1/10 of Women Depressed After Sex
One-third of women have felt depressed after sex, and 10% regularly do.
It’s not about feeling down after a one night stand, worried you’ve made a mistake. Many of the women were in stable relationships. One explained:
I did not associate the feeling with an absence of love or affection for my sexual partner nor with an absence of love or affection from them towards me, because it seemed so unconnected with them.
I thought of this study as I read a blog post from “Overcoming Depression,” by a man who struggles with this same issue:
A passionate love making is one of the most enriching experience of one’s life. Let me tell you one difficulty that I sometimes face in love making. If I did not get enough satisfaction after sex I become very sad and I feel very ‘low’ and slightly depressed. I don’t like it happening to me. It makes my girl-friend feel bad as well by thinking that it is her fault. I don’t know how to tackle this issue. Any suggestions?
This is a hard one because even the researchers don’t know.
The problem is common among women who have been sexually abused or grown up in sex-shaming religions of families. They often feel guilty or frustrated afterward.
But that was not so for everyone in the study.
Depression may arise from issues outside the bedroom. Researcher, Dr. Debby Herbenick suggests talking with your partner, your doctor or seeing a therapist. Ask yourself, “Are you upset with your partner? Are you having self-esteem or body issues? Are you sad about other things in your life?”
Below are some reader comments from Clutch, where I first read about this study:
- I would imagine that women my age at least (over 40) may still have some guilt tied up with sex. Growing up in the 60′s and being browbeaten, threatened and dared to “keep your dress down and your panties up,” by the time many women did get some, they felt too guilty about it to enjoy it. And then these women raised their daughters this same way as they were raised, which would explain younger women suffering from the same emotional malady. We pass along a lot of twisted notions to our kids sometimes, even when we know it’s not right.
- I had that problem in the past but for some reason, it hasn’t occurred in a very long time. I have also experienced extreme agitation and anger, but um, I’m sure that was due to not being satisfied.
- i get irritable when i don’t have an orgasm. this is why i believe in using a magic wand. go get one – around $35. best money you will ever spend.
In cultures that are sex-positive, women enjoy sex a great deal and are highly orgasmic. Something is terribly wrong in our society when one-third of American women have experienced sadness or anxiety after sex.
Otherwise, I’d suggest focusing on the connection, on the merging with each other, rather than the goal of an amazing orgasm.
Hmm…after making love, I’ve felt sad and low at times too. But I think the solution to this is to focus on the full body experience and not focus on the goal, but on the exploration of the other person.
How much do you incorporate sensory play? A lot of people whose sex lives become too boring will improve with incorporating different sensations – ice cubes, feathers, soft fabrics. If your partner is willing, she might even go for a little bit of wicked fun.
…For men, there is also a trick you can try to prolong and enhance your personal experience. If they can learn to practice coming to the edge of ‘completion’, backing off from it and focus on her, coming back to that place, and backing away from it, it extends the duration and the intensity when you finally do find release.
If anyone finds any of this helpful, let me know.