I get it – after a hot and heavy romp around, the last thing you want to do is deal with aftercare. There are a couple things you should do after sex for your health, hygiene, and safety that are necessities for your sexual (and emtional) health!
hint – it’s not just about peeing. Learn what to do (and not to do) after sex for a happy, healthy body and sex life!
What TO Do:
- Clean Up
While you don’t have to rush out of bed to shower, cleaning yourself up shortly after sex can help to prevent infections, such as urinary tract infections (UTIs). Be sure to wash your genital area (not inside!) with plain water or do a quick wipe (from front to back please) with an unscented baby wipe.
My uncut gems with foreskin should be careful to wash beneath the skin gently.
- Wash Your Hands
Showering is somewhat optional after sex – you can decide if you think a shower is necessary. But washing your hands is an absolute must to prevent the spread of bacteria to other parts of the body. Be sure to wash your hands with antibacterial soap, taking some time to lather and rub your hands together. Rinse with clean, running water.
- Pee Please
Sex drives bacteria into the urethra, which is the tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the body. When bacteria finds its way inside, it can lead to an unpleasant UTI. Peeing after sex flushes bacteria out. Be sure to wipe from front to back to halt the spread of infection.
- Tidy Up Your Toys
When you’re done using them, always clean your sex toys thoroughly to prevent them from holding onto bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Sex toys can hold onto pathogens that spread sexually transmitted diseases and other infections.
Keep in mind that some sex toys have specific cleaning instructions, so check for what’s compatible with your sex toys or purchase an all-purpose sex toy cleaner. Ideally, you shouldn’t share sex toys with different partners. If you do, cover the toy with a condom each time.
- Drink Up
- Sex can be a workout and a lot of sweat, so it’s important to stay hydrated. Drink water after sex to stay hydrated and pee more, which will help you flush out bacteria and stave off UTIs.
- Put On Your Comfy (and Breathable) Pants
- Bacteria and yeast love hot, sweaty environments, like tight clothing and underwear. Skip the vinyl and opt for loose clothing and cotton underwear for breathability – or better yet, skip the underwear altogether. Women should avoid pantyhose, girdles, and panties made out of tight-fitting or synthetic materials.
- Double Check
- If something seems different, or you’re just worried, take a second to check the condom for tears or breaks. While this is rare with quality condoms stored properly, it’s not impossible. Condoms can tear or slip off during sex, and if there’s no backup birth control, that can mean an unexpected pregnancy.
Checking that the condom is intact brings peace of mind, but what if you find a tear or issue? In this case, consider the next steps, such as emergency contraception.
- Bask in the After Glow
- Some people aren’t cuddlers or sweet talkers, but if you and your partner are, take some time to cuddle and chit chat after cleaning up. Cuddling releases a powerful hormone called oxytocin, which helps people form strong bonds and encourages affection. Plus it just feels nice to take a second to enjoy eachothers company :)
What NOT To Do:
- Don’t you dare douche
- Heavily marketed in the early-to-mid 19th century, douching is a product intended to “clean” the inside of the vagina with a mixture of vinegar, water, and other ingredients. Douching is not a healthy practice, however, and can upset the natural balance of bacteria and acidity that protects the vagina.
The vagina is a miraculous self-cleaning organ. Leave it alone and let it cleanse itself naturally. semen, or even sex itself, can temporarily alter the vagina’s natural pH, so don’t worry about a mild smell. If it doesn’t go away or gets stronger, then it may be time for a checkup.
Worried about vaginal leakage and the wet spot? Fortunately, cleanup is a breeze with the Dripstick after-sex sponge that soaks up excess fluid without disrupting the vagina’s natural pH balance.
- Avoid Touchy Topics
- While it’s important to be open and honest with your sexual partner, conversations about sexual acts and intimacy should happen before, not after, sex. Whenever possible, hash out the serious details about boundaries and expectations before you do the deed.
Learn as much as possible about your partner’s sexual history, such as the number of partners and STI history. You should also discuss contraception and preferred protection, such as condoms or diaphragms.
Of course, that doesn’t mean all sex discussion is off the table – the afterglow is a great time to discuss what you liked, what you might want to try, or simply to sing your partner’s praises and show enthusiasm for the next time
- Immediately KO
- Neglecting aftercare can lead to infections, like UTIs. No matter how tired you are, take the time to clean up properly after sex and drink some water. Once you’re done, then you can get a good nap.
Aside from the hygiene aspect, falling asleep is a bit of faux pas. Passing out immediately after, especially if your partner wants to talk or cuddle, can be insulting. Hormones are to blame, such as prolactin, which is trying to coax you into a deep sleep. Before you give in to the urge to nap, check in with your partner to make sure all is good with them.
- Keep an eye out for anything out of the ordinary
- Sex can pass all kinds of infections between partners – not just STIs. Common infections like yeast infections or bacterial vaginosis can be passed back and forth during sex, even with male partners, making them more difficult to treat.
If you notice itching, burning, discharge, or other unpleasant symptoms, get yourself tested. If you do have an infection, make sure it’s completely cleared up before you engage in sexual activity again, or else you could just keep passing it between you. Follow your doctor’s instructions for how long you should wait to have sex.
- Get tested on the regs
- It’s a good idea to get tested if you’ve been with a new partner or once a year if not. A lot of STIs have no symptoms, or mild ones, making it difficult to know if you have one. You can pass the infection between you and to others, so it’s important to get tested to know for sure.
New partner or not, be sure to get an STI check if you start to notice symptoms, such as pain, genital sores or blisters, warts, rashes, or other unusual symptoms. Some STIs present with symptoms like burning or itching when peeing.
- If you’ve got a baby bump
- For most pregnant people, sex is safe and enjoyable. Pregnant people are more likely to contract UTIs during this time, however, so it’s important to take proper care after sex. Be sure to pee soon afterward, wash around the vagina, and drink plenty of water.
- The moments after sex may not be prime time to think about health and hygiene, but it’s vital to your safety. With harmful myths circulating, such as vaginal steaming and irritating personal care products, it can be difficult to know what you should – and shouldn’t – do to stay clean and safe after sex.
So, be sure to stay hydrated, pee as often as you can, and take care of your sexual health with STI checkups as needed. Then, put on some comfortable clothes (or go commando!), cuddle up together, and see if you can’t get an encore performance!