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Feb 22, 2023

What aftercare looks like for you

We asked Feeld members to share their go-to aftercare rituals.

Aftercare is the care and attention partners give to each other after engaging in BDSM and other sex. Following our how-to guide to aftercare, we asked the Feeld community to share their go-to rituals. There were many common threads (cuddling, drinking water), and a few unique practices, proving that aftercare can look like many different things.

Aftercare can be emotional

“I often cry after sex. Good aftercare for me is someone who holds me during that, rubs my back, and tells me I'm okay.”

“We sit and talk it out. Then we do something to reconnect, like play video games or go out for dinner.”

“Reassuring them they're so much more than their role in a scene.”

“Aftercare means letting your partner know that you appreciate the moment and intensity they shared with you, and that they know they're safe and valued regardless of what may have just happened.”

“Being able to talk about anything that occurred during sexual engagement, whether that is physical, mental, or awkward.”

“Aftercare to me means communication. Checking in is so important, because my/their needs could be different [after] each experience.”

Aftercare can be physical

“As a massage therapist, I like to incorporate massage into my aftercare.”

“Cuddles, chilling, hydration, and being attentive to my partner. Sometimes chocolate.”

“A cup of warm tea/cocoa/milk, a plushie, and soft blanket, combined with my affection and affirmation as needed.”

“Ideally cuddling, and a bit of talking about funny stuff. Then we eat something sweet like cookies.”

“After a rope scene, I would wrap my partner in her special blanket on the mat, and place my foot against her to maintain contact while I coiled my rope up. Then when I was finished cleaning up from the scene, we would head to the aftercare room at our dungeon for cuddles.”

“For me, aftercare looks like cuddling and hugging/holding each other while laying together, preferably skin-to-skin, and usually on the floor or bed. This also helps to ground me after such intense energy has been flowing through me. Rehydration is also really important. I squirt — sometimes a lot — so aftercare also involves drinking lots of water.”

“I love to smoke a joint and watch a wildlife documentary while cuddling with my partner after a particularly intense scene.”

Aftercare isn’t always “after”

“It's not after, it's part of the experience. Sex begins well before my clothes come off, and ends well after we part ways.”

“My aftercare routine, based on gradual learning, means I'll have water available before getting busy, so that I don't have to leave my partner prematurely.”

Aftercare can be for doms

“When I top, I typically want to feel received and appreciated to help reinforce the connection between myself and my partner, especially after heavy scenes. I seek to make sure they know the truth of my feelings, care, and love regardless of what we just did together. Top drop is also a thing, and I like to enjoy aftercare with my partner to make sure I'm also taking care of myself.  Knowing they are receiving my aftercare is how they can take care of me.”

“Often my dom will need aftercare too! For him it's the chance to reground, and if he ever feels unsure or even guilty for the pleasure he's experienced (we're talking for more extreme kinks here) then I can also reassure him. So space (sometimes a teeny bit of distance but then proximal), reassurance, water, snacks, a blanket, and a good bit of pillow talk.”

Aftercare can be self-care

“For me, it's parallel play: existing in the same space, doing different activities. Eventually, I will want cuddles, but I will reconnect on my terms.” 

“Self grounding. Ice cream, movies, huddled up in blankets in my room, playing guitar and serenading myself. This is my self-aftercare.”

Aftercare can change

“What aftercare looks like for me depends entirely on the scene I just finished. Sometimes all I need is to lie down by myself and linger in the feeling of how wonderfully sore my ass is. Sometimes I like to cuddle and chat with my play partner to connect with them on a different level.”

“My aftercare routine changes based on partners and their needs but I usually insist on fruit, some form of beverage, cuddling, and chatting. Sugar and hydration are proven to help reduce drop.”

Aftercare can help transition back to reality 

“I think aftercare is a return to ‘real life’ after a kinky scene. It's dropping roles and names, and validating feelings and discussing experiences, getting feedback or giving praise. It's a reminder that what happened isn't the dynamic that you're going to have with your partner when you get up and go get dinner. And sometimes it's just cuddles that make you feel close to your person and safe and intimate and loved.”

“Aftercare for me looks like cleaning up the things that need to be cleaned in order to be comfortable, getting some beverages, and ensuring that all parties involved come down properly and safely. I personally like to lay down with my play partner(s) and talk about the scene that has just finished, check in to make sure that everything was okay, and that I didn't miss anything during play, and provide whatever physical contact we are both comfortable with at the time (hugs, kisses, cuddles, hand holding, or none if that is preferred.)”

“Very vanilla and tender, regardless of the dynamics of what we just did: I want to be held, cuddled, and share some gentle words. Then, I prefer to check in via text the next day, and I always ask for this beforehand, even if I'm unlikely to see the person again.”

“After care looks like the opposite of the scene that just ended. If I did impact, I then caress and give soothing sensations and light kisses to the areas. If I degrade, I reaffirm that I don't really think they're a slut, and that I do love them. If I did bondage, I take the time to touch where the cuffs or the rope was.” 

“Aftercare for me means winding down from play with the same care and sincerity that goes into the build-up. It means striking the set, and putting away the roles. It's about being thankful and reinforcing the cooperative nature of consent and rejoining ourselves as whole people, outside of the play space.”

Aftercare can be pizza

“My aftercare is pizza.” 

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