Why do I keep crying during sex?

It’s not that uncommon

Rosie randomly burst into tears when she was having sex with her long-term boyfriend. Nothing was wrong and she couldn't really explain what was going on. They tried again – she cried again. Then it kept happening every time, to the point where it scared her off having sex at all. Rosie and her boyfriend split up a few months later. It took her a while to understand where that pain was coming from, but eventually she realised she was dealing with past sexual trauma when crying during sex.

Turns out sex isn't always sunshine and flowers. Some people find themselves crying during sex and then questioning whether they're normal or if something's seriously gone wrong. Those thoughts can spiral into confusion and self-hatred. After all, you don't hear people talking openly the last time they cried during sex. But crying during sex doesn't always mean you're dealing with trauma, for some it can be from happy emotions too.

So is it normal to cry during sex? Turns out it's not that uncommon.

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Tara says she's cried twice during sex. "The first time I cried a little bit because I had nice sex. The second time was after my boyfriend cheated on me and I cried after because it wasn't the same but I made him carry on anyway."

While Naomi cried because of trauma. She told me: "It was my first time feeling safe and comfortable in a loving relationship and I just had a breakdown about that and past trauma that was unresolved."

Anna, a student, said: "I cried because I get super anxious that people are only with me for sex because of my ex. And I just get super anxious and start crying.

Why do people cry during sex?

Some experts blame it on the hormones released during an orgasm, but Sex Researcher Debby Herbenick, doesn't think that explains why it only happens occasionally and only to certain people.

She told BuzzFeed: "Lots of people experience this and it's usually no big deal. 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."

Though if you have a feeling it's for another reason and feel conflicted in some way, she recommends paying attention to those feelings and talking to someone about them – like a friend or a therapist.

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What does it mean if you cry during sex?

There are so many reasons people cry during sex. Here are the main ones:

The sex hurts

Sometimes people cry if the sex hurts for them, they should probably stop until it becomes more comfortable.

They're happy tears

The act of sex can be so emotionally intense, it can make you extremely happy and you'll end up crying. Explain to your partner they're not hurting you, otherwise they might think they've upset you.

There is past trauma

You may feel confused, ashamed or afraid after having experienced previous sexual trauma. Definitely seek help if this is the case.

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You're simply overwhelmed

There might just be too much going on in your life at the moment and this feeling will be intensified during sex.

It's your hormones

When you orgasm, your body releases oxytocin which will make everything feel more intense. This is one of the reasons you may have the urge to cry during or after sex.

How to deal with crying during sex

If you start crying during sex and don't know why, ask your partner to stop and recollect your feelings. Take a few deep breaths and judge how you're feeling. Try to understand what those tears might mean and what you need to do to make yourself feel better right now.

If it's an issue that persists and is making you feel unhappy, reach out and speak to someone else about it.

All names have been changed in this article for the anonymity of the women mentioned in this article.

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