Sexual Aftercare: Dip-in, Sip-in then Check-in!
Taking care of after care
The term “After Care” originated from the Kink community. Depending on what your flavor of kink is, some minor injuries can occur, which need to be attended to.
Kink can encompass so many things, and even if you don’t incorporate it into your sex life, aftercare is just as important for you. After a healthy and fulfilling session of love-making, comes the equally important check-in with your partner(s) which is Sexual Aftercare. An imperative conversation between partner(s) to check up on their needs. These needs can be physical, emotional and mental. It’s essential for a conducive dynamic. The goal of aftercare is for all parties involved to feel safe and seen, while leaving space to discuss anything that came up during sex.
Start with rehydrating yourself – Burning all those calories will definitely make you thirsty for water, so the best option is to replenish those lost liquids.
Then by flushing it all out – During sex, bacteria can get into your urethra, the tube that carries urine out of your body. That can raise your chances of an infection. When you pee, you flush those germs out. If you’re a vagina owner, when you wipe, do it from front to back to stop the spread of bacteria.
Followed by a quick clean up – Gently cleaning yourself after sex can protect individuals from infections, like of the urinary tract (UTIs). Wash your hands with soap, dry them off and then wash the area around (not inside) your genitals with plain warm water. You can try mild soaps, but if you have sensitive skin or you already have an infection, they might dry out or irritate the area.
Penis owners with foreskin should gently pull it back and wash underneath.
Don’t forget the sex toys – Clean each toy after every use, you may check the packaging for cleaning instructions. It’s better not to share toys with others because it can send germs back and forth. If you do plan to share, try to cover the toy with a new condom each time you use it. Store them in a clean and dry place after washing and drying each toy.
Emotional and Mental Needs
Huddle and cuddle – It’s the most common and also a great way to reconnect. Now is the time to prop up your pillows and get comfortable. Cuddling releases oxytocin, which can help you and your partner strengthen your bond and increase trust. You can also do a quick body scan at this point, especially if you’ve had rough sex and tend to any soreness.
You actually talk while pillow talk – Now is a great time to check in verbally with your partner(s) and ask how they are doing and how this encounter was for them. You can discuss the experience, and discuss what was hot and you’d like to try next time, or what they liked or didn’t like. Speaking about sex creates more trust between partners and seeks to ensure everyone feels safe. It also can serve as an opportunity to enhance the experience for next time.
Massage as a nonverbal message – It is an excellent way of reducing stress, decreasing tension, increasing relaxation, and improving immunity. Massaging a partner post-sex adds a special sensual element. Massaging a partner either with oils or lotion is a sweet way to show affection and care for one another and for each partner to feel taken care of and pampered.
You know better
Hanging out and being mellow is also aftercare! Putting on an uplifting movie, dancing around to romantic tunes, and just basking in each other’s company are all ways to support each other after having sex.
Aftercare can look different for everyone, there’s no one right way to do it. What’s most important is that everyone’s needs are being met, especially if someone is feeling especially vulnerable or exposed.
Sexual aftercare is especially important for people who have sexual trauma PTSD – who experienced sexual trauma or abuse in the past. Sex after trauma can be triggering, and survivors may tend to withdraw or dissociate during or after sex. Aftercare gives them sexual trauma therapy which allows them to ground down and be held in a safe, supportive space.
Cover Illustration: Abhilasha Mutto