You’re sleeping with someone you really like and it feels amazing. Then, out of nowhere, you burst into tears and you have no idea why. You’re totally happy and the sex was incredible, so why are you crying? This experience is known as “crymaxing,” and while it might seem like something you should worry about, it’s really not. Read on to find out what it is, why it happens, and why it’s totally normal.
What is crymaxing?
“Crymaxing” is a term used to describe the experience of crying during sex or immediately after reaching orgasm. This often happens as a result of intense emotional release and is entirely unintentional. Those who experience it generally feel overwhelmed with an indescribable need to cry but can’t quite explain why.
While some people may find it pleasurable or cathartic, that’s definitely not the case for everyone. In fact, it may be uncomfortable or distressing for some people, especially if they’ve never experienced it before or if their partner reacts negatively. It’s important to prioritize your emotional and physical boundaries and to communicate clearly with your partner about any concerns or preferences.
Generally speaking, crymaxing is nothing to worry about it. It’s also incredibly common. In fact, research has found that roughly half of women have experienced postcoital dysphoria (PCD), or sadness after sex at some point during their lives. According to Well+Good, roughly 5 to 10% of those instances have happened within the past month. Of course, crymaxing doesn’t always come from a place of sadness — it could be happiness or a really great orgasm. Either way, don’t freak out.
Why does it happen?
There is not a lot of scientific research on crymaxing, so it’s not entirely clear why it happens. However, it may be related to the fact that crying and orgasm can both involve intense physical and emotional release. Both activities can activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which is associated with relaxation and a sense of well-being. It’s also possible that the experience of crying may increase arousal in some people, leading to orgasm. However, it’s important to note that everyone’s experience is unique, and there is no “right” or “wrong” way to experience emotions or sexual pleasure.
There’s another possibility to consider. Sex can release high levels of oxytocin and prolactin. Experiencing these bonding hormones in excess can be an intense experience, sometimes leading to shedding a few tears. Good sex can also increase endorphins, just like a good workout. If you’ve ever wanted to cry after finishing a half-marathon, you know how oddly emotional this hardcore physical experience can be. That can just as easily translate to sex, and often does.
Is crying after sex a bad thing?
Definitely not. Sex can be a very emotional experience, and crymaxing can be a natural response to a range of feelings, including joy, sadness, relief, or even physical release. Some people may cry after sex as a way of processing intense emotions, or as a result of hormonal changes that occur during sexual activity. It is important to communicate with your partner about your emotional needs and to create a safe and supportive environment where you can express your feelings without judgment.
However, if crying after sex is accompanied by feelings of discomfort, shame, or distress, it may be helpful to explore these emotions with a therapist or healthcare provider. It goes without saying that crying that results from negative emotions surrounding a sexual experience shouldn’t be ignored. For instance, if you’ve experienced sexual trauma in the past, are having sex against your will, or are otherwise going through a difficult time emotionally, crymaxing can be a result of this. In this instance, talking with a professional is the best option.
Reasons to celebrate crymaxing
Assuming it’s coming from a happy place, shedding a few tears after an incredible orgasm is worth celebrating rather than worrying about. After all, it’s not every day you find a partner who knows how to please you and cares enough to make sure it happens. Experience such an intense sense of connection and pleasure is a wonderful way to connect with a partner. It’s also a wonderful way to celebrate your body and its capabilities. In other words, it’s a gift. Be grateful for it!