The latest Web joy: Instagram after-sex selfies?

The hashtag #aftersex has pictures of people taken allegedly right after sex. So why have so many got their clothes on?

Chris Matyszczyk
2 min read

Why are they clothed? TheRazorBlades/Instagram

Well, of course.

This was my entirely nonchalant reaction when I heard that there was a very active new trend on Instagram.

This, I understood, consisted of people taking selfies immediately after experiencing carnal joy, and posting them with the #aftersex hashtag on Instagram.

I was alerted to this apparently burgeoning phenomenon by Nerve, which explained: "#Aftersex shots are an open display of a healthy sex life, but they're also gloating. Analogous to the brunch brag, a shot of you snuggled up to your lover in postcoital bliss is as symbolic as it is a mere documentation of life on social media."

I must investigate this, I thought. Where "investigate" means going to this hashtag and staring at these pictures in the interest of the public, rather than prurience.

I found almost 3,000 contributions to this hashtag. Many, though, were a disappointment from any aspect. As it were.

Some were cartoons and "jokes." Some were pictures of James Franco, Cam Newton, or even Miley Cyrus. None was in anything remotely akin to a genuine after-sex pose.

There was even a picture of a man and his bulldog. I trust this was humor. Or perhaps the bulldog was checking that his owner's heart wasn't malfunctioning.

In essence, though, of those that vaguely suggested this was a real postcoital pose (I estimate no more than 10 percent of all the pictures), few were in any state of undress.

This leads me to several leaden conclusions.

One: These people had actually enjoyed their carnal pleasures, then dressed themselves in order to create the perfect pose. This is entirely possible, given that the art of the selfie has replaced the art of anything else as the most important creative expression of our times.

Two: These people had actually enjoyed their carnal pleasures while clothed. This is a phenomenon I relate the the United States. Not only do men in movies rarely take their clothes off in order to make love, most Americans also sleep with some form of clothing on them.

This is what I imagine is a profound anti-European protest. They've heard of and seen enough French movies to insist that true American puritanism must be upheld. I had no idea it had extended so far into coitus itself.

My last conclusion is that these people hadn't had sex at all. Knowing that the sharing world is a celebration of superficiality and artifice, many of these people merely posed and chose a hashtag to impress.

I feel sure, however, that this is only the beginning. The human imagination has few boundaries when it comes to social media.

Surely there will soon be a Whisper or Secret equivalent, where naked, twisted limbs and bodies will be displayed.

It will be left to viewers to guess who is having an affair with whom. No one will wonder why they need to display it.

Moody, but cute? Asking Ariela/Instagram

Now this looks believable. TavaresQ/Instagram

Guard dog? Chuquirri/Instagram