There is a period, shortly after bodily fluids have been expended and limbs untangled, when a cold, gloomy cloud descends on the scene of the carnal activities, and the participants in said activities lapse into an uncomfortable silence. Every so often, there will be the tell-tale huffing as he tries to regain his breath, or a thin misty sigh of disappointment will escape her lips. They avoid looking at each other, refusing to risk even the peripheral glance from the corner of the eye.
For those few, precious moments, there is only individual thought, and it is surprisingly varied. Hers ranges from questions of esteem to a cold appraisal of his performance on a scale of laughable to only mildly lamentable. From the way his chest is heaving, he must think he did something note-worthy. She touches base on the subject of the sad state of her hair, and wonders vaguely if nudity makes her thighs look fat.
His thought pattern is a bit more functional. He ponders the empty state of his belly with increasing concern. He realizes with alarm that some variation of cuddling may be required of him. For the briefest moment he thinks about the coitus itself, but he is fairly certain he was pretty damn fantastic. She is speechless, is she not? So he allows his mind to roam freely, and it settles comfortably on the subject of sports.
And then the spell breaks. Someone clears their throat, or shifts their weight onto the other buttock, or says in a carrying whisper, “So…”. But it is enough. The world asserts itself around them once more. He becomes aware of the damp moistness of the fingers of his right hand, and she smiles when she sees her trousers bunched around her ankle, with only one leg pulled completely free. Slowly, they turn to each other with bright smiles; his cautiously optimistic, hers unconvincingly reassuring. He lifts his arm. She rests her head on his shoulder. He acknowledges a final, brave twitch in his loins with a sad shake of the head. His stomach gives a low, protestant growl.
After a respectable period of time, he concludes that he has fulfilled his cuddling duties, thank you very much, and seeing as the in-depth post-coital analysis is not forthcoming, he withdraws his numb hand from beneath her head. He mumbles something about an appointment and reaches for his clothes. Together, they hunt for her bra, which they finally track down close to the door. Then they depart with airy kisses and promises to ‘do that again soon’. On a good day, he sends her off with a gentle smack in the rear. On a bad day she reciprocates with a not-so-gentle smack across the face.
There is a period, immediately after man and woman have done as God intended, which is preceded by a challenging process of ‘rip my clothes off while I fumble at yours’, and followed by an equally challenging master course in ‘shall we stare academically at the ceiling for a while?’. It is a beautiful moment; rare, simple, poetic. And completely under-appreciated.