Not A Member Yet?

Your Email is safe | Cancel Anytime Lost Password?

Why Do You Feel Sad After Sex

Why Do You Feel Sad After Sex

PCD Post-coital dysphoria is “a thing.” Ever asked yourself, “Why do I feel sad after sex?”

A few years ago, I was on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s hit show Triple J “Hook Up” with Hannah Riley talking about what to do if you feel sad after sex.

It was a call-in show, and two guys and one gal called and talked about how they cry after making love.

Listen Here >>> 

It’s more common than you think. So if you’ve ever been puzzled by negative feelings that seem to arise out of nowhere after sex, read on.

why do I feel sad after sex


46% of women know from experience that having intercourse doesn’t always end in euphoria… sometimes, it ends in dysphoria. Surprisingly, new research shows that it’s not just human females who fall prey to post-coital dysphoria (PCD); males of our species do, too.

Robert Schweitzer, professor of psychology at the Queensland University of Technology in Australia, has been researching the phenomenon for many years.

He initially studied women and eventually began to study men as well. He included both genders in his studies and selected participants at various stages of life who were married, unmarried, and divorced. The research found that negative emotions after sex occur across the human spectrum regardless of age, gender, marital status, or marital satisfaction.


Few women find it surprising or unusual to feel sad or even shed tears after intercourse. In one study, 46% of women reported experiencing PCD symptoms at least once in their lifetime. About 5.1% had experienced symptoms more than once in the four weeks before the study.

However, it might alarm any man the first time he sees his woman sad after sex instead of the touted afterglow.

But in general, men come to terms with this fairly common occurrence.

It’s a different story the first time he experiences the blues himself after sex. It will alarm and confuse him. He might worry he’s abnormal and even feel embarrassed by his strong, inexplicable feelings. She might ask herself, “Why do I feel sad after sex?”

In reality, men who experience post-coital dysphoria are not abnormal; they are invisible to media and a culture that insists men are not as vulnerable as women regarding sexuality.

One of the men who called into the radio show cried after ejaculating, even when he masturbated. I recommend semen retention (not ejaculating) and getting to the root cause, which is likely shame.

What is true, and what research bears out, is that men’s responses to lovemaking run across a full spectrum. For many men, sex makes them feel great. They jump up after intercourse, full of energy or – more commonly – roll overspent but happy. For other men, feelings of sadness, upset, or disconnection arise after sex.

It should be noted that PCD is distinct from the refractory period, wherein a man is unable to get hard for a time after an ejaculatory orgasm. In contrast, a man can have sad feelings after intercourse even if he doesn’t ejaculate; the condition is emotional, not physiological. (Serotonin reuptake inhibitors have been used to treat PCD with success, but I personally feel that is just masking a deeper issue.)

I’m guessing that one cause of PCD is a person’s “attachment style.” You can be securely or insecurely attachment-parented. Your attachment style tracks back to infancy and childhood, to the first bond you formed with your mother or primary caregiver. According to studies among American adults, nearly half of us suffer from an insecure attachment style.

The other half was fortunate to form a secure attachment and have more positive emotions during sex and higher levels of arousal and orgasm. Securely attached people tend to be better communicators than those with an insecure attachment style that makes them susceptible to negative emotions during or after sex. People who are emotionally insecure people are likely to have a low libido and difficulty getting aroused or achieving climax. They are not so good at communicating, take more risks sexually, and have a higher incidence of sexually transmitted infections.

That being said, if you have an insecure attachment style, you can overcome these challenges by 1) becoming aware, 2) understanding your particular attachment issues, 3) being patient with yourself, given that you have to make an extra effort to bond with someone, and 4) working it through with a partner who is willing to help you feel more secure.


PCD may have other root causes, including the orgasm gap, i.e., the great divide between men and women vis-à-vis the frequency and ease of having an orgasm during intercourse. Generally, a man can achieve climax from intercourse more than 90% of the time. Whereas 55% of women orgasm only some of the time from penetration; the rest of the time, she struggles or has given up hope.

If you had sex without an orgasm, it would make you sad, and a bit worried about future attempts, leading to a negative sexual spiral.

Body image can contribute to PCD, especially for women who worry about their weight and body style more than men. Guys are often self-conscious about the size of their penis; this is common among men who watch a lot of porn and thus have a skewed view of penis size. They begin to fear their penis is inferior in size, angle, and shape. They worry about circumcision.

Many men struggle with premature ejaculation, erectile dysfunction, or stamina issues that make it difficult to last as long as they’d like – or as long as their woman would like. Anxiety over their performance would seem natural in that case. Other men struggle to have an orgasm at all (delayed ejaculation). Or they have been watching so much sensational porn they can’t achieve a climax with a live partner. All of these concerns can cause negative feelings to arise after sex.

For men and women, PCD can be related to general mental worries such as pregnancy or STIs, which is why I emphasize context, or “loverspace” in my book, Sexual Soulmates.

A theory I respect that is congruent with conversations I have with other women is that sex puts us in touch with deep emotions. PCD is an intense release that allows ordinarily buried feelings to rise to the surface. Our enteric nervous system holds emotion in our womb. Both men and women tend to let go during lovemaking and, in the letting go, allow our defenses to drop. The flood of emotion that ensues can be quite intense.

Many women cry, laugh or even howl from orgasmic release. This is extremely common and quite good for a nervous system reboot.

If a man or woman is unable to reach orgasm, sheer frustration may cause PCD. Similarly, if a partner goes along with sex out of a sense of duty or gives what I call “mercy sex” to assuage a partner or get them off their back, one or both may be swarmed by the sadness in the aftermath.

Many causes can contribute to PCD: depression, medical issues, poor exercise habits, hormonal disruptions, medication, sexual shame, repression, and especially a history of sexual abuse.

Issues with a partner can also be causal. In the book, Why Men Stop Having Sex, the author’s survey had some unhappy results. 68% say their partner isn’t adventurous, so sex is no longer satisfying. 61% say their partner doesn’t enjoy sex which lessens their own enjoyment. 48% say their wife or partner doesn’t interest them anymore. 44% say they’re angry at their partner, and 41% are just plain boring. In fact, boredom is, across the board for men and women of all ages, the single biggest factor contributing to sexual frustration.

There are more disconcerting statistics: 32% of men say they don’t find her sexually attractive. 20% say they’re having an affair, and 9% say she’s having an affair. Negative mood and depression account for 34% of people being dissatisfied with their sexuality. 25% would rather masturbate. 6% say they’re just too busy for sex, and 3% have never had any interest in having sex.

There are many reasons why a man or woman could feel sad or upset after sex. None of this is “abnormal” on the spectrum of sexual behavior. All people, men, and women run the range of human emotion about their sexuality.

Regardless of the circumstances that contribute to PCD, it’s important to honor where you are rather than assume “something’s wrong” with you. Do your best to understand your feelings and identify specifically what’s impacting you. Please don’t compare yourself to others, to what you imagine they are experiencing in the bedroom. Then focus on healing, problem-solving with a partner, and finding wholeness in whatever way is right for you.

Our bodies are designed to experience pleasure before, during, and after sex. Anyone who struggles with PCD can turn it around so they can experience post-coital euphoria that makes for relationship happiness.

Susan S. Bratton
“Trusted Hot Sex Advisor To Millions”
CEO, Personal Life Media


  1. susan lets come together

  2. People get sad after sex because they are coming in contact with the negative energies of their partner. One friend of mine wondered why he felt so depressed after sex with his Ex. Well, she was clinically depressed! {she came from a family where he mother was beaten and abused by her father for her entire childhood).

    Women must be particulaly careful with whom and when they have sex, because women are receptacles.. If your guy has been carousing in bars with his buddies then has sex with you, he is going to fill you with all sorts of negative energies which will dampen your happiness.

    Best suggestion: find a virtuous man!

  3. So what are your thoughts on male or female chastity? I’ve been experimenting with a male chastity cage myself since last September and I must say: the orgasm denial really works for me.

    I feel happier and stronger and my wife gets all the attention, sex and orgasms she wants. What more could we wish for?

    • Hi Shavvy,
      For some couples, “orgasm denial” is a plus up. Whereas other couples could never imagine finding pleasure from the same situation. In my conversations over more than a decade with people from around the world, I’ve found that there is a small minority of men who get more pleasure from not ejaculating. It seems to increase your power, rather than reduce it. So if it’s working for you, keep doing it. Though I have read that ejaculating a few times a month can help keep your plumbing running better and may lower the risk for prostate cancer. So you might want to seek a balance.

  4. O M G .. I must have this book. You’re very informative. And I know my current husband and I really need info from your books, as my husband thinks it cute to cgeat, fight , and then he runs off to his auntie, r sister’s place.. n then after a couple weeks he calls. Ick I tell him, gross that I love him much.. he makes mad love to me, but yup we need download the book. I can’t find the link ..?

  5. that wos sow refreshing it puts me on a better path for my partner

  6. The message is very educative. Keep up the good work because it really revives relationships.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *