When it comes to sex, everyone talks about foreplay and the sex itself, but little is said about what comes afterwards. What happens next is sexual aftercare, meaning how you and your partner check in with each other once sex is finished. Sex can cause all sorts of emotions, leaving people feeling energized and buzzing or suddenly drained and burned out. Practising aftercare and engaging with the emotions of your partner will improve your sexual wellness as well as the bond between you both. While it’s often overlooked, it’s an essential part of the sexual experience and important for creating a healthy dynamic between a couple. Here are the reasons for sexual aftercare being important in romantic relationships.
What happens to hormones after sex
A lot of people experience significant hormone drops after sex, given it’s such an intense and intimate experience. During sex, hormones such as adrenaline, cortisol and oxytocin can surge and then quickly drop again afterwards. This rapid change can send emotions into overdrive, making it important to check in with each other and engage in calming activities. Ask your partner if how they’re feeling and if there’s anything you can do to ease any discomfort they might have. Some people are affected by it more than others, and what they do to overcome these emotions depends on what they’re most comfortable with.
How to take care of your body after sex
The first thought is to attend to the physical aftercare and restoring all the energy used during sex. It’s good to rehydrate afterwards by drinking lots of water, as well as peeing to prevent having a UTI. It’s also important to clean yourself up afterwards to avoid infection, as well as any sex toys used in the process. One of the best ways to nourish yourself after sex is to have a snack or drink, like something sweet and a soothing tea. You might find yourself getting into a habit of leaving a bar of chocolate beside your bed or having Deliveroo on standby.
How to take care of your emotions after sex
For some, sex can be quite a vulnerable experience that leaves people with negative emotions such as feeling exposed and anxious. This is where emotional care is very important, offering reassurance and words of comfort across the pillow to calm any nerves. Others might want to be alone briefly after sex, perhaps taking a shower or doing a light activity to reconnect to themselves. Anyone who has experienced sexual trauma could find it triggering and want to withdraw afterwards, so aftercare can act as therapy in creating a safe space for recovery. Whatever the support consists of, it’s important to communicate clearly with your partner and showing them you care.
What else can you do after sex
Any simple routine that couples have after sex is aftercare, and there’s no right or wrong in what you choose to do so why not be creative with it? Engaging in fun activities such as watching a movie, dancing to music or just talking and enjoying each other’s company all adds to the overall experience of sex. By developing an aftercare routine that both parties enjoy, couples can better the intimacy in their relationship, strengthening their bond with kindness and affection. It removes the idea of sex being goal-orientated activity centred around orgasming, but rather about honouring your partners' needs and relishing in the joy of being in their company whatever form that may take.