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Aftercare begins with self-care

Updated: Mar 10, 2022

Ms Kitten in conversation with Desire Lines, FaerieBunny and Dandlylion





I matter. Knowing how to care for myself is the first step in negotiating aftercare.



A very special friend explained it to me like this: 'Having just one thing as self care means that thing becomes an obsession.'


So I am learning to make my aftercare a multitude of colours:




Why and how we feel good


Think about how these biological feel-good systems can be balanced to maximise the good times and help you deal with drops after play:


SEROTONIN (the happy hormone)

  • Listening to music

  • Walking in nature

  • Meditation

  • Writing or journaling

  • Sunshine

DOPAMINE (the reward chemical)

  • Self-care

  • Completing tasks

  • Eating good food

  • Celebrating wins

  • Getting enough sleep

OXYTOCIN (the love drug)

  • Hugging

  • Kissing

  • Deep conversation

  • Playing with animals

  • Giving compliments

ENDORPHINS (the stress and pain reliever)

  • Laughing

  • Exercise

  • Chocolate

  • Spicy food

  • Physical touch

Getting a good mix of these feel-good chemicals after play is the goal.


What is Aftercare?


Aftercare is the time devoted to self care and partner care after kink or sex.


Aftercare is about helping ourselves and our partner feel safe, seen, heard and appreciated.


The goal is to try to make aftercare a part of every sexual interaction, not just in kink.


Intimacy doesn't have to stop when touch stops: this is part of aftercare.


Sometimes big/scary/new things happen in an intimate experience. Talk about them!


Debrief of the experience is a critical part of aftercare.


Aftercare is for all genders in all encounters that involve intimacy or adrenaline.


Aftercare involves all parties: both tops and bottoms need and deserve aftercare.


As much as you feel it's your partner’s responsibility· to give aftercare, it still remains up to you to fulfill what you need in order to look after yourself.



Care in Kink: a Model


Aftercare is a critical part of the kink cycle. We can think of it as being on a continuum with other important elements like negotiation and play itself.



Good aftercare will lead to more trust and more play, so we can think of this timeline becoming a circle if you have found a nice human to play with.


An example of what this can look like:



Important Affirmations


If I know what fills my cup, I can:

  1. Clearly communicate what my needs are to others

  2. Communicate which of these needs I plan to meet on my own

  3. Communicate which needs my partner(s) might be able to help meet open the floor for a discussion of my partner(s)' needs


I am deserving of care.

From others, but first and foremost from myself.


Helplines


National GBV Helpline 0800 150 150

Lifeline South Africa 0861 322 322

AIDS Helpline 0800 012 322

National Counselling Line 0861 322 322

Childline South Africa 0800 055 555

Dr Reddy's Help Line 0800 21 22 23

Cipla 24hr Mental Health Helpline 0800 456 789

Pharmadynamics Police &Trauma Line 0800 20 50 26

Adcock Ingram Depression and Anxiety Helpline 0800 70 80 90

ADHD Helpline 0800 55 44 33

Department of Social Development Substance Abuse Line 24hr 0800 12 13 14

SMS 32312

Suicide Crisis Line 0800 567 567

SADAG Mental Health Line 011 234 4837

Akeso Psychiatric Response Unit 24 Hour 0861 435 787

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