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Is crying after sex normal? A psychologist answers

Published on:28 September 2020, 17:32pm IST
Crying after sex, known as postcoital dysphoria, isn’t as uncommon as you might think. Here are some reasons that could be causing it.
Nikita Bhardwaj
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Crying after sex isn’t weird at all. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Consensual sex has always been known to provide pleasure and deepen the intimacy in a relationship. However, some women experience distress after having sex. In fact, the feeling is so intense that many even report crying.  

If you can relate to this situation and have been thinking that you’re alone in feeling this way, we’re here to tell you that this is actually a fairly common emotion after sex. Science even has a term for it which is Postcoital Dysphoria (PCD). 

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According to the International Society for Sexual Medicine, some women experience a rush of emotions right after having sex due to which they tend to cry. It notes that this could happen in spite of the sexual act being loving and satisfying. 

There have been situations where women become aggressive and get into an argument with their partner. The problem is that most women are not aware of the root cause of these emotions.

“Sometimes, the arousal due to sex or orgasm is so intense that it lights up the entire brain at once. This triggers all kinds of emotions. Crying is actually a way to relax. Hence, this is your body’s immediate response to calm you down”, explains clinical psychologist, Dr Bhavna Barmi.

She added, “Apart from pain, there are many other reasons that lead to crying post-sex or PCD.”

Here are 5 reasons can cause post-sex blues:  

1. A lack of post-sex cuddling
Yes, we need that post-sex cuddling session. According to Dr Barmi, things like post-sex pillow talk or cuddling makes one feel needed. Hence, it contributes to emotional satisfaction.

crying after sex
No pillow talks after sex can lead to the outburst. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

On the other hand, not receiving any physical contact once the act of sex is over might make you feel neglected. It contributes to creating a sense of vulnerability which ends up making you feel overwhelmed.

2. Shame or guilt
Sexual assault often leaves a lasting impression on your psychology. At times, a sexual encounter takes you back to that moment of trauma. Moreover, your own ideas about the taboo around sex could result in feelings of shame or guilt.

“Body image issues are another concern that leads to postcoital dysphoria and women feel a sense of shame”, she says.

3. Happiness
“After a dry spell, the sudden release of built-up sexual energy could certainly bring someone to tears of joy”, she explained.

4. Postpartum depression
Women going through postpartum depression experience hormonal fluctuations. Having sex during that time might elate these emotions, resulting in one feeling overwhelmed which could lead to crying after sex.

“The rate of PCD is higher in women during postpartum depression. If it is a recurring problem, one must consider consulting an expert”, she suggests.

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5. Performance anxiety
Just like men, women also go through performance anxiety. If something doesn’t go as per plan, it can induce stress. The immediate reaction to stress is crying.

“Have you been able to satisfy your partner? This is a fairly common question we ask ourselves after sex but it can also lead to anxiety which can result in crying”, she explained.

“There are many studies that suggest that 32 to 46 per cent of females experience PCD. So, it is completely normal. There is nothing to worry about”, she concluded.

So, you’re not alone! Don’t blame yourself for feeling this way. Talk to your partner and seek comfort for better emotional well-being.

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Nikita Bhardwaj Nikita Bhardwaj

Six-pack abs are all that Nikita needs, along with her daily dose of green tea. At Health Shots, she produces videos, podcasts, stories, and other kick-ass content.