Much of the information we hear about maintaining our sexual health focuses on what we should be doing before and during our sexual adventures, which is very important to know; however, there's often little mention of the post-sex mistakes we could be making. Of course, this isn't exactly a negative thing, as knowing what mistakes and activities we should all be avoiding before and during sex can help us avoid UTIs, STDs, and other unpleasantness. That said, knowing what not to do after sex is just as important to your sexual health. Your post-sex routine can easily make the difference between more happy sexytimes and a UTI or other infection — and it might even even influence your odds of accidental pregnancy.
Even if you take your sexual health very seriously (as I'm sure you do), it's crucial to re-evaluate your post-sex routine every once in a while, and make sure you're doing everything you need to do to take care of yourself and your partner. Look at your routine and ask yourself: What works? What could you be doing more effectively? Are there any important things that you're forgetting to do altogether? If you're not sure where to start when it comes to evaluating your post-sex routine, don't worry: we've got you covered with the info below. So, before your next romp, read up on these six common post-sex mistakes to avoid. Trust me, your junk (and your partner!) will thank you for it.
1. Not Peeing Afterwards
I'm not saying you need to jump up and run to the bathroom the second your sex session has ceased. By all means, get your cuddle on for a little bit, or just lay back and enjoy the post-sex chill for a few minutes. But if you have to pee, don't hold it for too long after sex (and even if you feel like you don't have to pee, give it a try). Peeing after sex has been identified as a solid technique to help you avoid developing a UTI, and if you've never had one before, trust me when I tell you that UTIs are the friggin' worst.
2. Not Cleaning Yourself Up Afterwards
I'm not doubting that you have excellent vaginal hygiene. But I also know it can be tempting to just pass out after a particularly athletic or late-night bang. (Alternatively, I know a lot of us have probably had those sexual experiences where you really just want to get the hell home the second you're finished.)
However, it's really important that you use what energy you have left post-sex to take that short trip to the bathroom for a little downstairs clean up. Whether you used a condom or not, you need to wash away any lube, sweat, and/or bodily fluids you and your vagina came in contact with. If you don't, you could end up with a UTI or a another vaginal infection.
3. Not Cleaning Your Sex Toys Afterwards
Any dildos, vibrators, or other items that you and your partner used during the act need to be cleaned post-sexy time. I know that's probably the last thing you'll feel like doing after a romp, but it's important. If you forget to clean your sex toys, then the next time you're in the throes of passion and want to use them, you'll either have to pause to clean them (effectively killing the vibe); you'll skip using them altogether even though you really wanted to (which sucks); or you'll use them without cleaning them and potentially score yourself a nasty UTI or vaginal infection. So while I know it's kind of a tedious pain, just do yourself a favor and clean your toys right after you've finished using them.
4. Laying With Your Hips Tilted Upwards
If you are hoping to conceive, then ignore this item — because this post-sex mistake is only a mistake if you're trying to not get pregnant. That said, if you're having heterosexual intercourse and trying to avoid pregnancy, I definitely hope you're using an effective form of birth control. No one should be relying on hip tilts alone to keep them safe from an unplanned pregnancy — especially because there's been some debate over whether laying with your hips tilted upwards can actually help sperm travel to your cervix at all. So please, use a birth control method.
However, since no form of birth control is 100 percent effective, if you want to play it safe, it's probably best to avoid assuming this position post-sex. Don't go throwing your legs over the back of your couch whilst chilling in your post-sex state, don't hug your knees to your chest or otherwise raise your legs in the air, and maybe don't do any upside down yoga poses for a minute.
Of course, this won't definitely prevent pregnancy from happening (according to WebMD, it only takes sperm about 10 to 15 minutes to get from your pelvic area to your cervix, regardless of whether your hips are tilted up or not), so again, make sure to use an effective form of birth control . But if you want to take every step possible to try to prevent pregnancy, using this in conjunction with your birth control method of choice certainly won't hurt.
5. Not Getting Tested After You Begin Having Sex With A New Partner
This is especially relevant if you're considering going condom free with your current partner, or you've already gone condom free without being sure of your partner's STD status. But even if you're playing it as safe as possible, it pays to stay up to date on your own STD status as well as your partner's — so make getting tested part of your ritual when starting a new relationship. It will either help you engage in sex without STD fears, or help you make sure that you're getting treatment for STDs that you do have.
6. Forgetting To Take Your Birth Control
I recently went off birth control because I wanted to see if it would help me feel less anxious and emotionally unstable (it has). But when I was on birth control, I forgot to take it more than a few times. Fortunately, I didn't end up pregnant, but I could have.
Sure, we all have different schedules (both for having sex and taking our birth control), but taking a moment after sex to think and make sure that you took your birth control today is a good habit to get into. If you have a hard time remembering to take birth control, set an alarm on your phone or leave your pills somewhere you know you'll see them, like your nightstand or bathroom sink — because "imperfect use" is the number one reason birth control fails.
This might seem like a lot to remember, but it's not, especially once you get into a routine — one that ensures awesome sexual health.