Like everything else, sex is an energy exchange. We give and we receive in a conscious act of collaboration. But for those of us who engage in casual sex, the energy exchange we receive isn’t always exactly what we expect. When we sleep with someone, we form a connection with them, even if it’s for one night; sometimes this connection dissipates, and sometimes it lingers. Sometimes we may leave an experience feeling supported and whole, and sometimes we may leave uneasy and not feeling quite as comfortable as we’d like. Thankfully, we have various tools at our disposal to help us move through this that work with the energetic part of our makeup known as the subtle body. The connections we form with someone when raising sexual energy often linger in the non-physical. This energetic part of ourselves deserves to be cared for and nurtured just like our physical body, and sometimes it just requires a little extra maintenance just like our body does.
By working with spiritual practices like visualization, and using rituals like cleansing with sacred smoke and taking ritual baths, we can make sure that we’re releasing any unnecessary feelings and energy that we may have picked up on from our partners during sex. This way, just like making sure we’re engaging in safe sex, we can make sure that we’re taking care of our spirits safely too. Also, if you’ve used any of your favorite sex toys you’d better use some top quality sex toy cleaners to make sure you keep you hygiene at the right level in order to avoid any issues.
Cleansing with sacred smoke
An easy and powerful way to cleanse ourselves and our subtle energetic body is through working with sacred smoke. We can work with this through burning herbs like mugwort, (ethically sourced) palo santo, lavender or copal. The smoke these herbs give off is cleansing and can help us clear away any lingering energy that we may have shared or received with a partner while having sex. You can work with different dried herbs depending on what you feel like you need; if you’re looking to listen to your intuition more and rely more on your inner guidance you may want to burn mugwort, if you want to heal, rejuvenate and relax you may choose lavender, if you want to bless yourself with love or reconnect with your heart, you can burn rose petals. If you’re simply looking to release any energy that doesn’t belong to you, you may want to burn copal, ethically sourced Palo Santo or even burn a resin like Frankincense or Myrrh over a charcoal in a fireproof dish or cauldron.
To cleanse yourself with smoke, first think of your intention and what you’re looking to release or connect with. Maybe you just want to strengthen your intuition after last night’s hook up, or maybe something feels off and you want to realign with yourself. As you’re ready, you’ll light the herbs until they’re slightly aflame and then blow the flame out so dried herbs start to smoke. If you’re using charcoal, you will light this, wait a few minutes until after the whole piece has gone white and then sprinkle your resin or herbs atop the coal. Once you start to see smoke, take a few seconds to breathe and connect with your intention before passing the smoke over your body; cleanse your palms, your arms, your torso, between your legs, your legs, the bottom of your feet and around your head with this smoke.
Especially make sure to cleanse between your legs, proclaiming to the universe and yourself that this smoke clears away any energy you may have picked up and anything doesn’t work in your highest good, or for your highest evolution. Declare that anything you may have connected with that’s not yours is released. Declare that you are in alignment with only that which works in your highest favor. Once you’re finished with this ritual, thank the universe and yourself, as well as the herbs you worked with. Do this ritual whenever you need it.
Cleansing with visualization
An easy way to cleanse our bodies and sexual energy is through visualization. As you feel ready to begin this process, you will find a comfortable position either sitting up or laying down. Close your eyes and take a minute to come back to the present, finding an even inhale and exhale. Then, start to visualize a beautiful waterfall of white light cascading over you. Maybe you visualize yourself walking through it, or maybe you just let it pour down and around your body as you connect to its power. This white light is the divine light of the universe, and it cleanses you of any energy that is negative, stuck or unhelpful to you. This light heals you, provides you safety and warmth and nourishes you with the energy of the cosmos. Visualize this waterfall washing away any lingering sadness, fear, loneliness, confusion, pain, or whatever it is you may be feeling. This waterfall cascades around you and fortifies you with the energy of the universe and its divine love. Stay here as long as you need, and once you feel the visualization is complete, you may open your eyes.
Cleansing with a bath
Sex happens on many levels; there’s an obvious physical connection, and then there’s an emotional connection that happens as well. If you’re an empathic person especially, you may internalize or take on your partners energetic attitude. Even if the sex was great and there’s not much of a personal or emotional connection, sometimes you just feel a bit funky, uncomfortable or not completely like yourself after being with someone. An easy way to realign with yourself and your own guidance, and shed whatever it is you may be carrying with you that doesn’t feel right, is through a ritual bath with Epsom salt and herbs. Try a super soft and gentle on skin after-sex towel.
Salt is made of incredibly small crystals that help to absorb any energy that doesn’t belong to you; energy you have picked up from the world around you, from partners, strangers and even lovers. Soaking in a salt bath can also help our muscles and bodies relax, and they are great at allowing us to find a sense of peace and tranquility.
For a post-sex bath, try working with Epsom salt and herbs like lavender (to help you relax and heal), rose (to help you realign with love), eucalyptus (to cleanse and heal), dandelion (to help you rid your energy body of toxins) and citrus (for warmth and abundance.)
After filling your tub up with water of your desired temperature (and making sure it’s not too hot), add the Epsom salt (I love Dr Teal’s lavender Epsom salt which you can snag at the drugstore) and herbs or essential oils. You can either add a few pinches of the loose herbs you’re using as is, or put the herbs in a tea bag or sachet for easier cleansing. If you don’t have a bath, you can also make a tea with these herbs and then pour it over your head in the shower for the same effects.
Once the salt and herbs are added, step into your tub. Allow yourself to melt into the water, feeling this powerful and supportive element purging you. You may wish to set an intention, like to come back to your own power, to heal, or to let go of the awkwardness of the hook up you just had. Allowing this sacred bath to hold and heal you is a really lovely way to work with self-care. Enjoy this bath for as long as you’d like, and when you’re ready, thank yourself, the herbs and the element of water.
PS- wait until the next day to clean up the tub, since it’s much easier to do when the herbs are dry and not wet.
Cleansing with the breath
Sometimes we need post- sex protection or cleansing, and we need it ASAP. Thankfully we can work with the breath for an instant zap of energy- whether that’s to be embodied when we feel ourselves start to disassociate, to release negative energy or to reconnect to our heart. Here are a couple simple breaths you can do after having sex that will remind you of your glorious and cosmic potential.
The four-fold breath- to ground and return to the body
The fourfold or square breath is wonderful if you need to find some grounding and connection to the present moment and if you’ve been too much in your head and want to return to your body. The pattern is simple: you inhale/ hold/ exhale/ hold, and then begin again. Start with four seconds for each piece of the breath, and then if you feel called you can elongate each section of the breath to five, six or even seven seconds.
This breath is connected to the element of earth, which is associated with our physical needs, our home and our body. Try practicing this breath for at least ten repetitions, or for a few minutes as you feel yourself releasing expectations, your partner’s energy, and any negative or unneeded feelings, thoughts or emotions. As you inhale, you can visualize a cleansing white light filling your body with love, strength, peace and healing. Repeat this breath whenever you need.
The three-fold breath- to center, realign with your heart and cleanse your energetic body
This breath is perfect if you need to cleanse yourself and realign with your heart and sensitivity. Associated with the element of water, this breath will help wash away what you no longer care to carry, while helping you realign with your spiritual self. This breath is done in three parts: you inhale/ exhale/ hold and then begin again. You can imagine wringing out your organs and aura with the “hold” that comes after the inhale and exhale, letting go of toxic thoughts and feelings. Start with four seconds for each piece of the breath, and then if you feel called you can elongate each section of the breath to five, six or even seven seconds.
You may wish to put your hand over your heart, or work with a crystal like Selenite by holding it in your hand as you practice this breath. Selenite is a self-cleansing stone that helps to clear the energetic field in a very compassionate and supportive way. Practice this breath whenever you need let go and go with the flow, and use it when you need to check beck in with your heart.
No matter how you take care of yourself after casual sex, remember there’s nothing to be ashamed of. Own your desires and honor yourself accordingly through breathwork, visualization, or a bath, and taking care of your spiritual self. Remember that communication with your sexual partners is also key to make sure you’re on the same wavelength and that you’re getting what you need and what you ask for. And so it is!