When you and your partner roll away from each other, or after you put down your vibe, your brain might not snap back to reality right away. That’s what aftercare—that is, giving someone attention and consideration post-sex—is all about. It makes the transition between sex and clothes-on life a lot smoother.
The term “aftercare” originated in the BDSM community, to regulate the intense emotions and (sometimes) pain that arise during play, but it’s a helpful concept for anyone. Even solo players can use aftercare to feel their best after they leave the bedroom.
Why Bother with Aftercare?
It’s not just about courtesy. Sex sends us all through hormonal fluctuations and mood shifts, sometimes dramatic ones, so anyone can benefit from a few moments of awareness and kindness.
People in relationships can cement their bond and promote loving feelings by cuddling or feeding each other. Casual flings and mindful masturbateurs can show respect and work through any sex-negative stigma. And anyone can feel low and draggy after a sexual high—aftercare helps you rebound from negative mood shifts.
How to Practice Aftercare
What aftercare actually looks like will vary from person to person and from couple to couple. The surest path to feeling good is asking yourself and your partner what makes you feel safest, or what feels luxurious to you. You can also do a little self-exploration with our masturbation love languages quiz, and check out our solo sex tips for every love language, for some tailored ideas on pampering. Or you can try one of the ideas below.
Talking through what you liked and what you’d change: In partnered sex, this is the conversation that allows your play to get better and better. It shows your investment in the other person’s pleasure. One etiquette note—it pays to compliment-sandwich any negative feedback.
Cuddling and kissing: Get romantic with your partner and show them you care beyond your own sexual release. Add extra softness to your touch with a massage candle like Deep Light.
Sharing info on sub-drops: If you’re into BDSM, you might know that submissives can experience a big drop in endorphins after a scene—hence “sub-drop.” It tends to happen between a few hours and a couple days after sex. The chemical change might lead to anything from irritability to a bummer mood, but you can brace yourself or your partner for it by being aware. Offer to keep cozy clothes and comfort foods handy for the sub, just in case.
Doing 24- and 48-hour check-ins: Offer someone a listening ear if they’re prone to post-sexual blues. Or, on a lighter note, you could show them you’re still fantasizing about the sex!
Practicing grounding techniques: Come back to earth with calming techniques that put you in the moment, like belly breathing, being in nature, meditating, and/or listening to soothing music.
Sipping drinks and munching snacks: Prep these ahead of time, according to your tastes, and replenish the calories you burned while getting it on.
Tending to minor injuries: Sex injuries happen, especially if you like it rough. Clean or dress around any scrapes or bruises, and help your partner (if you’re playing with one) do the same.
Massaging your partner or yourself: Slow it down, post-sex, while still maintaining affectionate and intentional touch. Use an ergonomic vibe like BE·ONE, which blends into your natural touch, to deepen every caress.
Bathing or showering together: Prep your bodies to reenter the outside world and while you’re at it, lavish your partner’s or your own naked body with praise.
DISCLAIMER: This post was written for educational and entertainment value, and does not constitute medical advice. Bodies, tastes, and experiences are diverse! We know that not all tips will work for all people, but encourage consensual exploration and FUN.