After Sex Activities for Bonding with Your Partner
Sex, in itself, is a powerful way to bond with a person. In fact, when you orgasm, you release mood-boosting, bond-building chemicals in your body, such as oxytocin and vasopressin — in addition to a handful of other endorphins.
The best part? You can ride this high to your next activity with your partner, so you can continue to strengthen the bond hours after sex.
Wondering what to do after sex to create deeper unity between you and your sexual partner? We reached out to a handful of sex and relationship experts for their advice on making the most of those precious post-coitus feelings.
Here are some of the most effective ways to keep the flame going even after you’ve wound down from the throes of passion.
This one is so effective, it’s what most of us intuitively know to do.
According to a study published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior, couples who devote time after sex to demonstrating affection towards one another have more satisfying sex lives and build a deeper, longer-lasting connection.
The study found that cuddling — defined in their study as a form of care after sex, which can include spooning, kissing, and caressing — is especially important for women and partners with children. As for men, such demonstrations of non-sexual affection, increase their sexual satisfaction, which boosts their perception of the relationship.
Because cuddling after sex makes both partners feel good, it creates a sort of reward system, says Amy Muise, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Toronto. When something makes us feel good, we want to do it again, which is a surefire way to build a lasting bond.
“I think couples should be aware that the period after sex could be particularly important for bonding,” says Muise. “If possible, spending more time being affectionate after sex could enhance feelings of sexual and relationship satisfaction.”
Cook Something Up Together
It’s not a myth; sex does burn calories — especially when you’re doing it right. There’s a good chance you’ll both be feeling famished after, so why not engage in an after-sex bonding activity that encourages collaboration, while filling your bellies?
If you’re wondering what to do after sex, cooking gives you the opportunity to create something together, which fosters a shared sense of satisfaction (as well as plenty of opportunities to sneak in a few kisses).
Cooking with your partner allows you to stay present, writes Jaime Young for PopSugar. “When you do active things together such as cooking, you feel connected to your other half, which can help strengthen your bond,” adds Young. “Activities like watching TV don’t always feel like quality time since it’s more difficult to be present or have a discussion.”
Bonus: there’s also a good chance what you cook in your own kitchen will be healthier than what you order at a restaurant, and a smart diet plays an important role in your sex life. Boost your sex life while engaging in some after sex bonding — a win-win!
Clueless in the kitchen? Meal prep kits, like HelloFresh, Marley Spoon, and Green Chef are the perfect couple’s activity and will teach you essential cooking techniques for your long and lasting relationship together.
Create an Aftercare Kit & Then Use it!
Kayna Cassard, licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Sex Therapist at Intuitive Sensuality) recommends making a little basket, bag, or container with items that make you feel happy and comforted for intimacy after sex. You should store your aftercare kit by or under your bed, so it’s easily accessible for sex bonding.
The care after sex kit can contain any number of items that bring you joy, but Cassard recommends:
1. A special blanket that’s warm and snuggly you can wrap each other in
2. Faux fur gloves you can stroke your partner’s body with
3. Recovery treats, like water, delicious dark chocolate, to satisfy those post-sex cravings, while nourishing the body after your sexy workout.
4. A little journal that you both contribute to over time, writing little love notes to each other. After sex, you can bring it out and read some of the entries to each other while you snuggle.
“The goal of your little care after sex kit is to make sex not just about the act itself, but about a whole process of connecting more deeply and being more intimate with each other,” says Cassard.
“In sex therapy sessions, couples often tell me that the whole reason they want to have sex is for the connection and intimacy after sex, but we miss out on this if we’re only focused on the physical act and not the bonding and intimacy that can come before (in foreplay) and after with little moments of appreciation and focused attention on our partner feeling good in ways that are not sexual.”
Go For a Run
…or any other type of workout you both enjoy. A study conducted by sex toy company Adam & Eve found that athletes who had sex with a partner before performing saw a 3% increase in agility and a .7% increase in strength. You might as well use those endorphins to kickstart your workout and build a mutual sense of satisfaction together.
Similarly to eating healthy, exercise can also be a great way to boost your stamina and sex life.
“Sharing a fitness goal (such as training for a 5K or triathlon), taking regular runs together, ballroom dancing, or having a date night at the gym can boost the quality of your romantic relationship,” writes Theresa E DiDonato Ph.D. for Psychology Today.
Sex bonding is one of the major factors in long term relationship success. If you’re gonna work on your strength, cardio, and flexibility for your partner, why not do it when you’re feeling all revved up after sex?
Indulge Your Partner in a Massage
“Afterglow activities are as important as foreplay when it comes to building intimacy after sex,” says Jessica Boss, relationship YouTuber, love coach, and writer at LoveLearnings.com. “When you’re post-coital, you’re in a vulnerable position, which means the bonds built during this time are resilient.”
Boss recommends taking time for care after sex that focuses on massage and touch. Exploring and complimenting your partner’s body is a great way to make them feel secure in your love and comfortable about their body. “Think sensual, not sexual. You want them to know that you appreciate their body and making them feel good, outside of just sex.”
For the best massage experience, check out our guide on how to give your partner a mind-blowing sensual massage and don’t forget to use a lubricant like our organic massage oil; the perfect blend of hydrating oils allows you add depth to your massage session.
Engage in Post-Play
We’ve all heard of foreplay, but post-play can be just as rewarding.
“Don’t stop the touch! The body and senses are super activated from all of the post-sex oxytocin,” says Amy Baldwin, Certified Sex Educator, sex and relationship coach, and co-host of the Shameless Sex Podcast. “While the sexual touch (genitals) may be off-limits for many folks, the rest of the body is in prime condition for receiving yummy, sensual touch.”
Baldwin recommends using your fingers or lips to lightly explore the front and back of your partner’s neck, back, shoulders, ears, and inner thighs.
“Think of sex as the main course and sensual aftercare as the dessert,” adds Baldwin.
Bonus: tell your partner what you loved about the sex session while you are lovingly caressing them. Somatic learning (meaning through the body) is hugely effective, so sharing words of appreciation combined with touch can help the information to really sink in.
Initiate an Afterglow Ritual
“The joy and ecstasy we feel immediately after an intimate experience can be extended for days, even weeks, by creating a ritual specifically to enhance ‘afterglow,’” says Coltrane Lord, author of The Kinky Vanilla Love Project: The Sexy Soulful Journey from Betrayal To Bliss.
Afterglow rituals should be easy to access and employ all of the senses. You can make them as short as 5 minutes or stretch it out for however long you need. A few care after sex rituals Coltrane suggests include:
After sex, try touching your foreheads together and breathe in and out together for a few breaths. This allows both bodies to synchronize in rhythm. The Hawaiians call this the Aloha breath, “we breathe as one.” Then you pull apart just a little bit and eye gaze for a few more breaths for a visual connection.
Give each other a “word bath,” which are words of praise for each other. For example, “you are beautiful,” “you make me feel safe,” or you can be light and funny, “you are great in bed!” The idea is to allow your partner to hear compliments and positive feedback. Then you give each other a prolonged kiss to get a lasting taste of the afterglow of your lovemaking.
You can use your favorite (organic) essential oil to anoint each other on the heart for closure. Simply put a dab of the scented oil (like jasmine, rose, ylang-ylang or create your own mix) on your finger and use your finger to place the scent on the heart center. You can keep these scents around in various parts of your home or keep with you to create a sensory memory of your lovemaking.
Relationships between sexual partners are solidified by sharing their histories, social connections, and experiences. Just like meeting a partner’s friends or traveling together can help build bonds, watching movies or TV with your partner can create a shared vocabulary — provided you’re engaged while doing it!
“Sharing TV shows and movies with one another might allow couples to maintain closeness by creating a sense that they share social connections,” writes Sarah Gomillion for Scientific American. “Sharing such social connections makes couples feel closer and more satisfied with their relationships. It may even help keep relationships together. Couples with more shared social connections are less likely to break up over time than couples with fewer shared connections.”
In addition to building a deeper wealth of shared experiences, watching a movie or tv show together provides a great opportunity for physical touch. Curl up on the couch together post-sex and watch your relationship blossom.
Julia Austin, at Madame Noire, recommends sticking with something lighter, such as reality TV. “Your brain can’t really handle a documentary on the political infrastructure of this country,” writes Austin. “But a little dumb TV somehow feels just right when you’re in that hazy, mush-brained, post-coital state of mind.”
Sweaty after sex? Taking a shower together is a great way to cool down while further building the intimacy after sex between you and your partner.
According to the experts at DrHealthBenefits.com, “Bathing together with a partner is the same as embracing in bed. By bathing together, it’s as if you share everything together with your partner. That way your relationship with a partner will be more intimate and increased from the aspect of sensuality.”
If you have a haunch that a shower will lead to more play, check out our complete guide to shower sex for the best positions and some handy tips. For added enjoyment, don’t forget a waterproof lube, like ASTROGLIDE X Silicone Liquid or ASTROGLIDE X Silicone Gel.
“It feels so…complete,” adds Austin in Madame Noire. “You get dirty together, and then you get clean together.”
Have More Sex!
By round two, there’s a good chance she’s more warmed up, and he can go a little longer. You’re already undressed, in bed, and feel safe and comfortable with one another.
A second round of sex will reconfirm your desire for each other, which eliminates doubt. Knowing you’re so hot for your partner you can go twice in a row is a powerful way to express the depth of your feelings for each other. And for those marathon sessions, don’t forget to add your favorite lube!
Ever wondered what to do after sex? Without a doubt, sex is an incredible way to build a bond between two people, but what you do after, can further solidify the deal. By engaging with each other in a meaningful way after sex, two people can ride the “afterglow” to a deeper relationship.
Answer the question: “What do you do after sex to bond with your partner?” by tweeting us @ASTROGLIDE.