Tears and orgasms

I’ve always been a bit of a crier. “Too emotional” is what I got told by a psychic (the father of a school friend) many years ago. Geez, what a shit thing to say to a fragile nineteen year old female. Really, how I interpret that now is that I certainly have struggled to contain and/or express my feelings in a healthy manner. I used to really struggle to emotionally regulate myself. Something that has taken me decades to change. Not change myself per se, but change being stuck in a washing machine of emotions without a functional way to calm down.

But the emotions of an orgasm are different.

Before I was even having sex, I would cry after an orgasm. This was before the Internet and before anyone I knew talked about sex or orgasms, so I had no idea if this was ‘normal’ or not. I suspected it wasn’t, going by what the movies told me. So why did an orgasm sometimes elicit such a distinct emotional response from me?

But perhaps should I be asking, why would it not? What kind of orgasms are you having that aren’t creating strong emotional responses?

Powerful human experiences create powerful emotional responses. I mean, duh. It’s how we interpret and ‘judge’ these responses that is important. Do we welcome the emotions that may come along from witnessing something profoundly beautiful and moving? Or do we suppress, deny and dismiss them as silly trivial child-like reactions to normal events?

Which one accepts the human experience and which one denies it?

Sketch by David Grant

Tears arise for me not only during moments of sadness or frustration (or sometimes even anger; women, I know I’m not alone in that one), but also of happiness, wonder, bliss and experiences of deep connection and love. The moment overwhelms me and I feel a rush of deep emotion followed by the tears. My heart is opening as I allow myself to feel.

We’re born to feel. And feel we do. Sometimes every. damn. little. thing.

An orgasm potentially is the most intense positive physical experience we will ever feel – and we get to experience this over and over and over again, should we so choose. I’ve read that a kundalini awakening is a deeply moving and ecstatic experience; akin to a spiritual awakening.

An orgasm is a mini-version of this.

At first I felt ashamed of my tears after an orgasm. Which worsened when I finally managed to orgasm in the presence of a partner (after a decade of being able to give myself orgasms; but that’s a whole other blog post). I found that some men were very alarmed when I started crying after sex. Which, I suppose makes sense if they’re not expecting it. Often they ask with worry ‘What’s wrong?’, fearing they had hurt me in some way, or that something terrible had just happened. In the beginning it was very hard to explain to someone else what was happening, because I didn’t know myself.

Over time, I’ve learnt to accept my tears. Sometimes I won’t cry after an orgasm for months, sometimes it is far more frequent. Sometimes alone, sometimes with a lover. There’s probably a pattern and a connection to external events or internal hormones, but I’ve been too lazy, frankly, to study that on myself.

Often there is a sense of significant relief after I’ve come and then I cry; it’s like a giant cleansing experience. As I’ve become more accepting of my experience and responses, I’ve been able to ‘warn’ (that’s a horrible word for it) the men I’m with that sometimes this happens. I tell them not to panic, that it’s just an emotional response to a sexual experience and/or an orgasm. I find this puts their mind at ease just in case it happens.

It’s been fascinating though, tracking how different men respond or react to my tears. Some are very concerned and are very tender, holding me as I sob. Some kinda instantly label me as ’emotional’ and never see me again. Nice, real nice. Sometimes in the past I’ve tried to stop or muffle them because I can tell on some level that they’re not going to go down too well. With the men I’ve felt safe with, in the pre-warning I tell them that nothing is wrong, that I am ok, that you don’t have to ‘do’ anything or fix me (because I’m not broken and this experience isn’t a broken or dysfunctional experience). This helps.

Communication helps. And it helps me in particular because it reduces my shame about having tears in the first place. Heaven forbid that I should feel so moved by a sexual experience or by a bodily response to stimulation that I should cry!

They’re just tears, I say. Reassuring them as much as myself. And mostly a lover is reassured by this.

I love orgasms. Who the fuck doesn’t? The world is built on orgasms. Certainly men’s orgasms anyway, because without them (unless they’re practising Tantric sex and are able to separate out orgasm from ejaculation; yes that’s a thing), there would be no human race. Orgasms are why eroticism, erotic art and porn exist. Orgasms drive men’s conversations about women, without anyone specifically naming them. Men just want to cum – women too – but I’d generalise to say it’s less of a distinct physical urge (hello regular erections) for women.

Except when we’re fucking horny, of course. Typically when we’re ovulating (but not always; who needs rules when you have a vagina and more oestrogen than you can poke a stick at?).

Orgasms are profoundly moving. They literally move many parts of the body, internally and externally. Muscles contract, fluid flows, hormones coarse through the blood, and sounds escape from the body. So why not tears? We’re mini-dying when we come. We’re mini-touching-God when we come. We’re mini-deeply-connecting to another person when we come. It’s a miracle we’re not all bawling our eyes our after an orgasm.

Oh wait, that’s right: a lot of us have been taught not to cry or express ‘soft’ emotions like sadness, anxiety or tears. Especially men. Still this happens.

An orgasm is a release. It is a reaching out and a pulling in. It is going deeply within and massively out, as a part of us reaches for the stars and blasts through into the space we all came from; for the briefest moment of time.

So I cry. And I’m held, or I quietly hold myself. It’s ok, everything is ok.

I wonder how many of us exist out there, crying after we come? What do you do about this – if anything? Do you accept or reject it? How does your lover or partner manage it?

It’s all in the response, not in the event. So it is with most things in life. Rupture and repair. We rupture our normal stable selves by coming, and we repair the intensely opening of this experience by coming back down to earth; tears or no tears. We re-enter reality, cleansed, anew, relieved, released and joyous. Bouncing with molecules of blissful hormones and a satisfied grin.

Cry as much as you want. Be moved.

Be yourself and absolutely yourself, especially when you orgasm.

Feel, and feel it ALL.

Published by The Pleasure Advocate

A pleasure seeker like every human, I have a background in therapy and health, and am a passionate student of human sexuality. I'm a pleasure-inclusive sex educator, writer, lover, mother, and sexual explorer. May (consensual!) pleasure be yours always, Melanie x

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