There are few things more crushing than feeling empty after sex. In a matter of minutes we go from ecstatic to desolate, even when we are still in the arms of our lover.
If you’ve felt this, you’re not alone. The first written record was over 2000 years ago. Today, it’s called the sex blues, post-orgasm depression, and post-coital tristesse.
If it came after bad sex, it would make sense. But if it comes after passionate orgasms, it can be confusing and make us question ourselves.
If you google this subject, common answers are more depressing than the question. Articles tell you that it’s part of being a man and spending your seed. That it’s a reaction to the high of sex and you can fix it by taking SSRIs. Or they’ll say it’s a fact of life and there’s no answer.
In attachment-based psychotherapy, we see this often in the avoidant attachment style. And we have a better answer.
Sex is a vulnerable act.
Some of us have trouble opening up emotionally. But when we’re aroused enough, we can push ourselves to a whole new level of vulnerability. And when that’s over, we can rebound hard.
Here are 3 of the most common reasons and solutions.
#1: You don’t actually like your partner, you’re just sexually attracted to them.
When we have insecure attachment styles, we often pick stimulation over safety. Having sex with someone based on sheer chemistry & desire makes sex feel more electric.
After the high of orgasm though, we’re left in bed with someone who we don’t actually have much in common with. Someone we don’t even like.
The problem with this scenario is that no matter how hard you try to avoid it, sex leads to catching feelings.
Do yourself a favor. Let yourself catch feelings towards someone you actually like.
#2: You usually enjoy intense sex, but that’s not what you needed today.
Tantra, Attachment Theory, and the Kama Sutra all agree that there are different styles of sex. Each comes with its own mix of intimacy and stimulation.
One style gets glorified by porn to the extent that it’s become normalized in our culture. A style that’s high on physical stimulation, and low on emotional connection.
If you have an insecure attachment style, your normal in bed is probably this kind of sex. If you value a high level of arousal, your sex might not even feel complete without it.
But even for the most hardcore porn star, this isn’t the only kind of sex they want in their lives. The role of sex is also to connect & share intimacy. And if we fall into this one style of porn-style sex all the time, we rob ourselves of the chance.
Learn to pay attention to when you need to slow down and be close, and how to make sex satisfying that way.
#3. You’re feeling too close to your partner, and it’s starting to scare you.
When we have an insecure attachment style, opening ourselves up to love is scary. Feeling love for our partner can trigger those old childhood traumas.
These fears make us put up our defenses in our daily lives, but when we have sex these walls come tumbling down. Sex can show us how to start being vulnerable with each other. It also shows us if we’ve been holding back in other areas of our relationship.
If you only allow yourself to be close during sex, the reaction after can be like whiplash. Lower the tension by learning how to be vulnerable in other moments outside of sex, and the recoil won’t be as bad.
It might be confusing that the same result comes from feeling too close and not close enough. Only you can figure out which situation you’re in, then start working on it.
Generally the more vulnerable you’re able to be with yourself about what you want emotionally the more this goes away.
If you’d like to read more about how to work on vulnerability, I have another article here.
Wishing you all the best with feeling warmth after sex.