yes, some Dom's and sub's go through some level of this type of crash.

beauty
 
 

From:  "Lady Sun" 
Date:  Thu Jul 5, 2001  3:36 am
Subject:  Re: Sub and dom aftercare.
 

so, I thought I would share my thought's...

> 1.  What is aftercare?

It's doing anything after the scene that tends to the needs of the 
dom/top and sub/bottom and encourages good feelings! 

> 2.  Does it apply to both dom's and sub's?

Yes, although traditionally the focus has been on the ub/bottom.  If the sub/bottom goes into subspace they might not be able to 
immediately tend to the dominant's/top's needs, but in time - they can.  Such as calling up the dom/top the day after to make sure all is well or thanking the dom/top for sending them to a glorious place or kissing the hand that has just whipped them.

> 3.  What actions are performed in aftercare?

Confirming that all is well.  Thanking each other.  Offering 
water/juice and perhaps a blanket to the submissive.  Hugging and holding.  If the submissive/bottom didn't go into subspace, offering to go get the dom/top water or anything else for that matter.  Finding a chair or comfy couch to settle into after the scene.  Spending a few minutes with each other.  Confirming that everything went well and if it didn't to let the other know.  Calling and checking in on other each other the next day and even up to a few days or more after the scene.  Making sure the "impact" areas on the sub/bottom's body are tended to.  Bringing some chocolate or flowers to present to the dom/top after the scene.  (that's my own wish.. i'm such an old fashioned Girl sometimes... hehe).  It's all really a matter of, "to each their own".. anything that wil make them feel good about the experience.

> 4.  What is top drop?  Is there a similar thing that occurs to 
> sub's(other than subspace)?

I believe Top drop is when one feels empty after a scene.  They might feel that they have put a lot of effort into the scene and have received no thanks or appreciation.  Also, they might think that they haven't 'performed well' or 'feel badly about their sadism' and need reassurance that all is well.  I think that sub's can drop too and it's either due to the endorphin levels being at "normal" levels or because they have went somewhere so deep and they might feel shame or a humbling of spirits.

> 5. Why does top drop or sub [drop] occur?

See above.. hehe.. I wrote my own questions and I can't even answer them properley... lmao...

I have posted these questions to various lists and have found some wonderful feedback, I might just ask all the authors for permission to reprint their answers on my website so that we can get a collection of thought's and opinions on the subject.  It's my belief that there is no one-true-way but there are common elements.  Also everyone presents things a little differently and I know that sometimes I leave stuff out that seem "obvious" to me but might not be "obvious" to other's.

Warm regards,

Lady Sun.
 

If you have thought's to share on "aftercare", please forward your responses to ls@ladysun.info.

From:  "Kerosene (m) & Candles (f)" 
Date:  Wed Jun 27, 2001  11:08 pm
Subject:  Re: [DSSG-Toronto] Sub and dom aftercare.

This topic of conversation is absolutly perfect as we just recently learned about aftercare..(thank goodness for the guidance of a knowledgeable DSSG Domme [Mairsi] !) Let's see how much I can remember from the "lessons"..*S* 

Hmmmm 
where are those notes I took...? *L*

1.  What is aftercare?

allowing the individual to just feel the sensations after a 
scene...relaxing, drifting... allowing time to enjoy and come out of  headspace safely ... a warm safe place...

2.  Does it apply to both dom's and sub's?

Yes.. both can experience headspace and both need a form of aftercare.. although in our experience the "rush" experienced by the sub can be stronger and require more aftercare than that of the Domme/Dom.

3.  What actions are performed in aftercare?

Fluids, fluids, fluids; blanket wrap, stroking.... the word "care" says it all...

4.  What is top drop?  Is there a similar thing that occurs to sub's(other than subspace)?

From what  I have learned, it is similar to sub drop and often occurs the next day after a scene. It can take different forms for different people.  Feelings of depression, mood changes... feeling like something is missing..  longing for your P/playpartner..or can be similar to a hangover (I have a 
friend who experiences this)

5. Why does top drop or sub [drop] occur?

The endorphins and mental state produced can be like a drug..and when a drug is gone.. the withdrawal symptoms set in..

I have been told that this reaction is similar to post natal depression resulting from the disappearance after childbirth of the endorphins which build up in a women during pregnancy, a similar situation is true for the absence of the endorphins after a scening session.

As individuals who are new to BDSM, these were very important topics for us to learn about.. especially to ensure safety and the continued enjoyment of scening....

Looking forward to reading other views on this topic..

Candles

From:  jean@c...
Date:  Wed Jun 27, 2001  6:01 pm
Subject:  Re: Sub and dom aftercare.

Lady Sun: Here is a great article on aftercare from our website: 
http://www.voyeurdungeonlive.com. If you have anyother questions concerning some topics in the BDSM lifestyle, please check out our FAQ's.This should help bring up some good conversation!
Jean
DSSG Tampa
 

The importance of aftercare in a scene 

When we think of "how to's", it is generally the technical details 
that come to mind. A discussion in a chat room changed my mind in a hurry! A number of the subs were talking about aftercare.if it is important.how the lack of aftercare can turn a good scene.and various other opinions on the subject.

It is not only the novice Dom or Top who needs to pay attention to 
aftercare, but anyone who is playing. Responsibility doesn't end when a scene stops, but includes taking care of the physical and emotional needs of the sub/bottom as they return from "sub space". 

It is a good idea to have a robe or blanket handy to wrap the 
sub/bottom in after the scene. After an intense scene, the sub needs time to "come back to earth" and needs to feel cared for. As they are frequently not wearing much, having a robe or blanket to wrap them in while they sip fruit juice or water (and of course are cuddles by their Dom) helps to keep their bodies from going into shock. The majority of subs are in no condition to gather the toys and repack the toy bag directly after the scene. If they are deep in "sub space" they will frequently need to feel the presence of their Dom. Many the time I've had a blanket wrapped sub sitting at my feet as I've repacked the toy bag after a heavy scene! 

While the above is true of a heavy SM scene, one must never discount the need for aftercare in a sensual or sexual D/s or B/d type scene. While it may not appear to be as emotionally draining or endorphin producing, I have found that almost all D/s, B/d or S/m scenes have the need for aftercare in common. As your sub's body trembles, be it from pain, pleasure or sensual stimuli, he/she is experiencing "sub space". The process of going to a place that is pure feeling; emotional, physical and environmental. It isn't rare for a sub to be totally disoriented after even a "light scene". 

Frequently a sub will feel an intense need to be close to his/her 
Dom. They will sometimes appear to be very clingy.This is totally normal and natural. It is one of the wonderful things that happen in 
a great scene! The connection felt during the scene is so deep that when reality starts to intrude, a mental and sometimes physical reaction occurs.

I personally find that most subs and Doms need to eat after a scene. and are usually very thirsty even it is only a light or sensual
scene. Sometimes they don't realize they need the fluids and or food. A heavy scene uses a lot of energy.both for the sub/bottom and the Dom/Top. It has become a practice with myself to have, at the very least, a late breakfast with the bottom and to chat over coffee for a few hours after play. In all cases, it is preferable to ensure that the sub/bottom does not return home to be alone unless they are totally physically and mentally capable. This practice provides us, the Tops, with the "aftercare" we need! YES.Doms/Tops need aftercare too!

From:  "Virago .
Date:  Wed Jun 27, 2001  10:05 pm
Subject:  Sub and dom aftercare
 

Questions From: "Lady Sun"
Responses From: "virago"

1.  What is aftercare?
IMHO aftercare consists of whatever action is necessary following a scene to ensure the safe physical and mental return of the individuals involved in the scene.

2.  Does it apply to both dom's and sub's?
Yes, absolutely.

3.  What actions are performed in aftercare?
Again IMHO it would depend upon the scene.  A heavy scene or one that involved edge play may require different aftercare than a lighthearted fun type of scene.  For instance, if the scene pushed boundaries for either the sub or Domme and was psychologically intense perhaps aftercare would take the form of cuddling, talking lots about what happened in the scene, how each other felt about various things and this may occur over several days. 
If the scene produced any kind of physical trauma such as open wounds (cutting), bruising, burns, etc. then in addition to talking some 'first aid' aftercare would be in order.  A light-hearted fun type of scene may require nothing more than a big hug and a thank you after the scene.  I don't think that there is any one standard or set way to approach aftercare -- the scene and players should dictate what is required.

4.  What is top drop?  Is there a similar thing that occurs to
sub's(other than subspace)?
Hmmmm I'm not 100% sure but, I think this maybe refers to a feeling of emptiness and nothing left to give or a feeling of not getting anything in return.  The person is left without any desire to 'play'. Sure, I think this could apply to either a sub or Domme but more often it is associated with Tops since they are controling the environment.

5. Why does top drop or sub [drop] occur?
I'll take a guess; it occurs when or because a Top/sub has given the scene their everything and perhaps they feel like that effort hasn't been recognized or appreciated.

No doubt if I'm wrong about any of the above someone will kindly speak up and share their thoughts.

LS wrote - I have my own *current* thought's on this and wish to share them if the discussion gets going.

I for one look forward to hearing them.

virago

From: Janet Hardy (janetwhardy@mindspring.com)
Subject: Re: Sub(bottom) & dom(top) aftercare... 
Newsgroups: soc.subculture.bondage-bdsm.femdom
Date: 2001-06-27 11:11:14 PST 

Home sick today, with time to answer the good questions...

Lady Sun wrote:

> 1.  What is aftercare?

It's whatever the parties involved need to do after a scene to feel OK about each other and to help ensure a safe reentry into the "real world."

> 2.  Does it apply to both dom's and sub's?

Absolutely.

> 3.  What actions are performed in aftercare?

Depends on the individuals. The most common ones are physical stuff (water to drink, something to eat, protection against the chilliness/shiveriness that often strikes after a heavy scene) and emotional stuff (cuddling, dozing, verbal reassurances). I've talked to at least a couple of folks, though, for whom ideal aftercare is being tossed harshly into a dank corner and left alone. Doesn't work for me, but it takes all kinds.

> 4.  What is top drop?  Is there a similar thing that occurs to > sub's(other than subspace)?

5. Why does top drop or sub [drop] occur?

Top drop and bottom drop (which does, IME, exist) are partly just letdown after a peak experience -- you've been someplace really wonderful and extraordinary, and it's a big bummer to not be able to be there any more. But at a deeper level, I think they're also a lifetime of conditioning about being "nice" (or, in a bottom's case, "strong and independent") coming back to bite you in the ass. Consciously, you know you've been playing consensually with someone who welcomes your attentions... subconsciously, all you know is that you've been really mean (or, for bottoms, really vulnerable and dependent), and that subconscious guilt can lead to feelings of sadness, depression, even anger -- fights picked in the wake of a successful scene are a common phenomenon for many BDSMers.

Verdant
http://www.greenerypress.com


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