Spanking Round Table: Aftercare…or (as I like to call it) Who the Hell Needs Aftercare, Just Give Me the Damn Spanking

spanking round table

I’ve been in the scene for approximately twenty years. At nineteen, I was so determined to make my spanking fantasies come true that I advertised in a spanking magazine and promptly got myself half a dozen good dominants. I never went more than a day without getting what I needed—sassy fun and spanking games. It was always light. It was never serious, and although more than once I was positively blistered, I was never spanked to tears because no serious emotion was ever involved and I wasn’t sexually involved with any of them. I was young. I was new to all this and still very much learning what I wanted and what I liked. Aftercare was never, ever mentioned to me. I never read about it. I’d never heard of it. But looking back, I can see I always got it in the form of a hug after the spanking was done. We’d hug, we’d talk, we’d cuddle, and I was always fine afterward.

Then I got married. I am submissive, but I am not slave submissive. While spanking was still fun and games, for me the dynamic shifted, becoming domestic discipline with some kinky games thrown in. The hubby likes bondage. We both like anal. Clips, clamps, spreaders, he likes to devise bondage furniture (ask me about the time my in-laws saw the padded horse and thought it was a very odd ironing board).

Still, aftercare was never mentioned. Looking back, I can clearly see where aftercare was employed, but it wasn’t until about two years ago when I became involved in my current BDSM group that I became aware of the word. It wasn’t until a few months ago that I became aware that I needed it.

What is aftercare? In my opinion, aftercare is as personal to each individual as their kinky sexual preferences. For me, it’s what balances out what must be physically endured in my quest to get the mental high and the tender aftereffects I love. With my husband, this happens in the quiet moments after real discipline is done. It’s what helps us reconnect as lovers and friends. But it wasn’t something I thought I’d ever need with the casual play partner, because casual is just that. There is no real emotion involved. It’s all fun and games, never serious, and I never go into that funny headspace where my body convinces my brain that I must really have screwed up because this SHIT is REAL.

And then, for some reason, everything changed.

I was flogged for the first time a few months ago. Now, flogging is one of those things that I NEVER would have thought was a.) erotic or b.) something I’d ever do. My husband has no interest in doing it, and it’s not spanking, so I wasn’t interested either. Then I started my Masters of the Castle series and in one of the books, I decided there should be a flogging scene. Something you should know about me is that I’m a big believer in knowing what my characters are going through. I’ve participated in cutting, cell popping, rope and bondage play, and fire play and cupping. I’m scared as hell of electricity, but when it came to that scene in Kaylee’s Keeper, I bought a violet wand and I had one used on me so I could write about it. In my opinion, you can’t write about what your character is feeling during a flogging if you’ve never experienced it.

Well, okay…maybe you can, but I can’t. So, I decided to bite the bullet and just do it.

Doing what authors do best, I researched who in my BDSM group were considered the best floggers. Given three names, I approached all three men and was flogged by each over a period of several months. One was playful, one was sensual and one was over the top serious. Perhaps even…no, on second thought there was no perhaps about it. My shoulders were bruised for days. It was severe.

Maren, stop blithering on. What does any of this have to do with aftercare?

Everything as it turns out. I completely fell apart two of the three times. I had no idea that was going to happen; certainly, it had never happened before because I don’t cry. Rarely at home, never cry in public—I don’t cry. Up until I was flogged. I bawled all over two of the three men who, although I’ve talked with them both for over a year and consider them friends, are practically strangers to me. My aftercare from each? A simple hug.

Taken from where I began twenty years ago, I’ve always negotiated to end with a hug before each and every scene I start, but I’d never needed it before. When it came to being flogged, these experienced Doms took me mentally, emotionally and physical to a place I was not ready or comfortable going. The first time, I was a sobbing wreck before I even got off the equipment. The second time, I didn’t cry, but I suffered three good days of subdrop—another first for me. I was a mess in a whole different way. The third, I got off the equipment just fine. Then he put his arms around me for our negotiated hug, and—BAM—the release hit me like a bullet between the eyes and when it did, my need to be okay was earth-shatteringly overwhelming.

He hugged me for a long time. He took me into the aftercare room, lay down with me and just held me and talked to me until I was fine again. I can’t imagine what I would have gone through if I hadn’t had that hug—that simply little reassurance which told me that I was still okay, I wasn’t in any real trouble and that we were still friends, before I could reconcile myself to the closure of the scene.

I know some people are going to look at this and say, “Yeah, but that’s not real aftercare. I do this…yada yada yada….”

That’s fine. Like I said, every person is different. But, if you take all the different variants of aftercare and you break them down into their most basic, basic parts, it’s all the same thing: Aftercare is reconnection between the Dom and sub. What form that reconnection takes is irrelevant. It’s whatever the sub (and Dom, for that matter) needs. When you read about it in a book, it’s more fun when it’s sexual, but in reality it can be anything—sharing a cigarette, cuddling, a nap, having your hair brushed. The importance of what form it takes is not something I’d fully understood or appreciated until I suddenly found myself truly needing it. Those hugs, those really rather insignificant seeming physical exchanges, was what I needed to bring myself back to normalcy after subspace ripped me apart. Aftercare for me is a return in balance and there is nothing more important than that.

 

There are a lot of good bloggers participating in the Round Table today, so click here to go back to the list and share their thoughts on the subject of Aftercare. 🙂

10 thoughts on “Spanking Round Table: Aftercare…or (as I like to call it) Who the Hell Needs Aftercare, Just Give Me the Damn Spanking

  1. I loved this post, Maren. First of all, let me say, I love that you try out everything before you write it. I think that is admirable and shows in your writing. 🙂

    About the after care, I’m so glad you mentioned the crying, because that is how I am. I rarely cry with punishments.

    And I am one of those people that desperately needs the hug and cuddles afterwards. You’re right about everyone having different needs.
    (my love language is “affirming words”) I guess that goes with the hugs 🙂
    Great post!

  2. I love that you decided to try flogging for the ‘Masters’ series btw. Great explanation of what after care is to you. I need lots of hugs and cuddles too. Thanks for participating!

  3. What a wonderful post! Informative, interesting and totally entertaining. The padded ironing board was hysterical. As a newbie, I loved reading all your history and experiences. It is still fun and games for my husband and me and cuddling is definitely part of that. Now the bigger question. After all of that, would you do flogging again? Did you decide you like it and want more of it? Curious.

    • Yes, I would submit to being flogged again. I vastly prefer spanking as my #1 kink, but flogging actually does feel good…in a whole different way. It’s hard to explain, but flogging to start feels just like you’re being patted on the back. It doesn’t hurt. It doesn’t sting. It’s more of a comforting thud. From there, an experienced Dom can take it in any direction he wants to, and if you’ve been warmed up right, then you are right there with him, eager to keep going. I would do it again, but I wouldn’t want to do it every time I attend the play parties.

  4. “… a return in balance” is the perfect phrase for it, Maren. Just perfect, We have a few things in common, you and I. I got into kink back in the mid 90s myself. Beautifully said, all of it.

  5. I have a lot of respect for you. I would love to get as far as you did the last three times. I am not a crier but I do get my husband to know that he has pushed my limits and that I am not really conscious of the pain anymore. He just loves on me afterward. Where do you find any play parties. And do you have a boyfriend/husband that attends the parties with you and if you do, do you still do scenes with other tops. I always wonder if I would be comfortable having an experience Dom who did a scene with me and showed my husband all that can be done.

  6. wonderful post, Maren. I love how you talk about not knowing the word, not knowing you “needed” it- sometimes I think we put too much thought to things. You were still getting what you needed, even before you had the word aftercare.

  7. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences. I think I was as unprepared as you when my emotions went wonky after getting my favorite thing. It helps to read other’s experiences and hear how they run the gamut.

  8. I prefer to be flogged than spanked, though given my other half alternates between implements throughout, it isn’t always that simple. A spanking keeps me focused, in the moment, where as flogging causes me to drift away and often I have little memory of it later. We don’t have words around what we do, like aftercare, but I do know when things have ended wrong, but not always the reasons why.
    return to balance – good way to capture the concept.

  9. What a great and honest post. I understand the need for a return to balance. I also didn’t post this time around because I thought I didn’t have any experience with after care. But now after reading everyone’s posts I think you are right that even just a hug or laying down together is definitely after care. I always feel more emotional afterward rather than during. Thanks for sharing!

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