Go Away, Sex Wipes

Another completely unnecessary product pressures us to be clean down there—immediately after getting down and dirty.

By Margaret Seiler February 11, 2016

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Just when you thought you had your boudoir fully stocked—condoms, water-based lube, things with batteries, extra batteries for those things, a Chewbacca costume, assorted gymnastics equipment—along comes another product claiming to be a must-have. Sustain’s Post Play Natural Towelettes promise to help you “freshen up” after “getting fresh.” In this case, “fresh” comes with the slight odor of a gin cocktail with lavender sprinkled in. These wipes differentiate themselves amid the growing ranks of adult-targeted baby wipes by claiming to be unisex—it’s nice to be spared pink flowers or Axe Body Spray–esque typefaces on the packaging, but the distinction is still about as relevant as motor oil being marketed as gluten-free.

In 2014 Sustain, a project from the cofounder of Seventh Generation and his freshly MBA’ed daughter, put a pretty wrapper and a socially responsible sheen on condoms. And, eerie father-daughter gimmick aside, Sustain’s condoms are fine. We love condoms. The world needs condoms.

The world does not need sex wipes.


A photo posted by Sustain Natural (@sustain_natural) on

These pre-moistened rectangles don’t sop up lube or splooge, just push it around. If there’s some blood or fecal matter or dried chocolate sauce involved, wipes can be helpful, but Post Plays are so thin and loosely woven that you’ll want to fold or double. When a package of 48 wipes costs $10.99 (you could get a few hundred of even the fanciest baby wipes for that price), the layering adds up. Sure, you’re paying more for the absence of irritants and the company’s commitment to environmental responsibility, but isn’t the more environmentally responsible option to simply not buy another specific-use disposable product? And long as we’re getting existential, I’ll note that Post Plays also add to one of the problems they seem like they ought to solve: they come so well pre-moistened that the wipe itself will leave a wet spot on the bed (or the rug, or the floor, or the pile of clothes on which you toss it).

Unless you’re so aggressively first world that you need a dedicated pre-dampened paper product for each individual body part, there’s no reason to have this little plastic package by your bed. If you really don’t want to stew in your juices while enjoying the afterglow, here are some alternatives for dabbing your doohickey:

Baby Wipes
There are already plenty of similar products marketed to grown-ups who need to clean up after children. (Plenty are labeled for post-sexytime, too, and run a lot cheaper than Post Plays.) If they’re good enough for those precious little babies’ vulvas and buttholes, they’re good enough for yours. Childless people do not need permission to go to the baby aisle and buy them. There might be a baby on the box, but the wipes packets themselves normally have plain packaging. If your favorite kind happens to have Winnie the Pooh all over it and that’s just not your jam, cover it with some stickers or stash it in an empty Kleenex box.

The Sheet
Pros: It’s already on your bed. You don’t have to move. Cons: You’ll leave a wet spot. And you’ll have to change the sheets more frequently. 

A Glass of Water You Keep Nearby
A few years ago a British parenting discussion board saw its traffic explode when one commenter asked if other couples used a “penis beaker” to dip the wick after dipping the wick. As someone who keeps a glass of water by the bed for actual drinking, I cannot endorse this practice.

The Clothes You Flung Off When This Whole Thing Started
You were going to wash them anyway, right? OK, maybe not the shirt, but definitely the socks.

The Towel That Just Happens to Be Right There
Ah, I see you’ve done this before. Smart move, that towel.

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