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Sadness After Sex is a Real Condition

Sadness After Sex Is a Real Condition

Believe it or not, it's common for men and women to feel depressed after sex, even if it was awesomely mindblowing. So the next time you get it on and your partner turns away or doesn't want to participate in pillow talk, he's not just being an insensitive jerk.

There's actually a real name for this condition. It's called post-coital tristesse (PCT). It comes from the Latin phrase post-coital and the French word tristesse, and it literally means "sadness." Many people who suffer from PCT will experience strong feelings of sorrow, anxiety, or uneasiness anywhere from immediately after sex to up to two hours later.

Why does this happen? It involves the hormone prolactin. Women have this hormone to make milk, but men have it, too. Your body creates it after an orgasm to counteract the release of dopamine, the hormone responsible for sexual arousal. So the prolactin is believed to cause these feelings of melancholy.

Why else might a person feel sad after sex?

Sex is all about connecting with someone, and while the dopamine surging through your body makes you feel great while you're having sex, afterwards, reality might sink in. You may feel scared or nervous about commitment, so you may want to be alone, or get some emotional (and even physical) distance from the person you were just with. Sex also makes us say things in the heat of the moment, so while your loins made you say "I love you and want to have your children," later on that may not seem like such a good idea.

— Additional reporting by Alexis Nordby

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / THEM TOO
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NatalieHill23779 NatalieHill23779 1 year

I have been married for 9 years and have children with my spouse. Recently I have a hard time getting aroused and after we have sex I feel dirty, ashamed, sad and I feel uncomfortable being around my spouse for about an hours after we have sex. I hate this feeling and I don't feel interested in sex. I want the feeling of arousal and orgasm but it doesn't seem to work like it used to and I avoid sex as much as possible. I was sexually abused as a child and young adult and my spouse and I don't get along well so those things probably contribute, but I used to be just fine once things get started, now it seems I just don't get into it and I feel awkward and embarrassed and out of place while we are having sex.

Junebabe Junebabe 3 years
For the past couple if years I feel so gross and sad after sex. Even though im not a slut, I feel like one. Recently I finally had sex with who is now my ex, and I almost cried my eyes out. I felt so much guilt and regret. I didnt even want him to touch me afterwards. Maybe its a commitment thing that I don't like? I had to break up with him afterwards, I felt really bad. But its good to know im not alone with this sad crap. -_-
Dave369 Dave369 3 years
This is a real phenomenon and it's really kicked my ass before. From personal experience and from reading google results, I believe there is a link between the intensity of orgasm and the amount of prolactin released. If I orgasm in a 5 minutes, then I don't get the blues after. If I have mind blowing sex for a few hours, I feel crappy immediately following. There are some things that can help it. Sleep with people you love (or at least intensely like). You will be more prone to cuddling with them afterwards and this touching will release oxytocin, which makes you feel good and combats prolactin effects. Note that with masterbation, this isn't an option, so all you porn addicts out there suffering from similar symptoms, might want to try the real thing. Another option is to eat chocolate, as this will boost endorpohines and also release small amounts of oxytocin.
goldenrainbowsoverboard goldenrainbowsoverboard 4 years
ugh..yes..a lot now..a year ago i had a baby..c section..dont know if they relate or not..i HATE sitting in my room balling while my d/h is doing school work or making food TRYing to act like life is normal..i just feel so crazy..
Bnatasa Bnatasa 5 years
I'm sixteen years old and I have experienced this sadness. Now everytime my partner feels like having sex with me, I don't. Even though I enjoy it when it happens, I don't like the feeling afterwards. I'm having problems in my relashionship because of that matter but I can't really do anything about it. Sometimes I don't feel sad after having sex but most of the times I do.
lessieloo lessieloo 6 years
No. This has never happened to me. Being with the person I just made love to after sex..is a very intimate, spiritual moment. Lying there, just the two of us...breathing together. Nothing to be sad about at all.
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