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  • Writer's pictureDaphne Dixon

Awareness, Afterglow & Aftercare (self)

Updated: Jan 7, 2019

Author note: I started writing this the day after an encounter, but didn't have time to finish it until a few days later... Forgive the time/date references that are inconsistent to the anecdotal portion of this piece. xoxo

I live as much for the afterglow as the moment itself… As intense as the actual play can be, the sweet moments afterward brings so many gifts. The physical sense of openness, and relaxation. The stimulation of thoughts, ideas, feelings...all with paths to follow and build understanding of self. The hormones still at play in the system, giving us hits of euphoria… There are endless channels of energy and awareness to harness for our own use. No one else needs to be a part of this process… They can be, and might sometimes, but the afterglow is an amazing opportunity for #growth on our own. The connections of the moment are sometimes only meant to be for those moments...nothing more (and nothing less!).

Today, as I awoke after 4.5 hours of sleep, my body telling me all about the things I was making it do last night (lol) I was not necessarily as in touch with the afterglow. I was focused on just how my body was holding on to a lot of stuff… It had been a raucous romp with 2 people of newer energy to me: a male I have recently added to my mix, and a female I met over the summer, but only just got to connect with during her return visit home for the holidays. She does energy work, plays in kink, and is a self-proclaimed Ethical Slut. He has stuff built up, controlled, and neatly contained, but I am pretty sure he’s trying to (at least subconsciously) work on some of it...and that is part of his attraction to me... Because I’m a catalyst...this is what I do… (more mindfully and gently now than in the I have learned over time that my catalyst energy can be very volatile to others if used without care…)

It was the first of hopefully many forays of play between all of us (together and separately), and a great starting point for creating a sense of cohesiveness, since we all had our own connections already formed separately (I was introduced to him through her, even though I hadn't played with her until this recent visit). We made a first run at it last week (fun!), then she and I met up in between to ramp up our connection...which laid the framework for the even better romp this past weekend! :-)

I did some amazing strap-on topping, along with some playful wrestling with both of them at various points (we all enjoy primal energy and play in the mix…), plus lots of other stuff… Of course there was some of the standard FMF type play, but also a few things I was trying to do that I don’t normally do...because if you aren’t trying some new things, what’s the point?? ;-) So my body was feeling all of that the next day (and reliving some of it!), along with how my energy connected with each of them...absorbed some of their energy...gave them each some of mine…had trapped some of the energy of the play... When you are doing really fun, spirited stuff like that, and things are getting *mixed up* together, we all come away a little different than we started! And it’s important afterward to reflect and figure out how to balance ourselves back out as a part of the process of using and assessing the gifts from those experiences.

couples dancing, kissing, playing
Sharing energy is an awesome opportunity for growth! But how do you reground in self?

Step 1: Separate the Bodies

I was all up next to, inside, and enveloping 2 other people. That means our energy probably got mixed up in that process. Sometimes we absorb things we don’t mean to or want... So consciously thinking about how and where that might have happened helps us regain our own energy boundaries. Identify what you picked up, and choose to reset your boundaries where you want them.

Additionally, our own bodies have multiple layers. What we are feeling physically is different than what we might be feeling emotionally, energetically, or spiritually*. Being aware of these layers helps us separate them out and not have one aspect confuse another.

Step 2: Re-ground in Self

Each experience provides stimulation to process. Some exchanges are more powerful than others, and have more energies pulling at us. These are great opportunities to learn more about ourselves, as usually the most powerful pulls are the threads that lead to the things our souls desire (or is trying to figure out). But some of those pulls can just be distractions also…so it’s important to reground in self to be able to assess what we do with that powerful, lingering energy.

How each of us chooses to reground in self may vary. My general go-to’s are yoga, mediation, and journaling. I usually try to journal some things out before getting on the mat, as more is processed in my meditation and practice. I keep my journal close to my mat so I can add more thoughts as they come to me, but to also let them go as I flow through my practice.

If my physical body is feeling particularly sore, tight or holding tension (like it was Sunday after all the activity from the night before), I will focus on things that move energy, but in a gentle, restorative way. If my energy body is feeling really active, I may opt for a more energized activities to help sweat, flush and balance my body.

Some other practices to throw in the mix:

  • I always drink lots of water, as that is always a good way to help flush, hydrate and balance our bodies.

  • Sometimes I like to go to the park for a hike, or do something outdoors. Being in nature is always a great grounding technique. During gardening season, I also like to work outside in the yard as a way to re-ground in self.

  • I also may do some cleaning and organizing, as the practice of doing that with my surroundings also stimulates that process internally.

  • Soaking in a hot mineral bath, hot tub, or taking a hot shower helps cleanse the physical as well as energetic body, and refresh our sense of self. Body scrubs can add an extra layer of exfoliation and stimulation to purge unwanted or stagnant energy.

  • Some may like to go to the gym or go for a run, as these are other opportunities to process and re-ground.

  • Getting body work or energy work like massage or reiki can also help purge any unwanted energy we have picked up from others...

What is important to through in the mix in whatever method works best for you is the connection with self in how you process the external stimulation. Hopefully we all have a Big Picture in our mind of the life we seek to create for ourselves. It’s important to always circle back around to that in our processing to help keep things in perspective, and identify what are distractions verses things we might want to explore and investigate more. Being able to separate these things out can be hard sometimes, but practice helps us get better at it.

girl laying in grass, grounding, centering
Staying connected with self creates stronger, healthier relationships

Step 3: Harvest the Gifts

Once you have cleared away the distractions and unwanted energy, let some of the body chemicals that may have been stimulated settle down, and re-grounded in self, you can then work with what is remaining to greater effect. Sometimes it is just learning how to open ourselves more to connection...sometimes we learn more about what we want, who we are, or where we are really trying to go...sometimes we are understanding our own boundaries more, and how to navigate all that. Each experience brings us opportunities for growth, and none provide as much opportunity as our intimate exchanges.

Step 4: Check-ins (optional)

Each interaction has different intentions behind them. Not every experience of play in intimate space is going to be with partners you are looking to connect with long term, or over multiple sessions. But check-in’s can be good in any case, especially if you got some gifts from the experience, as it is a way to honor what someone else may have helped create, even if you don’t ever plan to repeat.

It’s also ok to not check in, if the experience was with someone you may never see again (or repeat with), when the idea of giving them feedback seems like it could be problematic or unwanted for some reason (a judgment call, and one I don’t want to dissect here…).

But if you DO plan to repeat, this is the time to check-in on things like boundaries and intentions also, to help keep things grounded in what you are going for, and also allow them to express the same, so that everyone can keep things sorted properly. ;-)

I almost *always* check-in...because part of my actual afterglow is revisiting the high points of the exchange… :-) But this is also how I intermingle my boundary checks, and make that process feel more sexy instead of dry and formulaic. This is an opportunity to give feedback and reinforcement to my playmates about what they did well, what could be improved upon or tweaked next time, and what can be left behind…

But it is also the opportunity to show gratitude for the exchange. Even if the gifts were something that we pulled out of ourselves (more than what someone else actively helped create), it was shared energy and space that helped create that… Some things we can’t access without that other energy to bounce off of, and we should recognize and honor this (to the appropriate degree of the exchange and experience).

gratitude, rumi quote, flowers
Wear gratitude like a cloak and it will feed every corner of your life. -Rumi

My Post-Romp Ritual & Follow Up (an example…)

My body felt all the activity from the previous night...especially with the spirited pegging and wrestling involved! After my light breakfast, vitamins, and hydration, I hit the hot tub, burned some palo santo, then tuned in to what my body needed in my restorative yoga practice. I was holding a LOT of energy in my body! But considering the soreness, I felt open and responded well to all of the postures. I know that some of the energy exchange with the female was part of this, as the gspot play with her felt more energized compared to his engagement here (both were pleasurable, but the energy felt different between each). I think this built upon the massage she gave me the night before (her way of connecting with me in a less overtly sexual way, I think to assess how much more she was interested in doing with me?), which included her doing some belly and psoas muscle work.

I placed some crystals on specific energy points to help balance areas I felt where holding energy, and incorporated some self massage and pressure points as my instincts directed me to. I had big energy releases from my psoas doing deep pressure point application, and felt grateful for the awareness directed to focus here, considering how much this area can trap energy, and what effect that has on us in all ways. This helped contribute to an overall physical and energetic openness in my body (especially in my hips) that I am still connecting with today (5 days later now as I write the portion…).

I checked in with both of them over the course of the day to see how they were feeling, confirmed how the boundaries and play felt for everyone, and honored the connection between the three of us...good fun was had by all! (even if we didn’t get everything done on our I made mental notes of the things I learned about both of them during play, and also about what connections I want to have with each of them separately, as well as all of us together. I reaffirmed my own foundation of what I seek from my experiences, with them or anyone else (which is always about growth and evolution), and how each fits in to that process for me.

I didn’t need to do a lot of journaling in this instance, as nothing new or major came up here to untangle...and everything else I needed to express I was able to do so directly with each of them.

As I relived all of the pleasurable moments in my afterglow, this grounding and foundation allowed me to keep a balance and perspective that is going to create even greater results on our future encounters (which I was lucky enough to fit one more in, just her and I, on New Year’s Day!) Some may see this level of introspection and awareness to take away from the experience, but I strongly disagree! As I have upped my mindfulness of how I engage, and process those interactions, it has only elevated my experiences to even greater heights, during as well as after.

And don’t mistake this as being just for those of us practicing open relationships, polyamory or non-monogamy: this practice is for EVERYONE, and can elevate any relationship type. Many in monogamous relationships get into a rut because the exchange becomes familiar, routine and formulaic… This type of practice can help you remember how to stay grounded in self, even when you are a couple, but also identify new avenues of interest, communicate boundaries and interests, and evolve your connection together!

One final note: in some instances, especially after extended play, experiences where unexpected and new things are stimulated, or multi-day adventures, body chemicals can contribute to “event drop” experiences that can be more powerful, and sometimes challenging, to navigate. Be sure to take the time you need for yourself to reset before trying to navigate some of the Big Picture stuff, and how things fit into your vision. It’s always best to try and operate from a place of stability before weaving in new feelings and experiences, and when our body chemicals are out of whack, we are not always on the most solid of ground… They will even out eventually, so allow yourself time and be patient in that process. xoxo

*I use the term "spiritually", and generally any reference to spirituality, to denote the deeper connection to self, on a soul level. This term can be applied secularly or non-secularly, depending upon your own orientation in the world. <3

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