Sex, in all its intimate glory, is an inherently messy affair. From saliva to sweat, and the exchange of other bodily fluids that accompany acts of passion, it's no secret that things can get delightfully chaotic. Whether your escapades lead to your own post-coital introspection or leave you sprawled across various surfaces, there's no denying that maintaining post-sex hygiene is essential for both your comfort and sexual health.
While everyone's post-sex routine varies depending on the nature of their encounters, personal preferences, and individual risks of infection, the following list offers a fundamental guide to post-romp hygiene dos and don'ts that can help you navigate this crucial aspect of sexual well-being.
1. Don't Overdo Cleansing for the Vagina and Vulva
One cardinal rule to remember: the vagina is a self-cleansing marvel of nature. It doesn't require aggressive cleaning with soaps, sprays, or other products. In fact, such interventions can disrupt its sensitive microbiome. For the vulva, a simple rinse with warm water or a mild, unscented soap followed by thorough rinsing and patting dry is sufficient. For penile hygiene, a gentle wash is equally effective. This is especially crucial if the foreskin is intact, as it helps prevent semen buildup and potential infection.
2. Do Urinate After Sex, Especially if Prone to UTIs
Urinating after sex is a crucial practice, particularly if you're prone to urinary tract infections (UTIs). This habit helps flush out any bacteria that might have entered your urethra during sexual activity. It also aids in eliminating residual sperm, marginally reducing the risk of pregnancy. While there's no need to rush to the bathroom immediately after sex, try to urinate within about 20 minutes or so. Consider keeping a glass of water by your bedside and drinking it between rounds of intimacy to encourage this essential practice.
3. Don't Forget About Discarded Condoms
If you and your partner used condoms during sex, disposing of them properly is vital. Never attempt to flush a condom down the toilet, as it can clog your plumbing. Instead, after indulging in the pleasures of each other's company, ensure that someone takes care of the used condom. Simply tie it and dispose of it in the trash bin. The last thing you want is an awkward encounter with a stray condom in the middle of the night or an unexpected morning surprise.
4. Do Practice Anal and Genital Hygiene
For those who engage in anal sex, prompt showering can be beneficial. It helps wash away any lingering bacteria from the genital area. Be gentle and thorough in your approach. When washing, take care to clean the folds around the vagina and lift the clitoral hood. Use warm water and a mild, unscented soap or opt for all-natural, unscented cleansing wipes. Always wipe from front to back to prevent bacteria transfer from the anus to the vagina, which can lead to infections. Individuals with foreskin should follow a similar routine, ensuring the entire penile head is cleaned.
5. Don't Sleep in Less Breathable Undergarments
It's advisable to avoid sleeping in lingerie, thongs, or any undergarments that are less breathable than cotton. Ideally, allowing the genital area to breathe freely by sleeping in the nude can help reduce excess moisture and minimize the risk of yeast or other vaginal infections. The benefits of sleeping naked also extend to individuals with penises, as constricting or non-breathable fabrics can be harmful to sperm.
6. Do Clean Your Sex Toys Properly
If you and your partner incorporate sex toys into your intimate activities, it's essential to clean them thoroughly after use. This not only maintains their hygiene but also ensures their longevity. Each sex toy comes with specific cleaning instructions based on its material. High-quality, non-porous toys are often made of silicone, glass, metal, or ABS hard plastic. You can clean them with a mild soap and water or specialized sprays/wipes. Some materials are even suitable for boiling.
7. Don't Forget to Remove Tampons Before Sex
While period sex can be enjoyable and fulfilling, it's crucial to remember to remove tampons before engaging in sexual activity. The heat of the moment should not cause you to overlook this essential step. If a tampon remains in the vagina during intercourse, it can be pushed to the back of the vaginal canal, making it challenging to retrieve. While it can't travel too far, prolonged retention can create a breeding ground for infection-causing bacteria. In rare cases, this could lead to toxic shock syndrome (TSS). If you're unsure whether a tampon is still inside you, seek medical assistance promptly.
8. Do Wash/Change Your Sheets If Necessary
If your sexual escapades leave an evident mess, it's essential to clean or change your sheets accordingly. This practice extends to washing your sheets between sexual partners for hygienic reasons. To streamline post-coital cleanup, consider using a towel or a waterproof mattress cover, especially during anal or period sex.
In conclusion, those blissful moments of post-coital intimacy are ideal for connecting with your partner and basking in the rush of feel-good hormones coursing through your body. Take a moment to savor these shared experiences, whether it's cuddling, kissing, or engaging in light-hearted banter. While hygiene is essential, remember that it should not overshadow the moments of connection and intimacy. Always prioritize open communication with your partner to ensure that both your hygiene needs and emotional connection are met.