This article was a significant one for me. It is about care, not only for our play partners, but also for ourselves. It is not about a Dominant’s care for his submissive, but of that submissive’s care for their Dominant. Both are necessary. While my original impetus comes from being a sadistic Dominant, I think the intention is quite an important consideration for any position or orientation. No matter what the event or occurrence between people, if it has the possibility of being a important or significant physical event (ah, like really good sex) then it deserves some aftercare.
Early on in my path as a sadistic Dominant, I was often honored by being allowed to play with other’s property. This meant that the Dominant individual of a relationship felt that I was a safe and suitable play partner of an evening for their submissive. While I would probably say that the scenes were not outstanding, neither were they disastrous. Following them, as seemed appropriate at the time, the submissive went off to their Dominant partner for what I began to call their “cuddle time.” After all, they were not in a relationship with me, were they?
Well, I would immediately sink into depression. I would sit alone for half to three quarters of an hour and then usually go home, feeling very secluded, isolated and lonely. What I did not understand at that time was that I needed the cuddle time just as much as my play partner. Yea, I know, I was the big strong Dominant, the sadist. I wasn’t taking the pain, why did I need the comfort?
This resulted in two realizations. First, what I was doing was causing pain to someone I wished, overall, to please. Second, what I wanted was a relationship where the joining or coming closer was of great importance. But I had been brought up, as I suspect most have in this society, understanding that when you hit someone, it usually results in a distancing. People don’t like being hit. What I was missing was twofold, the confirmation that what I had done was pleasing, and the relationship in which that was expected.
I know, before play we had negotiated, talked about what I was going to do and I clearly understand that my partner volunteered and desired my actions, but there is a vast difference between talking about and the results of actually doing what was discussed. My adrenalin gets pumped, I have been violent with her, I may have made her do things that usually would be embarrassing or even deeply humiliating. And this is someone I care about. It takes some processing to get to the point where that is OK.
So cuddle time is necessary for me. It is all about being told that this was good for her, that it did bring us closer, that this was a dynamic she enjoyed and it affirmed our relationship, that it was something she desired and wants to continue. It doesn’t matter if your relationship is one of Dominance and submission nor of sadomasochistic dynamics. What does matter is that whenever it happens, that moment that pushes your boundaries, you both take the time to be close, affirm, check in, and acknowledge that something special happened, and you might even want it to happen again.