Tears of Joy
January 19, 2009 6:01 PM   Subscribe

My girlfriend sometimes cries during orgasm. It's not pain crying. The first time it happened it totally freaked me out, but she assured me it was all good, that it was about going beyond a really good feeling to one of being "overwhelmed." It's not just tears, either--it can be full on bawling. It's since become the high water mark of our intimate relations, which are not particularly unusual in any way--meaning we're not doing something really freaky, for which tears might be appropriate. I do my best to take full credit for pushing her climax that far, but it must be admitted that it's most likely when she's the active one. I'm widely experienced enough to think that this is, well, pretty unusual. Is it?
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (40 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

posted by Inspector.Gadget at 6:03 PM on January 19, 2009

I knew a girl once who said that really good sex for her was often followed by some form of tears, pretty much how you describe it. Though I didn't manage to ever see it first-hand. I know this doesn't tell you much about the population at large, but unless we're talking about the same woman, I guess it's out there.
posted by Doctor Suarez at 6:06 PM on January 19, 2009

Apparently not. It's never happened to me, but I've heard from male friends of mine that this happens to their female partners not infrequently.
posted by decathecting at 6:06 PM on January 19, 2009

It's definitely not unusual.
posted by kate blank at 6:08 PM on January 19, 2009

I don't think it's especially unusual--after particularly good sex I feel like jumping on the bed, standing on my head, doing somersaults, talking really fast, etc. It's all this excess energy racing around inside my skin; if I suppress it, it kills the high. I'd imagine it's the same for your girlfriend.
posted by soviet sleepover at 6:08 PM on January 19, 2009

not unusual. Interesting that it doesn't seem to happen to males so much.
posted by anitanita at 6:09 PM on January 19, 2009

I knew a guy that had a mini-seizure every time he came...I would have preferred it if he cried.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 6:13 PM on January 19, 2009

When it happens to me it is a part of the whole tension/release thing. You two are probably having great, emotionally deep sex. It happens for me after sex like that - the urge to sob and bawl and let it all out wells up just after orgasm. And it feels sooo goood to the point where I am crying and laughing and smiling through my bawling. Afterward I feel cleansed.
posted by Kerasia at 6:13 PM on January 19, 2009 [2 favorites]

I'd vote for the side of 'not common and somewhere near unusual' in terms of 'girls that do it or not'. Those that do, do it not uncommonly, I'd say, to varying degrees.

Is that vague enough?
posted by Brockles at 6:15 PM on January 19, 2009

Who cares if it is or not? Whatever makes her happy!
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 6:19 PM on January 19, 2009 [2 favorites]

posted by Optimus Chyme at 6:30 PM on January 19, 2009

posted by Wayman Tisdale at 6:35 PM on January 19, 2009

Not particularly unusual. Believe your gf's explanation.
posted by desuetude at 6:36 PM on January 19, 2009

Not unusual; it's happened to me a handful of times. It wasn't even so much that anything in particular was triggering the tears, it's just that sometimes an orgasm leaves you totally naked mentally and emotionally as well as physically, and whatever fleeting impulse of an emotion happens to flit up into your brain just comes straight out. And sometimes, tears are involved in that.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:40 PM on January 19, 2009

Not unusual, and no big deal. It's happened to me, and most female friends with whom I discuss such things confirm that it's happened to them as well.

That said, it is NOT a high-water mark for me. It's great when it happens, since it's usually the sign of deeply emotional sex--but to happen every single time would be really exhausting, physically, mentally and emotionally. It often seems a form of "relief" to a stressful period in my non-sex life as well. As a matter of fact, I think it would be impossible for it to happen every time for exactly those reasons.
posted by peanut_mcgillicuty at 6:49 PM on January 19, 2009 [1 favorite]

It happens to me sometimes. I think it's because a really good orgasm is a kind of catharsis and you just let it all out.
posted by exceptinsects at 6:52 PM on January 19, 2009

Not unusual for me, but ditto what peanut_mcgillicuty says about it seeming related to stress, and that it would be impossible to carry off each and every time as a goal of great sex.
posted by cocoagirl at 6:53 PM on January 19, 2009

Nope, not uncommon.

Sometimes that's just the switch that gets flipped. Generally a good thing, better when occasional.
posted by batmonkey at 7:23 PM on January 19, 2009

Not unusual at all, I can attest.
posted by Effigy2000 at 7:33 PM on January 19, 2009

Not even a little unusual.
posted by _Mona_ at 7:33 PM on January 19, 2009

Yep, seconding the whole tension release thing. It got to the point for me that when I had a FWB thing going with an ex, I'd call him and say, "I had a bad day. Be there in 15 minutes. Got kleenex?" When it went down the tubes, I started going to the batting cages :P
posted by Madamina at 7:36 PM on January 19, 2009

Nope. Happened to a former GF sometimes when we "made love" vs you know, more pedestrian sex. Always kinda disturbed me though - some visceral reaction like I did something wrong. Hard to get used to, but not uncommon.
posted by elendil71 at 7:36 PM on January 19, 2009

I laugh uncontrollably. It seems to freak dudes out, though, so I'm guessing that it's not all that common.
posted by lunalaguna at 7:50 PM on January 19, 2009 [3 favorites]

One more vote for "it's normal, no big deal." Some people do this, some don't. It can be weird the first few times, and then I went through a phase of thinking I was a total sex god, but at some point I figured out that it wasn't about me at all -- it's just how some people process some combination of emotional closeness and post-sex hormones.
posted by Forktine at 8:13 PM on January 19, 2009

I have had tears on a couple of occasions and only when I'm feeling deeply emotionally attached to my partner. I often giggle and laugh like crazy. It does seem to catch guys off guard a bit and I've appreciated it when the guy has talked to me about it. I think they initially think I'm laughing at them, but it is just an expression of how good and deeply joyful orgasm makes me feel.
posted by Palmcorder Yajna at 8:24 PM on January 19, 2009 [1 favorite]

Another "it's normal" here. And it's a good thing, in my opinion--the more dramatic my orgasm, the more tears, as a general rule. It's not an every time I come thing, but it's almost an every time I come with my husband thing.

Possibly not related, but he's the only person who's ever made me cry (good way!) after sex. I have no idea what that means, though.
posted by meghanmiller at 8:36 PM on January 19, 2009

Not that unusual for me -- 10% of the time?

Somewhere near the end, near orgasm or right after, it feels like some well of tears deep inside me gets unlocked and released. Sometimes, actual memories or sadness goes along with it, sometimes not. I usually feel sadness and relief, and experience it as a very good thing. The sadness might be "god, what a hard week it's been," or "wow, I can't believe how scared I was I'd lose you during that one fight we had," and sometimes it's much less specific. It's not always about my partner, but I usually feel really close to him, and grateful that I could open up this much with him. The best response is just to appreciate it as a deep thing and be open to it, maybe not think too much about who caused it or how it happened.
posted by ruff at 8:40 PM on January 19, 2009

It isn't unusual. For some people, I'd dare say it's routine; you just haven't shagged m/any of them yet. I only cry upon orgasm when:

1) Someone has died - in which case it's predictable and cathartic.
2) I'm massively oogly besotted in love.
3) Everything in my life is absolute shit and I'm so relieved that this one thing right here is, just for this moment, so entirely perfect.

In other words, eh, about once a year.
posted by DarlingBri at 9:01 PM on January 19, 2009 [2 favorites]

As a man who makes a funny face for ten seconds or so, I feel so totally ripped off.
posted by fatbird at 9:43 PM on January 19, 2009 [2 favorites]

Definitely not uncommon, I've encountered it on rare occasion.
posted by nightchrome at 9:54 PM on January 19, 2009

It's the lacrimal equivalent of dancing a jig.
posted by jayder at 10:07 PM on January 19, 2009 [2 favorites]

I do this all the time with my husband. Usually it's if the sex is particularly emotional, but sometimes just hugging him at the end is enough to catapult me to tears even if the sex itself was more lustful.
posted by Nattie at 3:15 AM on January 20, 2009

I laugh uncontrollably sometimes, just after it's all over. My girlfriend was put off at first, but now she joins in with me. It's the enormity of the release that does it. Just hold her, cradle her and get involved. It'll bring you closer
posted by 0bvious at 3:23 AM on January 20, 2009

Not unusual. Just be thankful it's not the aforementioned uncontrollable giggling fit, which really takes some getting used to after the initial shock.
posted by fire&wings at 3:30 AM on January 20, 2009

Not unusual, no. It's happened to me once or twice and I know other women who have experienced this phenomenon reguarly.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 4:07 AM on January 20, 2009

Don't look a fine gift horse in the mouth, man.

It's common, but not so common that you shouldn't cherish that level of connection.
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:21 AM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]

It's never happened to me, but I have been overwhelmed with uncontrollable laughter when the orgasm has been particularly intense. It was disconcerting for my partner at first, but after awhile he got used to it.
posted by muddgirl at 8:02 AM on January 20, 2009

Sometimes when I've been overwhelmed with a really good orgasm right around the same time I realize I've fallen in love with someone, I cry. The emotions are overwhelming. I've cried with at least 3 boyfriends I can remember. It's from the heartfelt emotion of the love involved, not the intensity of the orgasm (for me). The orgasm just pushes the emotions over the edge where crying can't be helped.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 8:36 AM on January 20, 2009

There was an article in the NY Times today that might interest you, anonymous:


It's not strictly about tears upon orgasm, but the fact that some people experience a depressive crash after sex. I ran across it on Jezebel.com, and the comments in the thread there may further reassure you that your girlfriend is entirely normal:

posted by cirocco at 8:07 PM on January 20, 2009

I think that article and the jezebel thread are related to a different phenomenon. From the article: After sex, I feel literally achy and depressed for about a day... a 32-year-old woman who experienced a four- to six-hour period of intense depression and irritability after an orgasm, either alone or with a partner...

Crying immediately after an orgasm does not necessarily indicate that the OP's girlfriend is experiencing post-sex depression.
posted by muddgirl at 2:01 PM on January 23, 2009

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