A lot of times, the way we handle feelings such as anxiety and stress, is affected by what gender roles dictate is ok behaviour.
For example, typically, having a lot of sex or masturbating is seen as more of a male activity than a female one. And dealing with stress by crying or talking it out with a friend – is generally deemed more ok if you’re a woman.
Regardless of your gender, using sex as a means of de-stressing can be effective – and once the stress is gone, you’re likely to experience greater well-being.
3. Sex can make some people feel down
When people ask me: “does sex affect emotions”, they’re usually curious about the positive effects of sex. However, for some people, sex doesn’t lead to greater well-being. Instead, it triggers something we sex therapists refer to as postcoital dysphoria.
Postcoital dysphoria is characterized by feeling sad or annoyed after sex or masturbation. Oftentimes, it can be confusing as these negative feelings can occur after a satisfying experience.
This can lead you to question whether you really wanted to have sex or not. Or if there’s something wrong with your relationship, or perhaps even more worrying – something wrong with you.
None of this has to be the case. Sometimes crying is a way of decompressing after a satisfying experience, like sex. In fact, oxytocin leads to some people feeling more sensitive and closer to tears in general.
In my work as a sex therapist, I’ve found some clients who experience sadness and irritability after sex are more emotional people all-round. They have strong emotional reactions to a lot of things, and thus, experiencing a range of feelings after sex, is aligned with who they are otherwise.
While we still don’t know enough about why postcoital dysphoria occurs – rest assured, you’re not alone in experiencing it.
Sex And Emotions Live In Tandem
When I help people as a sex therapist, most of my time isn’t spent discussing positions and different kinds of sex toys.
It’s spent talking about feelings. The ones we have about having sex, about not having sex, and the ones we experience while we do the deed.
Sex isn’t just a pleasurable, physical experience – it’s an activity that can affect us at our core.
When we’ve had sex we might feel happy, euphoric and relaxed. Although for some, sex and masturbation can leave us feeling sad or irritated. None of this is strange. It’s all just a part of the complex weave of sex and emotions. So, does sex affect emotions? Absolutely.
How does it make you feel? Start a discussion in the comment section below.
Originally published on Therapy by Leigh.