One of the most important (yet most overlooked) aspects of sex and sexual intimacy is aftercare.
While it’s mostly used in the BDSM sphere, it’s just as important in every other form of sexual expression with a partner.
Let’s take a look at aftercare, and the importance thereof.
Aftercare: What It Is And Why It Matters
What Is Sexual Aftercare?
Aftercare is a broad term people use for the time a couple devotes to cuddling, talking, and caring for each other after sex.
It should be viewed as part of your sexual activities, just as much as foreplay and sex itself should be.
If you handle it as something separate, it’ll be viewed as a chore.
Practicing aftercare gives you and your partner a chance to regulate, strengthen, and deepen your relationship.
The Origin Of Aftercare
The term comes from the “kink” community - mainly the BDSM scene.
Given how intense some scenarios can be, physical injuries may occur, which need to be tended to afterwards, hence the term, “aftercare”.
Why Is It Important?
During sex - especially intense or kinky sex, our bodies are filled with all sorts of emotions.
We might feel energised, drained, both, or anything in between.
Some people feel exposed or vulnerable, or like their nervous system has been ramped up in some way - this is a time when knowing they’re not alone can help to feel grounded.
Types Of Aftercare
Aftercare can come in many shapes and forms, but the most important ones are: physical, mental, emotional, and (in some cases) spiritual.
Physical aftercare is first up, because of how important it is for your body.
Some people may want time apart, others may want time together.
Whatever your preference, it’s important to listen to your partner’s requests as well.
It’s also important to take care of yourself.
Rehydrate, go to the bathroom, or clean up if it makes you feel better.
Have something to eat or drink, or place an order for delivery while you and your partner have a shower together.
Mental + Emotional
Physical aftercare leads into (and links directly with) mental and emotional aftercare.
Some people may want to talk about their experiences or give their partner positive reinforcement by having some sexy pillow talk about all of the things their partner did right before and during.
For some people, it could be as simple as hanging out and being mellow.
Watching a movie, dancing around, or just being in the company of one another is a great way to be with your partner after sex.
This aspect is especially important for those who have sexual trauma PTSD.
While they may want to connect with their partner, the act itself can be triggering to them, and they may attempt to withdraw or dissociate.
Aftercare can give them sexual trauma therapy, which allows them to feel grounded and safe in a supportive space.
For some, sex isn’t just a physical expression.
It can be an incredibly intense experience, and they may feel as though they have an out-of-body experience.
While there are differing views on it, those who view sex as a spiritual act also view the spirit as something fragile, and you may need to focus your aftercare on being there to allow them time to click back to reality.
Aftercare is important for so many reasons.
But, overall, it’s vital to creating a holistic sexual experience, and for deepening intimacy.
Many sex specialists have spoken openly about the power and benefits of aftercare.
It’s not an afterthought, and it shouldn’t be reserved for the kink community, either.
Take some time to talk to your partner about aftercare, or do things that make you feel good if you’re by yourself.
And, above all, have fun!