Aftercare is what happens After the Scene/play/session is done. Stereotypically aftercare is that it is after the scene and care is whatever is negotiated. Aside from that each person plays for different reasons and aftercare can't be defined necessarily. Of course I'm still relatively new to the scene and this is only based on my limited observations.
Largely what is tends to be an Emotionally Safe place where the bottom can regain their regular head space after a scene, and yes that includes a spanking from your regular Mistress because you screwed up. After the discipline has been administered, she holds you or allows you to curl up into a ball for bit and cry or clam down and then there is talk.
This where you Care for the bottom, After you stop. Sometimes physical touch is needed, some cuddling, sometimes just a blanket, pillow, and space. Doesn’t matter, what it comes down to is that you Care, and that you Show this care or are made aware of this caring concern and that your space to rebuild yourself, be it better or the same, is guarded and safe.
If you do not know what kind of aftercare you will require, tell that to your Top, your Dominant so that arrangements can be made to see to it that you r level of Care requirements can be found comfortably.
Everyone's journey to finding themselves in this lifestyle will be different. What draws us together and makes us a Tribe is our commitment and feeling of personal responsibility for other people in our tribe. It is a compulsion to share knowledge that one has learned. It is an interest in the community that goes beyond the sex and the fantasy to the flesh and blood lives of the people in this lifestyle. It is an interest in learning about our tribe and honoring our history. It is a personal drive to add to the community instead of take from it.
So, be aware of the one receiving After Care yet do not interfere unless you can determine something wrong, then speak to the Top first to offer assistance. Remember the Primary Rule: If it’s not yours be it Tool, Slave, Submissive or Other, Do not touch without permission.
Ok, that’s it. ‘Enough said.