Sex is messy. And I don’t mean it’s physically messy- though it can be. Whether you choose to play with food or your sheets are soaking wet for two hours afterwards or you’re covered in his cum, we can all agree that sex can be physically messy. But it can also be emotionally messy and we don’t usually like to talk about that part.

It makes sense, of course. Who wants to tell their girlfriends, “Oh yeah, the sex was so great I burst into tears in the middle of it?” Ummm, not me… And I can get pretty emotional during sex.

But what does it mean when you experience less than positive emotions during sex and how do you deal with them? Well, we’ll talk a bit about reasons you could be having all the feels and how you can prep yourself and your partner in case it happens.

First Up…

Think about the best sex you ever had. Great sex, no matter whom it’s with, has just as much to do with the emotional component of the relationship as it does with the physical component. In fact, I’d argue, even more so. I’ve had sex with men who I had banging physical chemistry with but the sex ended up being sub par because I couldn’t connect with them on an emotional level.

Great sex is cathartic. It’s meditative almost. It transports you to another time and place where you’re no longer in your bedroom. It’s the one time where most people get that out-of-body-experience simply because you’re so deep in your body and you’re connecting so deeply with someone else’s body. Unfortunately, out of those cathartic experiences come emotions and emotions don’t always look the way we want them to.

Now that that’s out of the way, know that you are not alone in getting emotional during sex. Sometimes it’s for seemingly silly reasons (hello hormonal rollercoaster of periods), but sometimes they’re actually trying to tell you something! Let’s discuss some common emotional responses to sex and productive ways to handle them like a boss.

Emotions Are Normal

While emotions shouldn’t be used to make every single decision in your life, they are important barometers of what’s happening for you and they definitely shouldn’t be dismissed or disregarded, even if they seem silly. Oftentimes, emotions just want to be recognized and then they can go their merry way.

Even though sex doesn’t seem like a normal place for emotions to happen, they inevitably do and that’s okay! If you do get emotional during sex because it’s amazing and great, then that’s fine! If you don’t get emotional during sex, you can have equally as powerful sex.

But don’t be afraid of them. They’re a part of you and they’re not there to hurt you.

Sharing Emotions With Partners

Now, it’s time for some honest truth. Emotional vulnerability during sexual encounters can be done with any type of partner you have, though many people don’t feel comfortable going to that level with casual sexual partners. However, you should always feel comfortable having emotions and being emotional.

If you’re currently sleeping with someone who makes you feel bad for crying during sex, who makes you feel bad for being angry or worse, makes you feel anxious and vulnerable, then these emotions of yours are probably trying to give you an important signal that this person is not for you.

Most guys might feel weird at first if you’re in a new relationship and you suddenly burst into tears, but if they’re a guy worth keeping around, they won’t make you feel bad about them. If they’re a great guy, then they’ll hold you until those emotions pass or will give you the space to process them on your own before moving forward.

Needless to say, if you consistently feel bad when you’re with them, their dick does not need to come anywhere near you. If it’s the occasional emotional outburst and he’s cool about, you’ve got yourself a good one right there.

1. I  just burst into tears after my orgasm. What’s wrong with me?

Absolutely nothing is wrong with you. Orgasms release strong doses of hormones and physical sensations, which are more than likely to have an emotional component involved. Orgasms are the epitome of release, so whether a laugh comes out or some tears, know that your body’s just getting it all out so you can function on a higher level.

Often, our daily experiences leading up to an orgasm can inform whether you burst into tears or laugh or whatever. It gets so easy to get wrapped up in the day to day that a lot of  times we have no idea how we actually feel! I’ve burst into tears during an orgasm simply because I didn’t realize I was stressed!

So, overall, you shouldn’t worry. But how about how to deal with your partner? If your tears don’t have anything to do with them, tell them! Reassure them that they’re still sex masters. If you feel comfortable with them, open up to them and let them know what’s been going on for you. If they’re decent human beings, they’ll listen to you. Research says post-sex is probably the best time to talk about things and it makes you closer. Take the plunge and open up to him. He probably wants to know.

2. I’m really angry. Like, I want to scream!

That’s okay, too! Anger can be a somewhat scary emotion. First off, there’s that whole Old Wives tale about how young women shouldn’t be angry in any kind of loud way. I say bullshit. Because of this, a lot of guys can’t deal when women get super angry. That’s when they call us crazy and that’s bullshit, too.

Sex, of course, is a solution, because it’s the one place you can scream and growl and roar like the true lioness you are and it’s socially acceptable. If you’re feeling angry for whatever reason, this is the best approach.

First, tell your partner you’re angry. If it’s about them and you can piece sentences together, maybe talk first and have sex later. If it’s not about them or you simply just need to get raw emotions out, then tell him you want to have some rough sex. Rough sex can be kind of painful but it really get’s you that release you want.

When I need to do this, I get f***ed doggie style. I dig my fingers into the bed, I roar, I scream until I’m hoarse and then inevitably, after it all comes out, I feel better.

3. I’m feeling really anxious. I want to have sex but I can’t get my mind to slow down to get in the mood.

This is more common than you may realize. We live in a ridiculously over-scheduled world and women still are left to play every single role out there. Sometimes, we get so over scheduled that we stop checking in with ourselves emotionally and that’s when the I-want-to-have-sex-but-can’t-slow-my-head-down feeling comes into play.

If you’re anxious about something going on in life, maybe put a raincheck on sex to make sure you are checking in with yourself emotionally. That anxiety will completely steal the orgasm right out from under you if you try to have sex and your mind can’t stop racing.

If you’re just finally slowing down, your mind might just be processing your busy days. Give it a bit of a break and try some visualization exercises with your favorite sexy fantasy.

How can your partner help? If you’re having trouble getting into that sexy headspace, assure them it’s not about them and give them directions on how they can help. Perhaps try watching porn together or have him kiss your favorite erotic spot. Better yet, this is a perfect opportunity to practice mindfully being in the moment. Really focus on how each kiss tastes, how their hand on your body feels and you might find that’s the perfect way to release some brain tension.

4. I’m feeling really vulnerable and insecure.

We all have something. When we’re surrounded by images of what we’re supposed to look like, it’s hard, even for someone who is overall a pretty confident person, to always feel great in the skin that we have. Maybe it’s our thighs. Maybe it’s our bellies. In any case, feeling insecure about your body is pretty normal, but it doesn’t have to define your sexual encounters. You deserve that pleasure. Plus, my guess is he loves your thighs and your belly and your too-big or too-small breasts. Each of these pieces of you are just that- pieces. You are so much more than one body part and you deserve pleasure in every single one of those areas.

But what if you’re just overall feeling vulnerable? Sex can be pretty scary just because everything is bared. There’s very little protection and it can be easy to feel like all of the nakedness, both physically and emotionally, leaves you raw- like you literally have nothing to keep your heart safe.

Don’t fear though. If you feel comfortable in the relationship, tell him these things. Oftentimes, sex is the easiest place to talk openly about your feelings. You might be surprised to learn that he also gets insecure or vulnerable during intimacy. It’s a normal thing and shouldn’t keep you from getting down.

Break the cycle and keep communication open. Perhaps come up with a mantra you can repeat to yourself during those times, have him give extra love to those areas of yourself you don’t like. You are lovable just the way you are.

Moral of the story, feel free to cry, scream, roar or feel insecure from time to time. Sex can be an incredibly healing space for all that, but make sure your partner is someone who truly is on your team.