Thursday, September 10, 2009

Aftercare? Please, what is this word "aftercare"?

My Master doesn't do aftercare.

I already knew a number of things about the sadist from his slave before our in-person interactions commenced, but I rather assumed they applied only to that particular relationship because hey, I wasn't going to be a slave. Of course, I was wrong. He's pretty absolute about what he will and won't do, except for the fact that he spoils me. He does keep saying there will be no more of that, and probably it would be better for me if that were the case. We'll see...

So no limits, no negotiating, no aftercare, no exceptions... I suppose the difference is in exactly what he expects from me, what he expects me to do for him, what he demands of me - which as we all know is quite often out of the realm of the usual submissive tasks. Really, how many subs - or slaves for that matter - are expected to produce poetry and then get caned when it's bad. (Don't worry, it was just that once - for the really bad sonnet on a topic he had forbidden me - that I was caned.)

I don't have to set limits. He can read my limits in my responses. When he has felt he had gone too far he has revised his plans for me. And while there is no negotiating, he does know me very well, maybe better than I know myself. I am his treasure. He doesn't want to lose me - not as long as I'm not more trouble than I'm worth. (He does wonder sometimes...)

Now this aftercare thing is something else. I was mulling it over today, trying to think of a way to explain it, to explain why I'm OK with it. Because I really am OK with it. And I think it's because of two things:

1) the nature of our relationship. I am not going to reveal any highly personal details about the way we relate to each other, but I'll tell you this - snuggly aftercare would feel really odd. That does not mean that I am unaware of his affection for me, despite the fact that he almost never explicitly refers to it. I do enough gushing for the both of us. There is a bond between us that may not have a name but is very real. Yeah, I know there's a big difference between sending roses (even with the thorns) and wanting to arrange for me to service his friends, but the bond is real and we each gain a lot from the other. Remember, the physical end of things is very rough. I like it rough.

2) he gives me a way to process what just happened between us by requiring a written thank-you and a report on my reactions. Being as loquacious as I am, this can yield a few long e-mails or a whole string of them continuing throughout the day and night. I normally feel very close to him after even those brief half-hour, lunchtime visits (we had only 15 minutes when he was compelled to make yesterday's unplanned visit), and the after-messages keep me feeling close, keep me feeling in communication, even though he is not lying next to me, stroking my hair, murmuring what a good girl I was, and adjusting the frozen peas on my butt. It is excruciatingly hard to imagine that scenario, but there is never any question as to his approval when I have earned it.

The times there has been a problem afterwards are more due to something in the nature of the lesson itself, and given the oddities of my psychological make-up I doubt that, in most cases, aftercare would have made any difference. The difficulty is the way our time together is scheduled, squeezed into his over-packed week and limited by both his calendar and mine. If I had more time afterwards to assimilate what went on, to write him a debriefing message immediately rather than sneaking a quick note off when I'm back at work and then writing more later... hell, if the visits themselves could be longer there might be not exactly aftercare but more time to let me feel how intertwined we are.

I also think it's easier now because the longer we go on, the more I learn, the more confident I am in what we have created. That's not to deny that there is some scary shit going on, at least in discussions. But I feel secure, I feel close to him, he wants to hurt me but I feel cradled by him... I don't know if any of you can understand this but it's there. And that feeling stays with me... his arms around me in a way that he has almost never done physically... and I float as I hold whatever position he has ordered me into and hear him behind me, pulling on his clothes, walking up the stairs, and shutting the door behind him.

So no aftercare.

And that's really ok.

On the other hand, I bought two new giant bags of frozen peas today. Just like the ones in the photo. Because when he finally gets around to punishing me, and when the beast finally steps in and takes his turn, I think I'm going to need them.

(No, I don't know when it will be. He's taking his time with the details. He likes to plan. It's half the fun, he says. He is working on my sentence. And then there are the where and when. I'll let you know.)


T said...

I do not have after care either. If I have received a punishment it is simply doled out and after I must tell him in detail why it happened and how I will adjust it later.

cutesypah said...

I'm just glad that you have a relationship that works for you, as different as it may be from anyone else's. I couldn't do what you do, and I certainly could not survive without aftercare. but that's just me.

I'm glad you're happy.

mamacrow said...

I don't really like the word 'aftercare' because it seems to mean something very specific - namely, as you put it - 'lying next to me, stroking my hair, murmuring what a good girl I was, and adjusting the frozen peas on my butt.'

what you described - the after messages, the feeling of connection - I think thats what I meant. Someway to keep you feeling connected and secure and.... if not loved, then... cherished? cared for?

and I agree longer sessions would be good too... hope he gets to 'take his time' with you soon (oo, that made me shiver too!)

Paul said...

OG, I really like your description of the way you feel after a *meeting* with your Sadist, I believe it meets all the criteria of aftercare.
Love and warm hugs,

nancy said...

How wonderful your aftercare sounds!
I say you are one lucky woman in many ways.
I could never do things your way.. but you are happy and that is all that matters.

oatmeal girl said...

And T, do you feel this is detrimental to you - not having the aftercare?

The concept of aftercare isn't just for punishment, although the philosopher, for example, always liked to frame the pain he inflicted on me with his, hand, and belt and cane within the context on scoldings and punishments, followed by "You're a good girl now..." He IS a lapsed Catholic, after all.

But my Master has been hurting me (although usually not all that seriously) in various contexts, because he is an unapologetic sadist and gets pleasure from my suffering and my screams. And aftercare can be useful after any intense experience, just to help the sub come down. I'm not by any means against it. But honestly, in this relationship, with this man, it would feel downright weird.

cutesypah and nancy, I really appreciate you're at least being able to see that I am happy. And you know, I wouldn't have thought I could do it this way myself! I'm almost struck with wonderment, asking myself - it's really ok? And then I look inside, poke around, and say yup. It's really ok.

I also don't think I'm the only one out there in a relationship like this. Just as there are plenty of people who go without safe words - an idea that once horrified me. Its not like I'm "playing" with some stranger. He is someone with whom I have a relationship, non-standard as it may be, and the longer we go on, and the closer we get in our own ways, the safer I feel. Even though the longer we gone on the closer to the edge we go. (Well, it's edge for me - he's been there many times before.)

mamacrow and Paul - wow. I really appreciate your not only accepting my reassurances that I am ok with how things are, but also identifying what happens specifically as a form of aftercare.

Thanks to all of you for sticking with me even as things evolve in directions you didn't expect to be reading about when you first happened by.

Laur said...

Hmm. I strongly dislike the word 'aftercare'. To me, that makes it seem like a dom does not care at all while s/he is inflicting pain. Sure, aftercare is wonderful, but I tend to worry when a submissive finds it to be necessary. Yes, everyone loves the reassurance that they are safe in a relationship, loved, and well cared for. Of course, this is just my opinion, but the word 'aftercare' makes it sound like a repayment. Sort of like a "thanks for letting me beat you. I didn't care about you while I was doing it, but now I do." I don't like that. I need to know that I am cared for during those moments just as much as after.

That was jumbled. Hopefully it made a bit of sense. :)