Blog dedicated primarily to randomly selected news items; comments reflecting personal perceptions

Friday, August 03, 2018

Post Sex What?!

"These assumptions are pervasive within masculine subculture and include that males always desire and experience sex as pleasurable."
"The experience of PCD [post-coital dysphoria] contradicts these dominant cultural assumptions about the male experience of sexual activity."
"Previous studies on the PCD experience of females showed 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 down to biological and psychological factors."
Robert Schweitzer, School of Psychology and Counselling, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane
A couple sitting in bed and looking upset after having a disagreement 
Men can feel depressed or argumentative after sex too Credit: Digital Vision/People Images

Who knew? I mean really, who might have imagined it! But there it is, a recently revealed phenomenon informing us anew of just how complex the human condition is that runaway emotions we might hardly anticipate would rise to disturb our sense of complacent well-being at a time when our psyches should be revelling in relaxed leisure of escaped tension, and instead plunge us into a despairing emotion of unsettled disquietude...

Anyone who has never experienced 'post-sex blues' can be excused, however, for not being aware that such a syndrome even exists, for it seems improbable and puzzling indeed. But a new stidu published in the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy through research work done by a team from the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia certainly gives the touch of scientific respectability to something that might otherwise pose as an urban legend.

The Brisbane researchers surveyed over 1,200 men from Britain, Australia, the United States, Russia and New Zealand, a fairly good cross-section of nation-representatives to conclude that 41 percent of the men in the study asserted their experience of the condition at some time during their sex-active lives. A number that came in a mere five percent less than among women.

Women admit to feeling weepy, irritable and needing to be comforted when post-coital dysphoria occurs to them, a condition that typically lasts in a time range between five minutes to two hours, a reaction always assumed applied to women only, never men. In fact, according to this recently published study, one in five men  stated the symptoms had struck them within the previous month.

The feeling experienced by a number of the study subjects ranged between "emotionless and empty", to "unsatisfied, annoyed and fidgety". Emotions that seem on the surface more suited to women expressing after-sex feelings, than one might associate with men. But then, that is the whole point of the conclusions reached by the study -- a shared emotional experience of disappointment regardless the gender.

Some of the male respondents recounted the experience of feeling emotionally detached, even to the point of recoiling at the touch of a sex partner, post-sex.

It is an evident fallacy, the belief that men always enjoy sex; a popular assumption that hinders men from admitting that sex can leave them depressed, and argumentative. According to the reasoning of some researchers, the phenomenon occurs when feel-good hormones start to diminish in the wake of orgasm. Still other researchers feel the cascade of hormones resulting from orgasm triggers post-coital headaches.

Hearing of the condition some might leap to the conclusion that guilt can be involved relating to one-night-stands of casual sex, which at one time was ascribed to women's after-reactions. But it may, according to some psychologists be linked to cultural assumptions of shame or guilt about having sex. Seemingly negated, however, by the new research finding that long-term sex partners and married couples are not immune to "post-sex blues", in fact.

A 2011 Australian study quoted a third of women interviewed stating -- including among those with loving relationships -- that depression set in even after satisfying sex.

About 41 percent of men had experienced PCD in their lifetime. Picture:

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