Aftercare & Post-Scene Processing

General Encounter Framework - 6, 7, 8 - After The Scene

This post is part of a series that begins with BDSM Encounters – A Framework.

The time immediately after you have completed your scene is very important.  It is these few minutes that can affirm that the scene was a wonderful experience or can sour what had otherwise been great.  It is in these moments that you reaffirm each participant.  Confirming that the bottom did well, reassuring the Top that the bottom enjoyed themselves and wanted what they experienced.

These moments recognize the humanity in all of us and help bring us back to ourselves.

Everyone will have different needs for aftercare.  You need to make sure you cover this during negotiation so that you know and can meet those needs.

Coming Down and Immediate Aftercare

  • Aftercare – Make sure everyone is feeling okay and back to a normal state of mind. Do as you discussed while planning. Take care of each other.
  • Physical care – Address any strain or injury.
  • “It looks like you have some rope marks. Hand me that lotion, let’s massage those for a while.”
  • “Wow you were in that position a long time. Here is some water. Drink more water tonight and it may help to take your preferred painkiller to reduce potential muscle soreness tomorrow.”

Over-the-counter pain medications (particularly ibuprofen and naproxen) help reduce inflammation and soreness that may be felt from micro-tears in muscle fibers that may happen if muscles have been stretched or put under stress beyond what they normally experience. Note, however, that aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen also tend to thin the blood a little (acetaminophen does not). If your partner is taking any medication that would conflict with a painkiller like this (prescription blood thinners, for example), it is critical that they follow all medical directives/limitations associated with their other medication.

Woman wearing white under a green blanket, snuggling into the chest of a man wearing black

Later … Post-Scene Processing

You have been through an experience. You will be mentally and emotionally processing that experience, perhaps for several days. You also may have had various hormones and neurotransmitters rushing through your system due to what you experienced.

It is entirely normal to experience heightened emotions for a few days or to feel what we call “drop” (“Top drop”, “sub drop”). This is when you feel a little depressed. This is a common reaction to the highs that you felt. It is easy for some people to confuse this mostly physiological process with regret. If you are playing with someone new, make sure they understand that this might happen and that it is a normal physiological reaction that will pass. Invite them to contact you to discuss it if they wish, or offer to reach out to them in a few days to check in with them if they would like you to.  (Don’t just tell them you will do so however, tell them you would be happy to do so and ask them if they would like you to.)

After you have had time to process, try to have a debriefing conversation together.

  • Discuss experiences, observations, and reactions.
  • Assume positive intent.
  • Be honest and clear, have a mindset of receptivity and growth.
  • “What would have made that even better?”
  • “Is there anything that didn’t work as well for you?”
  • How did you feel when I… ?
  • You seemed to react in a (x) way when I did (y); what was running through your mind at that point?
  • Use “I feel” and “I felt” statements when describing your own experience.
  • Note lessons learned, positive and negative.
  • Decide if you want to continue to play with that person.
  • Update your notes on that person so you don’t forget what you learned about them, how their body works, and their reactions to the things you tried. Use that to improve next time.

Next… Continuing Your Rope Education

Continuing Your Rope Education

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