Our contributor Abby Spector, who is majoring in Feminine/Gender/Sexuality Studies at Wesleyan University, has a confession to make:
It is 2:22 AM. I am eating peanut butter from the jar. This is the perfect remedy to calm the excitement of post-coital euphoria. I just had great sex. My bones are sleepy. My vagina is sore. My heart is satisfied. Per usual, my naked boyfriend is out cold. However, instead of curling up beside him I want to do push-ups. Sex makes me want to move. My energy burst is both physical and emotional. I act like a cheerleader on speed whose pom poms just got a thoroughly good shakin’.
This feeling doesn’t happen all of a sudden. It takes time. I relax my sweaty body on the sweaty sheets and talk with my partner about how good the sex was. The turning point is when I go pee. Maybe it’s my fear of a UTI (peeing after sex lowers the risk of this painful infection) or the build-up of juices lounging in my vadge, but I always pee after sex. And when I return to the bedroom, I’m rearing and ready for what life throws at me. My senses are on high alert. The room smells musky and my belly grumbles. My darting eyes narrow in on the blanket-clad blob on the bed. The boy has fallen asleep. Shocker.
The hypochondriac in me has always assumed this hyperactive behavior of mine is a disease. With a mouth full of peanut butter—the ultimate late-night snack—I decide to seek medical advice. Google’s the only doctor available at 2 A.M. Fortunately, for the first time ever, I leave Dr. WWW feeling like I’m safe. Men nodding off after sex (and women not) is the norm! Here are the reasons why — some scientific, some not so much:
- Following ejaculation, men release a cocktail of brain chemicals and hormones. Many of these, such as prolactin, vasopressin and oxytocin, cause drowsiness.
- Many women feel desire following sexual arousal. This can result in an urge to keep fucking, or if left un-touched, a boost in energy.
- Men have a refractory period, we women don’t.
- Intercourse ends in orgasm (which can take a lot out of you) way more often for men than for women. (Granted, this doesn’t really apply to me, since I usually insist on my own orgasm during any given session.)
- Ever look up amid an epic bone-sesh and see your man’s sweaty, red face? Wonder why you aren’t that physically strained? In my experience, men seem to exert more energy in the act of sex than women. I came across a lot of claims to the same thing during my internet travels, but never found a good reason why. For now, I’ll just chalk it up to my being in better shape rather than me being lazier in bed.
From where I’m standing, I think I got the better end of the deal. Morning sex is a huge winner, especially before an early class. I can start my day with a burst of energy spewing from all orifices. Moreover, I am a night owl whose job is to write about sex. What better time to write about it then following the act itself? I am full of personal anecdotes and experiences that just happened. No note-taking necessary.
It’s 3:33 AM now. I would be lying if I said this crusted jar of peanut butter is better then a good night’s sleep. The boyfriend looks so peaceful, so happy in our floral sheets. I feel like a kid on Christmas Eve. Waking him up would be bad, but the thought of having a playmate is too appealing. I whisper my boyfriend’s name. He grunts and rolls over. No response. I kiss his neck and nibble his ears, aware the entire time that what I am doing is extremely annoying. His eyelids flicker open. We begin making out. Making out leads to sex. Sex leads to peeing. I return from peeing with energy. He’s asleep.