Anatomy/Physiology / evolutionary psychology / Rape / Stress

Sex So Good it Brings a Tear to Your Eye

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happy tears sex with timaree

Question to Sexpert Timaree:

“I’ve had something weird happen a couple times recently. After my fiance and I have had sex, I started crying uncontrollably. It makes no sense! It was great sex! There was no pain. And I’ve never been raped or abused. It freaked me out and so my fiance was really worried. What is going on?”

Let me add to the rollercoaster of emotion that appears to be the trajectory of your life right now by saying: congrats! Your “something weird” is entirely awesome. It’s symptomatic of having wickedly good, emotionally intense banging that’s so great the crowd that is your body gave you a standing ovation.

I get that this sounds weird. Crying tends to be the realm of hurt feelings, broken body parts, hungry babies and graduate students who, in their third year, realize they’ve made a horrible, horrible mistake. It’s a thing that happens when we’re feeling our worst, most awful emotions, plumbing the depths of our murky souls for reasons not to say “fuck it all,” sell our possessions and move to Baja to sell fish tacos on the beach.

But it’s also something we do when we’re feeling ecstatically, stupidly happy. Fan girls bawl like crazed lunatics at the sight of Edward Cullen, parents whimper helplessly as they watch their babies graduate, I still end up with tears streaming down my face every time I watch the JK Wedding Entrance video ‘cause it’s just so damn beautiful.

Granted, some people launch into a post-coital weepfest because of trauma: they are revisiting terrible past experiences or are in physical pain. This, however, is not your situation and you needn’t worry that you’ve sublimated some early memories of an inappropriate piano teacher. Odds are: you’re just fine.

What is causing this though? There are a few ideas, all of which indicate you and your fiance are seriously taking care of business.


Hey, you remember that other time you randomly start crying uncontrollably that happens, oh, about once a month? It’s cause of hormones. Hormones are a real big source of emotional waves. The huge injection of epinephrine, along with oxytocin or vasopressin, floods your system as you orgasm. Nothing like a gargantuan influx of neurochemicals to touch your soul. It brings a tear to my eye now just thinking about it.


When you’re really into the sex, your body gets super geared up for it. But your brain doesn’t know how to differentiate “my fiance is the hottest piece of ass on the fucking planet” from “that bear might well eat me.” It knows what chemicals are pumping through it, that there is tons of vasocongestion (as blood is filling tissue) and muscle tensing, and how to respond to the “trauma” of getting so excited.

Crying is a reflex that is part of the sympathetic nervous system, which is part of the autonomic nervous system, the portion that is entirely out of our control. All that crazy nerve excitation, especially the vagus nerve, and your brain needs to find a release valve for all the pent up steam so it can return to normal.


If you believe in tantra, or soul mates or any number of other spiritual ideas about sexuality, you might appreciate this answer. Some suggest that the banging-induced blubbering is your spirit mourning the loss of the communion with your loved one, now that sex has come to an end. It purports that your very beings were entwined entirely for the time in which you were going at it, and now that you must physically and spiritually separate again, there is a short period of accompanying sadness.

So, as you have surmised, it’s only because you feel so strongly towards this partner whom you want to marry that you have this response. Take it as a compliment.

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