Tag: subdrop

A Switchy Girl’s Guide To … Aftercare

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.

IMG_7072The go to thought for aftercare is often cuddles with the other participant/s also involved in the scene or play session. Many of us may not be playing with a regular partner though, and many more of us might not feel that comfortable with cuddles. This makes it really important to think about the follow things:

  • What does aftercare look like for you?
  • What does aftercare look like for the other person/people you are playing with?
  • Who Do You Think Aftercare Is For?
  • What aftercare can you provide for yourself when you are alone?

What Does Aftercare Look Like For You?

Aftercare can come in many forms. Often depending on whether the type of aftercare needed is physical or emotional. Some of the more common aftercare needs I’ve come across are:

  • Physical closeness – both with the person you played with, but often also with those you are close too and feel comfortable with.
  • Words of Affirmation – it can be comforting to hear the scene was enjoyed, you are loved, your rosy bum looks beautiful and whatever other affirmations work for you.
  • Hydration and Nourishment – a glass of water is probably going to be no bad thing for most people, types of aftercare snack seem to vary greatly, but are often well received.
  • Peace and Quiet – many people enjoy finding a quiet space post play, sometimes alone, sometimes with a partner/friend. If someone isn’t familiar with a venue it’s always a nice idea to point out where the quiet spots are.
  • Low Lit Areas – Bright lights, similar to loud noises can be quite jarring when you are coming round from a particularly intense scene, finding somewhere with low lighting may ease the transition into reality.
  • Keeping Warm – aftercare blankets, cosy jumpers and onesies all seem like popular choices for those people who feel a bit chilly post scene.
  • Sleeping – sometimes if a scene was particularly intense or draining and sleeping is an option is often a great way for your body and mind to wind down.

Your aftercare might include some of those things or none of those things, whatever works for you is valid though and you should never be afraid to voice what aftercare it is you need. If someone doesn’t take your need for aftercare seriously, belittles the type of aftercare you need or tries to enforce their own aftercare needs, then it may be worth taking a step back from play until you are certain you will be able to manage your aftercare needs on your own.

I would encourage everyone to discuss their aftercare needs as part of their pre-scene negotiations.

What Does Aftercare Look Like For The Person/People You Are Playing With?

If cuddles are your go to and much loved form of aftercare and you start playing with someone who needs minimal physical contact after they play then aftercare needs are going to clash. Like me you might find that you grow to love your partner’s aftercare preference, what happen if you don’t though? What can you do to minimise the chances of drop for all involved without anyone feeling they need to neglect their own aftercare?

  • Compromise – with long term partners or friends, whether they are romantic partners, play partners or both. Some kind of compromises is usually going to be best for everyone. Maybe cuddles is a bit much for one person, but smaller amounts of physical affection could work. Holding hands, gentle petting, affectionate kisses can all go a long way to reassuring someone post play.
  • Outsourcing – this is a lot more caring than it sounds. At events and play parties, especially if playing within groups of trusted friends, it’s not uncommon for aftercare to be found with a person who wasn’t involved in the scene. If this works for everyone involved there is no reason why this isn’t valid.

I’m not a great cuddler, because physical affection isn’t my go to way to express myself. I am however exceptionally happy to spank someone who needs aftercare cuddles. My partner is a great cuddler and is quite often happy to engage in cuddles and hair strokes with our friends. That said if one of my awkward cuddles would help someone out I’d be happy to give that a go.

Who Do You Think Aftercare Is For?

I know at least one person will be reading this thinking ‘but surely the person getting aftercare is the bottom/submissive’, so why is compromise and outsourcing even an issue? The reason being is that Tops/Dominants need aftercare too. Perhaps not always, perhaps not all Tops/Doms, perhaps not with every bottom they play with. At some point though there is a good chance you will play with a Top/Dominant who will need some form of aftercare, or you may experience it yourself as a Top/Dominant.

It takes a lot of energy, both physical and mental to both plan and execute many of the scenes as play sessions we love to partake in. While those scenes can have a Top flying high in Topspace, it also means that Top Drop is a very real and is every bit as unpleasant as sub drop.

What Aftercare Can You Provide For Yourself When You Are Alone?

IMG_7073Aftercare immediately following a scene is great, and we all hope that this eliminates the effects of drop should be susceptible to them. Sometimes though we may need aftercare in the days following a scene or play session, and in these cases we may need to do a little bit of self-care. Solo aftercare varies as much as partnered aftercare does, some of the more popular things that come up though are:

  • Warm Baths and Showers – the perfect time for nice bubble baths and fancy shower gels.
  • Good Food – this might be healthy foods or it might be the biggest bar of chocolate going.
  • Hobbies – Reading, computer games, crafting, the gym. Whatever your hobby of choice is for relaxing or recharging it could be perfect for incorporation into your solo aftercare.
  • Talk to Friends – Sometimes just having someone to talk to can help alleviate some of the systems of drop. Having a support system you can talk to on days you need aftercare can be invaluable.
  • Surround Yourself With Things You Love – Cuddly toys, pets, your favourite mug, whatever makes you smile is worthy of aftercare inclusion.
  • Sleep – Get enough, make it good quality and don’t be surprised if you sometimes need extra in the days follow a kink scene or play session.

I would imagine a lot of Kinksters have neglected their aftercare needs at some point, but the difference good aftercare can make is amazing. Not only is it good for us as individuals, it can also be an important part of building and maintaining trust and support with a growing or established dynamic. Those moments that follow a scene are just as important as what happens within the scene.

Remember, there’s a difference between an aftercare plan and a trigger plan. An aftercare plan is for when everything goes right. A Trigger Plan is for when everything goes wrong. -Princess Kali, enoughtomakeyoublush.com

Above is one of my favourite pieces of advice from Princess Kali. All the advice and thoughts I’ve shared in this article refer specifically to aftercare. I’m coming from the point of view that scene went well. If a scene ends abruptly, if someone uses their safeword or if in any other way the scene doesn’t go to plan, I highly recommend having a Trigger Plan.

My final recommendation for aftercare would be that while immediately following a scene is great, following up with someone a day or two after you’ve played with them is also a wonderful part of aftercare. It can often take us days to process some of the scenes we embark on, especially if we are new to kink, or we are playing within a new dynamic.

This is the third instalment in my ‘A Switchy Girl’s Guide to Kink, Fetish and BDSM’ series of posts. The next instalment will be published on April 9th and is titled ‘Do You Need a Trigger Plan’.  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_.

A Switchy Girl’s Guide To … Frenzy, Drop and FOMO

FOMO – Fear Of Missing Out

Frenzy, drop and FOMO are to my mind a trio of spoil sports who given half the chance will definitely ruin our kinky fun. Knowing that they are always lurking around the corner ready to attack is half the battle, accepting they will happen and learning how to deal with them, gives you much more control over the effects they will have on you.

Frenzy, more often than not referred to as subfrenzy, a term I am going to avoid. While it is my experience that those exploring their submissive tendencies do suffer frenzy more intensely, Tops and Dominants are not immune to it and I think it remiss of anyone to think their kink label will stop them from having the down sides of engaging in BDSM activities.

Frenzy – A strong, sometimes overwhelming desire to find partner or to become immersed in Kink activities. Often seen in people who have recently discovered their kink identity or have not engaged in kink activities for a long time. People in the midst of frenzy may make unwise or unsafe choices.

When we join the kink scene, for many of us it is a treasure trove of new experiences, and in our excitement to find like minded people we rush to gather up all the new shinies, not for a moment stopping to take a breath and consider what it is we are actually trying to find and who we would like to experience that with.

Frenzy can lead us to make a myriad of bad decisions. We can play beyond our limits, we can choose ill suited partners and worst of all we can forget how important it is to look after ourselves and keep ourselves safe. I have spoken before about my own experience of frenzy. I talk about it open and honestly because I want to help others avoid the same mistakes.

My personal tips for navigating frenzy are:

  • Research – yep read the books, check out websites, listen to podcasts, really get to grips with what it is YOU want as a submissive. That shit matters. Learn how to effectively negotiate and advocate for yourself. And NEVER, EVER be afraid to do so. A Dominant who does not respect your ability to do this is not a Dominant worth having
  • Keep Good Company – As I’ve already mentioned, find good friends and get do things with them. Whether those things are kink related or non-kink adventures. Keep busy and active. Places Like Loving BDSM that offer an online community are also wonderful for this. I do not want to discredit the benefit that online friendships can offer. They too can be invaluable.
  • Play with Friends – Provided you have found a good network of kinky friends, then playing with them can absolutely be a valid way to avoid frenzy. I would much rather help a friend out with some rope play and a spanking, knowing I would play safely and look after them post play, rather than have them off out alone in the wilderness of frenzy. Kinky friendships I have found are by their very nature a little more intimate than the friendships we get used to in non-kink life. So the type of support we can offer each other sometimes does come in the form of play and intimacy.
  • Safe-calls – OMG! YES! Please, please, please let’s make these more of a thing. Even if you are going to play with someone who is trusted. Let someone know where you are going, who you will be with and agree to check in with them. If you are playing with someone who seems concerned by the arrangement of a safe call being in place, then my advice would be to not play with them. No one should be wary of or alarmed by your desire to protect yourself.
  • Exercise – This is one of my favourites, and a personal method I use to keep myself from in a good frame of mind. It can take some time to find something you enjoy, but I think it is well worth finding a physical release. I love to hit the treadmill, and am going to branch out into outdoor running once little dude is back at school.
  • Writing – No surprises that I’m a fan of this too. Whether it’s a private diary, or an online blogging. Writing can be an extremely valuable tool in working through what you are feeling. It is one of the reasons I started my blog. While it has deviated from initial idea, it’s a great way to work through my thoughts and share that with others.
  • Look After Yourself – Whatever you need to do to issue some self-care, do it. For me it’s eating well, indulging in Harry Potter, hot showers, herbal teas and a nice blanket. Your self care will look different and that’s okay. I like to think of it as a date with myself.

More often than not frenzy does not come alone, it will likely be followed a pain in the arse bedfellow that we refer to as drop. Drop is extremely unpleasant and can range in intensity in dramatic fashion. The first experience of drop I had made me want to leave the kink scene altogether. It made me feel awful about the things I’d experienced, and worst of all it lasted a few days.

I now know that my drop was this bad for a few reasons. I wasn’t playing with someone I knew well, I experienced too much, too soon, I had no idea of what I was actually looking for, I said yes to everything and I had no idea I needed to ask for support for what I was feeling. Luckily for me I had a friend identify what I was going through, and a friend that I turned to who pulled me back from leaving the scene and also from letting me indulge my frenzy any further.

Drop – A state of emotion following some Kink sessions. People can experience a wide range of emotions from tearful to angry to shame and more. This can happen immediately after play or many hours later, making it hard for people to recognise what it causing the feelings. It can last for a few hours or days and can often be prevented by good aftercare.

Unlike frenzy, which thankfully seems to become a distant memory after we learn to navigate our kinky ways, drop tends to remain in some capacity for many of us. These days it tends to hit me only after a particularly intense scene with Bakji. The way people deal with drop really does vary, so I can only share what works for me in avoiding it and easing it when it does it.

  • Aftercare  – Identify what aftercare you need and ask for it. As someone who isn’t big on cuddles, it was a shock for me to realise I need a lot of those as aftercare. Don’t let anyone tell what your aftercare should look like either. You might need a glass of water and alone time, and that is just as valid as chocolate and a cuddle.
  • Be honest – Accepting I had drop and talking about it was a huge turning point for me. Beginning to share my post play feelings with Bakji made my drop far less frequent, and eased it much sooner when it did occur.
  • Be self aware – For me this means avoiding certain types of play in certain moods. This will look different for everyone, but if I’m overtired or anxious about something, there are certain types of play it’s good for me to avoid until I’m in a brighter mood.

One of the things that seems to fuel both frenzy and drop is FOMO, that awful fear of missing out. What if we don’t go to that party? Will everyone forget about us? Will we miss our chance to ever be kinky again? The answer to those question and many more is no. It’s easy to convince ourselves that every opportunity missed is going to be the best night ever without us there, in reality chances are you aren’t missing out at all.

My best advice for FOMO is embrace whatever it is you are doing that stops you from being where you think you’d like to be. For me that was often at home on Mummy duty, while my new kinky friends were to my mind having the best party ever. I didn’t always manage this but what I should always have done is got myself some great food, planned some fun activities with my boy, administered some self care in terms of a luxurious bath and indulged in a good book or a cheesy movie.

These days I think I have a handle on drop and FOMO and frenzy is largely a distant memory now. The hardest part of all these things though, especially as someone new to kink, is accepting that they happen, identifying that they are happening to you and being prepared to seek support and take care of yourself when they hit.

We are all so very different in how we experience these things, if you are struggling with any of them, or are worried you didn’t identify them in the past then you are more than welcome to use the contact form to get in touch and I’d happily discuss them with you in a way that is more applicable to your own situation.

This is the second in my ‘A Switchy Girls Guide to Kink, Fetish and BDSM’ series of posts. The next installment will be published on March 12th and is titled ‘Aftercare – With or Without a Partner’.  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_.

Drop Is Real

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.

Drop is something I have been on a real journey with in personal terms. When it comes to other people I really do encourage everyone to take drop seriously. Learn what is most likely to trigger it for you, accept that you will need to give yourself time to come through it, and most importantly do not be afraid to speak up when you are suffering from drop. It did however, take me a long time to take my own advice.

My first experience of drop was horrid, it wasn’t long after I joined the kink scene and it honestly made me reflect on my experiences in a largely negative way. Luckily by this point I had made good friends, and they looked after me and let me know what I was experiencing and offered me some of the tools I needed to get through it. It also presented me with an opportunity to reflect on what I wanted out of kink going forward.

Once I got a handle on what things I was more into and what I wasn’t my occurrences of drop reduced, and I became far better at judging what might cause drop and I was happy to deal with it in my own way afterwards. For me this meant taking time to do things I enjoyed, baths, reading, nice food, things like that were good for me. What getting through drop didn’t involve was other people.

Early on when experiencing drop I hadn’t quite got to grips with aftercare, and I definitely hadn’t come to terms with needing to ask other people for things. Especially not things like cuddles and affection. When I started playing with Bakji I didn’t need to ask for these things. I remember the first time we did more intimate play, and afterwards he was plying me with hugs and all I could say was words to the effect of ‘You don’t need to hug me, I don’t really need much aftercare’. This is hilarious looking back, because I was so ignorant of my own needs.

Luckily Bakji is big on physical affection and he told me that he would like to hug, if that was okay with me. So we began the process of getting me used to hugs, and then finding that actually they were pretty awesome and really effective in making me feel less droppy! With great aftercare in place I went a long time with  no drop at all. Then when Bakji started learning to suspend me, it was something I had to deal with again.

Our afternoon suspension lessons often started with a good natter with our friend MasterMHatter, who was kind enough to offer his knowledge to help Bakji learn. Then we’d do the ropey goodness, then I would dash off to work. Throughout my shift on those afternoons I would be left feeling pretty low. I felt awful having to discuss this with Bakji, I didn’t want him to think it was a reflection on how much I enjoyed being in his ropes. We did discuss it though, and we all made efforts to reorganise those afternoons so that I had more time for aftercare afterwards, and that really helped.

Again we moved into a long period of no drop. Then we switched. Bet you can guess what came next, yep, Top-Drop! If anything this was even harder for me to accept in myself than subdrop. However I fly so high when Topping, that it makes sense that sometimes there will be a bit of a come down. In those early days of Topping it was quite frequent. Luckily for me Bakji was ever vigilant and it was actually him who suggested this was why I was feeling a bit low on certain days and going forward we made sure I was getting aftercare, no matter which side of the slash I was playing on.

I must admit that sometimes I’ve felt guilty about my need for aftercare in relation to it easing my drop. Rationally I know this is ridiculous, I know that communicating these needs is healthy for both me and whoever I’m playing with. I don’t ever want it to feel like a burden though, which is how I felt about it in those early days, like I was being needy or demanding. Thankfully Bakji has been awesome for helping me embrace and enjoy the benefits and delights of aftercare, which in turn has helped me relate to my own instances of drop better.

Aftercare is definitely the main thing for me to avoid drop. Its presence doesn’t make lack of drop a certainty, especially if it was an especially intense scene, or other emotions, or factors of life are in play at the same time too. If I do drop though I am far kinder to myself than I used to be, this includes not pushing myself to deal with it alone. I always reach out to Bakji and let him know if I’m struggling, I ask for extra cuddles when it’s possible and I do things for myself that make me feel good.

I would encourage anyone who feels like the might be susceptible to drop to speak about with their partner/s sooner, rather than later and be kind to yourself, I gave myself far too much of a hard time over something that is actually completely understandable.