“Postcoital Dysphoria” (PCD), or “post‐sex blues”

“Postcoital Dysphoria” (PCD), or “post‐sex blues”

Over the years, as a male, I have, on rare occasions, experienced the feelings of depression following masturbation. Thankfully, these rare occasions have been transitory often lasting only for a few minutes, but on some occasions, a few hours.

I have often tried to analyse the cause of these bouts of depression and considered whether latent repressive feelings of guilt; some neurochemical release; or some underlying psychological conditioning were the cause.

I’ve just finished reading two research papers on “Postcoital Dysphoria” (PCD), or “post‐sex blues” in women and wondered whether this could also be a psychological symptom suffered in the male population following sexual intercourse (or post masturbation).

PCD is the experience of negative effects which are often characterized by a sense of melancholy or depression, tearfulness, anxiety, agitation, or aggression following sexual intercourse.

I was surprised at just how little attention has been given to the physiological or emotional condition (PCD) occurs post‐coitally especially when I learned that the results, from the sampling of two hundred and thirty female university students who completed an online survey, showed that:

• 46% of respondents reported experiencing PCD symptoms at least once in their lifetime; and
• 5.1% experiencing PCD symptoms a few times within the past 4 weeks
A separate study, investigated the experience of PCD’s psychological symptoms such as irritability and motiveless crying after sexual intercourse and/or orgasm in a sample of 1,489 female twins in the United Kingdom.

The results of this study showed:
• 7.7% of women sampled reported experiencing these PCD symptoms persistently and;
• 3.7% of women reporting recent experiences of these symptoms.
Whilst recent research has focussed on PCD amongst the female population, I am unaware of any similar research into PCD within the male population.

To this end, I was wondering whether some (or all) of these psychological symptoms are the;
• post-masturbation; and/or
• post-coital

experiences of Forum members.

Have any Forum members suffered from PCD-like symptoms after sexual intercourse, or masturbation?


Interesting. My answer would be no BUT I often feel very emotional and needing of physical contact (reassurance) after we have had anal sex.
It doesn’t hurt, Im never pressured into it, I very much want and enjoy it but often feel really vulnerable after.
I also get jelly legs after (not sure if its related).


Very interesting @Himeros1. I’ll be following this to see what others experiences are. Do the papers discuss the possible causes of this? It is particularly interesting that the papers only discuss the experiences of women, I wonder if there is a reason for this? I can’t see any reason why it should be only limited to women unless it is hormone related but i would imagine that there could be numerous reasons from hormonal to psychological reasons.

I am female and experience this most of the time after masturbating and sometimes after sex with my husband although thankfully not all the time. I’m not sure if there is a psychological reason why I feel this way more after masturbation than sex or it might be simply that i mastubate far more frequently than I have sex!

Are you aware of any negative experiences or negative attitudes whilst you were growing up that may have contributed to your feelings? I find that having close physical contact, particularly resting my head on his chest after sex helps.


Wow guys and gals this is something ive never herd of PCD but very intresting to read your posts.they aways say eveyday is a school day think im going to have a good read up on this subject :heart::heart:


Seems like you’ve done a great amount of research into this and I totally agree in it can be on a similar level for men too.

As usual its a great shame the studies didn’t include male experiences as that’s kinda the base for how stigma is created which inevitably feeds into the whole stereotype of men needing to be tough exterior…

I’m pretty sure in the past I’ve experienced random bouts of PCD but very rarely.


I have a couple of times in the past experienced something like this after a particularly intense solo session, thankfully only once or twice. I don’t know if I would have the same reaction with a partner. I felt like a sex repulsion, is the best way to could describe it, I didn’t want to do, see, read or hear anything erotic for a short time after.


I am a cis-gender man and in the past year or two I’ve sometimes experienced a deep sadness following an orgasm from masturbation. I’ve thought about bringing it up here on the forum, but wasn’t sure how to articulate it. I had chalked it up to a more extreme version of “post nut clarity” but it felt worse, like just super sad and depressed and almost disgusted with myself. So thank you for sharing this, seems I’ve got some reading to do.

Edit: just wanted to add that I’ve never had this experience after sex with my wife. It’s only happened after solo masturbation on a handful of occasions and the feeling is a sort of minutes long revulsion at sex and/or myself. I don’t recall feeling this way in the past, so maybe it has to do with getting older or the level of stress I have now versus then, but it sucks when it happens.


There are loads of studies that corroborate that it happens to men too GIYF.

I often feel a bit blue after sex. It’s always happened, I think it’s probably because i have attachment issues from an abusive childhood.

(One of) my current partner(s) is just absolutely lush and always checks in with me after sex. He asks if I’m ok, gives me a hug and we often just lie there talking/watching Netflix which really helps. Once he had to leave soon after we had hooked up and I full-on cried. Idk why, I was just taken over my sadness?!


@Mrs.John I am so sorry to learn about you needing physical contact/reassurance due to your feeling vulnerable.
I hope that in time, your partner will be able to give you all the emotional, and physical, support that you need and that your feelings of vulnerability diminish in time.
Best of luck.

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@Kitty-Cat01 yes, I too was surprised by the findings of the research into PCD.
It certainly goes a long way in explaining that it is a reality for some of the sexually active members of both sexes.
I have discovered since my original post, that PCD is not entirely suffered by women and I am pleased to share some research into PCD in men in a separate post. I have also provided links to the original research carried out.
I think that the points you have made are quite valid and that you will find the results of the research of interest to you.
All best wishes,


@elcoh you are correct in your point;
“There are loads of studies that corroborate that it happens to men too.”

I am pleased to let you know that I have discovered, following further investigation, the findings of research into PCD in the male population.

I am pleased to inform that I will be posting the link to this (and other research) in a separate post to follow shortly.

Many kind thanks for your points and for your response to my original post.

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@ScorpioDaddy thank you for sharing your experiences concerning PCD. I found them most interesting.

I hope that my discovery of research carried out in to PCD in men, will be of interest to you. I will be posting (separately) links to the research into PCD carried out on both the male and female sexes.
Thank you again for your response and for sharing your experiences. I found them most interesting and a valuable insight into PCD.

Kindest regards,

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Many thanks to all contributors to my post.

@AmyA , @AJSTAR and @philxhx , thank you so much for your contributions too. I found your responses and PCD experiences both enlightening and interesting.

I will be posting links to the research I mentioned in my original post and the reach I have since discovered that was carried out on a sample of the male population.

Many kind thanks again to you all.


PCD Update

Thank you to all the Forum members for sharing your thoughts and personal experiences of PCD-like conditions.

In view of my investigating further, I have discovered that research into PCD amongst men has indeed been carried out, and I stand corrected.

I am pleased therefore, to correct the assertion I made in my original post that:

“Whilst recent research has focussed on PCD amongst the female population, I am unaware of any similar research into PCD within the male population.”

In 2018, the “Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy” (1) published a study of postcoital dysphoria in men.

This results, of the research into PCD in In a sample including 1,208 men, it concluded that:

“41% reported experiencing PCD in their lifetime;
20.2% reported experiencing PCD in the previous four weeks; and
Of the men sampled, between 3% and 4% reported experiencing PCD on a regular basis.”

You can find further information in “Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy” website on the above research into “Postcoital Dysphoria: Among Males”

by searching for:

(1) “Postcoital Dysphoria: Prevalence and Correlates Among Males - Joel Maczkowiack & Robert D. Schweitzer

Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy - Volume 45 - Issue 2 (2019)”

Similarly, the published research (2) in 2015 focusing on a group of 230 female university students in Australia, can be found on “International Society for Sexual Medicine (ISSM) website:

(2) “Postcoital Dysphoria: Prevalence and Psychological Correlates”- Robert D Schweitzer, PhD, Jessica O’Brien, MA (Clin Psy.), and Andrea Burri, PhD

Article information:

“Sex Med”. 2015 Dec; 3(4): 235–243.

Published online 2015 Oct 5.

The research (3) into PCD in UK twins is also available on-line either on:

(a) Australian Academic Press website - “Twin Research and Human Genetics - Volume 14 (Number 3) - pp. 240–248;

or search:

(b) “An Epidemiological Survey of Post-Coital Psychological Symptoms in a UK Population Sample of Female Twins” (June 2011)

Source: PubMed

You can find more simplified and useful information about “Postcoital Dysphoria” (PCD), or “post‐sex blues” without the in-depth research findings, on the:

WebMD website.


I hadn’t heard of this, very interesting to read.

I don’t recall that it has happened to me after sex or masturbation, the only similar experience I’ve had is sub drop, especially if i have no after care.

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@Himeros1 thank you.

I have no answer why I get emotional. Mr John is aware that I get like this and is wonderful at reassuring me.

We are all complicated creatures x

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And thank you for creating a post about this to raise an equal awareness. That’ll be brilliant to give some of the resources you found a read when you’ve posted the links :nerd_face:


So glad to read there’s been studies carried out on men too :raised_hands: