Picture this: You and your partner are hooking up and it’s getting real hot. Clothes are coming off, body parts are entering places, you’re getting more and more into it, aaaand—BAM! You burst into tears. What the actual hell? Why are my eyeballs the wettest part of my body rn?
Well, don’t fret girl. We discussed with two certified experts about everything and anything there is to know why some of us cry during sex—from why it happens to what to do about it.
Is it normal?
‘It’s a lot more common than you might think,’ says Emily Morse, doctor of human sexuality and host of the SiriusXM Radio show and podcast Sex With Emily. This phenomenon is so popular actually, it’s called a crygasm—and it can happen when you’re in the middle of any form of sexual activity.
Why does it happen?
Psychotherapist Dana Dorfman, PhD, co-host of the podcast 2 Moms on the Couch, says there are a few reasons why you might be crying during sex.
1 The sex is just so good
‘Sex is highly intimate and can evoke strong feelings,’ explains Dorfman. ‘A person could be experiencing intense feelings of love and closeness.’ These feelings of intense closeness result in an ‘oxytocin rush,’ which she says ‘can induce the physiological response of crying.’
2 It’s bringing up some not-so-great mems
‘Unfortunately, sex may ignite memories in the brain and body from unwanted or negative sexual experiences from the past,’ says Dorfman. ‘When engaging in sex, these memories may resurface and cause crying.’
3 You’re angry or anxious
‘Tears may also be a way to cue us to deeper feelings that are not being expressed. Often people manifest negative emotions through crying—not just sadness. Anger toward a partner or anxiety about performance may be expressed through tears.’
4 It physically hurts
‘There are many medical and physical explanations for painful intercourse such as vaginal dryness, pelvic inflammation, and endometriosis,’ Dorfman explains. ‘As a result, a woman might cry as a result of physical pain.’
And at what point is it not normal?
TL;DR: If crying occurs regularly during sex, that’s indicative of an emotional or physical issue requiring deeper examination. But if it’s a once or twice thing, you’re probably just really in your feelz.
But no matter the reason you’re crying or how frequently it’s happening, you and your partner should always acknowledge the issue. ‘Crying during sex warrants attention, recognition, or acknowledgment,’ advises Dorfman. ‘It is important for a woman to know the degree of emotion that she experiences during physical intimacy, as her body may be providing some useful cues.’
What should you do about it?
If it’s a good kind of cry and there’s no sadness involved, Morse says all you really have to do is talk to your partner about it. ‘Own it and just be honest,’ she suggests. ‘Say something like “Sometimes I cry after orgasm, and it’s not because I’m sad or in pain, it’s just an intense release. It’s a good thing!”‘
That being said, if your tears are coming from a negative reason, Dorfman suggests talking to a professional who can help you sort through the underlying issues that may be arising.
Who can help you?
Discuss the issues with your gyno or talk it out with a psychotherapist. ‘Gynecologists are well-equipped to address many physical symptoms which may cause pain — and ultimately crying,’ says Dorfman. ‘Psychotherapists are equipped to treat patients struggling with emotional issues which manifest as sexual issues—particularly trauma, anxiety, anger, etc.’
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan US
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