More often that not I read, or see images depicting aftercare in D/s – Kinky play scenarios where the sub is wrapped up to help them come down from what has been most likely an emotional experience. For those of you who have played like this before, you will know the value of ensuring a sub is being looked after both emotionally and physically. This post, however, is not aimed at sub aftercare, it’s Dom aftercare. Didn’t see that coming did you?
One of the most common things I read about with new couples entering in to D/s or BDSM, especially if they are an established unit, is the concern that the Dom will hurt the sub in play. I would say that it is highly likely that if you are doing any form of impact play, some level of pain will be involved. Of course there are numerous ways to cause pleasurable pain, however, we can save that list for another post, and focus just now on experiences of apprehension and guilt for a while.
All forms of kinky play required consent and negotiation regardless of what you’re about to be engaged in. As we know, consent is only present at the time, and by that I mean time being second by second, not hour by hour! Consent is given to start and consent is taken away to stop. That does sound a like a physical assault I realised, but STOP means, well, stop. Negotiation, however, covers your ground rules from safe-words in play to how far you want to go, or think you want to go. Talking about things first helps ease any apprehension that may be felt by both parties. For the new Dom, aside from controlling some excitement, there is the unknown nagging in your ear;
was that good noise,
was that a bad noise,
when should I stop,
should it be that red,
why are they quiet,
jeez they are noisy,
etc etc etc.
Generally, after a few attempts those voices fade and you start to find your feet; it is only afterwards when you see the marks you have made, or the tears on the face, can guilt arrive like black cloud over the sun. Look what you did!!
I think a little guilt is no bad thing to begin with as I seem to think that it develops into forethought, care and consideration. Now that is not to say that I have not had a resurgence of guilt from time to time when things have gone wrong; a wrap round of a cane on a thigh, a needle too deep or even one finger too many! Mistakes happen and that is when a Dom’s aftercare needs should not be overlooked.
Hurting someone in a consensual environment takes some getting used to as I have said, and being assured that all is well is important when having a small debrief after play. Yes the sub may have red stripes over their bum and they sting, but the Dom needs to know that the sub has no lasting damage. Likewise, if play goes slightly wrong and pain is inflicted by accident, when the dust settles, and the swearing stops, the Dom needs to know the relationship is not permanently damaged. The dynamic has to support each other’s needs, and being a Dom does not mean their emotional needs are to be excluded.
So when you are laying around after play, eating breakfast the next day or even after a safe-word has been called during play, aftercare should be a shared experience of positive feedback for both Dom & sub.
Damaged confidence takes a lot longer to fade than a hand print on a pink buttock!