Feeling depressed after sex is a crummy way to end a date, but it happens. Science has a name for it: post-coital dysphoria. It’s the fancy term applied to those after sex blues experienced after having consensual sex.
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A recent study in Australia surveyed 230 women and found that these symptoms were more common than anticipated. Around 46-percent of these women experienced sadness, anger or melancholia after sex. Two percent claimed they experienced symptoms after every sexual encounter. The research demonstrated that post-coital dysphoria was experienced even after having pleasant sex, and that relationship status didn’t influence the results.
Denise Knowles, sex therapist and counselor, explained that these symptoms are common and that they shouldn’t be feared because there’s a biological explanation behind them. There’s a huge release of hormones during sex, promoting bonding and pleasure, which drop rapidly after an orgasm.
It usually means that you’re in a very heightened state of emotional arousal and the come-down on the other side of that is what naturally happens.
Logan Levkoff, another sex and relationship expert, believes this problem is less about biology and more about society and how it views women’s sexuality. He theorized that it’s common for women to feel frustrated after sex if their partners don’t value their needs as much as they value their own; it’s a common problem in heterosexual relationships where sex is mostly seen through the male perspective. Levkoff also emphasized that post-coital dysphoria is present in men, just that it isn’t discussed as openly due to stereotypes and fear of people questioning their masculinity.
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There are a lot of opinions on the matter, which can only mean that post-coital dysphoria happens because of a mixture of biological and societal reasons. Maybe it’s nature’s screwed up way of making people have sex so that they keep on having kids. Who knows?