It happens – more often than you may think. Maybe openly, maybe secretly, you find yourself choking up while having sex. Your most likely reaction: “Why am I crying?” So, why are you crying? Sex crying, experts say, can occur with or without an orgasm (when there can be a rush of emotionreleasing hormones), but either way, we shouldn’t jump to conclusions about what the tears mean.
“We have a tendency to decide that a thing our body is doing must mean something important,” explains Dr Nagoski. “As in, ‘This person I’m with must be important to me.’”
That may be true, as Tiffany Fox, 39, found when she analysed the times when she burst into tears after sex. “I have to feel a special bond – the tears are often a reaction to feeling deeply loved,” she says. “It happens without warning. Just: oh, oh… bam! I’m blubbering all over my naked self.”
But sex crying is likely sparked by a jumble of emotions, not just how you feel about the person that you’re with. Pleasure relaxes us; our defences fall away and feelings bubble up, including ones we’re not consciously tuned in to, from anxiety over work to relief at your mom’s negative mammogram results.
Whatever the mix, tears are the overflow. What to do? Dr Nagoski advises a no-panic, nonjudgemental approach: say to yourself, “OK, this is what’s happening right now.” Don’t try to stop the tears or interpret them; so no concluding, “OMG, they must be The One.”
Your own calm, rational acceptance of your tears can also reassure your partner. “I’ve been really lucky that my partners have always reacted with tenderness and humour,” says Tiffany. “I’m sure it’s an ego boost, too: ‘Dude, I made her cry it was so good.’ And sometimes, it really was that good!”