Ask A Sex Therapist: Is It Normal For Women To Cry After Having An Orgasm?

by Cay L. Crow

female without clothes on with tussled hair

Dear Cay,

Why do women sometimes cry after having an orgasm? There are times when I have an overwhelming feeling in the pit of my stomach – kind of like homesickness when I was a child – after an orgasm. I have talked with other women who have experienced the same thing. Hope you have an answer.

Thanks,

Anonymous

Women May Cry, Laugh or Pass Out After Orgasm

Dear Anonymous,

Sexual release is a powerful force. Some women express emotion along with orgasm. I have talked with women who cry, laugh, or pass out.

The female orgasm requires a sense of congruence, meaning that the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects of any given woman must usually be aligned for the orgasm to find expression. Orgasm is a vulnerable state, it usually only happens when a woman feels completely aroused, relaxed, and safe. Recent research in the Netherlands indicates that those areas of a woman’s brain responsible for anxiety, fear, and alertness are practically shut down during orgasm. This may explain why it is important for some women (not all) to have an attachment with their sexual partners.

The experience of orgasm requires a woman to let go, allowing the sensations to wash over her without trying to control them. Crying happens in much the same way when someone is overwhelmed by a situation or an emotion. Both crying and orgasm are healthy and necessary expressions of the body and the mind.

Orgasm Releases Many Hormones

So many chemicals are released in the brain and the body at the point of orgasm that it is surprising that everyone does not cry. Here are the primary elements of this orgasmic chemical cocktail.

Endorphins and enkephalins are natural painkillers released in the body during exercise and laughter. Some studies show that regular exercise can alleviate depressive symptoms. Perhaps sex has the same effect? Unfortunately, there has been no research into this area.

Oxytocin, known as “the cuddle drug” is a neurotransmitter released during skin to skin contact such as holding hands, hugging, and other types of affection, thereby aiding in relationship bonding. At the point of orgasm, the body’s oxytocin level peaks. Oxytocin is also released during nursing; helping a new mother’s uterus return to pre-pregnancy condition and ensuring a bond between mother and child.

Vasopressin is another neurotransmitter that plays a role in human bonding; it usually rises during the more stable phase of a relationship.

When someone is madly in love, they usually have low serotonin and are obsessed with the object of their desire. Similarly, low serotonin has been observed in people with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Low serotonin is one of the chemicals responsible for the sexual passion of the early phase of a relationship.

Orgasm provides humans with an enormous blast of dopamine, the “gotta have it” neurotransmitter. Dopamine is usually excessive in individuals suffering from addictions. Just after orgasm, dopamine drops while another substance called prolactin rises. This interaction typically causes humans to lose interest in sex just after a sexual experience.

Norepinephrine is important for subjective arousal and peaks in the frenzied early part of a relationship.

Dr. Helen Fisher is an expert on the biology of love and attraction. She has taken her research on brain chemistry and developed a quiz for individuals to help determine their own personalities and the people they are attracted to. Here is her website: https://theanatomyoflove.com/

CAY L. CROW, LPC, AASECT-CERTIFIED SEX THERAPIST

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