more important than most people realize. Not only for the immediate
effect, to prevent sub drop, but the lack can also create a dangerous
addiction in subs, usually with them being unaware of it.
It’s a topic that’s often overlooked, not in the short term, but the long term effects. And it’s something I would really love to sensitize people a bit about.
I think the best comparison is like a very addictive, destructive drug. You take it, you’re high, you feel perfect. Then you get withdrawal, only looking forward to the next high. But you think the drug is the shits while your life breaks apart, you ignore friends, forget about your hobbies, and so on.
It’s the same with play without aftercare. You crash. Slower, different. You crave more play, because that’s where you’re high, where you feel good. Then you crash deeper. And after a few rounds of it, you’re developing an addiction to the dom. And yes, it really is an addiction, because play stimulates the reward centers. That’s why aftercare is so important, to slowly leave the scene, to take all the time you need, so it’s something fun, but not the only thing giving you fun and joy.
And to make matters worse, you need – of course – always more. And you’re more in their control. They usually start to break limits, so you crash even harder, get even more addicted. They might get abusive, also pushing you deeper into the dependence. And it’s almost impossible to know as long as you’re in the situation.
I’ve known so many subs over the years who were stuck in it, I helped a lot of them, but it’s hard to get to them in the first place – because like any addict they think they are happy. That’s the really evil part, their life breaks away, and if the dom is doing it to just control them, they are obviously supporting the sub rejecting their friends (aka the subs support structure – it’s a typical abusive relationship pattern) and giving up their hobbies for the doms benefit.
Another typical effect of this abusive behavior (it’s not kink or BDSM, it’s only masquerading as it) is that the sub is down most of the time. I’m talking a general depressed state, without any real specific reason. That’s not to be confused with the “Fuck me work was stress today, I need some time out of control to relax!”, but a “Life sucks.. I don’t want to do anything… I hope my “dom” plays with me soon!” state. They also often “degrade” psychologically, are somewhat less functional, less organized, more eratic. But that differs from person to person. Another warning sign can be when their emotions seem to be very shallow, but quickly become aggressive if someone offers support, because it’s easier to interact with people who accept them saying there are good, then with friends who push their nose into the fact the aren’t (another typical addict behavior).
Sadly this is something all too common. Doms saying “I’m so good at doming, you don’t need aftercare with me!” or telling their subs they are too tired, or it’s a bother… I’ve heard countless variations on it. And sorry, dear domly doms, if you think you don’t need to give aftercare for any reason, you’re not a good dom, you’re worthless as a dom.
Then again there are also subs who don’t want to bother their dom, saying “It’s ok, it’s enough…” because they don’t feel like they should be in the center of attention. That’s bullshit, let me tell you. I’ve yet to see a (useful, aka not a domly) dom who wouldn’t enjoy to care for the melted pile of subby goo they just created. Seriously. They just worked hard to put you into this blissful place. And there is nothing more satisfying then to pet a sub lost in subspace, and know you just made them feel this happy, drifty, floaty. And to be honest, if you fight your way out, because you think it’s a bother, you throw a bit of your doms work away instead of enjoying it.
To make things even worse, it’s usually a long, painful process to come back from this kind of relationship. Even with good support, it can take years to get back to trust people fully. To be able to play again in a positive way. To enjoy playing to the full extend possible and enjoy it. To become you again. Let me quote a short post of someone I’m helping to recover [Link to original post]:
“For some reasons, during the last years, I have forgotten to be myself. When I think about it, I realize I was just a shadow, going through life without real emotions. Things are now changing. Piece by piece, I remember the person I am. Last night I started drawing. It certainly doesn’t sound important but it is for me. It’s like if I was recovering memories after a long period of amnesia : I have drawn during my whole life but suddenly stopped. Yesterday, the desire came back and I had a great time! And I will keep drawing, improve and love it.[…]”
So yeah. You
lose yourself in it. You give up everything without realizing. And that’s not a fun
power exchange, that’s a dangerous addiction. Like most addiction it
feels good, and you think you’re good, but it hurts you.
If you’re looking for a dom, and they tell you that you don’t need aftercare with them – move on. There are many doms out there, but only one healthy you. And that should be your first priority. Your own safety. And any good dom will see it the same way, and support you however they can.
Be safe, play safe, have fun.