Most of us enjoy having sex, but have you ever experienced the post-orgasm blues? You probably know the feeling: You’ve just had a sweaty, adrenaline-fueled orgasm. You lay down to relax, but suddenly all your wordly worries come crashing back into the forefront of your mind in one swift, “Oh shit, I left the stove on” moment. Well, it turns out a lot of guys experience something to this effect, and scientists have named it post-coital dysphoria.
A distinctly different phenomena than the refractory period, post-coital dysphoria can manifest itself in anxiety, depression, or simply breaking down in tears. Even guys who do experience this won’t feel it every time they have sex. But sometimes, intercourse can be such an intensely pleasurable and emotionally exhausting experience. And when it is, just like with the day after rolling face at Berghain (the benchmark for maximally pleasurable and exhausting), there’s bound to be a hangover.
In a way, this explains the cultural trope of cigarettes after sex. Post-orgasm blues is part of the reason why we reach for quick comforts after sex. Whether it be through over-sharing pillowtalk, drugs and nicotine, or pizza, sex is a simultaneously an occasion worth celebrating with indulgences and a traumatic event requiring coping afterwards.
In fact, scientists have shown that you don’t even need to cum to experience the post-orgasm blues. The pure emotional weight of a sexual encounter can be enough on its to induce these negative emotions. Although I would imagine that blue balls only can make things worse.
Alas, so goes the yin-yang, teeter totter of life. We all must be prepared to take the good with the bad--that is, unless you’re one of the lucky ones who’s never experience post-coital dysphoria. But for those who get a little blue after boning, just remember what Alfred Lord Tennyson said, “‘Tis better to have coitus’d and dysophoria’d than never to have coitus’d at all!”