"YES! Oh my god, don’t stop. Yes, there! Baby. Fuck. Yes!"
A wave of totally intangible (good) naughtiness rises up from below the belly.
Ecstatic and slow-moving, colours are brighter, somehow.
Your sacral chakra dissolving like a Berocca into orgasmic magic.
Everything perfect, and falling open to the universe.
The legs, the mouth, maybe even the heart.
You really couldn’t give a fuck about anything outside of this bedroom.
But sometimes when we open, everything opens. We feel it all. The most sensational pleasure and the edges of our wounds unravelling out of reach.
Our emotions can change form, seemingly out of nowhere.
Your face is all wet.
You realise you’re crying. Sobbing, actually.
Crying after you come
Coming and then crying. This has happened to myself and my sexual partners more times than I’ve watched Bridget Jones Diary, which for the record is upward of twenty times. Purely in it for Renee Zellweger. Fuck you, Daniel Cleaver.
I realised I had a lot of unacknowledged sexual trauma. I noticed a pattern: it would only happen with sexual partners I really trusted and felt connected to. This really wasn’t ideal and worked against my ‘cool girl stoner’ aesthetic. I quit weed and went to therapy which helped a lot, but still, sometimes the tears would come when I came. Occasionally one or two cute ones and sometimes full. blown. sobbing.
Regardless of who is between your legs or your gender, orgasms unleash a surge of pretty sexy, but also intoxicating hormones. Mainly Oxytocin, dopamine and heaps of endorphins. One study says oxytocin has so many nicknames due to its activation of our softer side, dubbed by literal scientists as “the bonding hormone,” “the cuddle hormone” and even “the love hormone.”
La petite mort
In France, they call orgasms ‘the little death’ because they believe we can die a little from the pleasure (being so damn good) and come back ‘anew’. When you think of it like this, crying a little about getting re-born makes sense. Like when a baby takes their first breath and sees the world, and can’t believe life is even real.
But, if the tears aren’t feeling like a positive release, it’s possible some trauma has been shaken up in all the raunchy ‘oh la la love-making’, and in letting your body open up to the moment, another person and yourself.
Baby, it’s okay
As with any strong emotion, “emotional expressions are best understood as social tools that are used flexibly in social interaction and evolved from animal signalling to communicate feelings”.
Tears are no different, my dear. The body knows when it needs love, to express, process, and be held. Even if your logical mind is loving how cool, calm and collected you were on the third date with this total sex god who has an amazing mullet and smells like fresh leather and Port Royal tobacco. Your body knows. Often it can intuit if a person is ‘safe’ to feel emotions with.
Unfortunately, this applies to both vaginal orgasms and crying, sometimes swiftly followed one by the other. However, crying after sex is not a gendered experience. I have held many men as they literally howled like a baby in my arms after they came.
I attribute this to my Cancer rising giving off mad mum vibes and Scorpio sun placements being obsessed with me. But astrology aside, crying with a new lover or long-time partner during or after sex, doesn’t have to be a nail in the coffin. (If the tears are happening around your lover before the sex, then that might be a different story).
I like to think of tears like an orgasm.
A wet release where I look way less sexy, but still move a lot of energy and feeling through my body.
But as with an orgasm, to navigate your way through tears, you might have to: communicate what you need. Hold yourself in your own right. Be honest. Breathe into the part of your body that is activated. And trust that you can hold yourself through the majesty of whatever juices are about to move through.
Being a good partner in cry(me)
Alright so, you just gave your lover a multi-dimensional orgasm and now they are literally beside themselves in tears? Don’t freak out. If they felt safe enough to come, it is very likely not you. Do your best not to take it personally. Breathe. A lovely starting point is asking if they would like to be touched at all (non-sexually) in this moment. If they are having any trauma re-surface, they likely either want to be held (tenderly) or may want zero-touch if they are not feeling safe in their own body. You need to 100 per cent listen to and respect whatever their response is. If you don’t get a clear response, avoid touch for now and keep checking back in.
A trauma resurfacing type of response can be quite common in sex for people with a history of sexual trauma and touching them in this triggered space is not always safest. But stay with them. Be very verbal, even if you are not getting a clear response. Keep it simple:
“I am going to stay with you. I’m right here. You are safe. Is there anything you know you need from me right now?”.
Even if you don’t know this lover well, you were just inside each other’s bodies, so you can do this for them. Be human. Be soft. Be patient. Really listen. Really learn about their experience.
It’s all in the eyes
Our eyes tell us a lot of information about how a person feels. If they don’t seem to be able to open their eyes or are staring like a stunned mullet into space crying, they might be dissociating. Try to find their gaze and hold it. Saying something like, “I can see you’re feeling a lot right now, that’s totally okay. I want to help you come back down to earth a little. Eye contact can really help with that. Is it okay if we just lay facing each other for a couple of minutes with / out touch?”
Intentional and gentle eye contact is an amazing way to co-regulate nervous systems with your intimate partner.
The more opportunities for this person to associate sex with safety, gentleness, and validated vulnerability, the more likely they will slowly re-pattern their relationship to any sexual trauma that may be present or coming up in their body.
You really want to help to keep the lover’s nervous system, as well as flight (faint, fawn, freeze) and fight response at bay. Speak calmly, quietly and clearly.
Make the surroundings more calming. Dim really bright lights, turn on lights if it’s pitch black, reduce loud noises, light incense or burn essential oils. Slowly stimulating the senses is grounding.
Sometimes this response is not related to sexual trauma, and simply a side effect of the crazy dose of hormones from mother nature’s finest. You know how sometimes you cry when coming up on really good acid on a perfect day, in the perfect field, with the perfect people, because your own shadow is just hilarious? Sometimes crying after good sex is kinda like that.
We don’t need to stop crying in sex. We need to listen to each other and our bodies with grace.
Let’s normalise this shit.
A good lover learns to meets their partner wherever they are at in each arising moment. Especially when naked and bearing it all -literally and metaphorically – filling each other’s bodies with incredible chemicals, sensations, juices.
You can hold space for all spectrums of expression. Trust yourself, lovers.
Your body and sex life will thank you in the end. #ownyourtears