Ava Grayle

Richmond, VA pro domme Ava Grayle
Photo by Taryn Carter

Aftercare: What is it?

A quick housekeeping note: After much work, I have finally figured out how to host my newsletter through my own site! This means no more using a third-party service like Substack; all of my “newsletters” (or blog posts, for those who remember the golden years of blogging!) will live on my site, and you will receive an email straight to your inbox when I publish a new post. As always, if you no longer wish to be on the mailing list, simply unsubscribe.

Aftercare–sounds simple, right? Care that you get after a session. To many new to the world of BDSM and kink, this can sound scary–visions of bandaids, cold compresses, tissues, and/or therapy fill the imagination–repairing body and mind after a physically and emotionally intense experience. While all of those things can be part of aftercare, what the term aftercare refers to is simply whatever you need to come back into yourself after a scene. Needing aftercare is not a negative thing–it’s not evidence of a traumatic or heavy experience in the scene. It is the process of “coming back down to earth” after enjoying the fantasy headspace of the scene.

Often in kink, submission, or roleplay scenarios, the submissive enters an altered headspace (sometimes referred to as “subspace”–look for an upcoming post about this!). This is a relaxed, euphoric state of mind where you get to experience your desires & fantasies. When you feel safe, when mind and body come into alignment, and when you allow yourself to explore curiosities and needs, you can achieve this magical, almost dreamlike state. At the end of a scene, it’s common to feel giddy, like you’re on another planet, dizzy, floaty, or fuzzy around the edges. This is where aftercare begins! And this is where having some knowledge of yourself and your needs–and communicating them before a scene begins–becomes valuable.

You may not be able to ask for exactly what you need in that moment, and if you are new to this kind of play, you may not know yet! However, most of us tend to have some general idea of things that make us feel comfortable, safe, and cared for, and that’s a good place to start. Perhaps you need a blanket placed over you, and a few minutes of silence while you bask in the blissful mental glow. Perhaps you need a soft (or firm) touch on the shoulder to ground you back to earth. Perhaps a glass of water or a cold washcloth. Taking a bit of time to think about what would make you feel grounded and ready to return to the world after a scene is helpful for both you and me.

And what do I need for aftercare? Thank you for asking! Yes my pets, aftercare is for both dom/mes and subs! My favorite form of aftercare is communication: I love hearing about what you liked about the scene, how it made you feel, what you want to explore more, things you tried that turned out to not be for you, things that surprised you, etc. As a true pervert, I love hearing it all! Some people like diving into this dissection directly after a scene, and some people need a day or two to process. Still others like to do both! I’m here for all of it. The #1 thing you can do for me is let me know your thoughts, feelings, and epiphanies–it helps me fine tune my craft and make our next session even more sublime.

Until next time, my pets…

Ava will be on vacation May 13-21

All requests will be responded to on May 22