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Get Your Glow On

Glowing Couple

We are often bombarded with information about the bad consequences of sex, the aftershocks, like unintended pregnancy and STD/STIs.   But sex can have good consequences too -- like a strong, lasting afterglow. 

Sexual afterglow can be physical, emotional and/or interpersonal.

  • Physically: sex can be pleasurable, increase energy and provide a nice cardiac workout.
  • Emotionally: sex can enhance mood, reduce stress and help you relax.
  • Interpersonally: sex can enhance closeness between you and your partner.

Afterglow isn't automatic.

Did you catch the "can be" not the "will be" in our language above? No guarantees on that afterglow. Even a tiny short-lived glow isn't automatic. 

Sex CAN be pleasurable, CAN enhance mood and CAN enhance closeness.

Sex with a partner doesn't automatically do any of those things. Sex isn't always pleasurable, it doesn't always enhance your mood and doesn't always bring two people closer.  It takes more than doing the deed to get any of those perks!

Sexual  pleasure alone doesn't last very long -- the sensual glow comes and then it's gone. 

After an orgasm, you've got a memory, but that may be it.  However, a real sexual afterglow can burn brightly for a long time after you leave the bedroom. 

Truly lasting afterglow is rooted in a solid base of intimacy and love.  Contrary to what movies and TV shows might suggest, research shows that its people in long lasting relationships that are reporting the most frequent and satisfying sex lives. 

Getting your glow on takes more than simply doing the deed. 

Taking charge of your sex life is an important route to sexual afterglow. There are hundreds of tips on WiRE about how to get and keep the glow going in your sex and love life. 

Afterglow is not dependent on type of sexual activity or orgasm.

It's not about the kind of sex you have (making out, oral sex, mutual masturbation)'s about what both you and your partner bring to these activities. Consent, trust, honesty, safety are much more important to afterglow than the kind of sex you have. What makes sex good is that you and you partner have sex that works for each of you.

Want an afterglow after sex?

Understand yourself, understand your partner, be intentional, respect each other and talk openly about sex.

And be in love and the glow gets radically radiant.

It is important to remember that unlike what we see in the movies and on TV, spontaneous sex isn't perfect, mindblowing sex. Getting sex right can sometimes be awkward and even funny. It takes time to learn about your partner's needs and your needs. Enjoy the process. Be content with a soft afterglow.  

And what really matters is not how BIG the orgasm was, but how LONG the afterglow lasts.  If you can savor your deed and talk about it the next day or week or year, you've got yourself a really good glow going!   

Keep your expectations in check, sex is a process not an outcome.

Whether or not you or your partner has an orgasm doesn't dictate your afterglow. The expectation that you or your partner will have an orgasm every time you have sex isn't realistic.  Now, this doesn't mean that you should abandon having an orgasm but defining afterglow or good sex by an orgasm sets you and your partner up for failure.

Knowing what you want and acting intentionally is key to a sexual afterglow. 

Whether you experience an aftershock or an afterglow after a sexual experience will depend largely on intentionality or what you and your partner are "choosing" in your sexual connection.

Sex on purpose is the first step to sex that glows, move on to learn about great sex on purpose.


 Move On!