Facts & Info

BDSM Aftercare: What’s It All About?

Couple Snuggling in Bed

If you’re a dominant or into topping or any extreme kinks and fetishes, hopefully you already know all about BDSM aftercare and are fully engaged in practicing it.

Many loving couples, whether long-term or casual, instinctively practice aftercare after kink, and it’s a healthy part of vanilla sex too.

Simply defined, “aftercare” in a sexual context describes how lovers look after each other as in the aftermath of sex, transitioning from the state of passion back into daily life. It can be as basic as allowing time for a nap before ejecting a lover from your bedroom, or bringing a glass of fruit juice or water, or taking a shower together.

In BDSM play and other kinks and fetishes, a submissive partner needs time and attention to transition from “subspace” back onto independent ground.

What are Sub Space and Sub Drop?

Many submissives enter an altered psychological and physical state during sex that gives up their agency to the dominant partner. Subspace is often described as a blissful or transcendent state where endorphins are at play. As subs exit that place, they need time and care to safely come out of it.

Since the “drop” of endorphins can sometimes feel psychologically jarring, like coming off of a drug high or waking from a deep sleep, the transition needs to be safe and comfortable.

Read: Subspace and Aftercare for Submissives

Dominant lovers also experience intense emotions and altered psychological states that may require a resting phase or other gentle transition state.

Aftercare practice is not limited to BDSM or kink, although it may be more instinctual (showering, water, snuggling) and not defined per se. But most of us have had a jarring experience where after a state of heavenly bliss, we were shown the door too soon, so we know when aftercare is missing!

20+ BDSM Aftercare Practices

  • providing a safe, unrushed space and time for relaxation as lovers “resurface” and renew
  • paying attention through physical touch, such as snuggling, afterplay, kissing, massage
  • wrapping submissive partners (or anyone who feels cold or exposed) in warm blankets
  • napping alone or together
  • showering, fresh towels and clothing
  • drinking water or tea or juice, or eating a light snack
  • journaling your experience
  • meditating in silence
  • stretching or yoga
  • removing BDSM paraphernalia from the space or changing space
  • massaging with soothing lotions or moisturizers
  • treating any wounds or painful body parts with appropriate first aid practices and medications
  • taking painkillers or vitamins or electrolyte beverages
  • talking through any discomfort, shame, or emotional experiences
  • connecting with cats or dogs or other pets
  • breathing fresh air during a walk together, or opening windows
  • reading to each other, or talking, or listening to music (some like to watch travel documentaries or comedies on TV, for a neutral transition of headspace from sex to planet earth)
  • practicing extended aftercare if necessary (intense scenes might need a few days for recovery, which might mean follow-up phone calls, staying together, or an aftercare “babysitter”)
  • providing a ride home, or calling a taxi or Uber
  • checking in on each other later or the next day
  • administering medical attention if necessary

How much aftercare and what kind is required varies greatly. Generally speaking, planning for some time and space after sex to just be together, to look after each other until both or all are good to go is what’s needed. You don’t want to be rushed, and you don’t want to be detached and separated too soon.

Tell us how you make BDSM aftercare wonderful in the comments below.

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