If You Do This After Masturbating, Know That You're Not Alone

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I’m just going to start this piece off by being as honest as I can possibly be: I love to masturbate.

I mean, who doesn’t? It’s relaxing AF, and I can’t get enough of it. In an always-busy, always-bustling city like New York, masturbation can be the perfect way to let your hair down once you’ve retreated to your cozy bedroom.

On a night not too long ago, I spent the evening in. It was just myself and I, taking a break from late-night partying. As the early evening grew into a quiet night, I threw on my PJs and prepared for a nice little session of lovin’ on myself.

I began my ritual with a pumpkin spice candle. I untied the drawstring on my pants and lay down in my bed. A wave of repose washed over me. I spent a full half-hour exploring my body, and I made sure it was nothing short of incredible.

Suffice to say, I was content.

But as my limbs released themselves of tension and I came down from my oxytocin high, something wholly unexpected happened. I began to cry.

I’m not talking a tear or two here and there; I’m talking about full-on sobs for almost an hour straight (picture Kim Kardashian and the ugliest of all the world's ugly cries).

Eventually, I emerged from the fetal position, pulled it together, poured myself a glass of milk and drifted off to sleep.

As you can imagine, I was confused when I woke up the next morning. I did feel sort of mentally cleansed, but I couldn't help but wonder why I broke into tears in the first place.

The thing is, that wasn't the first time that happened to me: I would say I cry during around half of my self-pleasure sessions. Sometimes it's a tear, and other times it's a Kim K-type cry. And no matter the depth of my emotions, masturbation often leaves me with prolonged feelings of sadness and loneliness.

We hear about the post-coital blues. People feel vulnerable after sexual intercourse -- hey, it’s only natural; I’d be concerned if a woman didn’t feel even a little bit vulnerable after being penetrated -- but what we don’t hear about as often is how we feel after giving ourselves orgasms in the bedroom.

I can’t express the importance of masturbating, both in a personal sense but also in a general sense.

Whether you’re single or in a relationship, sensual self-love is almost necessary to lead a less stressful, satisfying life.

Because I didn't want to ruin masturbation for myself -- and because I was curious as hell after the dark hours I endured -- I Googled the sh*t out of this. I searched questions like “Why do I cry after masturbating?” and “Is it normal to feel sad after giving myself an orgasm?”

I wanted to find a medical reason for why I cry -- and if (or how) I could prevent myself from it.

What I found was an abundance of confessions from other people who have cried. There's even an entire Internet thread dedicated to the discussion of post-masturbation blues. I empathized a great deal with the people who admitted to feeling sad after masturbating, but I'd be lying if I said I also didn’t find comfort in knowing that I wasn't the only person suffering.

Logan Hill, a freelance writer based in New York, says in a Cosmopolitan advice column that it isn’t rare to feel “a brief bout of exhaustion or a sharp pang of loneliness” after masturbation.

He also indicates that feeling habitually sad post-masturbation isn’t normal -- and this is an important difference. He recommends talking with a therapist or other medical experts, since daily crying sessions might hint at an underlying psychological issue -- perhaps even depression.

Still, you might be jumping the gun if you diagnose yourself with a bigger problem just because you have waterworks after the act. Dr. Richard A. Friedman explains in this New York Times piece that "sexual problems don't always bespeak deep, dark psychological problems."

In other words, your tendency to cry might have a simple explanation -- a hormonal imbalance, waiting too long to masturbate and letting too much tension build or even your subconscious reflecting on that breakup you went through a lifetime ago. It just may be that crying could be completely out of your control.

Dr. Friedman also points out that there is a shortage of research and literature on "sex-induced depression." Therefore, it’s important to remember that if you feel you may be struggling with something else that’s triggering your long cries, it's more in your favor to speak to a professional expert than it is to self-diagnose.

Moral of the story? If you cry after masturbating, it probably isn't the end of the world.

More likely than not, if you're anything like me, you're an incredibly expressive person, or perhaps maybe a bit more anxious or lonely than you might have thought you were.

My advice is to always surround yourself with people who lift you up. Don't forever associate masturbating with bad feelings, and don't let this association stop you from masturbating.

Masturbating is supremely healthy, liberating and necessary for you -- both mentally and physically.