Sex is vulnerable. That’s why it’s important to choose how you navigate the euphoric moments after sex. You want to make sure you’re getting sexual aftercare right. While many associate sexual aftercare as a must-do only after BDSM sex, we’re here to tell you otherwise. Aftercare helps ensure a healthy sex life for people doing a range of things between the sheets. Not sure if, or how you should approach it? You’re not alone and we’ve got you.
So, what is sexual aftercare?
Typically, sexual aftercare is described as a way to check in and devote time to caring for a sexual partner post-sex. Not only does sexual aftercare regulate the body following a steamy session, but it also significantly affects how you approach sex. Much like foreplay has been widely adopted into sex routines everywhere as necessary for enjoyable sex, aftercare should be thought of as equally essential. Even though largely neglected from most conversations about sex, sexual aftercare etiquette, or lack of, is the sexual habit we want to see trending.
Whether in a long-term relationship, a situationship or a one-night stand, aftercare is important. Whatever your sex life looks like, Dr Angela Watson of Doctor Climax says that “aftercare is all about re-establishing the dynamic,” and we couldn’t agree more.
Whose responsibility is sexual aftercare?
Sexual aftercare literally everyone’s responsibility. Anyone involved in your sexual activities has the responsibility to uphold stellar aftercare principles. Honestly, the best way to ensure that this is maintained is by simply introducing the topic before things get sexy. If it is included in the list of things to talk about pre-sex, then it will eventually become an easy, natural habit post-sex. Try to also resist expectations of the “top” or dominant person being the carer. Normalize the fact that everyone should initiate and feel invited to be after-cared.
Another reason to prioritize sexual aftercare is to combat feelings of shame and to better communicate preferences, likes, and dislikes. Healthy expression before, during, and after sex is pivotal to feeling valued and safe. Sexual aftercare can be your best friend in understanding your boundaries and confidence. It is as much about emotional aftercare as it is physical, sometimes more. Holding space to listen and be present goes a long way during your aftercare routine and may potentially redefine your intimacy.
Not sure how to practice sexual aftercare? Here are some ideas
It goes without saying that after some kink-play, physical aftercare is a must. Once your breathing has come back to normal, now would be the best time to care for each other. Checking on physical wounds or sensitivities (that were planned and consented) is all part of the aftercare process.
Here is one you’re probably already doing and can relate to. Cuddling is a gentle way to reaffirm your partner. Holding them close is a natural gesture most people use before transitioning back into everyday rhythms.
Shower together or alone
Another easy way to care is by offering to shower together. It is also important to check whether there is a preference for showering alone and making space for that too.
Massaging and/or dealing softly with your person’s body is a great way to offer care. Using relaxing massage oils is an ideal way to bring calm back into your lives after sex. Also in this category? Offering to lotion consented spanked areas.
Positive Pillow Talk
Pillow talk is technically a form of sex aftercare. Taking time to speak positively about the sex that took place is a great way to tend to our person while in a vulnerable post-sex state. In fact, it has a huge impact on minimizing sexual shame. It makes the other person feel good about their performance. It’s also super fun to swap thoughts and ensures that no one leaves feeling discarded and used for gratification.
Whatever your partner needs
Remember that aftercare is super nuanced and depends on your sex life and partner. Was there some choking involved? Alter your aftercare to tend to that. If you experimented with a new position, now is the time to discuss how each person felt about it before making assumptions. The best approach is to be present and make sure everyone leaves feeling valued, tended to, and ready to go again sometime soon!
Related: 8 Foods You Should Avoid Before Sex