The Best Sex Towels for After-Sex Cleanup
Stop trying to mop up your post-coital fluids with a sock or T-shirt
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Sex can be messy. In fact, some might even argue that done right, it should be. But while sex may be all about getting in touch with your animal instincts and embracing all the fun, weird messiness inherent in two living creatures using each other’s bodies to climax, that doesn’t mean we can’t clean up after ourselves like civilized human beings when we’re done.
That’s why you — functional, sex-having, adult human being that you are — need a sex towel. We owe the concept of the sex towel to GQ’s Sophia Benoit, who introduced the world to the simple fact that we don’t need to lie around in our post-coital fluids like animals when she first declared the sex towel essential back in 2019.
A sex towel, as Benoit defined it, “is literally what it sounds like: a towel, but for sex.” The only real requirement of a sex towel, the thing that makes it different from all your other towels, according to Benoit, is that a proper sex towel is dedicated exclusively to the purpose of post-coital cleanup. This means that it is not a bath towel nor a hand towel nor a pool towel nor a towel you would ever use for any other purpose in which a towel might be needed. This is a sex towel. You use it for sex.
But why can’t you just use your regular towels for post-sex cleanup and then wash them after? How sex positive can I really be if I’m here telling you that a towel that has come in contact with sexual fluids is forever tainted and can never again be used for any other purpose? Why can’t you just grab a washcloth or a hand towel from the bathroom, wipe yourself and your partner down, and throw it in the wash before returning it to your regular rotation of non-sex-specific towels?
Because this is a sex towel. It’s for sex, the same way a beach towel is for the beach and a dish towel is for dishes. Your sex towel has to be sex-specific for the same reason you don’t bring your bath towels to the beach and you don’t dry off with your beach towels after you shower (unless it’s a particularly overdue laundry day). You just don’t.
But while Benoit highlighted the sex towel’s singular functionality as its most definining, imperative feature, experts in the sex-towel industry (yes, there is such a thing) have identified a few other key features that set a sex towel apart from a non-sex towel.
“A sex towel that you use to clean up your body and your most delicate private parts should only be made from the softest, safest natural fiber: cotton,” says Olia K., co-creator of The Love Mop, a specialized sex towel designed specifically with intimate aftercare in mind. Polyester fleece or other synthetics might be fine for a sex blanket — a larger towel used to protect the bed — but for personal cleanup, you’re going to want something soft and simple.
Last but not least, your sex towel should be nice. “It needs to be of high quality, well made and attractive, so that you enjoy reaching for it and it inspires pleasure and playfulness in your after-sex cleanup,” says Olia.
With these guidelines in mind, we’ve put together a brief list of the best sex towels you can buy so that you, too, can become a proud, sex-towel-owning adult who not only cleans up after himself, but can also offer his partner a soft, sex-specific towel instead of tossing them your shirt or a sock or whatever piece of laundry is most immediately within your post-orgasm reach. They deserve better than that, and so do you.
The Love Mop
“Regular towels are made to soak up water, which is not what you need in a sex towel,” says Olia. Featuring a special Double Yarn Weave Terry that is shorter and denser than regular towel terry, The Love Mop “works amazingly well to soak up what it needs to soak up, while being soft and gentle on you,” says Olia.
The Love Mop also features an embroidered “love bucket,” which means you won’t risk mixing it up with your other towels, thus preserving the sanctity of the sex towel. The Love Mop is soft, the packaging is delightful, and even if you can’t appreciate the playful love bucket design and the deliriously cute tagline “For after, with love,” a female partner probably will.
PlayMate Aftercare Towel
For those looking for a little less love but the same level of quality, sex-specific design in a sex towel, try the AnnaRae PlayMate. The satin-trimmed, microfiber towel is made from the same material as AnnaRae’s Cumpanion — a towel designed to be slipped under your partner’s hips during sex for bedsheet protective purposes — but its smaller size makes it ideal for easy, personal cleanup.
“My goals from the beginning have been to provide towels/products that make clean-up simple, utterly pleasurable, and effective,” says AnnaRae founder Anna B. “Our towels are exceptionally soft and luxurious, and isn’t that what you want on your most sensitive parts?”
Brooklinen Classic Washcloths
Okay, yes, fine, I admit it. At the end of the day, a sex towel is pretty much just a towel. So if you’re looking for a post-sex cleanup aid that will get the job done without all the sexy bells and whistles and cutesy branding, a regular, boring old towel will do the trick. Brooklinen’s super-soft Classic blend is effective yet gentle enough for all your post-sex cleanup needs. The washcloths might be best for handy cleanup, but if you’re looking for something a little more substantial, try the slightly larger hand towels. Just promise you’ll only use them for sex, okay?
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