What is Aftercare in BDSM?

Most people are aware of some of the acts of play in BDSM--the whips, the ropes, the handcuffs, etc... But another key element to the practice is aftercare, which is checking in with the submissive after the scene is over to make sure they're okay. Aftercare is important because you can't just inflict violence or mental anguish on someone and then just leave them alone afterward. Even though BDSM is consensual, the submissive may end up hating the lifestyle if they're not given any sweet with the sour, if you know what I mean. 

Aftercare involves physical and emotional attendance, and like scenes of play, aftercare is different for different couples. But some common forms of aftercare include cuddling, talking, taking a bath together, or giving a massage. 

During BDSM scenes, a slew of endorphins are released, filling the sub with an incredible high. But when the play is over, they experience something of a crash, which sometimes is as intense as a drug withdrawal, and that's why the Dominant needs to perform aftercare to ease the submissive's fragile mental and physical state. 

Getting sad after sex happens to people even outside of intense BDSM sessions. A study from 2015 found that nearly 46% of women surveyed experienced anxiety or sadness at least once in their lives after sex. The reason for this is the hormonal change caused by orgasm combined with neglect after the act. 

So for those who want to venture into the world of BDSM or who'd rather just stick with vanilla, don't forget kindness after sex. There's actually scientific proof of why a bit of love can go a long way after the deed.