What is aftercare and why should vanilla folks include it in their sexual repertoire?
Kink community members, including both the experienced and the newcummers - often refer to aftercare as a necessary part of sexual encounters, scenes and play. But for those who aren’t “in the scene” so to speak -
Aftercare is considered a crucial aspect of kink play. It entails thorough caring for your partner(s) before, during and of course after sexual encounters.
Aftercare is a beautiful way to ground, recenter and connect with your partner or self.
Explained in such simple terms it is easy to see why aftercare can and should be a regular part of vanilla sex as well!
Erotic play, including both penetrative and non-penetrative sex can leave a person with a wellspring of emotion. At times this is a deeply satisfied calm, other times it is a restless energized feeling… all emotions and nervous system responses are valid. Pre and post sexual encounters our bodies are being flooded with hormones, adrenaline and emotion. Aftercare is a form of tending to your physical, emotional and mental needs once the sex has stopped. Just as foreplay is important to get the physical, emotional and mental self warmed up - aftercare is the cool down for your body, mind and spirit.
Aftercare in kink can look like tending to more ‘extreme’ emotional experiences or even possibly minor injuries and while aftercare in vanilla play may appear more simplistic it is equally important.
What does aftercare look like in practice?
Post sex pee - avoid those UTI’s!
Washing up (both yourself and toys used!)
Hydrating & re-fueling with your favourite foods
Kissing and snuggling with your partner (solo snuggle time is valid too!)
Hot showers/baths, etc.
This is a time to recalibrate your physical body as you move out of sex and back into regular life.
Mental and Emotional:
Discuss anything that comes up during sex, whether that be an emotional or physical sensation - talk it through, verbalizing our experience can help to contextualize the sensations and emotions that occurred.
Hype each other up! Tell your partner what you loved about the experience, compliment their handy work and boost each others self esteem
Romance - this looks different for every person and every couple - for some it will mean snuggling or dancing to your favourite romantic music or simply basking in one another’s naked gloriousness
This is definitely not a comprehensive list of aftercare activities! Every unique individual, and every unique couple will require and enjoy aftercare in their own way. There is a beautiful intimacy in allowing yourself to be fully seen and cared for post sexual experience, in my opinion it is just as delicious as everything that came before (pun intended). You and your partner(s) are deserving of being showered with affection, kindness and compassion after a sexual encounter - aftercare provides a space for that and more.