Is It Normal To Cry After Sex?

Have you ever found yourself crying during or after sex? Maybe you felt surprised, confused, or even embarrassed by your tears. Here, we'll look at why it is perfectly normal and more common than you might think to cry after sex.

The Science Behind Post-Sex Tears

Scientifically, crying after sex is known as postcoital dysphoria (PCD) or, sometimes, postcoital tristesse (PCT). Symptoms include irritability, sadness, and tearfulness following consensual sex.

PCD can happen to anyone of any sexual orientation or gender, can occur even after the most amazing sex, and does not necessarily involve an orgasm.

Since research on PCD is limited, it is hard to pinpoint exactly how many individuals experience it. Research on the topic is limited, so it’s hard to say how many people experience it.

Common Reasons For Crying After Sex

Follow along as we look into a few of the reasons someone might cry during or after sex and what to do if it happens to you or your partner.


Crying evokes a range of emotions, including relief and even happiness.

If you have ever cried tears of joy at a birth, a happy movie ending, or a wedding, these same types of 'happy' tears can occur during or after sex.

Maybe it was the best sex ever, maybe you are feeling completely in love with your partner, or maybe it was highly anticipated. A variety of situations can make your reaction to sex more intense.

Shame or guilt

Some individuals feel so much guilt or shame over sex that it leaves them in tears. This could be for a wide variety of reasons, some of which may include:

  • Someone may have told you that sex is bad when you were growing up

  • You may be uncomfortable with your body and dread being naked in front of your partner

  • You view certain sexual activity as too kinky or primal

Guilt or shame may arise from other issues within the relationship that affects your sex life.

Work on improving your communication with your partner, fully accepting your body, and allowing yourself to enjoy sex without guilt or shame. This may require you to work with a sex professional or therapist.

Becoming Overwhelmed By A Certain Scenario

Did you fantasize during sex? Act out an intense role play scenario? Or get totally lost in the moment?

Scenarios such as these can heighten emotions to the point that it revs up tension. Your body can quickly go from anticipation to ecstasy and excitement before suddenly finding everything coming to a sudden end.

Tears may simply indicate that the thrill and intensity overwhelmed you.

If the tears concern you, you may want to consider easing up on the scenario slightly to see if it helps you feel better.

Feeling Overwhelmed By Your Body's Response

Did you just enjoy multiple orgasms for the first time? Or have a particularly powerful orgasm?

You can actually get so overwhelmed by the physical intensity that it may leave you emotional.

Alternatively, you may find yourself overwhelmed if you feel your body was lacking in response. If you were anticipating a night of awesome sex and do not get the outcome you were hoping for, you may find yourself tense enough to cry.

Biological Response

Sometimes, crying is simply a biological response.

Although there is not much research to explain how many females experience PCD and what the cause is, some experts believe it may be due to hormonal changes that occur during sexual activity.

Crying may also be a response to releasing pent-up sexual energy after a dry spell.


Crying is a natural reaction to anxiety, fear, and stress. If you are already feeling anxious or stressed, it can be difficult to put those feelings aside during sex.


Even if you are having sex, your mind may be somewhere else entirely and unable to get out of your head. Or perhaps you are able to enjoy sex but find yourself immediately overwhelmed again after and in tears.

You may also experience performance anxiety if you are worried about living up to certain expectations or putting pressure on yourself to please your partner.

Whatever the case, anxiety can result in tears.


Painful intercourse, called dyspareunia, can occur for a variety of reasons such as:

  • Irritation of the genitals

  • Trauma to the genitals

  • Vaginal infection

  • Urinary tract infection

  • Eczema or other skin conditions close to the genitals

  • Vaginismus (vaginal muscle spasms

  • Physical pain (if you experience, please talk to your doctor as there is treatment for pain associated with sex)

  • Lack of lubrication

  • Congenital abnormalities

If you experience pain during sex, consider the following:

Always be open and honest with your partner about your needs and feelings, including if you are experiencing pain

  • Talk to your partner about your concerns

  • If engaging in restraint use during sex, make sure the level of pain is acceptable and tolerable for both you and your partner

  • Talk with your healthcare provider if you experience pain during sexual activity


Confusion after sex can result from mixed signals during sex, expectations that did not get met, or relationship issues.

Perhaps you said you didn't like something and your partner did it anyway. Or maybe they thought they were giving you pleasure but you were actually unsatisfied.


Unresolved issues in the relationship can also affect your sex life. You may have differing ideas on the status of the relationship and how your partner actually feels about you.

If one or both of you end up confused or disappointed after sex, a few tears certainly wouldn't be a surprise.


f you are dealing with frequent crying bouts, it could be an indication of a deeper issue that needs to be addressed.

Other signs of depression to watch for include:

Anger, irritability, or frustration

  • Sadness

  • Difficulty sleeping, fatigue, or restlessness

  • Loss of memory

  • Difficulty concentration

  • Changes in appetite

  • Unexplained pains or aches

  • Anxiety

  • Loss of interest in activities you normally enjoy, including sex

  • PCD can be higher in women with postpartum depression (this is thought to be due to rapid fluctuations in hormones)

Talk with your healthcare provider if you need help addressing any mental health concerns.

Past Trauma or Abuse

If you are a survivor of sexual trauma or assault, certain positions or movements may trigger alarming memories.

This can leave you feeling vulnerable and susceptible to tears (a completely understandable reaction).

If it is especially bothersome or happens often, you may want to consider working with a qualified therapist to help you learn tools to cope.

What To Do If You Cry During or After Sex

If you experience discomfort or physical pain before, during, or after sex or are experiencing symptoms of depression, be sure to talk with your doctor.

Otherwise, it may be helpful to take some time to consider what may be behind your tears.

Here are some questions to help pinpoint the cause of think about the reasons for crying. Here are some questions to ask yourself to get to the bottom of your tears:

Did my tears relieve my tension or make it worse?

  • Was I reliving past trauma or an abusive event

  • Did the tears feel emotional or more of a physical response

  • What were you thinking about when you cried? Were the thoughts happy or sad?

  • Was it a few random tears or a full-on crying session

If your answers tend to correspond with physical pleasure or being overwhelmed with love toward your partner, it unlikely you need to be concerned.


If your tears bother you or correlate with emotional issues, past trauma, or relationship issues, you may want to try the following tips:

Talk with your partner about ways to work through issues in your relationship and become closer

  • Communicate your sexual likes and dislikes openly and honestly to your partner and listen to theirs as well

  • Be non-judgmental when listening to your partners feelings or ideas

  • Give it time

  • Fully explore your feelings

  • Work with a qualified therapist to sort through deeper issues or concerns

What To Do If Your Partner Cries During or After Sex

It can be disconcerting to see your partner cry. Here are some possible ideas to try if your partner cried during or after sex:

Ask gently and kindly if anything is wrong

  • Do not belittle or sound accusatory

  • Be respectful, understanding, and gentle

  • Offer comfort

  • Ask your partner if they would like some space or prefer you stay close to them

  • Let it pass for now and bring it up later

  • Listen closely but don't push the issue if they do not feel like talking about it at the moment

  • Do not push sex on them

  • Ask if there is anything you can do to help

  • Share space with them and just be there for your partner

Final Thoughts

Crying during or after sex is not unusual and is nothing to be ashamed of, although it may be a sign of a deeper issue that you may want to address.

If you find yourself regularly crying after sex or if it bothers you, you may want to consider speaking to a health professional to get to the bottom of what you are going through.

June 28, 2021 — Rosie Rees


Natisha said:

I have experienced this with 2 different sex partners. Both started out as friends and both partners allow me to be open and talk freely about any issue good or bad. This last time, I still felt like I wanted to cry even more but didn’t. I usually don’t feel sad when I cry but this last time I felt a bunch of emotions. The sex was good and after, I burst into tears like a loud cry. My man asked me what’s wrong I’m like I don’t know. I just wanted him to hold me.

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