Sex can often by a bit of a messy activity. Between bodily fluids and lube, there’s generally a lot of liquids to deal with after you’re done. And unfortunately, no one really talks about it, so you don’t really know what to expect, or how to deal with it.
This week I had a reader ask about this, so I thought I’d tackle it, because, frankly, I’m surprised we haven’t already.
I have a question about post-sex cleanup. My wife and I have been married for 4 years, and even since our honeymoon, we’ve almost always put a towel down under her/us as a quick clean up method. While I generally don’t mind this, it can be frustrating if we’ve been going for a while and then need to stop, grab a towel, and then continue. I definitely understand her wanting to be clean/dry and not get the bed all messy. I was wondering what other people do about the cleanup. Do most people just not worry about it and wash their sheets more often? Using specially designated towels has worked for us this long, but it would be nice to either try something different or not even worry about it. Do you have any suggestions?
Cleanup can be a tricky topic. I mean, if you rush to clean up, it can seem like you feel disgusted by the fluids, which can be rather insulting to your spouse. If you don’t, well, warm liquids are fine, but when they get cold and sticky… that can start to feel uncomfortable. If you fall asleep, some people get UTIs if they don’t clean up.
Some women feel grossed out by the feeling of semen leaking out (please don’t tell your husband his semen is disgusting), others love the feeling. Some are surprised that that even happens and wonder if their’s something wrong with them that it’s not staying inside (the answer is no, you’re perfectly normal there, it’s just … gravity). Some guys freak out if semen gets on them, others couldn’t care less.
Whatever your dynamic, I thought I’d give some options for you to consider. They may not all work for you, but at least you should have a few you can choose from.
Option 1. Leave it where it lands
There’s nothing wrong with semen, vaginal lubrication, saliva or lube. If it doesn’t bother you, then you can just go to sleep. This isn’t an option for some people because of the “ick” factor, the feeling, too wet (sleeping in a puddle) or a propensity for urinary tract infections (UTIs). But, provided it’s not bothering you, there’s nothing saying you have to clean up right after sex. Some people just go to sleep.
Now, if you’re going to do this, it might be a good idea to have a mattress protector just so that you don’t have to worry that your mattress is going to get stained or wet.
Option 2. Put something down before sex
Some people put down towels before they have sex. Now, if you’re going to do this, I suggest some nice soft towels, we have some bamboo towels that are the softest I’ve ever felt. I’m not sure where we got them, but they look like these. That way you can have your fun and then just wash the towel later.
The only problem is that towels are generally fairly small, so that adds to the logistics of changing positions and things.
Alternatively, Sportsheets makes a throw that can cover a king sized bed specially designed for sex. Easy to clean, plus, it comes with these neat velco pads that stick to it if you’re into playing with restraints. Since it covers the whole bed, you can move around all you want, then just either just clean it off quickly or throw it in the wash afterwards. A bit easier than changing the sheets, and if it stains you don’t care all that much because it’s not going to be on the bed while guests are walking through the house.
Option 3. Keep a stack of washcloths near by
My wife used to be a professional hairdresser (she still has the skills, just doesn’t work in the field any longer), and she used to own a shop. So, we have tons of little towels around the house from her hairdressing days. Like at least a laundry bag or two. With 5 kids in the house, it’s nice to have so many. It’s also handy to keep a stack of a half dozen of them or so in the nightstand beside the bed. That way if we need to clean up, we just have to roll over and grab one.
Option 4. Don’t make a mess
Lastly, there is an option to simply ensure you don’t make a big mess. As with the first option, this isn’t for everyone. If you use condoms, then cleanup is pretty easy (unless you have a lot of lube, natural or otherwise), likewise if you end the sex session in oral sex with swallowing (which apparently about half of wives are willing to, according to our 2013 survey), well, that takes care of a lot of the mess. Not saying you have to, just saying it’s an option.
Option 5. Have sex in the shower
You could always have sex in the shower. That way you’re already there and it’s easy to clean off and go to bed. Just be careful, because bathtubs are slippery. You could always just have sex in the bathroom bent over the counter, and then jump in the shower afterwards.
Option 6. Full service treatment
Alright, this last one is to challenge you. Whichever spouse did not orgasm last gets up, goes to the bathroom and gets:
- A washcloth wet with warm water
- A dry towel
- A glass of water
Then bring it to your spouse who is basking in the afterglow, wipe them down with the warm washcloth, dry them off with the towel so they don’t get cold, cover them up with the blanket (unless they’re still too hot) and offer them water to replenish their fluids. Watch their oxytocin jump through the roof from the aftercare.
What you should not do is get a washcloth with cold water and just toss it on their stomach … it’s not pleasant.
So, there you go. Six ways to deal with the clean up of sex. Readers, if you have any more, let us know!
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