What Is 'Crymaxing' And Should You Be Worried About It?

Being intimate with someone can be a really powerful and intense experience, especially if it's with someone you have strong feelings for or are in love with. Having sex with a long-term partner is a great way to emotionally bond in an already strong relationship, and climaxing often intensifies any feelings you might have, along with filling you with euphoria and just all-around good feelings. And even if you're not with a long-term partner, sex can feel good if it's a mutually consensual and enjoyable experience between lovers. Sometimes climax can be so intense that crying is involved. This has a slang term called "crymaxing," and while it sounds negative, it doesn't have to be.


If you've ever cried during sex or after climaxing, you're not alone. According to Healthline, some women experience PCD (postcoital dysphoria or postcoital tristesse aka PCT). An orgasm doesn't have to occur to experience PCD, and it doesn't have to be a bad sexual experience to feel post-sex blues. Satisfying and consensual sex can still trigger tears and sadness afterward.

But even though PCD has the word "dysphoria" in it, and refers to a sad cry, orgasms can also make you cry out of bliss, happiness, and an intense flood of positive emotions as well.

What is 'crymaxing'?

Crymaxing isn't rare and it's not weird, so don't let anyone make you feel like it is. And when you think about what's going on with your body when you climax, it makes sense that tears or sobs could be involved.


"It can occur with the release of orgasm," medical sexologist Dr. Marie Tudor told Vice. "With the 'letting go' that happens with orgasm, there can also be a letting go of emotions. For some people, that can involve crying."

There's a sort of letting go that happens with orgasms, so positive and negative emotions aren't easily reigned in, and if your body feels like crying, it's going to. If you've experienced any sort of trauma as well, you could harbor a lot of feelings in your body that can release during sex.

Outside of just emotions and intense physical feelings, there is a science to the euphoria or impassioned release people get when climaxing. According to Vice, orgasms involve neuro-hormones in our brains, and just like working out can give you a rush of endorphins, so can sex and climax. This is why sex can feel so good and orgasms can leave you in a state of bliss.


Your brain also gives you lots of extra oxytocin (the "cuddle chemical") and prolactin. This can be overwhelming for some, which may lead to crying. So while you can experience crymaxing in a completely happy relationship and coupling, it doesn't have to involve sadness. You may cry out of happiness post-sex.

Does crying after sex mean you didn't enjoy it?

Again, crying after sex could be because of negative emotions, and you'll know if that's the case if you feel any sort of guilt, shame, irritation, anxiety, or sadness after climaxing. However, Claudia Six, clinical sexologist, relationship coach, and author of "Erotic Integrity," told Oprah Daily that orgasms are already a strong physical response. So it makes sense that really good orgasms could lead to crying, and it doesn't necessarily mean it wasn't enjoyable — quite the opposite, in many cases. "Crying after an intense orgasmic release is a great reason to cry," Six said. "It may just be an additional release of energy, or joy and gratitude at having had such an ecstatic feeling. You can feel out of control, but it's a release of tension."


Dr. Tudor told Vice that it's generally nothing to worry about, although it might be a bit startling the first time it happens. "I just look at it in basic terms. It's understandable that one release could trip over into another," she explained. So unless the person crying is in distress or pain, you can look at it as "just part of a whole-body release." And you'll definitely know if you're crying because it was an amazing climax.

Is crying after sex ever serious?

Whether you experience crymaxing or you cry out of sadness after sex, it's not necessarily a serious concern. It's a natural body response, even if it's confusing. It is important, though, to do a little reflection after the fact.


Were they negative emotions that caused the crying? It could have dug up trauma or triggers you might not have been consciously aware of, but your body was. "Sex may be the trigger for the tears, but it's not necessarily about sex," Laura Petiford, a marriage and family therapist, told Oprah Daily. "Some of the factors that correlate with PCD include a disturbance of early bonding experiences with caregivers, difficulty developing a strong sense of self, struggling to regulate emotions, a history of sexual or other abuse, or relationship dissatisfaction."

Also, think about if the sex that caused crying was enjoyable or wanted. Six told Oprah Daily that it "can be due to engaging in sex that didn't feel good to her, physically or emotionally—or maybe she's not with the partner she'd like to be with."


This could be pointing toward a more serious issue. If you're feeling distressed more than you're feeling good, if sadness or anxiety persists, or if you realize it's because you're not with a good partner, seeing a therapist is a great route to go. Your body might send you signs that your mind doesn't consciously know yet, so as always, listening to your body is the best thing to do.