Tag: Aftercare

[Kink] A Switchy Girl’s Guide To … Trigger Plans.

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Try as we might to ensure all our BDSM scenes and play session go smoothly, there is always a chance of something not going according to plan. When an action, phrase or scenario stimulates a reaction in an individual we refer to it as a trigger.

Trigger – an experience that provokes or generates a memory or reaction for someone

For the purposes of this article I am referring to the kind of triggers that are unwelcome and will likely end your scene and require all participants involved to know what the next steps are after the trigger has occurred. It is worth noting though that triggers can also be used to stimulate welcome reactions, but this should absolutely be explored after negotiation and with consent.

Triggers may be known to us, or they may be something we stumble upon during play. I have been trigger twice during my time as a kinkster and both times they were things that I did not know to avoid. Now I know and I would actively mention the activities that triggered to future partners as hard limits.

It can be mortifying to everyone involved when a trigger is found, especially if you weren’t expecting it. Nobody likes to be the one to end a scene early, but there is no good to come from blaming ourselves or others when this happens. It is one of the risks we accept when engaging in kink and how we deal with it has the potential to be a defining moment in whether or not a dynamic is successful or indeed if someone chooses to continue exploring their kinks. Not to mention that some triggers may relate to past abuse, including but not limited to things like rape, sexual assault, physical assault, verbal abuse and domestic violence. All triggers are valid and important but it is worth remembering some may transcend what we are used to handling in our own lives.

Reassuring. Kindness. Compassion. Empathy. These should be the kinds of things we aim to provide with a trigger plan. Ensuring our partner/s a safe space to recover and work through the feelings they have encountered.

To give a comprehensive list of what things might trigger someone would be impossible. Physical actions, name calling, teasing,  specific words, smells, songs, body positions, tone of voice, emotions, noises, individual people, are just a few things that might trigger someone. While that may make it seem like a terrifying prospect to play with anybody, just in case you trigger them, the solution to navigating triggers is simple. Communication.

Anyone and everyone who offers advice or education on BDSM will mention communication so often that you will wonder if we get some sort of commission from a secret communication organisation. The truth is, we go on about it so often because it is so incredibly important. Discussing past experiences, current desire and hopes for your kinky future can go a long way to highlighting what might be a potential trigger.

Even with due diligence and everyone’s best effort, things can still go wrong. It might be with a new partner, it could be after years with being someone. Sometimes it might make sense, sometimes it might not. Whatever the situation or the specific trigger what can we do to help someone after the event.

As with everything in life individual cases will differ, but some of the more popular things that get included in trigger plans are:

  • Physical affection and closeness
  • Being in company
  • Being left alone
  • Food and drink
  • Staying warm and cosy
  • Peace and quiet
  • Talking things through
  • Taking their mind of it
  • Anything that offers comfort – cuddly toy, favourite music, favourite movie etc

Trigger plans are not just for bottoms and submissives. Tops and Dominants may also require support after triggers too. If as a bottom or submissive you are wondering how you help a Top or Dominant through a trigger, the answer is simple, treat them like a person and offer them the same kindness you would want for yourself.

IMG_7094It can be extremely tough to watch someone you care for suffer the effects of being triggered, especially if it is your actions or a thought you induced that caused it. While in the immediate moments and days after a trigger are quite rightly likely to be focused on the person who experienced the trigger, I would recommend that once you feel able to that you check in on your partner and enquire after their feelings on what happened.

When done correctly everything we do in kink we do together. Whether you are engaging in a long term D/s dynamic or a one time Top/bottom exchange. No one is exempt from feelings, and everyone has the potential to be triggered. The balance of giving and taking is far easier when things are going right, but keeping that same balance when things go wrong is often a lot harder, but it’s just as, if not more imperative to get right in those situations.

This is the fourth instalment in my ‘A Switchy Girls Guide to Kink, Fetish and BDSM’ series of posts. The next instalment is ‘BDSM Labels and Roles’.  If you would like to hear more of my thoughts you can tune in to the #ProudToBeKinky Podcast, or you can follow me on Twitter and Instagram or you can send a friend request on Fetlife through _Floss_.

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[Life] A Switchy Girl’s Guide To … Aftercare

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Aftercare – The time after a BDSM scene or play session in which those involved calm down, and slowly come back in touch with reality.

When I first joined the kink community the concept of aftercare baffled me. As someone who would not consider themselves tactile or overly affectionate I decided that aftercare wasn’t for me. I am not embarrassed to say I was wrong. I think aftercare is for everybody, and what some of us are saying when we say we don’t ‘need aftercare’ is ‘my aftercare looks different to yours’. Whether we have discovered that for ourselves or not.


Continue reading “[Life] A Switchy Girl’s Guide To … Aftercare”

Thoughts on Subspace (and Other headspaces)

N.B: This blog post was inspired an email from the Loving BDSM 30 Days of D/s. If you haven’t listened to their podcast yet please do so, you can also check out the website for great resources and links on how to listen or follow on social media.

For me I have experienced three different kinds of headspace when engaging in kink activities, and all three are very different. There’s subspace, which is probably the one we hear reference to most often. Topspace, which is becoming more widely discussed. For me there is also rope-space.

When we discussed this topic for the #ProudToBeKinky Podcast (Episode 19), my inclusion of rope-space caused us to have to restart the episode. The reason being Bakji flagrantly disagreed with me and I suspect he isn’t the only one. For me though, and only for me, it is an important distinction between subspace and rope-space. They are to me vastly different experiences.

I’ll talk a little bit further down about how I feel when I am lucky enough to reach these headspaces. What I will say though is they are most definitely an added bonus of my kinky fun and not my destination. I don’t always get the spacey feeling, both as a Top and bottom. Some people will space out really quickly and some people might have experienced it within their first few scenes of kink ever. Other people might never experience anything like what people describe as subspace and Topspace and that does not, and should not diminish how much fun they have with their kinks.

I have seen so many writing over my time on Fetlife and other platforms where people are asking for advice on how they can reach subspace. I specify subspace because it does seem to be the one people chase most often. While there will be recommendations made of what things might induce that spacey state, I do feel like people shouldn’t feel under pressure to try to experience it.

As someone who loves it when I do hit those headspaces, I will also honestly say that if I never managed to reach those spacey places again my kinky times would still be awesome and would in no way be any less satisfying because I hadn’t reached subspace or Topspace. While they might enhance a scene, or give a scene a different feel, I honestly don’t think it is the be all and end all of the kink experience.

One of my main recommendations for someone who is new to the kink scene and is curious about subspace is be very careful of who you chase that feeling with. You need to be certain that they will be capable and responsible enough to take care of you, when you will likely not be alert enough to take care of yourself. Your ability to communicate may be dramatically altered or in the case of some people removed completely, both myself and Bakji become a little incoherent when we space out, but many people will become totally non-verbal. You need a partner who understands and recognises this and who will therefore check in on you in other ways. You also need to know that you can trust them to play within negotiated limits and consents, because subspace is definitely not the time to be trying to negotiate new kinds of play.

Physical sensation is another reason picking the right play partner is important at all times, but especially if you are anticipating you might go a little spacey. During subspace my pain receptors just switch off, it’s a joyous thing, but also highly dangerous. I learnt this the hard way. In my very first BDSM encounter. As someone exploring my masochism for the first time, I was taken far beyond what I think was reasonable play. Why couldn’t I say so at the time? A combination of subspace, subfrenzy and lack of personal education on BDSM play.

To differentiate between how subspace and Topspace feel for me, I always feel like subspace is like a sedative and Topspace is like a stimulant. Subspace is floaty, warm and fuzzy and everything fades away. There is no world for me in subspace. If the world ended while I was in subspace I honestly don’t think I’d notice, or care. So long a Bakji is still present then my subspace will remain.

Topspace in contrast makes everything crisp and clear, and far from the world not existing, it 100% does exist and Topspace makes me feel like I could conquer it in it’s entirety. For me Topspace definitely becomes a more real possibility when the play between Bakji and I is a little more on the sadistic side. Sensual and loving Domination does not seem to trigger the same responses in me, as the ego driven power trip kind of Domination that we often engage in. Both are awesome, but it’s the second one that heightens my senses and make Topspace kick in.

The reason rope-space gets its own little category for me is because rope-bottoming is for me not equatable to submission. However the dynamic between Rigger and rope bottom if done with someone I trust and with whom I enjoy rope independently of BDSM play will induce a spacey feeling all of its own. While it similar to subspace in that it does create a bubble for me where all that exists is Rigger, rope and me. It doesn’t come with the same floaty, warm, fuzzies that subspace does and it doesn’t render me as incoherent either. It does however encapsulate me and transport me to another realm of sensation and pleasure (or pain as the case may be with rope).

Another topic that ties in nicely with this topic is aftercare. Which I haven’t really covered on the blog yet, but I will make a note to revisit it soon. When you’ve experienced any kind of altered state within a scene, aftercare can become even more imperative than normal. Again this will vary from person to person, but knowing what aftercare you and your partner/s need is really important and can vastly improve the feelings of drop (more on this in my next post) that can sometimes occur after any scene, but in my experience can be far more intense after a scene during which I went spacey.