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Here's Why You Sometimes Cry After Sex

We asked an expert about post-orgasm waterworks.

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Welcome to the new BuzzFeed Sex Q&A where you can ask us your awkward, confusing, gross, embarrassing, or thought-provoking questions, and we'll provide answers from leading sexual health experts. Have a question about sex or sexual health? Send it to sexQs@buzzfeed.com.

This week's question:

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Q: I occasionally have sex (intercourse) with my loving, supportive boyfriend of four years. However, oftentimes post-orgasm I feel very emotional and often tear up or cry for no apparent reason. Is this normal? Am I just emotionally screwed up? Is there anything I can do to fix this?

—Sad Sex

Hi, Sad Sex, and thanks so much for sending along your question. To help answer it, we spoke with sex researcher Debby Herbenick, Ph.D., author of Because It Feels Good and associate professor at Indiana University's School of Public Health. Here's what she had to say:

There's definitely nothing wrong with you! And actually, this isn't that uncommon.

MTV / Via realitytvgifs.tumblr.com

"This is something we're all aware happens," says Herbenick. But unfortunately, there's no good research on why it happens. We can't really explain why some people cry and others don't, or why it only happens to people every once in a while. "Just like we don't know why people cry when they see a cute puppy commercial," says Herbenick. Some experts blame it on the hormones released at orgasm, but that doesn't really explain why it only happens occasionally and only to certain people.

There's so much happening in your mind and body during orgasm that it's not really shocking to experience a big emotional release like this.

With everything that goes on in your brain during orgasm, it's hard to pinpoint one thing that might cause you to tear up after sex for no apparent reason. Your muscles have been tense and now they're relaxed, your heart rate was beating fast and now it's slower, your breathing was rapid and now it's gone down, and you're releasing a lot of different hormones, explains Herbenick. So when you look at everything going on before that big release, it makes sense that you might feel overcome with emotion and even shed a few tears.
E! / Via atmosphree.tumblr.com

With everything that goes on in your brain during orgasm, it's hard to pinpoint one thing that might cause you to tear up after sex for no apparent reason. Your muscles have been tense and now they're relaxed, your heart rate was beating fast and now it's slower, your breathing was rapid and now it's gone down, and you're releasing a lot of different hormones, explains Herbenick. So when you look at everything going on before that big release, it makes sense that you might feel overcome with emotion and even shed a few tears.

So, yes, it's totally normal. And you don't need to do anything to "fix" it.

DreamWorks / Via velvetlustx.tumblr.com

Lots of people experience this (men and women), and it's usually no big deal, says Herbenick. In fact, she often hears about it happening in a deeply connected, emotionally close partnership as you described above. So if everything is going great in your relationship and you genuinely feel as if you're crying for no real reason at all, don't worry about it. Let yourself feel a little emotional post-orgasm, and assure your partner that you're not actually upset.

Of course, if you have a hunch that you might be emotional post-sex for another reason (like that you feel conflicted in some way, that you're not totally happy or fulfilled with the relationship, or that you don't actually feel safe and secure in this situation), make sure to pay attention to those feelings and talk to someone about them (like a friend, family member, or therapist).

But more often than not, this is just a flood of happy emotions post-sex. Completely normal and nothing to worry about!

Do you have a question you want answered by our sex experts? Email us at sexQs@buzzfeed.com.

ALSO, the more details you give, the better answers you'll get. Judgment-free zone! Feel free to sign it however you want (first name, alias, anonymous, some kind of descriptive sign-off, whatever), and we'll reach out if we end up answering your question. Check out some of the questions we've already answered:

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