Ah, afterplay. I'll be honest with, y'all—while I am indeed impressed by a man who brings his "A" game in the foreplay department, I am totally enamored with a man who is a master at afterplay. If you're not exactly sure what that is, it's basically when you've got the kind of sex partner who doesn't simply climax, immediately roll over and fall asleep (ugh). It's when you're with someone who is attentive enough, intuitive enough and into-you-enough to want to provide a little extra attention, affection—or perhaps even something more than that—once the deed is "done".
To me, not only is an afterplay man the mark of a great lover, it also shows a man who has some pretty impressive stamina and staying power too.
Why do I say that? It's because I know that men falling asleep after sex isn't something that they just came up with, all on their own; there is actually a science to it all. Long story short, when a man ejaculates, he releases norepinephrine, vasopressin, nitric oxide, serotonin, oxytocin and prolactin. Prolactin is not only tied to sexual satisfaction, it is also heightened during sleep. Meanwhile, oxytocin and vasopressin are two other chemicals that are at their peak during orgasms; plus, they are associated with relaxation and catching z-z-z's. So basically, when a man cums and those chemicals are triggered, it's like he's receiving a huge boost of pleasure and the ultimate sleeping pill at the same time. So yeah, when you take all of this into account, if a man is able to muster up the effort and energy for afterplay, he definitely deserves a round of applause.
But what if your man is, eh, lacking in this department? Honestly, I wouldn't worry too much about it. Chances are, all he needs is a little motivation to stay up, just a bit longer. My hope is that these tips will inspire him—and you—to do just that. Because if you've ever experienced real afterplay before, you know that sex only gets better—and you and your partner only get closer—whenever you get some of it.
7 Ways to Easily Incorporate Afterplay into Your Sex Routine
Kissing is hot. Lord knows that it is. But sometimes, in the moment, we lose our lover's lips in exchange for deep breathing, dirty talking and sometimes, even screaming at the top of our lungs. Something that you and yours can do to reconnect at the end of an orgasm is to kiss each other. Because kissing triggers the "love hormone" oxytocin in our system, it can immediately create a feeling of warmth, safety and even sentimentality. That way, should your man start to drift off to sleep, at least you will feel like he is present; that he didn't simply "check out" once he "got his".
I've got a girlfriend who hates to cuddle after sex. Meanwhile, her husband absolutely adores it. In the beginning of their marriage, them not being on the same page in this area wasn't that much of a big deal. Oh, but as the years have passed, it has become more and more of an issue for him. Because my friend isn't very physically affectionate, in general, her husband looks for sex as a time to be able to hug up, spoon and get close in a way that they aren't able to do as much when they are, say, watching a movie on the couch. I get that too because cuddling is a way to create, not just physical, but emotional intimacy with your partner.
Plus, cuddling is also able to reduce anxiety, lower bodily inflammation, ease chronic pain, strengthen your immune system and, ironically, make it easier for both of you to fall asleep.
So, if your man is like, "Baby, I'm trying to hang in there, but it was so good that I've got to at least take a cat nap", ask him to meet you halfway by agreeing to spoon with you. It's a classic afterplay move that tends to satisfy everyone involved.
Although the findings on this kind of run the gamut, on average, it takes a man around five minutes to have an orgasm while it takes us women around 14 minutes. This is why the best male lovers know that 1) foreplay is paramount because it slows them down while giving their partner time to "warm up" and 2) it's best if they focus on their partner getting off before they do. Shoot, since a man can cum in five minutes, it's pretty much a given that he—with the help of you, of course—will find his "sweet spot". But if he puts himself before you and then he's exhausted or even needs 30 minutes or so before the next round, that could, at the very least, leave you irritated—if not mad frustrated.
If there are moments when your game is so good that he simply can't stop himself from "running ahead of you", another awesome afterplay move is to get him to fondle or even finger you. If the foreplay was there and the sex felt great, sometimes all you need is a little extra stimulation to take you right over the edge in a matter of a couple of moments.
4. Engage in Oral
A pretty much surefire way to get yours (or get yours again) is to have your partner engage in a little cunnilingus. Come to think of it, since both men and women are (reportedly) comfortable with oral action only lasting between 10-11 minutes, unless your partner is the most selfish man on the planet (which would require me penning a totally different kind of article), he can muster up enough energy for some licky-licky, even if he is too tired (at the moment) for some sticky-sticky.
5. Watch a Movie
There's a married couple I know whose schedule is so tight (partly due to the houseful of children that they have) that, the only time they are really able to get any alone time together is after 11pm. They try and make a point to, at least three times a week, stay up and hang out for a couple of hours around then. If you can relate, another way to incorporate afterplay is to watch a movie together. There's something sweet and totally stress-free about being able to curl up with your partner in bed so that you can check out a favorite past film or check out a new one together. And yes, it counts as afterplay because it cultivates intimacy. All good afterplay does.
I know that guys read a lot of the content on our site too. So yes, fellas, I know that this particular point is probably causing some of you to roll your eyes (in the most masculine way possible, of course). But from what my male buddies have told me, they are not opposed to pillow talk following sex. No, what they hate is "deep" pillow talking. So ladies, the whole "Where is this going?", "Are we ready to take it to the next level?" or, if you're married, talking about the bills, in-laws or work-related stuff is not even remotely what consists of giving good afterplay. Reserve this kind of talking for affirming one another, laughing together and seeing how you both can talk each other into going at it…again…at some point.
If you're someone who loves to work out then you can probably relate to how good food tastes after you do it. Well, sex is the ultimate form of exercise, right? A way to refuel and get some extra quality time in with your partner is to have sex and then enjoy a snack together. Now, I'm not saying that you should have a five-course dinner. But a bowl of strawberries (they remove bacteria and boost the libido), a spinach salad (spinach increases blood circulation), a couple of bananas (they will replenish the iron, potassium, and calcium that may have been lost during your romp) and—get this—pizza all top the list of being great afterplay cuisine.
And why pizza? Aside from the fact that it's pizza, there's a study that revealed that many people (2,000 millennials, to be exact) immediately felt closer to individuals who happen to like the same foods that they did. And 46 percent of the people polled liked it when their partner liked pizza. So, if you want to gas your partner up to go another round, try the strawberries, spinach and bananas. But if you want simply want to get some bonding time in and you bask in the afterglow, order a pizza.
They're all awesome afterplay moves. The kind that will make you and yours the ultimate afterplay pros.
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- Want Him To Come Inside You? Read This. - xoNecole: Women's Interest, Love, Wellness, Beauty ›
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Different puzzle pieces are creating bigger pictures these days. 2024 will mark a milestone on a few different levels, including the release of my third book next June (yay!).
I am also a Professional Certified Coach. My main mission for attaining that particular goal is to use my formal credentials to help people navigate through the sometimes tumultuous waters, both on and offline, when it comes to information about marriage, sex and relationships that is oftentimes misinformation (because "coach" is a word that gets thrown around a lot, oftentimes quite poorly).
I am also still super devoted to helping to bring life into this world as a doula, marriage life coaching will always be my first love (next to writing, of course), a platform that advocates for good Black men is currently in the works and my keystrokes continue to be devoted to HEALTHY over HAPPY in the areas of holistic intimacy, spiritual evolution, purpose manifestation and self-love...because maturity teaches that it's impossible to be happy all of the time when it comes to reaching goals yet healthy is a choice that can be made on a daily basis (amen?).
If you have any PERSONAL QUESTIONS (please do not contact me with any story pitches; that is an *editorial* need), feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org. A sistah will certainly do what she can. ;)
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
They say you can’t heal in the same place that made you sick. And I couldn’t.
The year was 2019, and I knew I had to go. My spirit was calling me to be alone and to go alone. It was required in that season. A few months prior, I had quit my job. And it was late 2017 when I had met trauma.
I was completely broken, and every part of me hurt. I was no longer the lighthearted Camille that everyone loved and knew me to be. I remember a family friend saying, “You’re not the same.” And I wasn’t. I no longer recognized the girl looking back at me in the mirror. I needed major healing.
It was 2018 when I found the courage to seek mental health therapy. At that point, I knew there was nothing more that my friends could do for me. I was all cried out, and the silence was killing me. At the time, I was diagnosed with clinical anxiety, depression, and PTSD. How?
How did I let trauma take complete control of my life? But I had to forgive myself for all the things I did not know.
At the time, my therapist introduced me to journaling as a coping mechanism. Words ultimately became my best friend. In many ways, I would like to think that writing saved me. I am in love with words, and I always have been. My writing was and still is my safe space. It unlocked opportunities I never imagined – like writing for xoNecole.
And with this gift, I can now tell you a story about my own trauma, healing, self-discovery, and the journey to learning how to celebrate myself.
Starting a Healing Journey
In early Spring 2019, I was told by a Reiki healer that I was going to embark on a journey. She told me it was going to be lonely, but I was never alone. The thing is I never once mentioned to this woman my travel plans. It was August 2019 when I planned my solo trip to Europe. It was going to be 38 days alone on a continent I knew absolutely nothing about. By the end of summer and a nine-hour flight later, I touched down in London.
I fell in love with every single thing. I fell in love with everything I could see – colors, cobblestone streets, spiral staircases, adorned windows, architecture, garden terraces, nature, and people. I fell in love with everything I could hear – accents, language, history, and music. I fell in love with everything I could taste – wines, foods, and desserts. I fell in love with everything I could feel – ocean breezes, white sands, and well-designed buildings. I fell in love with everything that fed my soul. People, stories, and connections. I fell in love with myself.
I always say women have the ability to heal others naturally. It was here in my travels that I started to pay attention to the concepts of purpose, connection, energy, alignment, and universal signs. I began to truly realize not only my strengths and universal gifts but also how to use them too. I started to step into my authentic self. I began to realize who Camille really was. A free spirit with a heart of gold.
Courtesy of Camille Ali
A New Season
By the time I had returned from Europe, it was late Fall 2019, and I was a completely different person.
I spent most of my time pouring into myself. Self-development and self-love became key. Everything that I previously settled for in family, friends, and relationships – I went and gave to myself. Read that again. I became completely in love with who I was becoming, and I still am. I had let go of tradition, conditional beliefs, people pleasing, and living my life to make my parents proud.
I had let go of being a “straight arrow,” and the idea of having it all figured out. I outgrew tradition and cultural norms. Sometimes, those things can be so blinding.
I began to shift. I adopted and altered the things that aligned with my purpose and values.
I became risk-tolerant instead of risk-averse.
I canceled my fears.
I welcomed uncertainty, knowing I would always land on my feet.
This newfound level of confidence came out of nowhere. It was no longer a question of if I can do this. The question became, how can I do this? I stayed open to possibilities and opportunities in whichever form they came to me. I became selective and intentional with my time and energy, too. I went from being a 9 to 5 government employee, then a corporate consultant, to a small business owner not once but twice by 2021.
If you ask me who I am now, I would say I am authentically a creative. I write from my heart, and I speak from my core. My voice is my power, and my words hold weight. By trade, I am a paralegal and a business consultant.
How Trauma Shows Up in the Body
Even though I was able to heal my heart, my mind, and my spirit, I wasn’t quite done healing. And I didn’t even know it. In the last seven years, I gained weight. This was a direct result of a broken heart, emotional trauma, mental health issues, stress, and poor lifestyle choices. I was a good 50 pounds overweight, too. I knew something was wrong with my body when it stopped responding to my dietary and lifestyle efforts.
I started to advocate for my health in the winter of 2022 to get clarity and answers. I sought the care of medical specialists, asked the right questions, requested second opinions, and tested and retested my blood. Not one doctor could properly diagnose me, either.
When Western medicine failed me, I chose holistic medicine. What I learned and what I understood was that my physical health issues were a straight-up trauma response. I cried. I was always conscious about my health, and now I’m sick with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Yes, PTSD triggers and is linked to autoimmune diseases.
I remember thinking, “I did this to myself, and I have to fix it.”
I spent the majority of 2023 detoxing with Chinese herbs, making every lifestyle change possible. My body was holding on to dead weight – it had to go for me to continue to become.
Courtesy of Camille Ali
Summer 2023 couldn’t come any faster. I completed my holistic detox with sacrifice and ease. While everyone saw just a “body transformation,” for me, it was an emotional release.
I was no longer reminded of what transpired. I cried again.
There were so many days, months, and years that I thought I would never get me back. And I believed it. I mean, who wouldn’t? Medical experts adamantly told me that there was nothing wrong with me. All I wanted was to feel like myself again. I missed me so badly.
I looked for me everywhere. I couldn’t find her until I paused and did the inner work.
I wouldn’t change one thing about my healing journey. It all had to happen so I could be in this current moment. And this girl right here – I know exactly who she is. I know what she stands for through and through. And I’ll never stray from that.
I’ve grown so much, yet in some ways, I’m rediscovering who this girl is again. It’s so intoxicating.
Courtesy of Camille Ali
Returning to Europe
I have always wanted to go back to Europe. Europe is a magical place to be. It's the energy, the people, and the lifestyle for me. But the timing wasn’t right. It took the wedding of a close friend of mine to make my return happen. I returned to Europe in August 2023. This time to Greece.
At first, I didn’t realize the significance of the timing. But make no mistake, this was alignment, a full circle moment, and a testimony to myself. I started a healing journey in August 2019, and I returned as a completely different person this year.
Happy, whole, and healed. Resilient and confident.
I knew I was meant to share a pivotal moment in my friend’s life and celebrate myself. My word for 2023 was joy, and I wanted all of it. More importantly, I deserved it.
I fell in love with everything all over again. Everything that I can see, hear, smell, touch, and taste, that is. I created moments and memories. And I felt each moment and memory deeply in new places and with new faces. Greece owed me absolutely nothing. Europe will always and forever have a special place in my heart.
My five-year healing journey taught me to always choose myself. I am grateful because my entire journey brought me home to myself. And one thing about me is that when I am in the right environment — I thrive. Always.
The journey to self-discovery is worth the uncomfortable moments and ugly crying. It’s worth the undoing, redoing, and reprocessing to finally come to a place of happiness, peace, and being comfortable in your own skin.
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