It is just a stereotype that it's all just sexual and not emotional when it comes to men. In fact, they too need emotional validation after an intimate act.
According to traditional gender norms, women are generally pretty emotional about sex. Popular belief suggests that women tend to get attached easily to the people they sleep with. Women are also said to sometimes feel sad or otherwise negative complicated emotions after any sort of sexual activity. This is apparently why women do not like to just have casual flings and prefer creating a bond with a person before jumping into bed with them. The stereotype even mentions that men love having sex and are always overjoyed when they get. It even suggests that men usually just happily fall asleep after the act, filled with content. However, this isn't entirely true. It's just a stupid stereotype that exists. Like any other stereotype that goes around, this one doesn't have any concrete proof to back it up either. Men, do feel very emotional about sex too. They like cuddling after sex and not all men want to fall asleep or walk away from it all reports MindBodyGreen.
These stereotypes are pretty harmful if you think about it. People tend to believe that this is how things are supposed to be. For all those who fall outside of these expectations, they can be left feeling odd or even ashamed. However, there are plenty of researches done on this topic and they all suggest that the belief is false and women can enjoy casual sex too. A recent study that was published in the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy shows that men can feel very emotional after sex. They sometimes even feel sad after the act.
The research was conducted on over 1,200 men (most of whom were straight) and the results showed that 41 percent of them had experienced post-coital blues in their life. Reportedly, about 3 percent of them even feel it on a regular basis. 4 percent of the men said that they tend to feel negative or complicated emotions every time they have sex. The term used for this negative or complicated emotion that is experienced after sex is known as Post-coital dysphoria (PCD). It can be a very confusing experience, especially if it occurs after an orgasm. This is because it feels like you're responding to something enjoyable and physically pleasurable in a negative way—and you don't really know why.
"There is still much to be discovered about why some people experience post-coital dysphoria and others don't," clinical sexologist and psychotherapist Kristie Overstreet, Ph.D., said in an interview with MindBodyGreen. "There isn't a definitive answer for why some do or do not experience this dysphoria. It isn't necessarily linked to the quality of sex, your relationship, or your personality. Many people who are in a happy, supportive, and loving relationship experience post-coital dysphoria." The survey even studied if the men had been through or were currently experiencing any psychological distress.
The survey studied if the men had experienced any abuse in the past or any dysfunction. All of this plays a big role in PCD. Prior to this study, PCD was often studied only in women. The recent study shows that PCD is fairly common in men as well. It is seen almost equally in both genders. "Post-coital dysphoria may take form in different ways than sadness or distress," Dr. Overstreet says. "It can also be feelings of anger and frustration, which is often the way men show what they are feeling." This doesn't mean that it is unusual or unusual for men to cry after sex.
Some of the men described their feelings after sex to the researchers. They said, "Hard to quantify but after sexual activity, I get a strong sense of self-loathing about myself; usually, I'll distract myself by going to sleep or going and doing something else or occasionally lying in silence until it goes away." Some even mentioned that they felt a lot of shame after. One of them said, "I usually have crying fits and full-on depressive episodes follow[ing] coitus that leaves my significant other worried, and every once in a while she has crying spells after the act, but hers are rarer. Because I typically don't want my partner worried, however, sometimes I hold in the sadness for hours until she leaves as we do not live together, and I sometimes have negative feelings, which are difficult to describe."
"In Western cultures, males face a range of expectations and assumptions about their preferences, performance, and experience of sexual activity," the researchers explain in the paper. "All sexual activity is commonly believed to be accompanied by a sense of accomplishment, achievement, and invariably followed by a positive emotional experience and a general sense of well-being. The experience of PCD is counterintuitive, as it contradicts these dominant cultural assumptions about the male experience of sexual activity." Researchers even mentioned that it was important for men's emotions to be validated.
"Men are often taught that they aren't supposed to show or experience emotions," Dr. Overstreet says. "This stigma causes many to shut down and avoid how they are feeling versus sharing it with their partner. This can lead [them] to think that something is wrong with them or that they are weak for experiencing post-coital dysphoria." Vanessa Marin, a psychotherapist specializing in sex therapy called these stereotypes of men being unemotional and obsessed with sex "outdated and harmful".
"We do have stereotypes that men are less emotional than women, so that makes it a lot harder for men to admit that they're feeling emotional at all, much less feeling emotional after sex," Marin explains. "We have stereotypes that men are supposed to be obsessed with sex, so the idea that a man could feel anything other than pure physical satisfaction after sex seems foreign to a lot of people. It makes a lot of men with PCD feel ashamed and embarrassed."
The truth is that everybody regardless of gender is likely to experience PCD at least once in their lifetime. Researchers suggest that if you are experiencing PCD, it is best to be gentle with yourself and process your emotions. There is nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed about. People should not pretend as though their emotions do not exist, instead, they should confront them. Opening up about such feelings to your partner is a healthy way to go about it. This way, they do not unintentionally exacerbate the situation.