Aftercare is the time after sex that a couple spends cuddling, talking, and caring for each other. Following BDSM, aftercare is also essential because it ensures that both partners are at ease and ready to return to the regular world, especially after intense kink play. In this guide, we will explain why you should use it. So keep on reading and find out the amazing benefits of aftercare.
As a professional sexologist, I believe that all couples should devote time to post-euphoric aftercare to restore intimacy, regardless of the type of play they engage in. You might think that this is just “what you do after sex,” but it has far-reaching ramifications.
One of the most fundamental components of sexual intimacy is sometimes overlooked, neglected, cut short, or never existed in the first place. Many people are unaware of the concept of sexual aftercare.
Suppose you are not aware of the effects that come with aftercare. We are going to unfold some of the fantastic facts about this practice.
Aftercare Kink Makes for Stronger Emotional Bonds
Couples who practice aftercare form stronger, more intimate relationships with their partners. We’re especially vulnerable after having sex. We’re naked, flooded with oxytocin and dopamine, and we’ve (probably) just experienced an orgasm.
We need to keep that good attitude going. Everyone feels better knowing their lover cares about them. What better way to demonstrate it than by tending to them while they are in a vulnerable post-sex frame of mind?
According to Pam Saffer, a couple’s therapist, she emphasizes that couples need to prioritize this practice. That will make them have a strong bond, and that will strengthen their relationship going forward.
Making time for aftercare a priority allows for an increased emotional connection, sharing, and affirming positive emotions. It strongly encourages couples to communicate openly with one another and demonstrating their love and care to one another, whether verbally or through affectionate touch.
Use Aftercare in any Kink Relationship
Aftercare is essential for every intimate partner, from your friends with benefits, in a long-term relationship, on a one-night stand, or when married. While it may feel strange to engage in aftercare with someone you aren’t actively dating, it is nonetheless necessary.
It’s not about trying to make someone fall in love with you or trying to turn a casual relationship into something more serious. It’s about ensuring that everyone is treated with respect and sensitivity to feel good about themselves after a sexual experience. You can do this by discussing kink with your partner, by reflecting on the time you just spent together and sharing appreciation for one another.
Spend some time with your partner and reflect on everything that has transpired in a pleasant, caring manner. It makes no difference what kind of relationship you’re in if you want to make sure everyone is happy with the sex you had.
It Helps Relieve Underlying Sexual Shame
While sex is not shameful and should be enjoyed (safely) by everybody, it can sometimes evoke feelings of guilt due to the sex-negative messages many of us were exposed to as children. While our rational minds tell us that sex is natural and good, our subconscious minds can keep these shameful messages.
Your body might abruptly discover the subconscious shame after sex, after that delightful post-orgasmic high and turn to “What did I just do?”. This is especially true if one or both of the parties came from a conservative or religious family.
“Part of the point of aftercare is to diminish any post-sexual shame, which can be heightened by sex followed by goodbye, leaving a partner to feel you [didn’t care] for them but only (wanted) sexual gratification,” says Gail Saltz, M.D.
Aftercare Kink Helps Stave off The Post-Coital Blues
Have you ever wanted to cry after having sex? You know how after a genuinely incredible orgasm, you feel sad for no apparent reason. “Post-coital dysphoria,” or the “post-sex blues,” is the term for this. Specialists say that there can be a sharp drop after a euphoric high that comes after intense sexual pleasure.
It is the brain’s way of readjusting itself. According to studies, approximately half of men and women have had PCD at some point in their life.
The balm that relieves some sorrowful feelings is aftercare. “After the euphoric pleasures of sex wear off, people can feel alienated from their spouses,” Shaffer explains. “Follow-up practices can help them feel connected in a meaningful way.”
Develop an aftercare routine that makes you feel safe and secure and have an open and honest discussion about PCD. For example:
- You might want to cuddle
- Your partner might want to stroke your arm, or you might
- Both of you want to have a pleasant or deeper conversation at the end
“If you know there is something that would make you feel better after sex, you should speak out and ask for it. Your partner wants you to be happy, so whatever they can do in terms of aftercare should be discussed and shared with them”, D’Angelo explains.
It’s as Much About Mental Aftercare as Physical Aftercare
You are likely to encounter distinct dynamics during BDSM play that do not represent how you or your partner feel about you in everyday life.
Suppose your spouse wants you to label them useless during sex while you act as the Dominant. In that case, you must confirm you have caring feelings for them during aftercare, according to Angela Watson, a professional social worker and sex therapist who runs DoctorClimax.
“If mental aftercare isn’t practiced, it can be hard to maintain that aspect of a healthy relationship,” Watson adds.
The Dominant should reassure their sub that what they say during a sexual encounter is not how they see things daily. These words of affirmation were accompanied by light, genuine caressing, which was not typical of the BDSM experience.
Watson continues, “Aftercare is all about re-establishing the relationship that was exploited during sex. It’s important to play with the rules of your relationship during the scene. It’s also important to spend time bringing things back to reality afterward”. So that no one feels exploited, both physical and mental aftercare are provided (except when they want to).
Dominants Need Aftercare Kink too
While speaking down to a sub during sex can be off-putting, both partners should ensure that the Dominant demands are not ignored during aftercare either.
According to Sunny Megatron, sexuality educator and host of the American Sex Podcast, Dominants have the added responsibility of preparing and executing a scene, being hypervigilant about looking out for their submissive’s best interests, and always being prepared to deal with any unanticipated complications.
Add in the altered state of consciousness someone might be in when enacting a drama. When the fun is over, you have a recipe for emotional repercussions. To re-acclimate and help dominant’s come to their default mental state, aftercare is essential.
Aftercare Kink Varies From Person to Person
Don’t smother a person with blankets and cuddles if they express their desire to be alone after sex. What one person desires is not always universal, as is the case with all things in sex. What is consistent, though, is that you should communicate with your lover or play partner (who may be both).
Both of you should be on the same page about what you’re looking for in a supportive aftercare setting. “Never assume you know what your partner needs after you’ve played,” Watson adds. “That’s why, just like the active elements of your scene, aftercare should always be negotiated.”
The Bottom Line
Sex can be a lot of fun, but it can also be emotionally draining. We need to take steps to ensure that everyone feels good about themselves after the experience.
It is lovely to use whatever sort of aftercare works best for you. Just make sure you talk about it first before doing anything sensual. When it comes to sex, we all deserve to feel emotionally whole and good about ourselves when we leave the room.
After all, aftercare is merely a fancy name for making sure everyone is happy after the sex. Communication is necessary both before, during, and after sex. Having chats afterward has the extra benefit of allowing you to learn from the experience and make the sex even hotter the next time.
Is there anything we should all remember? It can also be beneficial to continue these discussions once everyone is upright (and clothed) and any post-orgasm euphoria has worn off.
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