Aftercare is an essential part of any type of BDSM whether it is a long drawn out scene or a simple spanking when the kids aren’t home. It makes the end of playtime a much more comforting experience and can be a great time for bonding with your partner(s.) As a submissive I know that being held and loved and being able to slowly drift out of subspace and knowing I’m safe is just an amazing feeling. But to me, even in my own relationship, it feels like aftercare is mostly directed towards the submissive. However if you stop for a moment and think about it, dominants or tops need their own version of aftercare as things can be quite demanding on them as well. The questions to ask though are A) do they get that aftercare and B) how can we improve upon the idea of aftercare for them so they get something out of it?
My partner and I have discussed this particular topic more than once and sometimes the aftercare for them is simply being able to take care of me. That helps them come back to center and feel more settled. But I often wonder if I, as a submissive, am doing enough to help them get there because many times I’m a shaking puddle of happiness, drifting through subspace and that makes it hard for me to do much beyond hold onto them and tell them that I love them. Repeatedly. Maybe that is what they need most in that moment. Sometimes, however, they need some space to put themselves back together and that’s OK too. Usually I get a drink and cuddles and they make sure I’m alright before giving me a blanket and ensuring that I know they won’t be far and I can always call out to them if I need them. That is another thing that works for us. What works for us might not work for you.
On the flip side, perhaps you are the submissive who considers things like getting your dominant a drink and making sure their needs are met could be part of your aftercare too. Perhaps you arrange things before hand to make it easy, which is great for planned things, but harder for more spontaneous play (unless you’re super organized and always keep things ready for when anytime becomes playtime.) However you do it I think that finding a way to take care of a top, just as they take care of a submissive is an important thing in any relationship, no matter how serious or casual things are between the people involved.
Aftercare means different things to different people and it can vary so widely that I don’t want to attempt to guess at what it means for you personally. I do want to suggest that readers take a long look at how they practice aftercare and see if there’s a way things can be different that might allow the dominant person to receive more or better aftercare as it seems to be good for them as well. If they are struggling to be grounded after a scene, what can you do to help them come back to center? Do they need touch and closeness? Do they need space? And lastly, how can you combine the aftercare for a submissive with the aftercare of a dominant in a way that allows the people involved to all get what they need?