Dear Em & Lo: My Girlfriend Always Cries After Sex

eye_cryingphoto by -stamina-

Dear Em & Lo,

I’ve been in a serious, committed relationship with a gorgeous woman for almost a year. We first met as friends and then somehow found ourselves being more than friends after 9 months or so. During that time, we learned much about what makes the other tick. We have found our personalities, including our sexual appetites and interests, to be very compatible. We communicate well and have been very good about helping each other understand one another. Our lives together have been great including the sex (frequent with lots of O’s).

Here’s how she’s stumped me during sex: a couple of times after she has orgasmed strongly during vaginal intercourse, she’s then bursts into tears. As a guy, I’m a bit freaked (did I do something?) but she tells me that it feels chemically triggered. We take the time to settle back into the groove (she doesn’t want to stop) and then continue almost as if nothing has happened. Do you have any idea what could be going on?

–Tears in Heaven

Dear T.i.H.,

Wow, let us count the ways that your life is totally awesome:

  • You fell in love with a good friend. Meaning, you like each other’s company (almost) as much as you like each other’s genitals.
  • Okay, so you’re great friends, but you don’t just like playing Scrabble together; you also have awesome, orgasmic, communicative sex.
  • You really listen to each other.
  • Basically, you’re so freakin’ happy you make Pollyanna seem like a downer.

Oh, and one more:

  • Your girlfriend feels so close to you, and her orgasms feel so intense with you, that sometimes, after she has one, she cries.

Which is totally normal, by the way. The orgasm is a sudden release of this intense hormone build-up in your body — a few blissful seconds (or more) of rhythmic muscle contractions which let all that pent-up sexual energy flow back into the universe, like a whistling teapot from Xanadu. (Aw yeah.)

So it is chemical, in a way — think of it as a very miniaturized, very fleeting version of PMS or post-partum depression. When this happens, some women moan, some sigh, some laugh, some tear up, and many, many women cry. (Apparently some men do, too, by the way.) It’s just the body’s way of putting a period at the end of the sentence. Or rather, in a woman’s case, a semi-colon — lucky ladies get to keep going after an O! Now that’s the kind of run-on sentence we approve of.

Sure, this isn’t always the reason that all women cry after sex. Sometimes women cry because of some issue they’re dealing with — depression, past abuse, negative body image, unhappiness in a relationship, etc. If you suspect that any of these may be the case, that she’s keeping something from you, then you can very gently bring it up outside the bedroom by telling her you care for her very much and just want to make sure she’s alright and is she sure there’s nothing else going on here…? If there is, then maybe she needs some professional help to work through it.

But from everything you say, it doesn’t sound to us like your girlfriend is distressed or traumatized or sad in any way — it’s just her body reacting to all those crazy love chemicals. And if you are really confident that she is telling the whole truth and nothing but the truth about this “chemical trigger,” then the only advice we have for you is to keep doing that thing you do. And always keep a box of Kleenex on your night-stand!

Big girls do cry,

Em & Lo


  1. I have cried after sex from being so incredibly happy and feeling overwhelmed with love of my boyfriend, overwhelmingly grateful to have him with me in my life.

  2. Are the last two comments written by spambots or people hitting the crackpipe before hitting the submit button?

    My lord.

  3. I’m Every thing is happening to me Bstmrar I do not know the reasons may not be of the Every

  4. to:LMS Though it’s genuinly tragic&far 2uncommon to suffer the atrossities u have;u r an inspiration 2those of us who’ve not been fortunate enough2 have ideal upbringings.2seek modern, liberal, individuality(from my personal journeys view)& find true serandipitous emotional&phisical satisfation,who wouldn’t burst into uncontainable tears every now& again (&again&again…)so happy4u/pray 4the rest of us;)*****On a totally different tip the snowboard dude w/ incesant isolation issues even habitually after sex an (ideally& at least potentially)enriching, releasing, connecting expierience.Not judging but talk 2someone,please.

  5. I’ve also experienced the crying thing after coitus periodically and for me it usually falls in to one of two categories. Either I’m feeling a sense of isolation and a desperate ‘aloneness’ (which occasionally happens) or I have a sense of just experiencing a really intense emotion (usually akin to joy) and the tears are like ‘leakage’ of that emotion. For the record, I’ve also had that happen while snowboarding. I’m sure I’m not unique, but I’ve never met another guy who’s described anything like this.

  6. i have question i just stared have sex and i just don’t know anything about it but when im haveing sex with my boyfriend and i have my orgasmic i started to shak it sacred me and him too i really don’t know can you help me with that

  7. I’ve cried a few times. But I really remember two times this has happened. The first time it happened I started crying in the middle of sex. I was very nervous and I had some trust issues I guess. I was sexually abused by my father so I was stressed. I started crying because I didn’t want to get hurt, and I didn’t want to do something wrong since it was my first time ever having sex. But I wanted to share that part of myself with him. I loved him then and I still love him. The second time was when we finished and were cuddling up. I burst into tears and I was just really happy with him. I didn’t know that I could have such a strong connection with someone that I love and the experience for me was beautiful for us.
    All of the times that I have cried after sex was because I was extremely happy and content. So nothing is wrong with her and you have done nothing wrong. The moment was perfect for her and you took all her stress and worries away. Just keep doing what your doing and everything will stay perfect =)

  8. It also could be that she is cheating on you and when she gets to that stage the guilt gets the better of her. Personal experience speaking so skip the hate mail girls.

  9. It’s happened to me in a long term relationship before, and multiple times. It would happen when I had been super stressed out, and sex would just be this incredible release. I think it was also definitely because of how close I was to him, and how emotional the sex was to me. Definitely a good thing when it happened, not bad at all.

  10. It’s happened to me with my boyfriend before…

    Once it’s been out of frustration (not with him, with other things that were going on in my life), and other times it’s been because I love him so much and I feel so close to him after (and during) sex. It’s just that close connection and bond we’re sharing and it’s amazing.
    He usually laughs after he orgasms, which I find very cute and adorable. I also laugh sometimes.

    I guess it’s normal. I’ve never thought about it, always thought it was a weird thing my body did that it wasn’t supposed to actually do.

  11. It has only happened to me once, but during a really intense session with the man of my dreams, at one point I just stopped fell back onto the bed and burst into laughter. It shocked him and he asked what I was laughing at.

    I simply responded, I had no idea, I was just so immensely happy.

  12. I get this every so often – sometimes it is the product of a really wonderful and intense orgasm and feeling really sexy and special and sometimes it is that plus the fact I have been feeling stressed so the wonderful orgasm is even better at making me feel good than usual. And I get what Sophie says – sometimes it is tinged with sadness – for me I think it is because you feel such a high that there has to be a wee bit sadness in there too. My husband is pretty much ok with it although I think sometimes he wonders if there is emotion mixed up in it – which of course there is for me – because having that experience with him is very special. But it is that type of emotion and not a negative one for me. It is such a release and so satisfying that crying seems totally natural during/after it!!

  13. Never had this strong-orgasm with crying experience 🙁 Wish to have it, though. But me and my bf still have to work a lot on it I guess…

  14. Well, for me it was a bit different. I have only teared up one time. The man was lightly tickling the area between the vagina and anus durng the love making and i ended up squirting and then tearing up while all the area around my eyes and nose was tingling. It was the first and only time I have ever squirted or cried. It was a heck of a sensation, but I was almost scared when it happened. Luckily he was more experienced than I and he told me this was normal…it was just new to me.

    Funny…it has never happened since…but then I have not been with him since then.

  15. This happened to me once. I mean I have cried during or after sex a couple of times – of joy, of frustration – but what TIH describes sounds familiar: this one time with my ex where we made love in a way that made the penetration very profound, his penis touching in some way my cervix. I made some research after that and it seems that some women have strong orgasm related to that kind of stimulation. Anyway, I had a great orgasm and then very suddenly burst into tears, crying like a baby. My boyfriend was quite surprised (as was I!!!) but didn’t panic (don’t panic, TIH!). What I felt was a weird, profound and brief sense of sadness, but physically triggered. Very weird. But very interesting, when you’re not afraid of deep emotions.

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