It hit me like a ton of bricks. The physical sensation of being small, alone, cold, needy was sudden and overwhelming. I was sitting at my computer and Roxy was at hers, but at moment her presence was as intense as her absence. We’d just completed a very heavy and, at times, emotional scene that had impacted both of us physically, even though we were hundreds of miles apart.
Her physical absence brought tears to my eyes. I felt vulnerable, stripped bare, naked emotionally even though I was fully clothed. She’d written the words but I needed the reality.
She: “I pull a blanket up over us… “
me: “sobbing that I love you, that i need you”
She: “I wipe the tears, “Oh, my baby, my love. I’m here, I’m here””
me: “feeling your strength around me”
She: “Petting your head … rubbing you lightly, inviting you to rest… Mmmm…yes, beautiful girl.. I’ve got you… Mmmm…my strong boy”
me: “feeling the euphoria wash over me”
It was lovely, to feel her virtual presence around me, protective, loving, reassuring.. but it made me need the reality. Our scenes don’t always get this intense but we’ve both experienced drop before, both the sub and top variety. On this particular day, I was feeling very open, very tuned in, without much of a shell over my emotions. We both felt very physically inside the scene. So when she started her torments, I was there. When I rebelled, lashed out at her, She was there. The scene turned in a different direction than either of us had anticipated, creating more vulnerability for both of us, leaving both of us feeling the need for aftercare.
Even though we can’t always give each other physical care and reassurance, we do make space to talk about the experience and this has been invaluable to us as we go forward in our relationship. We’ll go over the parts of the scene that had the most impact on us, or the times we were surprised by what happened. Sometimes we go over the scene in an almost play-by-play fashion, to examine the impact of certain words and phrases. We’re meeting several needs here. We’re checking in with each other on what went right and what went wrong. This not only helps us in future scenes, it also provides a way for us to praise and reassure each other and celebrate the wonderful connection we have. Beyond the particulars of the scene, we’re also talking about any issues that came up, some directly related, some tangential. This leads to a deeper knowledge of each other and ourselves, which again, leads to greater trust and intimacy. Not all things that work in a cyber scene would work in real life and so we’ll discuss that as well. We’re both very kinky, very interested in edge cases and pushing against boundaries, so sometimes our cyber scenes act as try-outs, rehearsals. Afterward, we can dissect those scenes and talk about what potential they have for us when we’re together. This post-scene, conversational aftercare strengthens our trust in each other, building a foundation for more intimacy and honesty. On the other hand, when we’re rushed and don’t have the time for aftercare, we both tend to experience drop and a feeling of abandonment.
Having an intense, personal scene like this one reinforces my firm belief that online is not the opposite of real life. I know we use that ‘RL’ designation to mean a lot of things, mostly in-person interactions, but I think we can also be led to believe that online interactions are something other than real. And I don’t doubt that for some people, there is a definite boundary, a limit on how far they go when cybering. For Roxy and I, and others in long distance relationships, cyber scenes are an integral part of our sex life. We live out our kinky relationship, our romantic love, our day to day life almost exclusively online and on the phone. This is Real Life, there’s nothing artificial about the love we express and as illustrated by the scene I’ve described above, there are definite emotional and physical impacts.
Clearly, this is a case of YMMV, because not everyone does cyber the same way, not every scene is a part of a deeper relationship. I do know, based on my experience, that cybering can be done in an authentic and meaningful way. It can further and strengthen a relationship. When we cyber, only a fraction of the interaction is made up of electrons and alpha-numeric symbols, most of it is happening in our real bodies, firing neurons in our real minds, causing adrenaline rushes, causing our hearts to pound and our cheeks to flush and making our crotches wet. Emotions and conflicting impulses race for control. There was nothing artificial or made-up about the empty, alone feeling that overwhelmed me after our recent scene.
And, as much as we experience the positive side of scening online, I can see the potential for a cyber experience to adversely effect people and not just in their imagination. Again, YMMV, but I know for myself that I can’t take cyber lightly. Even though Roxy and I sometimes have pretty light cyber sessions, playtime that isn’t terribly intense, we take the interaction seriously. This is our Real Life, this is how we keep the love alive, how we keep our connection strong and vital.
Though I’m still relatively new to BDSM and D/s scenes, the importance of aftercare is very clear to me. It means different things to different people, but I believe it’s important enough to be part of the negotiation of a scene. And, yes, I am including cyber scenes along with physical scenes. I recognize that not everyone gets into cyber as deeply as I do, but for those of you like me, you’ll be happy you included aftercare in your scene planning.
For other posts on aftercare, see Roxy’s Necessary Tenderness, Saynine’s Drop and Aftercare, A Discussion and I also highly recommend Mollena’s blog The Perverted Negress for lots of real-world wisdom on BDSM, Kink and submissiveness.
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