For the first decade of my exploration in the kink scene, whenever I heard about Aftercare it was in the context of something the dominant was supposed to provide to the submissive. It was very clear, due to the tone and nature of any discussion about Aftercare that there was definitely “One Twue Way” of doing it, and if you didn’t do it that way (or gasp! didn’t do it at all) your dominance skills were immediate suspect.
Thankfully the aftercare discussion has broadened quite a bit since then to acknowledge the wide spectrum of desires and experiences. Here are some of my thoughts on Aftercare as it relates to humiliation play.
Submissives are not the only kinksters that need aftercare.
It takes a lot of energy, passion, planning and gumption to be a Dominant and there is often a mix of emotions afterwards. Top Space is a very real thing and Top Drop seriously sucks.
Psychological aftercare and physical aftercare are not always the same thing.
Often when a scene includes heavy impact play, or predicament bondage or the pushing of physical boundaries in any way then there’s going to be some specific aftercare needs for that. Chocolate, cuddles and/or warm blankets or water all might be needed after a scene. Psychological aftercare needs are different. It might include being told that you’re a good person or that your partner is proud of you.
Immediate aftercare and a more long term check-in make the healthiest combination.
Especially if you’re new to this type of play or new to playing with each other. Our feelings about our experiences can change after reflection and thought. So what was a fantastic scene may become more emotionally complicated as time goes on. It’s helpful for you to be able to talk about any of those changes.
It’s important that you discuss aftercare needs before the scene even starts, so that you can plan for any extra time needed beyond the time for the actual play. It can be damaging and frustrating to finish up a scene and then realize there’s not enough time or emotional space for the aftercare everyone needs.
Remember, there’s a different between an aftercare plan and a trigger plan. An aftercare plan is for when everything goes right. A Trigger Plan is for when everything goes wrong.