As more and more new people join the Kink Community on the edges and middle of the pandemic, the more I realize how little knowledge some are stepping into this world with. I recently wrote about pain processing in kink. Today, I want to briefly discuss the aftermath of a scene.
When we say the word scene, generally we are talking about an agreed-upon period of time between two or more people, wherein they perform some negotiated kink experience. It may be impact, it may be needles, or humiliation, or any one of a number of kinks that people share.
As I discussed in my post on pain, the body of the receiver in this event is likely experiencing some chemical side effects, brought to them courtesy of their brain. Adrenaline and endorphins are a potent cocktail. When the activities we engage in trigger those chemical responses, it can be a heady experience. Often, the person who has experienced them will be slightly euphoric or “spacey” afterwards. Some people refer to “subspace,” but I prefer more scientific explanations of what is happening.
Because that can be a sensation that feels different for different people, some find it disorienting. Others feel “loopy” or giggly. Some will need to come out of that headspace gradually, while others prefer a more abrupt return to reality. The period of time after the scene has ended is often called aftercare.
Aftercare looks different based on who you ask. Some people want a blanket and cuddles, some want a stuffie and chocolate. I want a high five and to be told I was a good girl. Some take an hour to gradually ease out of that headspace, others want to giggle away in a group of friends. In some cases, people may prefer that aftercare be administered by someone they didn’t scene with, such as a friend or relationship partner. It is important to include negotiations for the kind of aftercare you need when you are discussing a scene with a potential partner.
If you don’t know what you need for aftercare because you are newer to this, it may be a part of your journey which requires experimentation. Ask yourself following a scene what would bring you comfort. Prepare for many scenarios, such as bringing a favorite comfortable item of clothing to change into, an emotional attachment object, a protein bar, or a sugary snack you enjoy in order to give yourself options when the time comes.
If you are a more experienced kinkster and know that you’ll be having a scene with less experienced players, perhaps consider packing an emergency aftercare bag with some basics in it, in case it is something they aren’t familiar with, or don’t know yet what they need. It isn’t a terrible idea to have things on hand that help others. That’s part of why I always carry a mini first aid kit with me to the dungeon, despite it having three available. My band-aids are cuter.
Please remember, even though there are tops who will hand you off to someone else for aftercare because it isn’t their thing, the important part is finding healthy ways to transition yourself back to life as the chemicals leave the body – and keep these things in mind for the possible drop following after the chemicals break down even further. What you need is what you need during this process.
Knowledge is power, and by understanding what we need on our kink journeys, we give ourselves an amazing gift.