Post-Sex Depression – Are You Sometimes Sad After Sex?


Sadness, especially such deep sadness as depression, are definitely not known to increase sexual desire, arousal or satisfaction. In fact, depressed people often refrain from sexual activity. Men may find they are unable to become aroused and women may just avoid physical contact.

Some men and women have also admitted to feeling sad after a self-pleasuring sexual experience. Sometimes, for religious reasons, they may feel guilty. At other times, they feel inadequate and unloved if they don’t have a partner to share those intimate moments.

However, most of us think that once we do get involved with a partner and engage in a sexual connection that we will feel good, feel satisfied., and feel emotionally uplifted. It turns out that 10% of women regularly feel sad after having engaged in sexual activity with a partner. This “condition” has even been given a name, “post-coital dysphoria.”

A new Australian study, described in the International Journal of Sexual Health, found that 1/3 of the women claim to have felt depressed even aftet reasonably satisfying sexual activity. This study focused on college-age women but could apply equally to women and even men, of any age.

What could be some of the reasons for feeling sad after what is supposed to be a wonderful and earth shattering experience? What might cause someone to actually feel worse after having an orgasmic release?

  • The researchers cited hormonal changes as the possible culprit, perhaps somewhat like postpartum depression, the depression that some women feel after giving birth.
  • Many men and women have been raised with strict religious beliefs that sex is wrong, dirty, only for procreation,or only allowable wihin marriage.
  • Couples may engage in sex to overcome deep seated emotional and communication problems.
  • Some men or women are secretly involved in a private affair and have not revealed this to their partner.
  • Sometimes the sexual encounter has been rushed, not taking time for adequate foreplay, sensual touching and full arousal.
  • At times, one partner may stop the sexual connection before the other person has reached completion, leaving a sense of emptiness, longing or sadness.
  • Some partners turn over immediately after sex to fall asleep, leaving the partner longing for contact, affection and after-sex communication.
  • Some partners will just have sex to placate the other person, without actually having felt that original desire or arousal.

Feeling sad after a sexual experience is not the way it ought to be. If you are feeling unhappy after sex, talk it over with your partner. Explore what is going on between you that might be triggering these feelings. If you can’t figure it out and your partner is unwilling to discuss it, then seek help. There may be a medical condition requiring treatment or you may have some unresolved self-esteem, body issues or relationship problems that might best be handled by seeking support from a certified sex therapist.