Anything that a couple does together immediately after they’ve had sex is considered afterplay. Most of the time, this involves either caressing, cuddling, talking, or all of it.
Engaging in afterplay does not always have to entail more sex. Snuggling, taking a bath together, massaging each other, even hugging each other after sex is still considered afterplay. More intercourse could happen if you’re aroused enough, but that’s not always necessary. If you’ve got the energy for it, by all means, why not. But the primary reason to engage in afterplay is to help each other work through those moments of vulnerability.
The experience will usually last no more than a couple of minutes before the couple falls asleep or leave the bed to go and do something else. It is important for couples to engage in this after they’ve made love for one simple reason: people are vulnerable after they’ve had sex.
The love and affection that happens after sex has taken place is the key to improving and strengthening the intimacy and relationship. Even more so if the couple experiences any difficulty during sex. They may feel upset, uneasy, or plain uncomfortable after it’s over. They’re worried if they’ve let their partners down, maybe even feel embarrassed, worried, or afraid to talk about it. Those emotional and mental blocks can create an invisible barrier and the couple may pull away from each other emotionally and physically.
When a couple doesn’t engage in post-coital intimacy, they’re wasting a valuable bonding opportunity. What a couple should be doing instead of immediately rolling over and picking up their phones, falling asleep, or leaving the bed hurriedly to do something else is to stay in bed and stay close to each other. Cuddle, kiss, caress, whisper in your partner’s ear and tell them how much you love them. Tell them everything you loved about being together a few moments ago and how connected you felt. Reassure them and see what a difference it makes in your love life.
If there are times when you feel that all you want to do is go to sleep and you’re tired, that’s okay. It happens sometimes, even between two people who love and care deeply about each other. Our bodies are not machines, after all, we do get tired after a long and busy day and a vigorous sex session that zapped any remaining energy we had left. Once in a while is not a problem, but where possible, a couple should try to make engaging in afterplay an important after-sex ritual.