“Any time you can inject change and surprise into your relationship, you’re setting the scene for passion—not just companionship,” says Jess O’Reilly, PhD, resident sexologist and relationship expert for Astroglide. “By making adjustments to your post-sex routine, you may find that your overall interest in sex increases, as humans are naturally drawn toward novelty.” More passion? Yes, please!
Sure, basic cuddling and pillow talk after a romp in the sack can keep the two of you close, but word is that switching things up after sex can be just as beneficial (and a little more fun).
To keep things interesting, here are eight things you can do after sex to increase intimacy, strengthen your bond, and make your next nookie sesh even hotter:
Wind Things Down With “Aft-Play”
- Using slow-mo versions of your go-to foreplay moves—such as light touching or kissing erogenous zones—can be a great way to bond post-O, as well. “A slower approach to these behaviors can help you transition from intimacy expressed physically to intimacy expressed through emotions,” says Dana Harron, PsyD, a Washington-based clinical psychologist.
Feed Each Other
- Who says you have to eat fully clothed? There’s a sense of novelty in sharing food between the sheets (and feeding each other in the buff), which can help take your intimacy to the next level, says board-certified clinical sexologist Debra Laino, PhD. Plus, it’s a super-sexy way to refuel.
Breathe In Sync
- Hold each other in a spooning position and breathe in sync (the big spoon can follow the little spoon’s lead). “Research suggests that couples’ breath and heart rates tend to synchronize when they’re close to one another, and some theorize that this can promote empathy and an intimate bond,” says O’Reilly.
Give Props To Your S.O.
- Paying your partner-in-crime a compliment about the sex you just had, or about him as a person, can create all kinds of fuzzy feelings for the both of you, says Jill McDevitt, PhD, resident sexuality educator at Swiss Navy lubricants. Obviously, showing your partner some love makes them feel adored and appreciated, but making him feel good brings you joy, too. (And you can thank oxytocin for those fuzzy feelings, a hormone that’s linked to bonding and connectedness.)
Take a Bath
- Lathering each other up in a warm bath not only extends couple-time, but it allows you to be nurturing and vulnerable together, says Van Kirk.
Go For Round Two
- If you’re still feeling randy, there’s always room for one more round. “Research has shown that both men and women are capable of multiple orgasms,” says Van Kirk. (Learn the science behind an orgasm.) “While he may need a little time post-ejaculation, you can be ready to go right out the gate.” During his refractory period, get a jump on things by using a sex toy (like this Form 6 Waterproof Rechargeable Vibrating Massager from the Prevention Boutique), then have him join in when he’s ready. Grrr, baby.
Read To Each Other
- “More and more couples find that sharing a book and reading passages to one another helps them feel more intimate and connected,” says certified sex therapist Kat Van Kirk, PhD. “Reading the same book together also creates a common discussion point.” This promotes emotional intimacy in a big way, says Van Kirk.
Give Your Partner A Massage
- “Many of us use massage techniques to initiate sex via relaxation and physical intimacy, but giving a massage after sex can be even more intimate,” says O’Reilly. Since you’re clearly not using the massage as a gateway to sex, it’s an opportunity to make your partner feel loved and appreciated with no strings attached. (Aw.) Bonus: A massage can also bring on the release of slumber-inducing chemicals, like serotonin and opioids, to lull your SO into an even deeper state of relaxation (just make sure bae returns the favor).