This week’s Mentor’s post comes from FetLife’s Lady_Trinidad and is about the period of time between the end of scene and aftercare.
How *NOT* to End a Scene
You just got done playing. The music was pumping, the scene was slammin’, and now it’s time to wind things down. As the Top, do you think about how your bottom is going to experience the next few minutes as they transition from scene back to reality?
Tonight, as I was winding down a bondage scene, I was very aware of what my bottom was going through as he was still tightly bound to my spanking bench. See, this was his first time entering subspace, so I wanted to ensure that he had a good, long-lasting impression of what it means to be taken care of at the end of a scene (not to be confused with aftercare).
Here are all of the things I considered tonight after the last swat was dealt, and I now had to manage bringing him back from his happy place.
Think with the End in Mind. (Or in this case, the bottom’s end. Not that end, silly!)
Leave some time at the end for the bottom to come to, especially after a long or intense scene. Before the scene ever begins, be sure the bottom has comforting items nearby (if needed) and some water to replenish lost fluids during the scene. Not all bottoms require aftercare, but if they do, be sure those items are readily available before the scene ever begins.
It’s Not a Race to the Finish!
The scene ends: you’re done; they’re done. A good time was had by both. Now that the bottom has entered his or her happy place, let them marinate in it, relish in the joy of what just took place between the two of you. Don’t start stripping off all of the accoutrements willy nilly! Leave some time at the end of the scene to bring the bottom out of it.
Avoid Jarring Moves.
A great scene can go south real quick if the bottom is unceremoniously knocked out of his or her headspace because of clumsiness like a knock into their leg, a bump to the head, or an accidental bump of the equipment they are still on. Be aware of the bottom’s body and the equipment (legs & all for both).
Be Careful when Removing Stuff.
The bottom has just taken a lot of _________ (fill in the blank). They lay there, depleted, relaxed, spent. You start to take off a wrist cuff, or cut a piece of vet wrap. Take it easy. Don’t let body parts just drop after a piece of gear has been removed. Be aware that that body is an actual person. Support their joints, such as wrists or elbows, when removing restrictive gear like rope, cuffs, hoods, gags, etc. Give the bottom time to wiggle out of things at their own pace with your assistance. Don’t rip shit out or off!
Don’t Drop Gear on the Ground.
You dished it out, and they took it like a champ. Be aware and don’t drop the gear, especially right near their head. As they continue to drift around inside their own head, don’t knock them out of that zone by clanging chain links or with big loud thwumps of gear on the floor. The lyrical tinkle of chains as they easily slide down is one thing, but a loud metallic bang right near someone’s head can be jarring.
Music Becomes Louder after the Scene Ends.
When playing in a public space, it can get noisy – real noisy, but if you are able to control the music, turn it down just a notch at the end. The same music that helped get the blood pumping at the climax mid-scene could be equally abrasive, even intrusive, to the bottom’s headspace post-scene.
Light Becomes Brighter after a Scene Ends.
Shield yer eyes! Seriously. Shield their fucking eyes. Senses go haywire after a scene has ended, and the light that seems normal to the Top will seem quite different to the bottom. Cupping your hands over their eyes and letting the light filter in between your fingers will give them a chance to blink and adjust gradually. This is especially helpful after someone has just worn a hood or a blindfold for a good hour or more.
Body Temperatures Vary Before, During & After a Scene.
During a scene, the bottom’s body temperature will fluctuate, meaning it will likely go up. Blood is pumping through their bodies, adrenaline is floating through the bloodstream, endorphins are there, too. However, once the scene ends, these feel goods are going to go away. The blood slows down, the heart rate decreases, and the temperature changes. For some bottoms, having a blanket nearby provides not just a sense of warmth, but a sense of security. However, NOT ALL bottoms get warm or need a blanket at the end. If you’re not sure if your bottom will want one, ask before the scene starts, or ask at the end. (I asked tonight, and he was actually sweating, so no blanket for him.)
Stay Physically or Proximally Connected.
Even though the bottoms may be on a bouncy Moon Walk inside their heads, let them know that you’re still there…somewhere in the near vicinity. A hand on the calf, leaning a hip against their side, or even your breath on their skin or a light whisper in their ear reassures them that you have not left their side. (If you must leave for some reason, enlist a trusted friend to stand post until you return.)
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate!
Have water at the ready when the bottom is willing and able to drink it. Don’t force water down someone’s throat until they are able to swallow it on their own. Help support the container (bottle, cup, glass) until they are capable of holding it/drinking on their own.
Now, these are not rules, not even guidelines, and they are certainly not the One Twue Way to end a scene. As I wrote at the start, these are some things that I was considering tonight as I ended MY scene, and I can’t help but think I’m not the only one who has considered these thoughts.