Hot and chocolaty eye candy aside, last night’s new episode of Being Mary Jane was another emotional roller coaster ride. As MJ sought distraction from her “cuddy buddy” to avoid her grief over best friend Lisa’s suicide, she found nothing but despair between her sheets. If watching Mary Jane slump into a post-coital funk looked all too familiar to you, don’t worry. You are not alone.
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“Postcoital Dysphoria” (aka The Post Sex Blues, which is when a person suddenly feels sad, anxious or melancholy after sex, is something one in three women experience at some point, according to a recent study published in The Journal Of Sexual Medicine.
It can be difficult for women to understand or deal with feelings of sudden sadness and despair after consensual (and, some times even great) sex, and there’s very little research surrounding this condition. Here is your guide to what scientists know about it and what you should too.
It Has Nothing To Do With Love. Findings from the Journal Of Sexual Medicine study revealed that there appears to be no relationship between PCD and intimacy in close relationships. Men and women in happy marriages/long-term monogamous relationships have reported experiencing unexplained post-sex blues.
It Can Happen After An Orgasm Too. “When orgasm occurs … there is a physiological release — after a buildup of sexual tension — which may lead to tears (or laughter) not accounted for by psychological variables,” says Judy Silverstein, a psychologist and sex therapist in Needham, Massachusetts.
You May Experience A Wide Range Of Scary Emotions. A woman suffering from PCD may feel any mix of anxiety, sadness, depression, isolation, regret and irritability immediately following sexual intercourse.
It’s Doesn’t Only Affect Women. Women aren’t the only ones who encounter extreme emotional shifts after sex. “It can affect older women and men too,” says Michael Krychman, MD, executive director of the Southern California Center for Sexual Health and Survivorship in Newport Beach, CA who has treated patients with PCD.
PCD Has No Pattern. A person can experience PCD sporadically, just once, often or never at all. There are no rules or patterns with this condition.
Psychological Triggers Could Play A Factor. Scientists say that your personal views on things like sex, body image, family upbringing, religion and the status of the relationship you have with the person you’re sleeping with could effect your emotions throughout the sexual encounter and potentially trigger PCD. The idea of guilt-related “buyer’s remorse” after a consensual sex act can also be a trigger, many experts believe.