As with everything else in life, sex doesn’t always go as planned. Sometimes it leaves us feeling happy – but other times it makes us feel empty, sad, or frustrated. If you’re asking yourself “why do I feel emotional after sex?” – you’ll want to consider the three reasons below.
The Three Answers to Your Question: Why Do I Feel Emotional After Sex?
1. Sexual disappointment
On the other side of sex lies the possibility for many things: connection, intimacy, and fun are a few of them. But sex also contains the possibility for things less positive than these, namely: disappointment, frustration, and emptiness.
If your sexual experience with your partner is far from what you want it to be, it’s not strange if sex leaves you feeling emotional. Quite the contrary.
Sex often demands of us to be vulnerable and open with another person (or people).
We need to be committed to the experience and give of ourselves and our energy – and when this doesn’t pan out like we’d hope it would, disappointment creeps up on us.
Sometimes, the reason sex didn’t turn out as we’d planned, is because we’re not really turned on during sex. In order for sex to feel good and pleasurable – we need to experience both desire and arousal, which is why sex that occurs when we have low libido, can be so disappointing.
Other times, the disappointment stems from other things, such as sexual routine, lack of communication in the relationship (in general and about sex), and not performing the way you feel you should.
When answering the question “why do I feel emotional after sex”, it’s also important to consider society’s effects. Society places a large emphasis on sex. A lot of us have clear ideas about what sex should be like, how it should feel and how we should experience sex over time in a relationship that’s “right” and meant to be.
If you feel the sex you’re having is more like fast food than a gourmet meal – rest assured everyone else experiences this from time to time, too. No matter how good their relationship is.
Accepting that all experiences can’t be twelves and realizing that not-so-great sex doesn’t necessarily mean anything’s wrong with the relationship, can help combat this disappointment.
For some, feelings of sadness or frustration don’t have to do with a disappointing sexual experience at all.
If you’ve had sex that was pleasurable and satisfying, yet experience irritation, anxiety, disappointment or feel down afterward – you might be experiencing postcoital dysphoria.
Postcoital dysphoria is a relatively unknown condition, and the cause is yet to be determined. This doesn’t, however, mean it’s not valid; according to research, 3-4% of those who identify as men, and 2% of those who identify as women, experience it.
Even if we don’t know why it occurs, there are a few theories bouncing around on the internet. One of these is that this experience correlates with people who have other mental health challenges, such as depression or anxiety.
If you’re struggling with feelings that don’t align with the sex you’re having – booking an appointment for sex therapy may be helpful.
3. Your guard is down
Sometimes, the answer to the question, “why do I feel emotional after sex?”, doesn’t have to do with disappointment or other negative feelings at all.
Your emotional reaction might in fact be a sign of joy and fulfilment after finally getting close to your partner.
In long-term relationships, sex can easily turn from a positive to a negative. In sex therapy, I’ve heard it all – from sex being withdrawn as a way of punishing your partner, to sex turned into a prize that’s “given” when your partner has behaved well (even if you’re not in the mood yourself).