This phenomenon, known as postcoital dysphoria, has been increasingly discussed among researchers and therapists over the past decade.
If you have ever had sexual intercourse, chances are that afterwards you have felt very well: sex often creates a persistent sense of satisfaction. In fact, research has found that these positive feelings can last up to two whole days.
However, not all experiences after sex are so good. Some people experience a variety of negative emotions, including crying, sadness and irritability. This happens in an inexplicable way after having satisfactory sexual intercourse. This phenomenon, known as postcoital dysphoria, has been increasingly discussed among researchers and therapists in the last decade.
Research has found that almost half of women have experienced it at least once. In addition, ten percent say they have experienced it in recent months, while two percent say it is something that happens regularly. Women who experience postcoital dysphoria tend to have more psychological distress and sexual dysfunctions; In addition, statistically it is more likely that they have been victims of sexual abuse.
For a long time it has been thought that men also experience postcoital dysphoria; but until now, no investigation had analyzed this phenomenon in men. A new study found that not only is there postcoital dysphoria in men, but men may be more likely to experience it more often than women.
In the study, 1,208 men completed an online survey about their post-sexual experiences. The participants came from all over the world, were between the ages of 18 and 81 (the average age was 37), and the vast majority (84 percent) said that they were currently involved in some kind of sexual relationship.
To determine if the participants had experienced postcoital dysphoria, they were asked if they had “experienced unexplained crying, sadness or irritability after consensual sexual activity” at some point in their lives, as well as during the last four weeks specifically. They were also asked questions about past and current psychological distress, experiences of sexual abuse, as well as any current sexual problems they will face.
It turned out that 41 percent of the men reported experiencing postcoital dysphoria at some point. This agrees with previous studies that found that 46 percent of women have also experienced it.
As for recent experiences with postcoital dysphoria, 20 percent of men said it happened to them in the last month. In addition, almost 4.5 percent of men said that they had experienced most or all of the times they had had sex throughout their lives. Compared to the aforementioned numbers among women, these findings suggest that men are more likely to have recent and recurrent experiences with postcoital dysphoria.
According to previous research in women, men were more likely to report postcoital dysphoria when they had high levels of psychological distress, sexual difficulties (especially problems related to a low level of sexual appetite and orgasms), as well as experiences of sexual abuse during pregnancy. childhood. Homosexual men reported more frequent experiences with postcoital dysphoria than heterosexual men.
It is important to note that this study was not based on a representative sample of men; therefore, we can not say with certainty what is the prevalence of postcoital dysphoria among men or draw firm conclusions about how it compares with women. What these findings do tell us, however, is that postcoital dysphoria is real and seems to affect many men.
More research is needed to understand the possible causes of postcoital dysphoria; however, this study suggests that it is likely that a contributing factor is our psychological state, which may affect the emotional response we have after sex. Experiencing sexual abuse in childhood can also affect the way we experience sex later in life, but it is important to note that the relationship observed in this study was very small. Sexual abuse during childhood may, therefore, play a role in postcoital dysphoria, but it does not really seem to be the determining factor.
The authors of this study suggest that because postcoital dysphoria is something that most men will experience infrequently, it is not something that should be pathologized and, in most cases,