Aftercare is an important part of recovery from play for many people. It is most common to experience a drop in emotions and energy after play from within hours to even days later. All too often it becomes a necessity to take care of yourself after a play session because your top was just visiting or the play party is over. Even after a few days, you may need to carry out some aftercare. Knowing what to do can prevent physical and emotional struggles.

Physically it may seem obvious that you have marks; bruising, cuts, sore muscles, etc that need continued first aid. If you haven't taken first aid training, you should have a basic medical primer at home. I have one that is a Home Medical Care Manual given to my by my father. It's come in handy for diagnosing general illnesses and in deciding if a visit to the doctor was necessary.

First Aid for Marks

Knowing basic first aid for bruises, cuts and abrasions are important to care for your skin and muscle tissues after intense play. There are many schools of thought on bruise care but the best I've heard about is Arnica cream sold in the pharmacy area. Cool compresses will help cut down swelling. Treat cuts and abrasions with anti-bacterial and bandages. Scar reduction creams may also be helpful if you are afraid of marks lasting longer than you'd like.

What is Sub Drop?

Sub Drop is when the endorphins you experienced during play suddenly leave your body and it goes into withdrawals. This can be described as similar to drug addiction recovery. Your body goes through a crash period and is personal to each person. From crying and uncontrollable emotional outbursts to sadness, depression, and anxiety. You could also experience moments of guilt or doubt about your play session and what you enjoyed. Drop can come at your within hours or even days later. It is typically more common with submissives in long term or committed relationships than with casual partners.

Guarding Against Sub Drop

Another issue is the emotional and psychological trauma you may have experienced during play. This can catch up with you shortly after play to days later when you least expect it. To guard against it, drink water before, during and after play. Make sure you do not play while hungry or even slightly ill. Listen to your body and if it's giving you signs to stop, you should. The only limits you should try to break are emotional and non-physical ones. Your body tells you things for a reason; listen! Drink something with simple sugars after play. Orange juice works wonders.

Creating a Drop Kit

A drop kit can be helpful for Dominants and submissives that experience moderate to severe drop after play sessions. Drop can be associated with feelings of loneliness, mental and physical exhaustion, confusion, insecurity, tremors and many other physical symptoms. It is important to take care of yourself during times of drop. This kit will put all the things necessary at your fingertips.

This is by no means an exhaustive list, please feel free to add your own personal selections.

  • Warm blanket
  • First Aid Kit
  • First Aid Manual
  • Bath salts
  • Bubble bath
  • Scented candles
  • Incense
  • Favorite book
  • Prepaid calling card
  • Hard candy
  • Favorite beverages
  • Lotion
  • Journal
  • Relaxing music
  • Letter from your partner
  • Stuffed animals
  • Coloring books/crayons
  • Gift card to favorite restaurant
  • Vitamin E
  • Favorite movie

Do you have any personal items you'd add to your own Drop Kit?

Video Recommendation on (affiliate)

Aftercare: Self-Care

- Lucky Albatross knows that you can’t always be sure that your partner can provide the aftercare you need, so this clip explains how to bring your own necessities with you. She covers the gamut of the “carbs & cuddles” type of aftercare supplies and also warns about some of the things you might not want to do right after a scene (such as blog).

Aftercare: Using a Surrogate

- Since everyone’s aftercare needs are different and both tops and bottoms need aftercare, it follows that they may not always be able to provide aftercare for each other. Lucky Albatross presents a solution in this clip: using a different person who is better equipped and can be trusted to give the aftercare that is needed for either party. She talks about how best to communicate and provide for the different needs and also some strategies in case you have to do without.

photo credit Meredith_Farme