For the first time ever, researchers have discovered that many men suffer from something called Postcoital Dysphoria — in other words, post-sex depression.
Until now, the condition was thought to only effect women.
“We had conducted research on PCD in women, and the findings on the percentage of women who experience PCD seemed robust,” Robert Schweitzer, an author of the latest study from QUT’s School of Psychology and Counselling, told Newsweek. “And yet there were no similar studies relating to men.”
The study, published in the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, was conducted by scientists from the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) in Brisbane, Australia, who analyzed the results of an international survey involving more than 1,200 men from the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom, Russia, New Zealand, Germany and other countries.
According to the study:
41 percent reported experiencing PCD in their lifetime and 20% reported experiencing PCD in the previous four weeks. Between 3 – 4 percent of the sample reported experiencing PCD on a regular basis. PCD was found to be associated with current psychological distress, childhood sexual abuse, and several sexual dysfunctions.
Those dealing with PCD described feelings of wanting to be left alone, dissatisfaction, and general feelings of being “down in the dumps.” One participant described feeling “emotionless and empty”, while others described a sense of shame or feeling that something was wrong with them, reports Newsweek.
Schweitzer says this phenomenon is “counterintuitive, especially given the dominant cultural beliefs (or silence) round the experience of males,” especially in Western culture.
“These assumptions are pervasive within masculine subculture and include that males always desire and experience sex as pleasurable,” he said. “The experience of PCD contradicts these dominant cultural assumptions about the male experience [of] sexual activity and of the resolution phase.”
While it’s still unknown what causes PCD, there are likely several factors at play, both biological and psychological, according to researchers.