As I've mentioned before, the goal of My sessions is to elicit a powerful moment. A catharsis, or at the very least, a wave of emotions -- all in the context of underlying nurturance. So, what is nurturance, and how is it applicable to BDSM? 

Nurturance is emotional or physical care and nourishment of someone who, for the purposes of this post, is usually in a vulnerable position. It is an idea that has gained traction in popular blog posts, such as this one, The Opposite of Rape Culture is Nurturance Culture.

Most of the time, nurturance takes the form of aftercare in BDSM. Aftercare is a well-known concept in our lifestyle: "Emotional safety may be more complicated for clients to assess for themselves. Some clients derive great sexual pleasure and emotional release from experiencing difficult emotions in a controlled, eroticized environment with a cherished other. However, this can become unsafe if a client's emotional triggers or past traumas are activated during the play. An important aspect of emotionally safe BDSM play is 'aftercare,' the practice of nurturance, cuddling, and debriefing after the play 'scene' is completed. For some, aftercare may be the difference between a satisfying, connecting erotic experience and one that feels traumatic and hurtful." (Hinman, 2013)

When an emotionally significant event occurs, there is a large degree of vulnerability on the part of the submissive. They are sometimes "giving up" their manly, stoic, unemotional exterior, and exploring their deep feelings. Not just sexual arousal "feelings", they're processing and making vulnerable a part of themselves that is not easy to accept. Just as it may be far more difficult for a man to shed tears than to punch someone in the face, lowering the walls and being overtaken by emotion is a scary possibility for many people. And in BDSM, that's exactly where you stand. In effect, you are physically coerced into emotional output. It's injury, but not harm: this is done with the support and nurturance of a Domme with whom you are sessioning. Or, at least, it should be.

So, what does aftercare look like? Very similar to any sort of nurturance of a vulnerable person: It can be as simple as listening to the submissive's feelings, or it can be as complex as arranging a specific set of goods and items for comfort and safety. It begins when the session ends, and ending the scene gently is key. Turning off lights, fading music, and gentle words. Asking how the scene went for them, and how it could be different. Since body temperatures change with psychological events, a blanket may be warranted. A warm shower and gauzing, if necessary. Having an open Q&A is highly suggested.

Even after arriving home, aftercare may continue on a submissive's desire: "... some people find that assembling 'aftercare supplies' helps them continue to land gently after they arrive home. Relaxing music, comfort objects, scented candles, bubble baths, favorite books or movies, incense, and other forms of self-pampering serve to continue to remind people that they are special and cared for, allowing them to bask in the gradually fading fires of their flight into subspace." (Dexter, 2012)

While it is not necessary for a Pro-Domme to provide aftercare for a submissive, if I were to suggest one very important thing to consider when selecting someone to session with, it would be whether or not she provides aftercare. The providing of nurturance and safety indicates respecting personal boundaries, as well, and is another layer added to a good BDSM session. The fact that a Domme understands that she is setting up an important emotional event and is willing to guide a submissive through it is always a good sign. If you encounter a Domme who seems unwilling or unable to provide the level of aftercare you may need, rather than trying to convince her, reconsider if she is the right Domme for you. 

Citations:

Hinman, M. (2013) Understanding Clients with Alternative Expressions of Sexuality Using Music. In Expressive Therapies for Sexual Issues: A Social Work Perspective pp. 142-143 (S. Loue, Ed.). New York, NY: Springer.

Dexter, D. (2012, January 29). BDSM 101: Subspace, Aftercare, and Sub-drop (and sometimes Top-drop) [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://chicomunch.com/publ/basic_info_about_bdsm/bdsm_101_subspace_aftercare_and_sub_drop_and_sometimes_top_drop/1-1-0-23