By Cheyanne Lemaire, February 6 2020—
Aftercare and pre-care are extremely important to you and your partner’s sexual health. Here are some tips and general information about what you should remember the next time you get your freak on.
What is pre-care and why?
You may be asking what is sexual pre-care, and why should you consider it? Why not just get it on? There are different forms of pre-care, ranging from personal care to care with your partner. For personal care, you may want to bring a glass of water into the bedroom to make sure it’s there for convenience — there’s nothing worse than being romantic and getting dry mouth. Hygiene is important. Making sure you’re clean is always the nice thing to do for your partner and for yourself. For anyone who experiences discomfort or pain during or after sex, it’s still good to do some pelvic stretches to loosen up the muscles down there. According to Columbus Obstetricans-Gynocologists Inc., two of three women experience painful sex during their lives. Stretching may sound awkward, as if you’re stretching for an exercise, but you are doing just that. Pelvic exercises can also aid men in lasting longer during sex. Regular exercise is also beneficial to help partners last longer and have more energy during sex. For those who practice BDSM, agreeing on a safe word is vital before sex.
What is aftercare?
As much as we know to always urinate after sex to avoid UTIs, other forms of after-care are important. Cuddling or discussing feelings after sex to come back to equilibrium — especially after intense sex or BDSM-related activities — is significant, but it’s not for everyone. Many people feel tearful or upset after sex due to vulnerability or a dopamine overload. Showering after sex either alone or together is hygiene-efficient, can release any built-up stress or be a form of bonding. Whether the sex is casual or part of a relationship, after-care is essential either way for both partners. For personal care — clean up, hydrate, urinate and give your partner a high-five!
Things aftercare is not:
Sneaking out in the middle of the night or in the morning without a goodbye, not acknowledging that you just did the deed with said individual, objectifying the person or treating them like some body parts you found attractive are all things aftercare is not. Any form of objectification or treating your partner with disrespect after such intimacy is a no-go. These do not count as aftercare and do the exact opposite of making your partner feel happy post-sex.
Why does this matter?
Partners deserve care after such an intense experience. Partners may feel vulnerable, highly emotional or potentially experience forms of trauma. Making sure your partner is okay and healthy before and after sex can perhaps make future sex with them more romantic and pleasurable because they know you care about them. Taking care of yourself will make you feel much happier after. Checking in on yourself and your partner after sex is the polite thing to do — whether you just met them, or they’re your long-term partner. There is a lot of shame around having intimacy inside casual sex or a one-night stand because that makes more sense in a committed relationship. I beg to differ on that take. Sex itself is intimate already. Taking the time to look at your partner as an equal human with feelings is strongly significant. It doesn’t mean you need to marry them.
Just like anything in sex, it’s up to you. If aftercare feels more comfortable by just chatting after or quietly cuddling, it still works. Aftercare can also just be finding your partner a safe way home if you are not ready for the sleepover stage. If you are ready to drift into pleasant dreams with your sexy partner at your side, grabbing an extra blanket, putting on some Netflix and cuddling is my favourite way to relax after some intimacy.
This article is part of our Opinions section and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Gauntlet’s editorial board.