Monday, February 18, 2013

Life is a Constant State of Aftercare

I was writing about one of my scenes with Lizzie the other day for our blog, Black & Blue. It got me thinking about aftercare and how, in a full-time lifestyle relationship, aftercare is, in many ways, a 24/7 thing. Some people would just call that "being attentive to the relationship." Granted, all good relationships require proactive nurturing. The moment they go to something else they stagnate and like an unused muscle, wither and atrophy. 

I've never been in a 24/7 kink-based relationship before. My BDSM relationship with my ex was never a fully realized thing. We had too much baggage. There were too many things that kept us both from fully allowing that to develop. With Lizzie, we have both the kink (it's nice, when the kids aren't around, to be able to randomly launch into an unexpected flurry of spanking that'll take her breath away, wherever we may be at the moment) and the D/s (a simple, stern look can do a lot in terms of communicating a message or even power exchange). Those things were well established in our relationship before love entered the picture.

But as that 24/7 lifestyle evolves, the care and nurturing that I find so integral to any good relationship is as much a part of our vanilla experience as it is a part of our lifestyle experience. [I just read that bit back to myself and I'm not even sure I'm making much sense at this point.] That's what I mean about "life is a constant state of aftercare." We owe it to our partners to continue that intimate connection far beyond the end of a scene.

In another way, sometimes, later in the night after we play, or even well into the next day, I can see that Lizzie is fragile. When we weren't together full-time it's something I wouldn't see. But being together, I notice it and I make sure to wrap my arms around her and "check in," hold her tight and let her know all is okay with the world. In that case, it usually doesn't last more than a day after a scene, that fragility, and it's not always there. But I feel better knowing I'm around to see it when it happens.

I feel I've really rambled out this particular blog post. Maybe it's the time difference (I'm in Europe on business and perhaps not entirely lucid). Maybe it's my own head trying to wrap itself around the subject I more sense than can articulate. 

I'd love to hear your thoughts on the above. 

8 comments:

  1. funny how post topics go around in circles, there are a few at the moment including one of my own...but more about the lack of. I think its vital in ttwd to have that aftercare. When we first started my Sir was very consciensous about aftercare, always checking to make sure i was ok...but the longer we have gone one the more complacent he gets with it....or maybe its just he expects me to tell him if i have an issue or if there is something wrong...but that can be hard to do, and thats regardless of how we feel about each other or how long we have known each other. But saying that he shows me a hell of a lot of affection anyway - so is that classed as aftercare or just affection because he loves me and is there a difference anyway? I guess only he can answer that question because only he knows what he sees in me...does he see me looking fragile and hugs me or does he hug me becuase he just wants to...either way, i agree with you in any relationship whether kinky or vanilla love and affection and care for one another is vital.
    Enjoy your time in Europe - I miss home sometimes.

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    1. It's funny you say that. As I talked about before with my post about "giving up after care check-ins" I think the more familiar we become with our partners the easier it is to settle into a routine, at minimum, and become complacent, at worst. You have to pay attention to that and really work through it so it doesn't become an issue.

      And I'm not preaching! I'm speaking from my own experience...

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  2. it is so easy to become complacent in any aspect of any relationhip...they all take work...and we all learn from mistakes made.

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    1. There were a couple times I sent Craig a "checking in" email, instead of waiting for him to send one. (To be fair, he was usually terribly busy or traveling at the time.)

      I think there are times when, as a bottom, it's easy to put the aftercare firmly on the top. But it's still a relationship, in which both people have a responsibility to maintain.

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    2. You're both right. Thank you for your thoughts, you both.

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    3. you make an really good point Lizzie, id actually never thought of it that way, though saying that, when we first started out in this lifestyle, i did often ask how he ws with it, seeing as though i was the one that introduced it...i never thought of it as aftercare but looking back now, perhaps it was :) i should do it more often even now.

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  3. "We owe it to our partners to continue that intimate connection far beyond the end of a scene."

    Well said. I totally agree. I really crave the aftercare and if it gets brushed off I start to feel myself withdrawing.

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