By Joachim Osur
What you need to know: We are all familiar with foreplay. But what about post-coital play?
The core to great sex is feeling emotionally and physically attached to your partner. Foreplay is a known first step into coitus. It is the preparatory stage and comprises psychological, emotional, and physical preparedness before penetration. But what happens when the act has ended?
That’s when the after-play happens. That’s the immediate moment when one or both of the intimate couple have reached their end.
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But what do you do after the event? Chances are it’s a quick cuddle, maybe a kiss, and then lights out. Or it’s straight to slumber.
But according to study only a fifth of women reach orgasm during sex all the time, meaning that 80 per cent are going without.
This is why it’s good to know that orgasm is not the sole key to great sex.
If you think of sex as a long-distance race, then foreplay is your warm-up, the race itself is your sex session, and after-play is your cool-down.
That’s the point of discussion in the women’s Chama meeting.
“He climaxes before me and leaves me hanging, pushes me away, and goes into a deep sleep,” the Chairperson lamented, “I am left staring at the roof as he snores like a lion!”
“Mine warns me that I should not disturb him when I try to cuddle or talk because he is tired,” another member chips in.
“They are very friendly and loving before the act,” said the vice-chairperson, “but you become enemies immediately he is done.”
To have healthy and satisfactory sex, it is important to understand the stages one goes through during the sex process. This helps in understanding the behaviour of your partner from the beginning to the end of the process and gives you peace of mind rather than anxiety and frustration which are common in most sexual encounters.
Many people are aware of foreplay. It is the time that your partner is most interested in you and in the act unless they have a sexual problem in which case they can be anxious and sometimes scared, fearing that they may fail. Many couples talk seductively to each other at this time and use all their five senses for arousal.
“Yes, it is something we enjoy as women; the kisses, curdles, massages….” said a member, “not to mention being treated like a queen.”
Successful foreplay is marked by an enhancing mood, psychological peace, and lubrication all of which are important in the next stage of coitus.
“Yes, and we wish our men could make it longer,” said the chairperson.
The second stage of sex is marked by penetration. Also called the plateau stage, it is what men enjoy the most. The excitement is high and maintained.
The second stage ends in the third one which is orgasm which is the peak of excitement. Sometimes the lady may get an orgasm before the man. Sometimes the couple climaxes together. The unique thing with women at this stage is that they can get multiple orgasms in one cycle. A man however gets only one orgasm and moves to the fourth stage.
In the fourth stage, a man loses his erection. He is naturally unable to continue having penetrative sex. Depending on their ages, men need as few as 30 minutes in their teenage years to as long as 24 hours in their elderly ages to recover before initiating another cycle.
“So what do you expect a woman who has been left hanging to be doing during this time of a man’s paralysis?” a member asked to which everyone burst out laughing.
“Yes, tell us, do you want some of us whose husbands are aging to keep waiting for 24 hours before the act can continue?” another member asked emotionally.
They are right. After-play can help with the cooling down after the act, make sex more enjoyable, build a stronger bond, forge a healthy relationship and lead to more sex.
This brought me to the issue of the day, why do men switch off after the act?
Two key components: fatigue and lack of understanding. James Halpern and Mark A. Sherman wrote “Afterplay: The Key to Intimacy” in 1979 where they looked at 264 men and women. The majority fell asleep within an hour of having sex and the rest were unsatisfied with their after-play experiences.
The good thing is that when they wake up they may be in the foreplay mood again so not everything is lost.
“True but if he finishes before me he should be loving enough to know that I also need an orgasm!” a member noted.
Yes, more fondling and more intercourse is always an option but it doesn’t have to be. The moments after sex are moments of vulnerability. Post-coital depression is when a partner feels empty or unhappy after intercourse. Afterplay is important in situations like this as it can reassure the partner through touch and intimacy.
If the couple understands how the body works, the bedroom wars will be less. It is wrong for the man to be hostile after coitus but the woman needs to also understand that he is in natural sexual paralysis.
The couple should agree that once the recovery is over, the process should restart. In other words, the after play needs to be as loving as the foreplay and there should be no pressure to head to penetration.
Also do note that the making love phases do not always flow from the first to the last. In fact, it can start and end with foreplay. Couples need to enjoy each bit of their romantic encounter without dictating when and what the end ought to be. If this becomes the attitude, there will be no winners and losers in the bedroom because sex, then, does not have to be a contest for achieving anything other than pleasure.