Round Table Discussions
Aftercare to me is vital in any sort of BDSM scene where the bottom or the one who is experiencing the play hits what many call "subspace." I know there are by the book definitions out there but to me it is a HUGE release of endorphin, stress, and a content euphoria.
To give a small example I recently got involved in the local BDSM community and after an intense spanking scene, yes, I actually love and live what I write, I hit the sweet spot. The gentleman who topped me talked me through the scene and kept checking on my awareness throughout. Before I got "high" the last thing I heard him ask was, "Are you still with me?" I mumbled something close to 'yes' and he replied, "You won't be for long."
True to the above statement I hit an incredible place. The next thing I remember I was curled up on his girlfriend's lap sobbing. She was running her hands through my hair and he was feeding me cookies and water while someone else had gotten blankets to wrap around me.
Now, the above scene may not sound hot while you are deeply involved in a story but any book I read that has the bottom/sub/slave/ect reach his/her happy place then jump up and be involved in something else is quite frankly bull shit.
I did not know it before but now I want to read some mention of it. The Dom/Top/Master/Alpha what-have-you should at least acknowledge some sort of aftercare. If you gloss over it and say something along the lines of, "Master Kingston held Polly close to him and offered comforting words and cuddles as she came down from her rush." Ect, ect, ect...
If you want to skip over it then have the scene end with the high and go to the next chapter. Honestly. I do not believe from what I have personally experienced over the last few months that someone can reach the level I am referring to and not need anything.
I have seen it is different for each person and the care should be talked about prior. If for example you know you need blankets and chocolate (a wonderful invention that tastes like heaven when you are flying and can help with low blood sugar though varies from person to person) then you need to let your top know this.
It is my belief you should talk about this with your top so you both ensure good care. Going back to my example I had played previously and had hit a mild level and needed to be tended to but it was not realized at the time. It was no one's fault and it taught me to understand I will probably need a good amount to get back on my feet.
For me it is very important that the top is the one taking care of me. This shows he/she is tuned in to your needs and is not passing you off to play more.
*Please note some tops also need after care*
I have yet to top in my community but I imagine after you are confident the bottom is handled and he/she assures you of such that you personally will need someone to help you. I cannot offer more but it is something I am looking to research.
I do have questions - You didn't know this was Q&A did you?
Have you ever topped? (In a dungeon setting, bedroom, playroom, ect)
If so: Did you need aftercare? Did you receive it?
Have you ever needed care and not received it? What did you do?
The very first time I played in my community I did not get any care at all. I had experienced fire play (very soothing) and though the rush was not as intense as I thought it would be I needed serious cuddles and blankets afterwards. I did have amazing friends to do this for me but it should not fall on others as they may not know what you need/want/crave.
Overall this is a fascinating topic for me as I only recently learned about it and I hope to learn more. I have a few very BDSM type of ideas for novels floating around and I want my stories to be sexy and accurate!
Be sure to check out all of the Round Table Participants.