An Australian study called Postcoital Dysphoria: Prevalence and Correlates among Males recently delved into the uncharted territory of men's mind and body after sex.
The study found that four in ten men have suffered post coital dysphoria. Symptoms of post-sex blues can be described as tearfulness, sadness or irritability following sex.
The need for understanding post-sex blues is emphasised by the way men are often portrayed post sex in film. We can imagine the stereotype of the smug confident man laying back with his hands behind his head, looking upon a bedroom like it's a tropical ocean. It would be a bit off piece if the ever-slick James Bond was reduced to a sniffling ball before he had to leave the next morning to save the world.
The eternally composed agent 007. Image Source: livejournal.com
The findings contradict a very much Western based "masculine sub-culture" that thinks men always find all aspects of sex pleasurable.
The study was formed from an anonymous online survey of 1208 men from 78 countries including Australia, the UK, the US and Russia.
Participants describe postcoital dysphoria as a feeling of not wanting to be touched and to be left alone.
"I feel unsatisfied, annoyed and very fidgety," "emotionless and empty."
The sexual response cycle is made up of four parts: excitement, plateau, orgasm and resolution. The resolution phase is the least understood, as past study has focused on the first three phrases.
Postcoital dysphoria is more common than you think, with 41% of participants reporting they'd experienced it in their life, 20% revealing they'd gone through the phase in the last month.
Considering post-sex care is so important, better understanding of symptoms is vital to better sexual relationships in the future!
Masters student Joel Maczkowiack from QUT's school of psychology commented that "we would speculate that the reasons are multifactorial, including both biological and psychological factors."
All we can say for now is that post-sex communication is key. Cuddles may not be always what your partner wants. If someone unexpectedly resists your touch after sex, don't take it personally or jump to conclusions. Asking how they're feeling or how they'd like to be comforted can help in guiding them through the resolution phase of sex.