A drought followed a long, hot, and humid summer: with a broken heart and gray clouds in my head, autumn began.
I had ended a liaison that had lasted several months. I had gotten involved too much, ignoring all the differences that separated the two of us. I had let someone get close to me again for a long time. Physically, but also emotionally. After weeks and weeks of ups and downs, I ended it. I was then waiting to “wet myself ‘but – I couldn’t cry. Not a single tear appeared.
So I wanted to overlay the old painful thoughts with trivial ones as quickly as possible. During the past weeks, I remembered a lover who had asked me again and again why we couldn’t see each other anymore. Tuesday afternoon. 17.30, I did not feel like it. But I had already stood him up too many times. Why is this story worth mentioning? It was just a random date with a guy I had often slept with – no feelings, no commitments. But lo and behold! Shortly after we had sex, the dry phase came to an end. Triggered by the question, to whom I would have given my heart away, the water almost shot out of my eyes. Tears were rolling down my cheeks unstoppably while I was sitting there naked in front of him. He was lost.
When was the last time you cried?
Many women can remember the last time they had tears in their eyes. On the other hand, men often have to think about it or can’t even remember having cried at all in their so-called adult lives.
But that’s not the point of my question, it’s not about a masculinity/femininity debate. Because I mean: When did you cry the last time – during sex!
It may sound strange to some during or directly after, but it happens more often than we realize.
Sex is sometimes a door opener; once it is accomplished, the floodgates of our emotions open. It’s as if the tears were waiting to appear, held back behind the lowered curtains of our self-control.
But why at this moment of all times? It has happened to me several times. I only remember those moments when I was lying next to my boyfriend at that time, sobbing my heart out after we had made love. Secretly and silently. To this day, I don’t know if he even understood.
Why did I cry? Because I knew it was over, the two of us had nothing more in common, and that wasn’t so little as our physical attraction and sex. Aside from the physical intimacy, we argued, got entangled in misunderstandings, and had long since realized, if not expressed, that we expected different things from life.
Don’t most people want to hear something more like, “Wow, that was good!” Or lie happily grinning in each other’s sweaty arms, falling asleep with sugary thoughts? I assumed that it is mainly women who cry after sex, and mostly negative feelings pop into your head. I was all the more surprised when a friend told me that she had to cry just when things were going exceptionally well in bed. When she was with someone who gave her an almost ecstatic orgasm, triggering a firework of physical desire, she could not hold back her tears. So, in this case, it was a waterfall for lust. My research amazed me even more; the phenomenon my friend had described has a name: Orgasmic Relief. A study from 2017 listed several peri-orgasmic phenomena: crying was just one out of many physiologic and psychological symptoms caused by an orgasm.
Are we, therefore, not weepy when we cry, but just really horny? Both probably have a kernel of truth.
Now I have been “tear-free” for several weeks – at least during sex. What I already knew was: sex is an overly emotional matter. You open not only your pants but also your soul (sometimes, at least, you lift your skirt). This research has led me to two conclusions. First, there should be something like a lubricant for emotions; crying is good for everyone – whether out of sadness or ecstasy. And secondly, I think we should cancel loud moaning as the only indication of good sex and be happy when we manage to “make the other wet” – you know what I mean 😉
Kath Kolumna shares her thoughts and insights about dating in the big city of Berlin, the confusions of a late 20’s woman’s sex life, and never-ending discussions with friends and strangers about relationships.
Artwork by Cara Brock