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Just the Tips: I Check Out Immediately after I Finish

Just the Tips: I Check Out Immediately after I Finish: © MARKA / Alamy

© MARKA / Alamy

Dear Katherine,

After I come from sex I stop being as engaged sexually, and I usually come first. Any tips on how I can stay engaged while having sex post-come?

Sincerely,
Disengaged

Dearest Disengaged,

I’ve been noticing a theme in a lot of questions I’ve received recently about “disengaging” during sexual activity, and it feels essential to me to engage this question fully. It is a myth that one ought to be engaged totally during the entirety of a prolonged sexual encounter. In fact, coming in out of focus and creating space for engagement is what I would argue makes great sex.

What do you mean when you say you “disengage,” my dear? You’re no longer turned on? You wish you were somewhere else? You would rather watch TV? You just want to talk? You wonder what it would be like to be sleeping with somebody else?

All of these are fine and normal things to want to do during, before or after sexual intimacy. I wonder if some of what you’re addressing here comes from an expectation that one ought to be “up for sex” for prolonged periods of time?

Of course I want you to have a great time when it comes to your sexual experience and remain “engaged” for the duration, but I do wonder if perhaps you’re expectations for yourself are rather high? There are many different ways of being engaged in sexual behavior pre and post-orgasm, and I’ll do my best to lead you through a few strategies to extend your erotic pleasure and give yourself a break when you can’t.

UNDERSTAND YOUR ORGASM
An orgasm is in part a muscular contraction. My friend and colleague Zaron Burnett III wrote a piece all about in the ins and outs of this particular human experience, which I suggest you read. The take-home for you is: you may have just been through extreme pelvic muscle contractions or ejaculations at a rate of 28 mph. That’s not nothing. In fact that’s about as “engaged” as it gets, so cut yourself a little slack.

TAKE AN ICE CREAM BREAK
One of the kindest things anybody has ever done is suggest that we take a break for some ice cream at a moment when I became tense and distracted during an intimate moment. It’s actually normal to check out a bit after climaxing because your body has just done something it doesn’t DO most of the time. Do something else entirely for a bit, without the pressure of having to get back to it.

ENGAGE IN ANOTHER SENSUAL ACTIVITY
Maybe ice cream isn’t your bag. Fair enough. Try engaging in another sensual activity post-orgasm. Sometimes people have a hard time telling the difference between a “sensual activity” and a “disengaged” activity.

Sensual Activities:
• Massage
• Light touching
• Showering together (or apart)
• Eating together
• Holding hands
• Dancing

Disengaged Activities:
• Netflix watching
• Checking your text messages
• Curling up in a ball while muttering “please don’t touch me”
• Ordering Take Out for 1…

If you’re impulse is towards the latter list that’s OK, too! It doesn’t make you bad or unfeeling or anything. It just might mean you’re done with that particular moment of intimacy or that you need a moment to process the physical emotional thing that just happened.

BASK IN YOUR MOMENT OF ‘DISENGAGEMENT’
Just as some people really don’t want to be touched post-orgasm, some people need a certain amount of adoration post-orgasm to feel sexy. Are you getting that? It’s OK to ask for that, and it’s understandable why you might feel “disengaged” if you’re not getting it.

REFOCUS YOUR ATTENTION ON YOUR PARTNER
It sounds like, in your case, you’d really like to get back in the mood for intercourse. After you’ve taken whatever kind of time you need, a great way to re-engage sexually is to refocus your attention on your partner. This could mean pleasuring them with oral sex or just making out. It could It could mean staring at them adoringly. Explore your partner’s mind and body to find new and different pleasures.

NOTE: I do not recommend this for people who have more trouble reaching orgasm, who rarely reach orgasm or who feel outsized shame in relation to receiving pleasure (historically: women). In the case for these people, refocusing on your partner’s pleasure is avoiding the exploration of your own pleasure and will only come back to bite you in the ass.

ASK YOUR PARTNER WHAT ENGAGES THEM
Some people are more verbal than others and, often, hearing erotic things can stimulate erotic feelings. If you’re feeling a bit physically checked out and you want to get back in an aroused mood ask your bedmate to describe to you what’s going on with them. Their words might have pleasurable material consequences…

My dearest, my great hope for you is that you find space for engagement and disengagement as necessary in your orgasmic and sexual life. Nobody can be “on” all the time, otherwise we’d never have the great pleasure of getting turned on. Just as a great piece of music has periods of intense sound and moments of silence so does the sensual life of a human. Listen with pleasure.

xK


Just the Tips is Playboy.com’s weekly advice column, with professional matchmaker Katherine Cooper. Have a question for Katherine about sex, love or dating? Shoot her a note at justthetips@playboy.com.


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