For most of us, when we think of safe sex, a few things come to mind: consent, contraception, and maybe even regular STI screenings to ensure a safe and enjoyable time with your partner. Too often, we forget about the care practices that should come after having intercourse, including a personal hygiene routine to ensure you and your partner won’t develop any discomfort or infections later on.
Avoid the temptation to fall asleep or simply get dressed and go about your day after having sex. Especially for women, taking care of your body after sex is important for your vaginal and sexual health. The next time you engage in sexual activity of any kind with a partner, take a few minutes to freshen up in a bathroom before you carry on with your day.
We have outlined some of the most important steps you should follow to cleanse and protect your body after sexual activity. Read on to learn more!
Flush Out Your System
First things first, you need to make sure you urinate after intercourse. Women face a greater risk of developing a urinary tract infection due to bacteria entering the urethra during or after intercourse. Keep in mind this tip does not just apply to women. Men can also develop urinary tract infections from intercourse. Urinating can help flush out any unwanted bacteria from your urethra and prevent an infection from forming in your bladder.
In tandem with this practice, you should also drink a glass of water as part of a safe post-sex routine. Not only will this help flush out your body and encourage urination, but it can help rehydrate your body after what may have been a rather strenuous physical activity. Hydration is key to feeling your best, and taking time to prioritize this task will help you feel re-energized and even ready for round two if you and your partner are up for it.
After intercourse, you’ll want to clean up your genital area for both cleanliness and comfort. The simplest way to do so is to take warm water and gently rinse the area off. For ladies, be sure to only focus the water on the exterior area of your genitals and do not put any soap or water inside your vagina. If you prefer a slightly deeper clean or you don’t have access to water at the time, use aloe-infused body wipes to soothe and cleanse your genital area without causing any irritation. This will help you feel clean and dry for the rest of the day or night.
To avoid irritation to this very sensitive area, be sure to only use natural, unscented products on your vulva and surrounding areas. Your vagina will naturally clean itself, but if you want to feel a bit more comfortable in the meantime, these simple tips will help remove any unwanted fluids from your body.
For men, it's a good idea to follow these same cleaning steps to ensure there is no transfer of bacteria or general discomfort caused by bodily fluid remaining on your skin after intercourse. Simply rinse off your penis with a bit of warm water and you should be feeling clean and refreshed.
Put On Clean Underwear
If you choose to get dressed after sex, it’s a good idea to put on a clean pair of underwear to feel a bit fresher. It’s not a requirement to change your underwear, but can be helpful in keeping you clean if you are especially prone to UTIs or yeast infections.
Additionally, natural bodily fluids can stain your clothing, especially for women if you experience spotting after sex. To avoid any staining, clean yourself up and finish off your hygiene routine with clean, loose-fitting clothing. A great option for loose-fitting underwear that won’t trap in heat and moisture are breathable women’s boxers. This style of underwear is comfortable enough to lounge in on its own or be worn under clothing. It can also help keep you clean and fresh while absorbing any moisture that naturally occurs around your genitals.
If you are just going to sleep afterward, it’s actually more beneficial for your vulva to not wear any underwear at all. While sleeping, let your vulva be completely unrestricted to help keep the area clean and dry. Wearing underwear overnight can cause an increased risk for infection as underwear tends to keep your genitals warm and moist, creating an ideal environment for bacteria to grow.
As you practice a safe and healthy sex life, be sure to put just as much effort and consideration into how you care for your body after sex. Keeping yourself feeling clean and fresh isn’t simply a nicety, but a requirement for your own health and well-being. As part of being a responsible sex partner, be sure to practice a safe and healthy post-sex hygiene routine.