Oct 072014

A is for Aftercare:

I never felt comfortable asking for aftercare. I was of the thought that if the D-type that I played with offered aftercare, then I would gladly accept it. I never wanted to tell anyone that I needed it. I experienced the patting of arms on backs in an insincere, sideways hug. No actual comfort exchanged. A show for those who no longer noticed.

The thought of someone counting the minutes as they offered disingenuous support made me throw up a little in my mouth. Hence, I wasn’t going to ask anyone for anything. Besides, I didn’t know any aftercare etiquette. Was there aftercare etiquette? With a little research during conversations, the answer continued to remain relative to each person’s needs, and the situation.

Sometimes a fucking amazing scene can clean me out. I’ve seen myself in a mirror. My make-up is always exactly 3 inches to the right of where I originally applied it. I don’t drink water like a normal person. It dribbles down one side of my chin or another. I don’t need to sit down. I need to lay down. Hair up, off my neck. On my belly, spread out. I’m a hot mess. I didn’t need aftercare then. I needed Jesus.

Once, I stayed in suspension for almost an hour while friends were inside, partying. When I was earthbound, I couldn’t have been any more chill had I smoked the rope. The only aftercare I needed was a seat on the couch and my friends to entertain me.

That’s not to say that I’ve worked past “how to do aftercare.” I have 352 unanswered questions about aftercare. Here’s what I do know. Pre-scene, I never know if I’ll want it or not. Sorry, that’s no help. Doms that expect me to be up and off to get the cleaning materials, water for him, cleaning the furniture, we probably can’t play. Nothing against those D-types, but I want to enjoy what ever space that I’m in. That’s hard to do when you’re swallowing it, walking in one shoe towards the water table.

Dec 172012

I don’t know how many times that I’ve recently told a new s-type or even a new D-type that aftercare is an important part of a scene. Some people may not need it at all, but it’s still important to ask. It’s not something that you want falling on your head after a wonderful scene… or especially after a shitty one.

I played a lot this weekend. It was actually the first time that I’ve played in quite a while. It was definitely the first time I’ve played to that extent. I’ve scened in ways that others in our group have not. Our local group is fairly new and still growing in numbers and experience. I want our members to have every opportunity available. I want everyone to learn and grow because that’s why they’re coming here.

During the time that I haven’t been playing, I’ve been focusing on telling the people in the group I help run what I wish I would have known. With every friend that I’ve made and with any amount of my advice that they’ve taken, I’ve secured that as a notch in my own brain. I’m beating it into my own head as well.

Know what you want.

I know what I want.

Don’t be afraid to speak up.

I’m not afraid to speak up.

Somewhere in there, in telling everyone what they could do, what they had the right to do – I lost myself for a minute. One of the last things that I had discovered about myself before I took a break from playing was discovering the need I have when it comes to my own aftercare. I spent a good amount of time with that fucking aftercare battle. Through trial and error, that was the only thing missing and the only thing that worked when I got it. Unfortunately, I never asked for it, but I learned that I needed the fuck out of it.

My recent play has taught me a few things. One of them being – I can take a lot more pain than I thought. For some reason, I equated what I took, with what I needed. I never once mentioned my aftercare.  I just kept right on going.  I slipped right back into that old mentality.  Hell, maybe I thought I was cured from needing aftercare! Like… if you get to a certain point and you won’t need it anymore. I think it’s much more likely that this was the first few times that I was being tested on something that I knew I needed to do… and I failed.  I didn’t open up. I was a fucking stone. Stones sink.

I won’t safeword.

I don’t need anything.

….and I didn’t.

This weekend I let someone else have my aftercare.  I saw it. I never spoke up. That part of me slipped right back in and I never realized it and I never questioned it. I just slowly…sank.  It was something that I thought I had overcome. Obviously not, but now I know.  Now I’ll fight the shell that it used to put myself in. I know better, and I believe that’s a step in the right direction, but that shitty way that it makes you feel – I can’t make that go away. I keep asking myself why …Why did I not notice, speak up, go to someone – anyone?

I hate aftercare.

May 162010

When I first found the BDSM lifestyle I quickly realized that I connected more to the D/s side that the S/m side. Although I’m discovering more about how the pain and pleasure of play suit me with each new experience, there’s no doubt that it’s the exchange of power and energy that I crave, even within the realm of play. I make no bones about it, loss of control is my main fetish. It’s on any profile I have. It’s the main topic in the majority of my writing. I often say that I don’t want to exchange power, I want it stripped from me. Although quite a bit of negotiation goes into S/m play, once those negotiations have been set, I tend to let go, trusting in the hands I’ve put myself in as long as the energy is good.

When I was brand new and learning the most basic terminologies of  the lifestyle and the subject of ‘aftercare’ was introduced to me, it was explained as a basic ‘chill out time’ after play that some people needed and some didn’t. The first time I received it and the first time I didn’t, I quickly realized it was much more than that.

Because loss of control is such a big part of play and my headspace, I tend to stay in that headspace through the time after play. I’ve never really voiced any opinion of aftercare, just going with the flow of how the Dom I’m with wants to work. If he gives, I love it. If he doesn’t, it’s a huge letdown, but I don’t say anything. I’ve always just eaten that sad feeling and been grateful for what good came of the play, feeling as if he had wanted to hold me, he would have. I struggle with that… asking for physical closeness. I never want to have to ask for that, especially as a submissive. It seems too strange. Afterall, if I’ve submitted to play with a Dom and he actually wanted to hold me afterwards, wouldn’t he?

While thinking about this post over the past few days I’ve started to realize how important aftercare really is to me, although I’ve always had a hard time expressing it and that’s mainly due to my issues with being held and touched by people who I weren’t sure wanted to hold or touch me. I’ve posted before about how hard it is for me to express my emotional needs. If someone doesn’t want to hold me then I would never want them to. I can’t imagine stating aftercare as a need and someone holding me who would rather not be giving aftercare. I pick up on that energy and aftercare gone bad would ruin even the best of scenes for me.

In a perfect world, I’d like for aftercare to be comforting and secure. After coming down, I enjoy discussing different aspects of the scene and reinforcing a positive experience for both myself and the Dom. Being held and shown tenderness after an intense scene is reassuring to me  as long as it’s never rushed, always sincere, and just as important for the Dom as it is for me.