Hey #Kink Folks: Let's stop pushing the idea that not providing aftercare as a top automatically makes someone abusive.
There's a number of things wrong with this statement, so let's break it down.
1. It assumes that it's solely the top's responsibility to provide aftercare and removes any responsibility from the top also receiving aftercare. Scenes aren't a one way street, aftercare shouldn't be either.
2. Not everyone needs or wants aftercare post-scene. Some people can play and just want to be left alone, or they simply go about their own business and don't need much recovery time.
3. Scenes vary from person to person, and from encounter to encounter. What needs aftercare one day may not require it on the next, and vice versa.
4. Bottoms are just as responsible for bringing up their needs for aftercare as the top is for mentioning their needs. If a bottom can forget to mention it, then it's fair to assume that the top could have forgotten as well.
5. If a top says that they can't provide aftercare, it doesn't automatically mean abuse either. They may be physically, mentally, or emotionally unable to provide that care themselves, but offer to have someone else provide it.
6. Abusive behavior is often determined by a pattern. Someone not liking to provide post scene cuddle time isn't necessarily an end all proof to abuse.
We like to assume that giving aftercare means having empathy and that a lack of empathy means abuse, but that isn't always true.
In the end it's everyone's responsibility to make sure that their needs are being met. If you come across a potential partner who can't meet your needs (different than "wants") then perhaps they aren't the right one for you.
I get that we spread ideas like this in an attempt to help give newbies red flags to look for, but instead we end up creating more issues that later have to be unlearned and removed from our colloquial expressions.
Ignixia is an international kink and alternative sexuality educator. The following blog entries range from educational information and resources from her classes to daily musings had on things occurring in the world.