Feeling sad after sex is more common than you may think. A lot of women don’t want to admit this feeling to themselves, because sex is “supposed to be” something that makes them feel happy and bonded to their partner. They don’t want to show these feelings to their partner, because they’re afraid of ruining a great experience for him. And they don’t really tell their friends about it because they don’t want their friends to make assumptions about the quality of their relationship. But feeling sad after sex doesn’t necessarily mean you’re with the wrong partner, or even that it was bad sex. There are several chemical, hormonal, mental, emotional and even circumstantial factors that can contribute to post-coital blues. Here is why you might be feeling sad after sex.
You feel underappreciated
When you have sex with your partner, I wouldn’t say you’re doing him a favor, but you’re definitely doing something he really enjoys. In a sense, you’re appreciating him with your body. So if you feel that he has not been appreciating you mentally and emotionally, you can almost feel like you cheated yourself by having sex with him. If your partner hasn’t done a good job listening to you or paying attention to you recently, you may feel sad after sex.
You don’t emotionally connect first
Even though you and your partner are very busy, perhaps you need just 20 minutes to catch up and reconnect before doing the deed. You may rush into it because you need to have dinner and go to sleep soon. But this can somehow make what should be a meaningful act with someone you love feel like just a physical, animalistic thing you could have done with anyone. If you need to have a conversation and connect before sex, make sure your partner knows that.
You did something you’re ashamed of that day
Sex is fun and feels good. During it, your partner gives you a lot of affection. But if you did something you’re not very proud of that day (maybe you were selfish in some way, or mean to somebody) you may subconsciously feel that you don’t deserve sex. That can leave you feeling sad after the act.
You didn’t feel accomplished that day
If your career isn’t going where you want it to go, or at least not at the pace you want it to go, you may punish yourself by telling yourself you don’t deserve certain rewards. These can range from time spent with friends, shopping, and good food to—you guessed it—an orgasm. Maybe you feel you need to earn sex, through your professional accomplishments.
Your partner rushes it
Sometimes men just don’t realize that you need a little more help and attention if you’re going to enjoy sex. If your partner rushes it and seems all about his pleasure, this can leave you feeling sad after—like you were used. It’s quite possible he just doesn’t realize you didn’t enjoy yourself. Maybe nobody ever told him what women need in bed.
You’ve had a traumatic experience
If you have been the victim of sexual assault it is very possible that you suffer from post-traumatic stress syndrome. The act of sex may cause memories of your attack to come flooding back to you, along with all the terrible emotions that went with it. Many women don’t seek counseling after a sexual assault because they believe that makes them weak, but it actually makes you strong—you’re taking your life (including your sex life) back.
You suddenly feel disconnected
You may simply feel sad because you love this person so much. During sex, you are technically as connected as you could ever be. When you really love someone and physically connect like that, you could feel an intense surge of happy chemicals in your brain. After sex, those chemicals die off and it can feel like you’re coming down from an incredible high. This is called post-coital dysphoria.
Your hormones are shifting
During foreplay, during sex, and after sex, your hormones are shifting like crazy. You’re experiencing a surge of endorphins, oxytocin, and prolactin. The simple process of these readjusting their levels can leave you feeling a bit sad.
This relationship is ending
I know I said that feeling sad after sex doesn’t necessarily mean you’re in the wrong relationship, but it could. If you’ve already been having doubts about this relationship for a while, then you’ve already been mentally disconnecting from this person. Physically connecting with someone you feel mentally and emotionally at odds with can certainly leave you feeling down.
The sex is casual
Some people just cannot enjoy sex unless there is an emotional connection there. The trouble is, a lot of people don’t want to admit that they don’t enjoy casual sex, fearing it makes them seem too needy or serious. But it’s perfectly normal to want an emotional connection with somebody who you literally allow inside of your body.
You come from a conservative family
If you were told, in your upbringing, that sex is bad, that may still sit in your subconscious. Even if you’ve distanced yourself from the people and institutions that told you this, you have to remember that you were fed that information during your formative years. You were so easy to influence as a child, and those ideas could be stuck deep in the corners of your mind.
You’re too shy to say what you want
You need certain things to enjoy sex. Maybe you’re embarrassed by those things, so you’re not telling your partner. But this leaves you feeling like you’re not respecting yourself or your needs.
You need to change beds
Maybe you just have bad memories in that bed! Did you have sex in that bed with an ex? Did you bring that bed from your childhood home, where you perhaps didn’t have such a happy childhood? Doing something that’s supposed to make you happy in a bed that made you sad will leave you feeling confused.
You have sex at the wrong time of day
If you have sex in the morning, you may wind up feeling like, “Well. That’s as good as today is going to get.” If you have sex at night, you get to look forward to it all day, and then you immediately fall into a nice slumber after.