Let me preface this by saying that if you don’t want aftercare, you don’t have to have it. Not everyone needs it, each person and dynamic is going to be different. The ones I’m talking about are those that feel the euphoria from a scene but crash hard afterward and notice that each scene takes more and more of a toll on them.
In conversations with people, both experienced and those who are new to the lifestyle, I found there are a significant amount of both Doms/Dommes and subs who have no clue what aftercare is or how to use it properly. As a switch, I have spent a healthy amount of time in either headspace, which has allowed me to amass a bit of aftercare go-to’s.
This is going to be a list of some of my favorites, the ones I use after almost all of my scenes, and hopefully, they’ll help some of you as well! Most of these are from my point of view as a submissive, but I’ve found they helped me just as much when stepping into the Domme role.
Cuddling. Or any kind of touch, really.
This is one of the most basic ones. The scene ends, everything halts, and you have some sort of physical contact. While I love spooning, I prefer that for sleeping. It just isn’t enough contact for me after a scene. When I think of cuddling after a scene, I think of full-body contact. Depending on the physical demands of the scene, I enjoy having my partner lay completely on top of me. If my ‘rewards’ (bruises or cuts) are too severe to be beneath my partner, I have laid on them and used them as an impromptu mattress. Again, everyone is different. I know some that preferred the laying side-by-side method while having minimal touching to ground themselves. I’ve found that if you have abandonment issues and/or some forms of anxiety like I do, having some physical contact to ground you after a scene can help.
Side note: if you have a pet, that’s a legitimate form of contact and grounding for some as well. I took a lot of comfort after a few scenes by cuddling my big black cat, Dixon, when my partner was unavailable.
Together or alone, it’s your preference. But take the time to clean any wounds, soothe sore muscles, and just take the time to work through what happened. I normally don’t trust my legs in a shower after a scene, and I don’t trust myself not to fall asleep in the tub either, so my preference is to have someone join me in bathing afterward. Safety reasons are my primary motivation for having a partner with me. The potential conversations about future scenes are just a bonus. The reverse is true when I’m in the Domme role. I always offer to join my submissive in the tub or shower or at least be in the room to monitor them. Sometimes I would have a submissive that preferred to shower alone, but enjoyed that I sat on the sink talking to them and that they had someone close in case they felt faint or their legs got weak. However you do it, practice aftercare as safely as possible, please.
Comfort food and replenishment.
This, for me, means my favorite comfort foods. I start with water or a sports drink, a snack to tide me over, and then search out whatever comfort foods I have or can get my hands on. With impromptu scenes I have to rely on whatever I have, but when I get to plan scenes in advance, I would have our favorite snacks and comfort foods at the ready. Whether that’s making sure we can order something, or having the ingredients for something that makes us feel warm and fuzzy after a scene. Again, I tried to make sure of this sort of thing, whether I was the dominant or the submissive, and it is just a small thing that can make your partner happy to have.
Vegging with a partner to favorite movies or animes is a great way to slip into an even more relaxed state. Most of the time I do this combining cuddling and comfort food, but do whatever works for you. Every dynamic is different, and you should do what’s comfortable for you and your partner. I had a dynamic where I curled up in an armchair while my partner watched separately. This is a bit of aftercare for the brain because you can lose yourself for a bit. I have found I come back out of that entertainment in a much better headspace, ready to deal with ‘real life’.
I’ve had one experience with a ‘fake’ partner that wasn’t familiar with aftercare and abandoned me. With that, I found I could comfort myself with a book or my favorite shows. You know, those that you watch over and over whenever you’re in a low place? I find they can help the aftercare along. Even better is when your partner in a scene either loves them, too, or is just curious enough about them to watch them with you.
Praise and encouragement.
Yes, it can be part of a kink, but it’s also good to have because both parties were just in a vulnerable state. I said both. You read that right. The Dom/Domme deserves praise, too. Now that might not be immediate because immediate attention is usually on the submissive (though, as I keep saying, every dynamic and person is different). A Dom/Domme also wants to hear how great they did. They/We want the praise to know that everything was to the sub’s liking and needs. It’s a great boost.
Sounds dumb to list, right? It would surprise you how often this is overlooked. After the scene, I enjoy having this be one of my last bits of aftercare before going back to ‘real’ life or to bed. It’s a time that I usually feel is a safe time to talk about what needs aren’t being met, what I enjoyed most, and to ask what my partner needs. I can trust them to be honest and open with me because of everything we just shared. Dynamics can always change; people do, after all. So needs and desires can change as well. Take even just a few minutes to make sure there’s nothing else they need, want to try, or anything they’re concerned about.
When I first started this lifestyle, I found it difficult to ask what I wanted or tell my partner what I needed. It wasn’t always because they were fake Doms/Dommes. I was also just letting my anxiety get the better of me. What I learned to do was ask if they wanted to try something specific or give them a general term and let them elaborate. My dominants usually understood what I was doing and didn’t press too hard. They would just say they were interested or had done it before and ask if I wanted to. It opened the way for us to talk about future scenes and activities, and it helped ease my anxiety. Hence, I see it as aftercare. Just that reassurance that your wants and needs are accepted and wanted can be a great relief. And that helped me to teach baby submissives and dominants how to communicate as well. Hopefully, if you’re ever having difficulties communicating with your dominant or submissive, this can be a helpful tip to remember. Start vague, soft, prompt your partner, just ease into it. And I hope it’ll help you as well.
This list is not exhaustive by any means or meant to limit anyone, it’s just meant to be a starting point and give people some ideas. If you want to hear more, let me know and I’ll make a part 2 for some more aftercare methods I’ve found!