The Importance of Aftercare


The Importance of Aftercare

     We can be left feeling highly emotional and vulnerable after sex due to our brain chemistry and history of trauma. That's why aftercare is essential weather you're having casual sex or it's part of a relationship. 

     During sex our brain releases dopamine and oxytocin. Afterwards we can experience a drop-off of these feel-good chemicals. For some, especially those in the neurodivergent community and those with trauma, this can lead to feeling mentally exhausted, overstimulated, and even depressed. It’s totally normal to experience these feelings! After all, your brain just went through an extreme influx and fall of hormones and chemicals. There are lots of ways to ease the drop off and combat feeling down, such as, but not limited to: 

Rehydrating and Having a Snack
 Sex is a physical activity, and it can be very taxing on our bodies. Replenishing any lost nutrients from working up a sweat can be helpful to slow any potential crash in energy and emotions.  Rehydrating is also important so your body can push out any potential bacteria that entered your urethra during penetration.
Physical affection produces oxytocin, dopamine, and serotonin in our brains.  Cuddling can keep the good feelings going after sex, especially if your love language is physical touch. It can also make you and your partner feel safe and comfortable in your relationship after being so emotionally vulnerable with your bodies.
Communicating With Your Partner
This is one of the most important steps of aftercare and should be a part of every healthy sexual relationship. Telling your partner how you are feeling and expressing your needs, as well as providing a space for them to express their needs is essential. It’s always a good idea to check in verbally before and after having sex to make sure everyone is feeling safe, comfortable, and fulfilled.
Watching a Favorite Movie or Show
This is a low pressure, low energy activity that you can do after sex to wind down and provide comfort. Watching something familiar can reduce anxiety since you already know what’s going to happen and know you’ll enjoy it. It can also be a way to bond with your partner and enjoy sharing something else together.


     You might already be participating in aftercare even if it’s been unintentional. Be mindful of the things you tend to do after sex for yourself and your partner. Take mental notes on your feelings and what you might need, and don’t be afraid to provide that for yourself or express it to your partner. Making sure that everyone’s needs are being met will lead to better sex and better emotional relationships. 

     Extra aftercare may be needed if you are participating in BDSM or kink since it can be more physically and emotionally draining for individuals. Bruises and welts may need to be tended to, and more emotional care needs to go into a relationship where you are playing into different power dynamics. Be sure of what everyone’s aftercare needs are before you participate in BDSM and kink with others, and that you will be able to easily meet those needs. 


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