Stop publicly shaming the #aftersex selfie-takers

The much-bemoaned Instagram phenomenon deserves more credit. Plus: A best-of #aftersex

By Tracy Clark-Flory
Published April 17, 2014 11:00PM (EDT)
       (<a href=''>LeoPatrizi</a> via <a href=''>iStock</a>)
(LeoPatrizi via iStock)

So, post-coital selfies are a thing now. People are holding their iPhones at arm's length, capturing their flushed faces and tousled hair, and posting it on Instagram under the hashtag "aftersex."

The images -- the on-topic ones, rather than those just capitalizing on the hashtag's popularity -- are mostly PG-rated, shoulders-up images of couples cuddling in bed. Some are artful; others humorous (see: all the dudes posing with their hand). On the whole, they are sweet and refreshingly tame -- and yet, the phenomenon is causing a great deal of finger-wagging. Consider this headline, "The after-sex selfie is TMI and a betrayal of intimacy." (You know what's a betrayal of intimacy? Assuming that you know what constitutes "intimacy" or a "betrayal" for other people.) Then there's a writer at the Telegraph who says, "I must deduce that this horrible little trend is nothing but good, old-fashioned showing off, crudely boxed into a hashtag."

You guys, this is why we can't have nice things porn!

Seriously. Scores of enamored couples post authentic, sometimes even beautiful, images of their post-coital bliss -- and we publicly shame them. Some of the loveliest shots to first show up on the hashtag, and subsequently appear in the consternated media coverage, have since been deleted and the users' profiles made private.

Don’t get me wrong. If you take a selfie, period, I will judge the hell out of you. But while we’re taking selfies -- if we accept that "selfie" is a word that should even be allowed to exist in the world -- why not take after-sex selfies? These photos deserve goddamned Pulitzers compared to your average duck-lipped "me hanging with my besties" capture. An image of someone in the after-glow of one of the most profound of human experiences is ... more interesting than your new manicure. You want to see "horrible" and "crude"? Navigate over to this collection of the very worst food photos on Instagram.

To those outraged by this nascent trend: Take a deep breath, it's just sex. I leave the rest of you to enjoy the best of #aftersex.


Tracy Clark-Flory

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