Sexual Aftercare in BDSM and beyond: What it means and why everyone should try it


What is Aftercare?


Basically, caring for a partner after a round of kinky sex. Most commonly, the submissive part. Making sure they are physically and mentally comforted after a session.


The chemistry of kinky sex


Great highs can come with great crashes! When engaged in impact play, our brains liberate great doses of serotonin and adrenaline. After all, there’s a great deal of anticipation involved in kinky play - and when pain is added to the mix, the brain is flooded with a powerful cocktail of hormones. This spike in emotions is followed by a crash from the natural high - something called a drop.


Drop symptoms can range from sadness, to feelings of worthlessness, anxiety, loss of appetite and others. Drops don’t necessarily occur right after play either! The symptons can come up to 24 hours after sex.


This is one reason why aftercare is so important in BDSM. It’s used to help subs - and even doms - by “cushioning” the drop, and allowing the brain to ease into its “rest state” once

again.


Aftercare can be great for everyone

romantic aftercare bdsm artwork by Kinky Karrot

Did something ring a bell? Feeling the post-coital blues is not exclusive to the kinky community! A lot of people report sadness after sex while engaging in “vanilla” play too. One survey in 2015 found that 46% of women felt these feelings of sandess and anxiety after sex at least once. After all, sex does powerful things to the brains of all of us, so it’s only natural we feel confused afterwards. For people with vaginas, this can be aggravated by the plasure gap, which makes sex often unsatisfying.


So it’s clear aftercare is a great practice to adopt, even if you are not looking to experiment with whips and chains right now. It can better one’s sex life, improve communication, and deepen the connection and intimacy between partners - even if casual.




“Was it good for you?” Talking about sex makes you better at it


Aftercare not only means making people feel safe and comfortable after an intense sexual experience - it’s also about unpacking sexual practices and mutually debriefing.


Okay… “Debriefing” might not be the sexiest word to use in pillowtalk, but the reality is; being honest about what works or not in bed is a huge tool in having a more satisfying sex life. Especially when we are talking about kinky sex. After all, when going into “harder” practices, there is a lot to process… And talking about it while the memory is still fresh can be super useful.


So there you have it. The goal of aftercare is to assure an easy “come down” after intense sexual activity, as well as create a safe space in which people can talk about what they liked or didn’t like about it.


Now, how to go about it? Let’s dive into some of the specific techniques used in aftercare - starting with those catered for subs.






Some common aftercare techniques

  • Talking about the experience and decompressing -Sometimes, BDSM experiences can be quite intense, and even touch upon past traumas. Especially after trying something new for the first time, it’s worth asking your partner if they would like to talk about the experience and how it made them feel.

  • Caring for wounds - Some impact play can leave bruises and wounds. Catering to them is one of the number one things to do in aftercare, especially after a hard session. Having a small first-aid kit comes in handy. Painkillers are also helpful!

  • Offering liquids/food - After a long time of dominance/submissive play, subs can be left dehydrated. Offering water and food is always a good idea. Bananas are a good source of potassium if they like them!

  • Bubble baths - Feeling cozy and fresh after a hard activity with lots of fluids can be just what someone needs to ease into the drop.

  • Warm clothes - Why not leave some fluffy pajamas handy? After strenuous sexual activity, comfy clothes can be delightful.

  • Watching something - Why not ask them what they would like to watch? Their favorite movie or series can be the perfect remedy to fight post-coital blues.

  • Alone time - Some people decompress better when left alone, and that’s why they might need private time after a session to recover and process what just happened.


Important to notice: Everyone is different, and aftercare should be tailored to the specific needs of people involved. Again, communication is key! Always make sure to listen to one another so the aftercare rituals can be fit for everyone involved.



Aftercare for Doms


Thinking aftercare is exclusive for subs is a common misconception. After all, it takes a LOT of work for doms to be involved in the play - especially if they are creating situations that are very controlling. The physical and mental engagement can leave doms drain and exhausted, and they benefit just as much from aftercare time. Also - they experience chemical drops, too!

Some good techniques

Basically, all techniques used for subs can be used with doms too. Cuddling and massages can be a good way for them to be in touch with their vulnerability again, after having to maintain control for an extended period of time. Doms can also be very insecure about performance after a session - and for this reason words of affirmation can be very helpful for them.


The most important thing, as always, is to maintain an open communication channel so both subs and doms can talk about their needs - both while in bed and in aftercare. And remember! Just like sex, aftercare practices must always be consensual.

homosexual couple aftercare gay art by Kinky Karrot

Conclusion


The importance of pillowtalk is kind of implied in the sexual dynamics of our society. However, we have built the false notion that being taken care of after sex is something that is not bound to happen in casual sexual encounters.


The practice of aftercare shows just how important it is to consider the emotions involved in sexual activity, and how embracing them can lead to a more fulfilling and satisfying sexual life. In being able to communicate our needs, we also manage to pay more attention to them, and therefore, can understand ourselves better.


Aftercare can also deepen connection between partners. Kinky or not, we can all borrow some lessons from it! You can apply some simple techiniques to start incorporating aftercare into your sex life - and start by asking your partner how do they usually feel after sex, and investigate which practices could work for both of you!

Do YOU practice aftercare? Have you tried different techniques? What is your experience? We would love to hear from you! Tell us the whole story in the comment section on the very bottom of this page!