Adult Sex Ed

Ms. Q & A: Why do I Cry After Sex?

Dear Ms. Q,

I recently hooked up with a guy who I consider a fuck buddy. We get along great as friends, but we are powerful in bed. It’s like dynamite going off even when I’m not having an orgasm. He definitely has a kinky side. He loves sensation play and BDSM and he’s damn good at it. But every time I’ve been with him (three times so far), I’ve cried. I feel bad and awkward about it and wind up going home or asking him to leave.

He seems to be pretty understanding of what I’m going through, but it doesn’t feel right. I feel sad and depressed for a day or so, but in a few days I’m excited to see him again. I really enjoy a good fuck, but I don’t enjoy a mind fuck like this. Do you know anything about this?

Weeping Wendy

Dear Weeper,

I do and I don’t know something about this.

I tried looking for credible medical and psychological information on this phenomenon known as post-coital tristesse (PCT), but the only thing I could find was a brief entry in Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post-coital_tristesse). Apparently, the “diagnosis” is only a theory of an obscure philosopher by the name of Baruch Spinoza, who wrote: “For as far as sensual pleasure is concerned, the mind is so caught up in it, as if at peace in a [true] good, that it is quite prevented from thinking of anything else. But after the enjoyment of sensual pleasure is past, the greatest sadness follows. If this does not completely engross, still it thoroughly confuses and dulls the mind.” In other words, his take on this is no different than a handful of people on the Interwebz who have posted their theories on message boards. I’ll have to give you fair warning that my take on this may be just as invalid.

I’ve had a few times when I broke out in tears after an orgasm, but they were tears of joy. It didn’t happen after the best sex I ever had, but it was after some pretty good sex. Looking back, I see those instances as a big emotional release. I don’t know if they were the result of hormones or just letting off steam.

There have been times when my lover has burst out in tears at the brink of orgasm, but with him, I can physically feel and emotionally read that everything leading up to those times have been intensely pleasurable. Then again, he doesn’t censor this thoughts, feelings or actions during sex; he just lets things flow naturally. He’s not ashamed of sobbing and it’s not followed by feelings of melancholy. If anything, he thinks of it like a badge of honor and considers it a job well done.

Years ago, I was also in a situation much like yours. With him, sex was like sensory overload, even when intercourse wasn’t involved. (For the record, any time you’re playing naked and attaining sexual arousal, I consider it sex, regardless of how a former president defines it.) It was like the most extreme high or the most extreme amusement park ride. But in the end, I felt bad about it. I didn’t consider him to be long-term relationship material and he considered what we did as “just play.” I took a few days away from him to evaluate my feelings and admitted that what I was up to with him really wasn’t in my moral code. He was a nice guy, but I had to walk away to keep my sense of sanity. It turned out to be the right move. About a week or two later, I noticed that he and another woman were commenting on and posting pictures of their sessions in an online sex discussion group (or at least that’s what it was called in the days before social media). I didn’t feel betrayed or felt heartbroken about it; it just reaffirmed that I walked away from poor judgment and a bad decision. For him, sex partners are interchangeable. For me, they’re not.It wasn’t a judgment call on his character; it’s just the way I roll.

The BDSM community also has its term for this kind of emotional fallout: sub drop. It’s been explained to me as what happens after prolonged and/or intense sexual and sensual play and when a sub has had her emotional limits pushed by her Dom.

Given what I have told you about my personal experiences and the little I have read and been told about what you’ve been going through, I would recommend that you take a few days away from this guy – no phone, in-person, text or online contact – and try to identify the triggers that make you feel this way. Are they moral dilemmas or are they just result of sensory overload?

If it’s the latter, talk to him. You say that he’s a nice guy and is understanding about what you’re going through. And just because you say you’re fuck buddies doesn’t mean that your relationship (in this case, I define “relationship” as any time two people intimately engage with each other even if dating an courtship isn’t involved) is or should be devoid of emotion. Sex is the ultimate act and expression of emotion or should be if it’s that good.

Ms. Q

Got a question for me? Email me at msquote2(at)hotmail(dot)com.