Study: 4 in 10 men have experienced ‘inexplicable sadness’ after sex

QUEENSLAND, Australia — Having sex may feel like a badge of honor for many men, but for others, it’s an act that, once finished, brings about intense feelings of sadness. In a new study, researchers for the first time ever have identified that women aren’t the only ones who can suffer from this emotional tidal wave in the bedroom, better known as post coital dysphoria, or PCD.

PCD occurs when a person has, for all intents and purposes, enjoyable consensual sex with a partner, but is met with “inexplicable feelings of tearfulness, sadness, or irritability” afterwards.

Couple in bed
A world-first study by QUT researchers concludes men can and do suffer from postcoital dysphoria (PCD) which results in feelings of sadness, tearfulness or irritability following sex. (Photo credit: QUT Marketing & Communication)

Researchers from the Queensland University of Technology say PCD had only previously been recognized in women, but after a survey of 1,208 men from numerous countries — including the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, and Russia — it’s clear that the condition is more common among males than one might expect. In fact, four in 10 participants recalled suffering from PCD symptoms at some point in their lives.

“Forty-one percent of the participants reported experiencing PCD in their lifetime with 20 percent reporting they had experienced it in the previous four weeks,” says co-author Joel Maczkowiack, a masters student at the university’s school of psychology, in a release.

As many as 4 percent of the individuals, who voluntarily participated in the online questionnaire via postings on social media and psychological research websites, said they battle PCD symptoms regularly. Men acknowledged that statements such as “I don’t want to be touched and want to be left alone,” or “I feel unsatisfied, annoyed and very fidgety. All I really want is to leave and distract myself from everything I participated in,” applied to them when thinking about times they’d made love. Others described feeling “emotionless and empty” even though the sex was otherwise satisfactory.

“It is commonly believed that males and females experience a range of positive emotions including contentment and relaxation immediately following consensual sexual activity,” says co-author Robert Schweitzer, a professor at the university.

Schweitzer says that research has shown that couples that continue engaging in acts of intimacy after sex, such as talking, kissing, or cuddling, feel more satisfied in their relationships and strengthen the bond they share. Conversely, the emotional rollercoaster that comes with PCD could magnify any conflict in a relationship and wind up causing a bond between two people to break even further.

“The first three phases of the human sexual response cycle – excitement, plateau, and orgasm – have been the focus of the majority of research to date,” Professor Schweitzer said. “Yet previous studies on the PCD experience of females showed that a similar proportion of females had experienced PCD on a regular basis. As with the men in this new study, it is not well understood. We would speculate that the reasons are multifactorial, including both biological and psychological factors.”

The authors say the findings show sexual experiences for men could be more diverse than believed, and are important for clinicians to consider when working with men who may experience such symptoms.

The full study was published July 24, 2018 in the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy.

Comments

  1. Is this really a poll about single men or married men? Not only that, it’s a study from Australia. Give me a break. Headline grabbing garbage. I would say it’s fake news, but pinch sulzberger, from the new york times, asked that his fake news not be confused with other fake news. Seems there is a lot of competition among fake news outlets. Ho hum.

  2. Well, DUH.. If it’s just sex for “sex” then the meaninglessness is going to cause a vacant sadness…DUH
    .

  3. It’s more than 2 in 5 if one in five reported it on the last month.
    It means you probably didn’t wanted to have sex but pushed yourself through it anyway, or it means you have bottled up chronic depression.
    You know the “I don’t want it right now but I can’t waste the opportunity”?
    That’s a recipe for this.
    And then there’s bottled up depression, orgasms can be great uninhibitors, so can intimacy, considering the under diagnose of men when it comes to depression this should be great contributor.

  4. I’ve seen Australian women and God knows heard them… I’m surprised the number is so low.

  5. Well hell, you’re sad because it’s over and you don’t when you’ll be getting some more. Could be a long, long time if you’re married to my wife.

  6. The 4 in 10 just realized they opened themselves up to “rape” and “sexual harassment” accusations 30 years in the future.

  7. That’s because the men suddenly realize that as soon as you stick your willy in them, they think they own you. And sometimes, they do.

  8. Not inexplicable. It’s just a come down from all the dopamine and good stuff your brain releases during the act.

    The other 6/10 just fall asleep.

  9. Yes, that is pretty much the proverbial nail on the head. You realize that you are locked in a relationship with virtually to escape. If you say how you really feel, are you prepared to fall on your sword or do you let the sword above your head fall. You have sex because it is your duty to have sex. No real motivation to go have sex because you feel horny. Trapped in a real hell. You might even be blaming yourself as you could be in a prison of your own creation. You should have walked away when you had numerous opportunities, but you were trying to prove something and the only thing which you proved was that you were after a reflection instead of the real deal. The reflection is there to haunt you day and day out.

  10. Too much plastic in the food supply. Men are becoming weak and emotional. It is that or the survey included a disproportionate number of liberals.

  11. That’s because shelling out that $500 (or $20) as the case may be, really sucks! Buyer’s remorse don’tcha know.

  12. It is not a shock. The reality is that 4 in 10 men find out that it took them less than 60 seconds to figure out that they are not in fact, as good as the porn star they thought they were……lol

  13. It’s probably that the men realized that they were blinded by the desire for sex and after the fact realize they did it with a whale.

  14. Fact is, women aren’t worth it today.

    Where have all the good women gone?
    Most today are just shills. No thanks.

  15. likely a result of realizing that the 5 second orgasm totally wasn’t worth the effort put in to achieve it..

    hoodwinked by the person’s inability to say “NO” to their lizard brain self..

  16. This happens to me every time I’ve had sex . it’s a feeling of guilt or depression that lasts about 10 ,minutes then goes away, strange…

    1. Friends? They were my little clones and I just them off into dank smelly darkness to die! Better than death by sock, wait? What?

  17. Soy boy cucks who are most likely MILLENNIALS is what the headline should read. Liberal men are beta male losers who listen to feminist and think everything they do is bad to women.

  18. “I don’t want to be touched and want to be left alone”

    Interpreting that as sadness is pseudoscience at its abominable worst. Typical case of arbitrary metrics leading to confirmation bias.

  19. I view the opposite sex from a distance these days , i just cannot tolerate cuddling . I don’t have to deal with screaming in my ear due to PMS or just getting mauled for no reason whatsoever. I also get to take the garbage out whenever i damn well feel like taking it out .

    A true worry and stress free life.

  20. I used to experience guilt and sadness after sex when, as a single man, I had sex with women I did not love. As a married man, I feel wonderful after making love with my wife.

  21. I must be one of the 6 in 10 who are satisfied and extremely happy after sex. Maybe it is because the worst sex I ever had was fantastic.

  22. 4 in 10 men have been married 20+ years, and this was their annual romp, and, you know…meh.
    For me, I get immediately tired, roll over and snore.

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