Aftercare is not really spoken about enough when it comes to sex, sexual education and sexual health. Aftercare refers to how you and your sexual partner support and check-in with each other after sex. Some common forms of aftercare include cuddling and talking. Sex can be a very vulnerable experience where some people might feel overexposed or anxious afterwards and may need emotional and physical support to help regulate their bodies and minds again.
Everyone’s needs are different when it comes to sex, and this is also true for sexual aftercare. So, not everyone will enjoy the same aftercare activities, which is why it’s important to discuss aftercare with your sexual partner so EVERYONE’S needs are met. Aftercare is not only exclusive to couples, but can be incorporated into any sexual encounter, whether it’s a once-off thing or someone you regularly have sex with but aren’t in a relationship.
The concept of aftercare originated from BDSM (Bondage, discipline / dominance, submission/ sadism) which is a type of sexual practice that involves elements of dominance, submission and control. This type of sexual practice can be very intense on the mind and body, so aftercare was developed as a way to regulate the body again and balance hormonal levels that could have spiked during sex. Adrenaline is a great example of a hormone that could’ve spiked rapidly during BDSM sex, so aftercare would help get it back to its regular levels.
Here are a few aftercare ideas:
- Sex can be quite a messy experience. So a great way to engage in aftercare is to take a bath or shower together, or you can use our ultra-soft wet wipes to do a gentle body wipe down. If you used sex toys you can clean them with our ultra-soft wet wipes too.
- If you’re hungry you could make something to eat together or order something you both enjoy.
- Hydration is key after sex, so you could have some tea or water. This will also help calm down the body and mind.
- Cuddling, massage, kissing and hugs are all great ways to practice physical aftercare too.
Mental and emotional aftercare:
- This could be talking and reflecting about the experience you both had.
- Putting on a movie, listening to music, playing a game and giving your sexual partner words of affirmation are all key ways to practice mental and emotional aftercare.
To conclude, aftercare can only really take place and be effective if you communicate openly and honestly about your needs and desires. This requires a level of vulnerability with yourself and your sexual partner. Otherwise, aftercare wont be fulfilling for you. As mentioned in the introduction everyone’s needs will be different. Some people wont want any form of aftercare and might just want time alone, some people might only want physical aftercare while others might need mental, emotional and physical aftercare. If you’re looking for more holistic sexual encounters where you feel nurtured, seen and taken care of afterwards then aftercare is for you.