Feeling Sad After Sex? Here Are A Few Ways to Manage Postcoital Dysphoria

Feeling Sad After Sex

Postcoital dysphoria (PCD), sometimes known as the “post-sex blues,” is the term used to describe the depressive or agitated sensations that may surface following consensual intercourse, regardless of how fulfilling, affectionate, or pleasurable it was. PCD can affect people at different frequencies depending on their gender identity and sexual orientation. It might be annoying to have an emotional response to sex that isn’t always in line with your genuine feelings if you do suffer from PCD. Even though the exact etiology of PCD varies from person to person, there are a few possible reasons to take into account, such as inadequate aftercare, unmet expectations, and underlying trauma or shame. Here are some strategies for PCD management that you might find useful.

1) Evaluate if your Sexual Aftercare routine is serving you Effectively

Aftercare is defined as “a way for you and your partner(s) to communicate, debrief, and love on each other in a way that feels most fulfilling to your specific needs after the session is finished.” Even though aftercare originated as a BDSM technique, anyone can use it to control their emotions following a sexual encounter. Depending on what works for you, you may need to experiment a little to find what aftercare looks like. It might be anything from chocolate consumption to verbal affirmation to hugging. Such rituals assist bring the emotional and physical intensity of a sexual encounter back into reality after the session.

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2) Journaling

Journaling about your PCD feelings can help process them and get to the root of the issue. This Well and Good article offers some important prompting questions to guide your journaling:

Was it before, during, and/or after sex that you started feeling something distressing?

Is this feeling familiar to anything you’ve felt at another time in your life?

Did your behavior work in alignment with your values?

Are you satisfied with how you were treated?

Is there anything you regret about the experience?

3) Be kind to Yourself 

PCD can be quite frustrating, but you shouldn’t put the burden on yourself. You are not defective in any way, and your experience was not improperly caused. Thoughts that are cruel only serve to fan the flames and exacerbate emotional suffering.

These suggestions might ease your discomfort, but you might need to get expert assistance to fully manage it. It may be time to see a sex therapist like those at Embrace Sexual Wellness if you’re having trouble with your relationships and find them difficult, if trauma is the cause of your PCD, or even if you just feel like you can’t handle this on your own.

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