What is sexual aftercare?
We talk a lot about foreplay and what happens during sex, but what we don’t talk about enough is what happens afterwards.
Aftercare is a broad term for how you and your partner support each other and check in after sex.
Sex can get us started and leave us with all sorts of emotions. We may feel energized or drained – or both. Some people feel exposed and vulnerable, or feel that their nervous systems are up.
This practice gives you and your partner the opportunity to regulate and deepen your relationship.
Sexual aftercare should be viewed as part of your sexual experience, much like foreplay as opposed to another thing after that feels like a chore. It is important for a healthy dynamic.
The goal of aftercare is to make everyone feel safe and seen while leaving space to discuss anything that has come up during sex.
A gift from Kink
What is sexual aftercare? The term aftercare comes from the kink community.
Depending on your kinky taste, there may be some minor injuries that need to be fixed.
The other reason people in the kinky world stand up for aftercare is to help people with any hormonal drops that may appear after such an intimate or intense experience. When levels of adrenaline, cortisol, or oxytocin go up, they go down too. Some people may experience fear, shame, or mixed feelings afterward.
Aftercare helps alleviate the hormonal crash and helps people integrate their experiences.
Follow-up care for everyone
Kink can be so many things, and even if you don’t incorporate it into your sex life, aftercare is just as important to you.
Aftercare takes care of your physical, emotional, and mental needs. Some people may want to add spiritual needs to this list.
While these tips don’t necessarily apply to just physical, mental, and emotional purposes, here is a breakdown of some helpful tools that you can incorporate into your follow-up routine.
First, you’ll most likely want to take care of the physical.
This means rehydration and, of course, peeing to prevent urinary tract infection. For people with a vagina, especially if you are prone to yeast infections, you may want to take all necessary steps to avoid irritation. Tidying up yourself and the toys you are using can help reduce the risk of infection.
What other ways can you nourish your body?
You can try a nice soothing tea, have a snack, or order a hearty meal. One of my favorites is to place an order for delivery and have a steamy shower together while we wait for our feast.
Some people may need space and time apart, while others may want to continue their physical connection by massaging, cuddling, and kissing each other. Both are beautiful, but trying to meet the needs of both partners is important. Note that taking a seat doesn’t mean someone is intentionally avoiding the connection by rushing out the door and reaching for a distraction to avoid follow-up care.
When you know that you or your partner will need something later, such as: B. Chocolate, try to plan ahead.
Mentally and emotionally
Physical aftercare has mental and emotional effects, but they are all equally important.
Some partners benefit from talking about their experiences and positively reinforcing one another. This can even be some form of sexy pillow talk where you empower one another for the good job you just did.
Hang out and be gentle is also aftercare! Making an uplifting movie, dancing to romantic tunes, and basking in each other’s company are all ways to support one another after sex.
Some people assume that sexual aftercare begins after one or both parties have orgasm. Orgasms do not have to be the focus of your sexual encounters and are not required prior to a follow-up session.
Understanding the importance of aftercare makes sex less goal-oriented and more about considering everyone’s needs and building the dynamics of the relationship.
To each his own
You may have a set up follow-up routine with your partner that works for you. That’s great. Some people want more fluids and measure their needs in the moment.
Sexual follow-up care is especially important for people with sexual trauma, PTSD – who have experienced sexual trauma or abuse in the past. Post-trauma sex can be triggering, and survivors can have a tendency to withdraw or dissociate during or after sex. Aftercare gives them sexual trauma therapy that allows them to settle down and be kept in a safe, supportive space.
Aftercare can be different for everyone, there is no right way to do it. Most importantly, all needs are met, especially when someone is feeling particularly vulnerable or exposed.
Single or long-distance partners can also benefit from follow-up care. Try it out for yourself next time you have a solo sex session!
Follow-up care is important for so many different reasons, but important to creating a holistic sexual experience and deepening intimacy. You and your partner or partners deserve to be showered with kindness, affection, and understanding after a sexual experience. Aftercare creates space for all of that and more.