I consider myself pretty knowledgeable about all the different ways one can have sex either alone or with one or multiple partners. From internet searches to podcasts, there is plenty of information out there for you to become informed too.
Informed doesn’t always mean accurately educated, however. Sex is about more than the toys, techniques, and all the extras that add to the fun; sex needs to be about consent, communication, and safety. Our sexual health is more important than the orgasm, folks. That perfect position will never be perfect if you are in pain or hosting an infection.
Thankfully, getting up to pee after sex is one of the easiest (and cheapest) ways to keep yourself healthy.
Right… you do the kissing then pee.
This tip is true for penis carriers but is especially important for people who have a vagina.
I don’t know when I first heard the “pee after sex” advice, but at the time I was naïve and thought it was only when penetration happened, specifically during vagina/penis sex. I didn’t and don’t have that kind of sex so for several years I stayed queer and uninformed. I am still queer, but I now have a much better understanding of the way the body works and what I can do to protect it.
To be clear, urination is not a substitute for external or internal protection against sexual transmitted infections and/or pregnancy.
The “pee after sex” rule isn’t actually about penetration, though. Here’s why…
Sex doesn’t happen on sterile playing grounds. The cleanliness of hands, sheets, vibrators, or the backseat of a car is not always the first concern when things get hot and heavy between you and yourself or you and a sexual partner. Because of this, we expose ourselves to all kinds of germy gifts that can keep on giving. One of the most common infections caused by sexual activity is the urinary tract infection. This happens when bacteria makes its way into the urethra and to the bladder.
For folks with vaginas and vulvas, this occurs most commonly when the clitoris is touched—because let’s be honest folks: the clit is where it’s at when it, err, comes to sex. The clitoris is right above the opening of the urethra, which is not that far above the anus and home to E.coli. While there is a whole lot of good stuff happening in that zone, there are also a lot of fluids, making it easy for bacteria to travel into places where it can spread and grow into a co-pay for a doctor’s visit.
It’s easier for a UTI to form in folks with vulvas and vaginas because they have a shorter urethra and because the opening is right near all of the action. Peeing after sex will flush the bacteria from the urethra before it travels to the bladder. Dr. Frederick Naftolin, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at New York University, says you don’t have to pee right away, but the sooner you do so after sex, the better.
For vagina owners, Naftolin warns, “It’s not a matter of the bacteria multiplying, but it is a matter of … having that short tube between the outside and the bladder, so it doesn’t take very much to get up into the bladder.”
While the risk of a UTI is very low, peeing after sex is important for people with penises too.
Penis owners are more likely to get a prostate infection (if they have a prostate) if anal sex is involved. E. coli lives naturally on and in our body and plenty can be transferred from the rectum into the urethra during anus touching or penetration. Wearing a condom reduces the risk of this happening, but if you ride bareback, be sure to pee after.
Another great reason to urinate after sex if you or your partner has a penis is to flush out any semen that may be left in the urethra post-ejaculation. This eliminates the potential for sperm to be present in the next romp’s production of pre-cum and can prevent pregnancy in situations where pregnancy is possible based on the anatomy.
Any kind of sex, even single player, masturbatory love, leaves the urethra vulnerable to infection-causing bacteria. Oral, anal, and non-penetrative sex count too. Different and same-sex body bumping are equally possible ways (albeit really fun ways) to get a urinary tract infection—though those with vaginas are more likely to contract a UTI through sexual contact.
Get your consensual rocks off and then take some time to enjoy post-sex snuggles. Before you fall asleep for the night or go another round, though, be sure to go to the bathroom.
Peeing can literally flush out a lot of problems and save you a trip to the doctor. But if you do get an infection, make sure your partner (if you have one or more) also gets tested and treated, otherwise there’s a good chance that you’ll just be passing the infection back and forth to each other. That’s really not the kind of giving and receiving you want to happen during sex.
A final word about peeing: Wipe front to back if you have a vagina. Put the seat back down and clean up your piss if you have a penis.
Oh, and replace the toilet paper roll. Come on, folks. Do better.