Instead of the usual la petite mort and falling asleep, or basking in post-coital bliss, some men may be feeling sad, irritable and even a little tearful after sex.
Researchers from Australia, whose study was published in the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, says that this is a condition known as Postcoital Dysphoria (PCD). The team from Queensland University of Technology (QUT) conducted this world-first study and surveyed men from Australia, the US, the UK, Russia, New Zealand and Germany.
The result is in. This isn’t an uncommon condition – 41% of those surveyed reported experiencing PCD at some point in their lives and of those 20% say they’ve had sad post-coital blues as recently as four weeks ago. Three to four percent suffered from PCD on a regular basis.
The study’s co-author Joel Maczkowiack says that the comments they got from the men ranged from, “I don’t want to be touched and want to be left alone” to “I feel unsatisfied, annoyed and very fidgety. All I really want is to leave and distract myself from everything I participated in.”
Another described feeling “emotionless and empty” in contrast to the men who experienced the post-coital experience positively, and used descriptors such as a “feeling of well-being, satisfaction, contentment” and “closeness to their partner,” Maczkowiack says.
Although PCD has been recognised in women, no studies have previously identified the condition among men.
This may mean that men’s sexual experiences may be more complex than what is commonly thought, or portrayed in movies. Co-author Professor Robert Schweitzer certainly thinks so. “The experience of the resolution phase remains a bit of a mystery and is therefore poorly understood,” says the professor. “It is commonly believed that males and females experience a range of positive emotions including contentment and relaxation immediately following consensual sexual activity,” he adds.
“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.”
Needless to say, having PCD can be problematic for the relationship, but there may be ways to avoid this.
“It has, for example, been established that couples who engage in talking, kissing, and cuddling following sexual activity report greater sexual and relationship satisfaction, demonstrating that the resolution phase is important for bonding and intimacy,” says Maczkowiack.
“So the negative affective state which defines PCD has potential to cause distress to the individual, as well as the partner, disrupt important relationship processes, and contribute to distress and conflict within the relationship, and impact upon sexual and relationship functioning.”
Source: AFP Relaxnews