Talk about a comedown.
A clinical psychologist says she’s seeing an uptick in the number of people experiencing feelings of extreme anxiety and sadness after having sex.
Post-coital dysphoria — commonly known as “post-sex blues” — occurs after consensual lovemaking, with many psychologists noting that it is common among survivors of sexual assault.
However, Dr. Lori Beth Bisbey has also seen a slew of patients suffering from PCD who are perplexed as to why they’re flooded by negative feelings since they haven’t had traumatic sexual experiences.
“I suspect that it’s because people have been expecting more from their sexual experiences,” the sex therapist and intimacy coach told The Post. “Many people are expecting a higher level of satisfaction and also expecting intimacy to relieve stress in other areas of their lives.”
Dr. Bisbey says there’s a difference between PCD and a general wave of emotions that can occur at the conclusion of a steamy sex session.
“People can cry or laugh after intense experiences that are pleasurable because the crying or laughing is like the release of air from a pressure valve,” she explained. “This is especially common if the experience was very physically intense — a strong orgasm or multiple orgasms, for example.”
However, chronic PCD can lead to serious issues, including avoidance of intimacy.
If you’re frequently plagued by anxiety and depression following sex, Dr. Bisbey told The Post there are several ways to alleviate the problematic emotions.
“Before having sex, be clear about why you are having it and your choice of partner,” she declared. “If you feel guilt or shame, examine that before having sex — talk about it with your partner, with a friend or with a professional.”
Dr. Bisbey says that many couples use sex in the hopes of trying to resolve other problems — something that could also be causing PCD.
“Don’t expect physical intimacy to resolve problems in a relationship,” she warned. “Physical intimacy increases connection but many problems need discussing and negotiating to be resolved.”
Additionally, the therapist said it’s possible for women that hormonal issues could be causing PCD.
“I had a 52-year-old female client who came to me because she cried every time she had sex with her husband,” Dr. Bisbey recalled. “It had become so bad that she was avoiding sex as a result. Her symptoms started around [the age of] 50, at the same time as she began to experience menopause symptoms.
“Menopause symptoms also had a negative impact on her sex life. It took some months of work to untangle the physical symptoms from the emotional ones and deal with the emotional issues so that she was able to look forward to having sex again,” Bisbey said.
This article was originally posted by The New York Post.