It's not just women who may feel down in the dumps after sexual intercourse. According to a new study, men can also feel sad, irritable, and even tearful after being intimate with a partner.
Feelings of anxiety, uneasiness, or sadness right after sex is also known as postcoital dysphoria, or PCD. Many who suffer from this exhibit intense feelings that can last from five minutes to as long as two hours.
PCD was once thought to occur exclusively among women, but a study from the Queensland University of Technology, which involved 1,208 men from across the globe, revealed that PCD is more common among males than previously thought.
The results were published in the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy.
Men And Postcoital Dysphoria
"Forty-one percent of the participants reported experiencing PCD in their lifetime with 20 percent reporting they had experienced it in the previous four weeks," according to Joel Maczkowiack, coauthor of the study.
Despite having satisfactory sexual intercourse, some men still felt that they didn't "want to be touched," "left alone," or that they were "emotionally empty" right afterward, according to the study. There were also some men who described as being "unsatisfied, annoyed and very fidgety. All I really want is to leave and distract myself from everything I participated in."
Coauthor Robert Schweitzer said the results indicate that there might be more to men's postcoital feelings than previously thought. It also sheds light on future therapies and could lead to more open discussion on the male sexual experience.
The Resolution Phase
"The first three phases of the human sexual response cycle — excitement, plateau, and orgasm — have been the focus of the majority of research to date," Schweitzer said.
"The experience of the resolution phase remains a bit of a mystery and is therefore poorly understood."
It's been established that couples who perform a number of activities after sex, including talking, kissing, and cuddling, are likely to report greater sexual and relationship satisfaction, which means that the resolution phase is as important as any for maintaining intimacy.
It is not yet certain why women and men feel PCD, but the authors speculate it roots from a bunch of different factors, including biology and psychology. It's a phenomenon that deserves closer observation because according to Maczkowiack, anecdotal evidence from clinical trials and personal accounts published online reveal that PCD does indeed occur among males and can potentially interfere with couple interactions following sexual activity.
In any case, if the paper proves anything, it's that sex is still a huge mystery.