Aftercare is mandatory for subs.
Where do I start?
It was a long journey for me to learn about the concept of aftercare and dropping. I believe those two often go hand in hand.
When I was a new sub, I obviously didn’t know anything about it. And as I learned and understood the importance of it, I often came in conntact with dominant men, who had no idea when I mentioned “aftercare” or “subdrop”.
During my first interactions in d/s I didn’t consciously receive aftercare. Thinking back, I might have, but I’m not sure. And now that I think about it, I start wondering whether I’d have specific things I’d like for aftercare, if I had known about it from the start.
Is aftercare for subs mandatory?
Is aftercare mandatory?
I don’t believe it is. It really is about the moment and the people involved. Not every sub needs aftercare. And definitely not all the time. And of course there’s more than one way for aftercare.
I was always confused when a partner asked me what I need for aftercare. Chocolate? A blanket? Ice cream? I’ve never used any of those. Aftercare for me wasn’t something one can touch or hold or eat.
I rarely use food for comfort. And I only recently found the joy of having a stuffed animal to hold when I miss Sir.
In my opinion, aftercare isn’t mandatory. But the option to have it, offer it, provide it, isn’t. Aftercare should be discussed as thoroughly as safewords and limits and all the other stuff that happens before.
I don’t need aftercare every time I play. Maybe it is because I have learned to cope and care for myself. Seeing how I act and cope outside of d/s could also suggest that is just the way I am and I work throught stuff myself. Saying that I’m strong enough to not need aftercare is wrong. Needing and wanting it has nothing to do with strength. At all.
For me it’s a little bit like asking for help. I don’t do that, unless I really have to and know that the person I’m asking is able to provide the help and assitance I need.
I’m writing this post, while Sir sits next to me. I knew what I wanted to write on this topic for a while now. But about 5 minutes ago, I started reconsidering. He sat down next to me, looked at me and said he he one question. He asked: “Where’s your collar?”
It was still in the bedroom. He took it off during the night, because I had trouble sleeping while wearing it. And it wasn’t back on. But that’s beside the point. After he asked me his question, he reached over, placed his hand on my throat and squeezed for a bit.
After he released his grip, I reached for his hand, and held it in place, with my eyes still closed. I needed a minute. And that was the moment I started reconsidering my thought of rarely needing aftercare.
I rarely need aftercare, because I’m not used to having it, because I can do it myself, because of probably 1.000 more reasons. But maybe I should allow myself to receive aftercare and take it. Take all the time I need and as much of it as I need. Aftercare for me might not be chocolate or a blanket. I know start to understand that for me it’s being held and told that I’m loved – for as long as I need it.
Oh and by the way: Doms need aftercare too. That’s not just a phrase. It’s true and I believe, it’s something that is very often overlooked and not taken seriously.
Follow-up care can vary, but it is needed. Especially the psychological aspect.
I think that follow-up care is still needed. The question is which one. This should be agreed in advance.