Aftercare is a popular topic it seems like of late. The term arrives from what state of care should be available for bottoms (and tops) once a scene is concluded. It’s an important concept because the after effects of some of the scenes can result in a huge sub or top drop that makes us feel like we’re going crazy.
First and foremost is to really invest the time to get to know yourself. (no, your hand doesn’t go there – it’s not that kind of time investment.) But spend time getting to know how you do with scenes. What happens after certain types of play. Does it depend on the length, duration or intensity? Does it depend on implements, bondage or head space?
Dopamine, adrenaline and all of our various internal fluid levels go through dramatic changes when a scene occurs. It’s natural – it’s anticipated (rather should be anticipated)
Prepare and PRE-care
So I’ve been pondering the broader brush. Consider the amount of preparation one might take if you’re going for a long walk or bike ride. Consider what changes to your preparations might be if you were to hike in the mountains or raft a river. Our preparations change according to the activity we’re about to engage in.
That’s was PRE-care is probably just as, if not more important than the immediate scene-aftercare that I’ve been seeing lately. Are we hydrating ourselves enough before we play? Are we getting enough sleep before a play date? Do we need more protein going in – or do we ease up on our carb intake? Are you up on your medication? Do you need to anticipate the sudden surge (and release) of these levels when you’re in play? Have you informed the top (or bottom) of these tendencies and what to look out for and do during and after?
Then of course there is the immediate aftercare that happens post-scene. As we’ve all read about. Cuddling vs. non-cuddling. Eating vs. not eating. Hydration hydration hydration … meds, etc.
But then there’s the check-in, which is done by some folks, but not everyone. It’s the two-three day aftershocks that tend to hit. This is largely chemical in the brain after surging with all that adrenaline – it can be a catastrophic drop. This is where we all need a tailor made diet and routine we follow post-scene. So much care is done in the immediacy – that we tend to forget how we feel in the days to follow.
Danae and I did some checking in terms of adrenaline and dopamine drops – and while we’re both very far from being doctors or experts, we came to the realization that we’re not taking good care of our bodies after. We’re sometimes gravitating to what sounds good – when we should be vigilant about what is needed. Whether it’s a series of complex carbohydrates that follow in the days to come – or some other regimen, the point is that we need to all establish a viable, workable plan.
Lastly, reach out. Friends that understand the drop I’m going through – won’t bat an eyelash if I’m needy in the following week. Don’t isolate. Don’t succumb to the thoughts “it’s all in my head, just get over it.” Don’t. Merely wishing it away won’t do anything.
Remember, we’re all unique. Find the formula that works best and apply it.
So, to summarize:
* Know yourself
* Prepare in advance
* Do what necessary care is needed immediately after
* Check in
* Reach out when things don’t go to a good place.