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4 People on How They Deal with Post-Sex Depression

‘It feels like a deep loneliness settling in’

Post-coital dysphoria (PCD), or post-coital tristesse (sometimes known as the post-sex blues) is described as  the feeling of deep sadness or agitation after sex, says International Society for Sexual Medicine (ISSM).  We asked four people who experience PCD what their experiences are like and how they handle it.

1 It’s a feeling of deep loneliness

‘I have had three serious boyfriends and with each of them I have experienced feelings of what I can only describes as a deep loneliness after sex. Even though I loved them all and really love having sex, sometimes the sadness would just settle in after sex. It wasn’t often, maybe two or three times a month. I never knew how to verbalise it with the first two guys. With my current boyfriend though, I can literally just say, “I feel lonely” and he knows to hug me until I’m feeling a more myself.’ C, 24

2 I get so agitated and irritable

‘Even if the sex was amazing, I find myself picking fights with my partner afterwards. I feel this crazy irritability and annoyance and sadness all at the same time. It’s really horrible and my boyfriend was actually the one who pointed out that it happens only after we’ve had sex. I’m able to talk to him honestly now which makes all the difference. Sometimes after sex, I’ll tell him I need him to be near me. Other times I need some alone time to cool off. I just had to explain to him that I love him and he shouldn’t take it personally.’ O, 28

3 I was single for a long time

‘And so I thought that the depression I’d feel after sex was just because I wasn’t built for casual sex. But I’ve been dating someone for eight months now and we have sex regularly, and more often than not I can feel a depression setting in after we’ve had sex. I haven’t brought it up with my partner and try my best to pretend I’m okay, but I think that if it continues I’ll have to see a sex therapist or a sexologist.’ P, 30

4 My partner shuts down after sex

‘When we’re finished, he’ll kind of disappear into himself. He becomes to quiet and I try to reach out but it’s become really hard. It’s really tough to not take issues about sex personally. And so often I feel it’s something I’ve done even though he swears it has nothing to do with me. We first heard about Post-Coital Dysmorphia a few weeks back and I think we were both so relieved. It’s comforting to know we’re not the only ones experiencing this and it’s kind of taken the pressure off to figure this all out immediately. I’m talking to him at the moment about maybe seeing a professional who can give him more insight into it.’ T, 26

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