We talk about aftercare after kink scenes – like safe words, hard limits and safer sex practices, aftercare is fundamental part of our pre-scene elevator pitch. What I hear less people talk about is aftercare after sex, which I definitely need as well. Even if I’ve just given you a quick blow job, I need aftercare – specifically your assurances that I wasn’t terrible at sucking your dick.
Content note for depression, anxiety, and a brief mention of cock and ball torture.
Recently I listened to a podcast that asked me to think about what kind of aftercare I need after a kink scene. What surprised me was that I couldn’t think of an immediate answer that suggested I’d actually examined what kind of aftercare I need beyond the usual examples we give when we talk about what aftercare can look like. Cuddles, chocolate, and comforting words that my partner doesn’t hate me because I’ve just spent the last half hour spanking their balls and then ruined their orgasm all work for me, but that’s not all of the aftercare I need.
Now I’ve thought about it more, I can tell you that what I really need from aftercare are your assurances that I’m not bad at sex. Even – hopefully – that I’m good at sex.
It’s important for me to say, at this point, that there is no such thing as being good at sex. The concept of being good at sex suggests that there is a “right way” to fuck, and that’s utter nonsense. Everyone’s bodies are different, everyone likes different things, and what feels good to one partner will do absolutely nothing for the next person you’re with. Sure, you can there are some basic skills that you can work on, when it comes down to it good sex you communicate. If you asked me how to be good at sex I’d have a very simple answer for you: talk to your partner.
Rationally, I know all of that… but putting it into practice is harder.
I struggle with depression and anxiety – my brain is almost constantly trying to convince me that I hate myself. To the point where I can have just been writhing under you while you held a vibrator against my dick until I came just minutes ago, but now I’m worrying that you might not like me. I worry that you’re fucking me out of a sense of obligation, or that I didn’t do enough to bring you pleasure, or that we didn’t fuck for long enough for you to be satisfied. I worry that I dissociated too much while we were having sex. I worry that you didn’t have fun. I worry that I was too needy, and that you’ll think I’m more needy if I ask for you to reassure me that you did have fun.
After we’ve fucked, I need your assurances that I didn’t fuck up at fucking you. Maybe not in the exact moment when I look up at you with a mouthful of your come, waiting for permission to swallow, but the anxiety hits soon afterwards. Especially if our sex is more casual, because if our relationship has a foundation in meeting up to fuck I’ll feel embarrassed that I can’t get dressed straight away afterwards. Contrary to my once-favourite film, sex isn’t like playing tennis: I shouldn’t feel ashamed of needing aftercare, but I do.
That’s something I want to unlearn. My worst sex ever taught me how important communication is – I talk about sex before, during, and after sex. I know that I need that but asking for it is hard, especially because I don’t fuck anyone who doesn’t know I’m a sex blogger. That is, I don’t fuck anyone who doesn’t know that I should know that there’s no such thing as being good at sex, so wanting their reassurances that I am good at sex seems a little ridiculous. I know that good sex is subjective, so why do I need you to tell me that I’m not terrible in bed?
It’s hard to admit that I’m still unlearning society’s messages that there is a “right way” to fuck and I’m still fumbling around sex, feeling like an idiot when I have to ask basic questions about my body. But as embarrassing as it is to admit how insecure I am around whether I’m good at sex, if I don’t ask then the anxiety will eat me up from the inside until I’m convinced that I’ve just had sex with someone who hates me and is never going to text me again. Even the endorphins from an orgasm can only keep that fear away for so long.
But it’s ok to have that fear. It’s ok to have those insecurities, and it’s ok to need assurances. Sex is vulnerable and intimate and embarrassing, and it’s normal to want to know that your partner enjoyed themselves. I very much doubt that I’m unique because part of my post-fuck aftercare is wanting my partner to tell me that I sucked their cock really fucking well.
What’s the point of this post? Well, I wanted to remind you that if you’re struggling to unlearn heteronormative views of sex then you’re not alone. I wanted to remind myself that while I want to work on my anxiety, wanting to talk about sex after you’ve fucked is a completely reasonable aftercare request. Oh, and I wanted to say that there’s no such thing as being “good at sex”.
Let talk about sex! If you enjoyed this post, please consider buying me a coffee. Ok, yes, I’ll probably actually get a hot chocolate, but your support means I can keep being vulnerable about my sex life on the internet.
Quinn Rhodes (he/him) is a freelance journalist, sex writer, and professional transsexual. His work focuses on dismantling shame and queering sex.