The Post-Sex Activity The Most Intimate Couples Never Skip

The easiest way to bring more intimacy into your relationship.

Post sex chats with partner, boosts relationship intimacy Photodjo | Canva

Men tend to drift off after being intimate — trust me, it's not you, it's the oxytocin — but with a little gentle pillow talk, you might be able to improve your relationship and your love life. According to biological anthropologist Dr. Helen Fisher, author of Anatomy of Love and four other books on the science of love, our brains have evolved over millennia to create deep feelings of attachment after intimacy. Three main brain chemicals work to bring long-term couples closer together after intercourse: oxytocin and vasopressin — known as the attachment hormones—and dopamine, the reward chemical. This cocktail of chemicals evolved, according to Fisher, to enable couples to bond long enough to raise at least one infant together. In other words, pair bonding provides motivation to share parental chores, which benefits offspring. Evolutionarily speaking, romantic attachment is a good thing for the human race.


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While intercourse can create warm and fuzzy feelings for both women and men, it also tends to make men sleepy — at least in the short term. Scientists have recently discovered that parts of men's brains shut off after intimacy — specifically their prefrontal cortex — which can cause drowsiness. It's not exactly news to many couples, but, that, combined with the release of hormones like prolactin, has a profound sleep-inducing effect for men. Climaxing might make a man feel closer to his mate, but it also acts like a very pleasant sleeping pill.


So while climaxes often make women feel loving, energetic, and almost high — they can make men feel like they just took a don't-talk-to-me-I'm-tired pill. In short, if he falls asleep, don't take it personally: It's not you, it's his prefrontal cortex. And his inability to answer questions can also be seen as very good feedback — he liked being intimate with you so much that he's completely knocked out. He also may just need a 10-minute nap instead of falling into deep sleep — you could talk to him when he wakes up from that, refreshed. If you're strategic and don't take his grogginess to heart, you can use the post-coital period to your advantage. Here's what to bring up, and what not to, while you're pillow-talking post-intimacy:

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What not to say:

  • "I'm irritated about this thing you do all the time."
  • "I thought I asked you to fix that crack in the ceiling."
  • "That was great, darling, but last time was better."
  • "I'm looking at your face and I just want to smash it with a sledgehammer and squeeze it, you're so pretty" (unless you're Adam Sandler in Punch Drunk Love).
  • "I'm looking for ways to improve; will you fill out this customer-service questionnaire?"
  • "And now for your performance review."

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What to say:

  • "God, I love the way you kissed my neck/did that thing with your tongue/used your hands like that."
  • "You're good at this."
  • "Your face is so adorable."
  • "I like the way you smell/feel/look/sound."
  • Any compliment that starts with his name
  • "You know what I wish?"
  • "Let's go on vacation/go to dinner/start a project together."

If ever there was a time to bond with your mate, the sweet spot after being intimate is it. The chemicals released by the body will bring a unique vulnerability to both of you. It's best to keep it positive — you're both naked in many ways. If you're feeling safe, it can also be a time to bring up sensitive subjects — but only because you're both feeling open and trusting. If you sense he's not ready, don't push it — remember, it's all about keeping the mood intimate and comfortable.


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Hadley Earabino is a relationship coach and couple's counselor who helps people in major life transitions, like career changes, painful divorces, life makeovers, and more.