Why do you cry after sex?
After great sex the LAST thing you want to feel is sad. Yet somehow even after fun, hot, and most importantly consensual sex, I am one of the many women who have sometimes found themselves shaking in fear and crying uncontrollably almost instantly after the session is over. Not a bad thought or flashback crosses my mind, yet suddenly I am somehow filled with this inexplicably profound sorrow. The only instance I can think to equivalate it to is when on a crappy ghost show Zac or another less cool ghost hunter will walk into a room and suddenly feel mysteriously down. Except in their situation, there isn’t a confused partner (or more) in bed with them.
It is normal to feel embarrassed, confused and scared when this happens. It even has a name- “postcoital dysphoria.” This can involve feelings of agitation, depression or anxiety and it can happen to people of any gender. Also, it sucks. Some researchers tend to blame this phenomenon on hormones released upon orgasm, but I don’t orgasm during sex, only with a vibrator! So unless I am experiencing some kind of telepathic connection where my partner’s hormones are fucking with mine, I personally don’t think that can be the only explanation. Many hormones are released for the duration of sex and foreplay, though, and how your body interprets them could also potentially lead to tears. Our mind is releasing and experiencing a lot of intense emotions when you are having a hot experience with a partner, or even alone. Think of make-up sex, where a very intense emotions that arise during an argument can somehow make its way to the bedroom and resolve with a little sexual healing. Our angry emotions can trick our brain into looking for an escape, turning what one was tense and angry emotions into aroused ones very quickly. We all know that wonderful feeling of sexy bliss when we have stopped fighting with our significant other and begin pleasing them instead. Similarly, sometimes the tears are a good thing, and can even be a sign of relief or happiness.
As you can probably guess, bursting into tears after or even during sex can have a darker meaning as well, especially if it is happening often. Postcoital dysphoria can be a sign of conflict in a relationship, unknowingly triggered trauma, or possibly a sign that you don’t really feel entirely safe and secure. If upon some reflection you think that this is what you are feeling, talk to someone like a family member, friend or therapist. More people deal with this than you realize, and good chances are you will end up conversing with someone who has dealt with the exact same thing. A huge reason why we are insecure about something is because we feel alone in dealing with it, and therefore we don’t talk about our insecurities because we are afraid of judgments. You will be surprised by how much better you feel upon opening up and discovering others who have the same or similar experiences.
While it is beneficial to consider what it could be, don’t stress yourself too much over it. I can’t count on my hands the number of ideas I considered to possibly be the reason behind why I’ve felt this way after sex sometimes. I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t think that the reason is the same every single time. I think a lot of it depends on the person, the sex, and the setting. Typically these feelings subside within a few minutes anyway and after a quick pee and rinse I am almost always back on my merry way.
However, if this is happening regularly, I totally understand that it can be frustrating as fuck. In a past relationship, I cried just about every single time after sex. You’d think that after so many times it would be manageable, but I’d have such a great time that I’d completely forget that it was going to happen literally. Every. Single. Time. Because he had recovered from a traumatic history of child abuse, he knew how to handle it without any advice from me from the get. He’d silently hold my hand until I stopped, and would offer to talk about it if I needed to, although there wasn’t much to talk about since I couldn’t explain it myself! He had an excellent perception of knowing what to do and for me that was unbelievably helpful, but it’s important to recognize that not every partner will know how to handle it. One even walked away uncomfortably and told me that it was a “turn-off.” That did not help at all, and while it made me feel pretty bad, I know that not everyone can understand the situation, and partners (men especially) might react this way because they feel insulted or like they have failed in some way. If you find yourself in the position where your partner is in an emotional state, don’t immediately blame yourself or your game. Chances are very likely that it doesn’t have to do with you and it is one of the other reasons, so give your ego a rest and summon your empathetic side! If you’re ever a partner in this position and don’t know what to do:
DO: Find a comfortable position where you can be supportive without overbearing. This could be rubbing their hand, shoulder, hair, or asking something like, “Hey, you look sad; what’s going on?” or “I’m sorry that you’re hurting right now, what are you feeling?” Bringing it up again later could help provide some clarity to the situation if your partner doesn’t want to talk about it then.
DON’T: Only ask, “Are you ok?” or “Do you need anything?” While genuine and thoughtful, these are closed questions and don’t offer a lot of opportunity to let the emotional partner talk. If they doesn’t want to respond or are pulling away when touched, don’t get upset or try to hug them. Give them space and time. Embarrassment or trauma especially could cause a person to feel or want to be alone, and that’s ok. Don’t push them to talk until and/or unless they decide that they want to. You can always bring it up later.
Lastly, I want to tell you guys that it has been months since I’ve cried during sex. However, it is important to remember that it is completely unpredictable and (in my opinion) out of your control. I’ve found that accepting this and learning to live with it is a much healthier approach than always stressing that it will happen, trying to hide it by immediately going into the bathroom, or feeling embarrassed and apologizing profusely when it does happen. These are no-no’s babes! Just because your body is reacting differently does not mean you are not broken, you can still have great sex and remember it that way. The more you are able to brush it off, the more your partner will brush it off too, which can make you feel much more confident.