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Why do I become flushed after sex or masturbation?
March 11, 2008 5:17 PM   Subscribe

Possibly not safe for work question about masturbation/sex and becoming flushed in the face after.

I get flushed in the face and look almost like I was sunburned after I masturbate or have sex. It doesn't happen while I'm in the act or directly after, but later in the day, or usually the next day. I tried searching for this online but it was hard to find anything because apparently many people become flushed during masturbation/sex and then it goes away when they are done, and this is different than what happens to me.

If I've orgasmed 3 or 4 times in a day, then I'm especially bright red in the face the next day. This doesn't happen anywhere else on my body, just the face. Anyone experience something like this before, or have any advice so I can do a better job searching online?

I know none of you are my doctor and this is not medical advice, but it doesn't seem entirely like a medical problem to me, and it's been happening for over 10 years with seemingly no ill effects so I've never asked my doctor about it before, but if I should, let me know and I'll mention it the next time I'm in there.
posted by davidstandaford to Health & Fitness (6 answers total)
 
Sex flush. Very common, well known.
posted by SlyBevel at 6:20 PM on March 11, 2008


Wiki:

"Commonly referred to as the sex flush, vasocongestion (increased blood flow) of the skin can occur during all four phases of the human sexual response cycle. Studies show that the sex flush occurs in approximately 50-75% of females and 25% of males, yet not consistently. The sex flush tends to occur more often under warmer conditions and may not appear at all under cooler temperatures. It has also been commonly observed that the marked degree of the sex flush can predict the intensity of orgasm to follow."
posted by SlyBevel at 6:21 PM on March 11, 2008


Oh dammit. Sorry I didn't read better.
posted by SlyBevel at 6:23 PM on March 11, 2008


Do you feel embarrassed about it, like it might give away the fact that you'd had sex/masturbated? If so, it could be one of those self-perpetuating anxiety things -- deep down you feel self-conscious, and this makes you blush, which makes you feel more self-conscious, which keeps the blushing going -- until you get wrapped in other things and forget about it (usually a day or so later).

Another thought -- you remain sexually aroused for a day or so afterwards, and so the "sex flush" might be a plausible explanation.

Or maybe a bit of both?

One final thought -- both masturbation and sex can be intense physical activities -- do you notice the same flush if you've, say, worked out or jogged for about the same amount of time?
posted by treepour at 9:12 PM on March 11, 2008


Anecdotally, a friend of mine had this problem once, complete with a delayed appearance and a long period of time before it went away. Her partner figured it out for her. Apparently, she had a tendency to hold her breath for long periods of time during sex. He pointed it out to her, she focused on her breathing, and it went away. YMMV.
posted by SpiffyRob at 8:05 AM on March 12, 2008


SlyBebel: I wish this were as simple as sex flush, as there is a ton of information about this.

treepour: I do sometimes blush from embarrassment, and it's a completely different thing. Waking up the morning after with a "sunburn" look to my face that lasts almost the whole day isn't like a normal blush from embarrassment (not that I'm embarrassed by sex or masturbation anyway). As far as the exercise factor, I do some cardio at the gym sometimes, and 30 minutes of running doesn't have the same effect the day after that 5 minutes of masturbation does, so I don't thin it's that.

spiffyrob: This is something happening the next day, so I don't think it has to do with breathing.

Thanks for the suggestions everyone. Does this really not happen to anyone else?
posted by davidstandaford at 12:24 PM on March 12, 2008


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