Navigating intimacy and post-coital dysphoria

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Navigating intimacy and post-coital dysphoria

I have been weeping during the bathtub over the past half-hour. The bathtub is bone dry, nevertheless the sink is actually operating in desire to stop my sobs from driving through the paper-thin walls and into the bedroom next door. I’m completely naked, covered in a stranger’s semen. A knock on door causes us to raise my mind, that has been buried inside the thief of my shoulder. It’s him. The guy requires if all things are okay and just why i am using so long, and that I make sure he understands exactly the same thing I advised all guys I slept with: “i am okay.”

My personal face are damp with tears when I arise from bathroom and meet him for the hallway. The guy starts apologising, rubs my personal shoulder for a while, and I reassure him that it is not his fault, the sex was fantastic – satisfying, also.

It’s the feeling of devastation I have after that i am annoyed about.


or many, sex can be regarded as a romantic and exclusive work. For other people, it really is a spontaneous one-night fling, if not a scandalous taboo. However when sex crosses my personal brain, fear swells in my own tummy. Where other individuals may find arousal, from my own personal encounters, I have found an introverted light illuminates the dark, extremely strung corners of my personal ideas. Also the notion of sex is actually an uncomfortable affair.

Just before learning PCD (post-coital dysphoria), and finding out it wasn’t unusual, I experienced harboured an evergrowing concern with getting the sole individual on the planet just who cried after participating in intercourse. It was a similar sensation to when my sexuality arrived to question as a preteen; loneliness, distress and a feeling of curiosity fuelled my stress. Just like arriving at conditions with being an LGBTQ individual from inside the tiny neighborhood of Tasmania, i did not know of others who’d experienced apparent symptoms of PCD, and so, I felt that post-coital dysphoria had been a defect, some thing I yearned to distance myself personally from. Now, I’m learning how to handle coping with this usual, and frequently misinterpreted, problem.


CD is an intricate idea to determine. Some medical researchers, including Dr. Robert Schweitzer, claim that PCD is a result of “experiencing low levels of dopamine after intercourse,” but most factors are theoretical. For a long period, it had been considered that women happened to be really the only people that practiced post-coital dysphoria, until a
recent research
revealed that out-of 1,207 males who were questioned, 41 % had skilled depressive periods after coitus.

PCD is normal amongst homosexual men, specifically those who are closeted, but because of a lack of study, those who feel PCD consider downsides like self-hate or fault, and as a result are at danger of creating further mental health problems inside their life time.

Seldom a vocal subject, PCD splits intimate intimacy from mental bravery. Initially we experienced a depressive episode after sex, I happened to be 15. I would met with a guy from

craigslist pocatello,

who I’d spoke to for a couple days. We might planned to fuck at the back of their ute: the type of event that I very rarely pursued, particularly with earlier males. Once we had done, I thought ashamed, filthy, unused and entirely unsatisfied, and I wondered the reason why. I believed that the things I had been having ended up being a result of the act being in the general public world, until i came across the history and interest in ‘cruising’. Every thing we browse or saw on public rendezvous, the way it ended up being internationally recognized, verified these emotions had been more than simply spatially-influenced.

We registered a connection in the summertime of 2017. Sex was not essential until my personal companion wanted to remain instantaneously for my birthday celebration. After pondering the concept for some hrs, included upwards in bed watching


, I decided, but opted for not to ever recognize how I’d feel afterwards. I was thinking that, because I happened to be crazy, also because I’d known my partner for way too long, I’d feel great – until a wave of despair tore myself by 50 percent.

When the union finished, we resorted to trying to fix my personal post-breakup blues with a spontaneous late-night hook-up: something i’d completely feel dissapointed about afterwards. The experience by yourself of attempting to enjoy, to feel great, but in fact feeling the complete opposite, added to the numbness during my abdomen.

Artist and lecturer at RMIT college, Drew Pettifer, introduced us to ‘La Petite Mort’, a notion he discovered thematically and metaphorically gorgeous within his own photos. Meaning ‘The tiny Death’, it makes reference to an orgasm. Labelling it these types of resonated making use of thoughts I have been experiencing after having sex: the emotionally-paralysing connection with post-coital dysphoria, related to the toe-curling experience with an almost-paralysing orgasm.


hese times, I really don’t hook-up with odd guys from the web. I turn rather to searching for relationships, to prospects I am able to confide in, exactly who recognize both my sex and post-coital dysphoria in the same platonic relationship.

Though when I are finding, similar to being LGBTQ, whoever has a hard time understanding the technicians of PCD, turn to attacking the existence of the situation. Online, the public label PCD as “absurd,” “fraudulent,” “emotional baggage” or, “inexcusable.” Other individuals believe PCD is caused by participating in non-monogamous interactions, inexperience or naivety, or determines the credibility of your maleness – none of which tend to be necessarily genuine.

Post-coital despair is not only due to sexuality: really an understated battle a large number of people face freely or in today’s world, irrespective of gender identification or sexual direction. People who have trouble with PCD should-be applauded, just as much as they should always be comforted. Empathetic reassurance is an important step up conditioning personal and intimate connections, reducing suicide prices, and dismantling social stereotypes.

In my opinion, PCD is simply as compromising as intercourse itself; a mentally agonizing discussion between mind and body; a ‘death’ of closeness which I are unable to help but grieve for.

Jack Samuel is a non-identifying, Arts-studying college student located in Hobart, Tasmania, which produces on identity, sexuality and society. He could be excited about real human rights, loose-leaf beverage, and making reasons not to embark on vacations.

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