Aftercare is so very important. People say after care is for the sub but personally it reassures me that Mont and I are still okay Jadetiger

For me giving her aftercare afterwards is like giving myself aftercare, it lets that caringness soothe me as well Anon

We both needed aftercare and while I know pet needed it, I think I benefited more so from that aftercare session than any other Sensual Sadist

As I have mentioned and explored in other blogs, aftercare and subdrop issues are mostly thought of when talking about submissives. But here I want to look at aftercare for dominants, and look at the following questions. * What is domdrop? * What is top guilt? * What is Mistress fatigue? * If my Dom/me needs aftercare, what do I do? * Advice for fledging Dom/mes on “drop”, guilt and aftercare * Aftercare for D/s couples

AFTERCARE FOR THE DOMINANT

“When submissive guys are forging their ideal cruel relentless Dommes I suspect the idea that those ferocious icons may need care after a drain session never passes through their mind. It wasn’t part of my fantasy life” (Richard Evans Lee)

Richard’s words are SO true, lol. The subject of aftercare for dominants is rarely discussed. Most kinksters hold a similar view to Wikipedia: “The dominant is responsible for helping the sub through subdrop … for the dominant, the care of their submissive should be paramount, and maintaining control of oneself at all times is integral to taking that care”. Wiki’s aftercare entry reconfirms this: “Aftercare is the process of attending to an s-type (submissive, slave, bottom, etc) after intense activities of a physical, and/or psychological nature relating to BDSM activities”. While terms like subspace and subdrop are commonly recognised and utilized in the kinky community, “domdrop” is a much more rarely heard term. Raising the subject around some people will invoke questions and misunderstandings the word domdrop with a small “d” just looks … like a piece of candy. Something sweet to stick in onnes mouth. But domdrop is very real indeed.

ABOUT DOMDROP

“didn’t have the label for it, had no-one to talk it through with, didn’t expect it … but it hit me like a runaway bus!”

“Drop” is an extremely personal experience. We have discussed subdrop in various aftercare posts, which also mentioned  how many subs never experienced it. Domdrop is the same as a Dom, I generally don’t experience any ill effects after the ride. My focus is entirely on my sub and there needs. I am tired or drained but that is mostly it, but then on occasions like today after a great session last night I feel a drop unlike my normal tiredness. I feel low and drained unable to move and unwilling to do anything. The problem is that so little has been written about domdrop that kinksters don’t recognize it when it occurs.

Kerri

“I remember bottoming to a Top and afterwards we were sitting together and I said, “I’m fine. I don’t need aftercare.” and he looked at me and said, “Yeah, but I do.” It was quite thoughtless of me to just think that because I was okay, he was to”

RavenMuse

“The day after [a great session] I got the Domdrop. Didn’t have the label for it, had no-one to talk it through with, didn’t expect it… but it hit me like a runaway bus!”

Fetish Diva Midori (in her essay “Aftercare: healing better to play harder”) is one of the very few writers to discuss domdrop: “One would think that after care is for the bottoms and submissives, but it’s also for the tops, sadists and dominants. Tops go through similarly intense changes in their body chemistry, leading to the potential shock-like emotional and physical crashes.”
cc writes in “Before care, during care and aftercare”: “In the case of dominants and tops consider that you often have been expending a great deal of not only physical energy but mental energy as well … and keeping yourself in check with the responsibilities of your submissive’s state of mind as well as their physical condition. Do not discount the drain this can have on a person both physically and mentally.

You can see that domdrop has similar symptoms to subdrop. asdf123 writes of “definitely encounter[ing] dom-drop: phys0004e4e1-42a5-583e-74e7-2cfa64063a6f_720ically feeling sick and wobbly enough to have to sit down, shaky hands and a need to hold somebody”, while Aradia observes in the comments to this post: “Today I have Domdrop from My intense session last night with whore. I worked him over hard and ended up on Domspace for the rest of the night. I did get a good night’s sleep, but it just seems that it was not enough. I feel lethargic, tired and like I am suffering from the dregs of an all night drinking binge” Now these sorts of symptoms may occur for many reasons. Your body may still be awash with what Midori calls “adrenaline, endorphins, seratonin and other yummy body chemicals”. Your symptoms of ‘drop’ might be caused by concentrating too hard during a scene. Or not eating beforehand. You might be suffering physical exhaustion from impact play. You might be suffering emotional overload, or be fretting that something went wrong during play, and need reassurance and validation from your play partner – as Midori points out “beyond the fundamental physiological concerns, most often the top has their sense of self-wrapped up in the scene as much as the bottom does”. However, some people believe these types of symptoms directly relate to an energy transference that occurs during play – in fact Mistress Steel defines domdrop entirely in these terms: “One of the least visible aspects of a Dom/sub relationship is also something widely talked about but poorly understood. Exchange. Many people equate this to an exchange of power by the enforcement of roles (especially in scene). This exchange can be better understood as not an exchange of Power but an exchange of energy.

 

“By creating an artificial arena or environment, the ‘forced’ introduction of requirements, rules and boundaries you are also constructing the identical requirement, rules and boundaries for yourself. You become trapped within a performance role whenever you are with your submissive…”

xPbTbQZMistress Steel makes a good case for to consider that this kind of energy transference fallout can occur immediately post scene, or can have far more long reaching effects, possibly impacting on another negative state of mind experienced by dominants… Mistress Steel observes:

“Many submissives ‘feed’ on the energy of the Dominant. A great submissive / Dominant relationship ‘passes’ or ‘exchanges’ energy. However, especially in new Dom’s and subs there tends to be a more focused need emanating from the submissive. The submissive wants to experience everything they have imagined inside of them … to a large extent their submissive response forces or attempts to force the Dominant into Domming them”

This can result in:

“a sudden withdrawal [of the dominant] coupled to a unsubstantive reason for the detachment or withdrawal. The submissive may go into a panic or ‘frenzy’ bombarding that Dominant with gifts, cards, flowers, phone calls…etc. Each of these will compound the problem and make it worse, adding stress to the Dominant. These are demands for attention that the Dominant is simply unable to give at that time. That inability can be driven to the point of a complete severance of the relationship in order for the Dominant to ‘retain face’ or their internal image of themselves.”

I LOVE YOUMistress Steel defines this as a component of domdrop. I call it something else: Mistress (or Dom) fatigue. It rarely occurs in the aftermath of a single scene. More likely it strikes after an escalating series of stressful events (either real life and online) and is usually also linked with an over commitment of dominant responsibilities, including a fear of letting “everyone” (subs / new subs / mentoring relationships / online communities / etc) down.

The end result is exhaustion and a feeling of complete burn out with any BDSM related activities. It’s especially common online. The only cure is often complete withdrawal. It might take days. Weeks. Or months. If a complete withdrawal is not achieved – if, for example the dominant suffers what Mistress Steel terms “frenzied bombardments” from subs or if others continue to push with demands – the dominant may disappear online or (as Mistress Steel points out) permanently severe relationships.

femdom-nipples-torture-6LETTING THE MONSTER OUT

“Sometimes when I’m prepping for a scene, getting into the right headspace, I have a twinge of fear that I will not be able to get back OUT afterwards. That I will unleash something inside myself that can’t be recaptured”

“it feel like every stroke is ripped the wrong way though every bit of social conditioning I’ve ever had”

Midori notes a further contributing factor to domdrop:

“In the act of sadism or dominance the top has exposed their desires and hungers that aren’t necessarily socially acceptable. We’ve been taught not to hit those we love. Now we do it for fun. It can take a bit of mental contortions to reconcile the cognitive dissonance with this. Many tops want to know that they are still loved and desired after exposing their darker desires to the other’

As usual, Midori is spot on. Chris M acknowledges something similar: “sometimes, when the heat of the scene has passed, a top can find him or herself exhausted, exposed and feeling guilty about doing bad, nasty things to someone they care about” while Sensual Sadist’s Alexandra observes “sometimes, exploring the assertively dark aspect of your psyche can ironically leave you feeling lonely and vulnerable”.

Some call this domdrop, others call it “top guilt”. I call it “Letting the Monster (inside me) Out” – as in “I’m hurting the person I love and I’m enjoying it …. how can I feel this way? I’m a monster. What if I can’t get the monster back in the box at the end of the session?” I know this insidious feeling well, as does Darkly:

“Sometimes when I’m prepping for a scene, getting into the right headspace, I have a twinge of fear that I will not be able to get back OUT afterwards. That I will unleash something inside myself that can’t be recaptured”

“Play can be transformative, and has often been so for me, usually in a very positive way. I have learned a great deal about my inner self, my ability to heal old wounds, take pain, create situations, etc. At some level, I fear that one day I’ll cross a line – inside myself – that I won’t be able to recover from having crossed.”

RavenMuse writes of how he came to terms with top guilt:

“I had deliberately caused [my sub] pain, choosen to hurt her…. and enjoyed it. Not only enjoyed it but was suspecting that I in someway needed it. It had opened up a whole new visa of emotions and feelings… discovered what I have over the years come to accept about Myself. That to get Me to want to give her roses…. I need her to want and need the thorns that go with them.

“But what did that mean about who I was, what I was….The culture I grew up in, nobody batted an eye if two lads faced off and beat each other to a bloody pulp… But you so much as raised a hand to a lassie and woe betide you. You where the lowest of the low, scum, subhuman and treated as such.

“It took a long time to get over that hurdle, to adjust to the whole issue of consent and shake off the weight of that conditioning”.

PROVIDING AFTERCARE

“where do I start? what if I get it wrong?”

OK, so let’s say you are a new dominant reading this. What are the most important points about aftercare you need to keep in mind?

Some important tips:

1. The scene isn’t finished until aftercare is over!
2. Reassurance. Gratification. Validation!
3. Don’t forget about Virtual Aftercare, or about being able to handle your own emergency self aftercare!

YOUR OWN NEEDScuddle5

Your own needs and aftercare requirements will become clearer once you play.

For now:

  • Familiarize yourself with the other examples of aftercare and “drop”
  • Familiarize yourself with the “Aftercare Practicalities”
  • Before play: make sure you provide your play partner with details of your aftercare requirements during Pre Scene Negotiations
  • After play: watch out for: domdrop and top guilt symptoms
  • Familiarize yourself with self aftercare, just to be on the safe side. Depending on your self-image, and style, you may not want to receive aftercare from your submissive partner. Or, you may be with a bottom that does not wish to see you as needing nurturing or care
  • Longterm: watch out for: Mistress / Dom fatigue

WHAT CAN A SUB DO TO HELP THEIR DOM/ME IN TERMS OF POST SCENE AFTERCARE?

“”I know what my partner needs … I hadn’t thought of this as aftercare … it just seems the natural thing to do”

“Does my top need help – can I help?” is something many subs ask me. The answer is definately: YES!!

Many tops want to know that they are still loved and desired after exposing their darker desires to the other. Their pride as a technician and lover may also be involved in this. The top wants validation that they were a “good top.” Telling a top that “Your flogging sucks” just might crush them. Even if they look pissed off, they’re actually hurt. Remember to express gratitude and respect to the top who has spent the last hour or so being bad to you. Flattery is good … a foot massage might be much appreciated for a Domme who has been busily abusing you while in high heels, or for anyone in hard leather boots…

If you are a bottom ‘on loan’ from another dominant/top who plans to provide your aftercare, don’t forget to express gratitude to your partner in play. A thank you, a kiss on the cheek and a hug is almost always good form.

An interesting insight into Top psychology: there are times when the bottom needs very little aftercare, but the top insists upon it. For many tops, providing aftercare for the bottom may be exactly what they need. The act of providing help and healing allows many tops to feel whole, compassionate, kind and validated. This may be how they balance for the darker side that they expressed earlier in the scene.

When things go wrong it’s easy to let the baggage pile up. “He’s not being truly submissive”, “He doesn’t understand my needs”, “We aren’t going to be able to keep this thing going” are all natural thoughts to pass through your mind after something has gone wrong or you feel let down. It is when these thoughts become persistent that they become corrosive”.

Help” comes down to one word: patience. Mistress / Dom fatigue may go on for some time. And controlling your own panic won’t be easy. Remember (and this is important, trust me):

1. You have NOT failed as a sub
2. You have NOT let your Dom/me down
3. Your Dom/me is NOT upset with you
4. YOU HAVE DONE NOTHING WRONG
5. This is your dominant’s issue, NOT yours

If you find yourself in this position, then I’m giving you a direct order as a Dom: I want you to repeat these words to yourself every morning and night. Reassuring yourself is important.

Remember: patience! Give your dominant time, and you will be rewarded with the thing you most desire: their return.

 

 

SO WHAT NEXT

Female Domination: Top Ten things to DoI can see that while all this may sound a bit dire, it describes situations you may never have to face – it’s important to know what to do if/when BDSM problems occur. Which is what this BDSM for Beginners series is all about.

The last few lines of this post are to remind you that aftercare is usually a wonderful experience. A time to draw close to the person who has given you such intense pleasure, to affirm together the extraordinary experience you just created together – a time of “hazy sweetness while all my nerve endings are still singing”.