Blog: Do you cry-max?

Sex so orgasmic it makes you cry? Yes please!

Ahhh orgasms. So mysterious. So many (sometimes unexpected) physical reactions – toe-curling, hand clenching, flushing, squealing, moaning, shuddering and (for some of us) squirting. 

But what about crying? Have you ever burst into tears during or after an orgasm? Is crying ‘normal’? And is it a good thing? 

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What the hell is a cry-max? 

Basically, a cry-max is a crying climax. When you reach the orgasmic peak and you’re feeling so damn good and overwhelmed that tears of joy just start a-flowing. 

You’re not sad. In fact, you’re the opposite of sad – you’ve just had a bloody great time! So where are the tears coming from? 

Why do I cry when I climax? 

Cry-maxing is a little-known phenomenon and it happens to women and men. Unfortunately, there hasn’t been much research into why we do it, so we don’t know exactly how common it is. We also don’t know why some people cry-max and others don’t, or why we might crymax on one occasion but not on another. 

What we do know is that when we orgasm, our bodies are absolutely bombarded with hormones. We’re flooded with the nice, feel-good chemicals like oxytocin and dopamine, and we’re having all sorts of feelings. Our heart rate speeds right up, we’re physically exerting ourselves and our muscles tense up and then relax. No matter which way you dice it, orgasms are intense.

There’s so much going on – both physically and emotionally – that we can’t fully control what we do when we finally get that moment of blissful release. Orgasms manifest differently for every woman, and for some of us, we sometimes feel kind of overwhelmed and teary when we let it all go. 

Is cry-maxing normal?

A resounding ‘yes!’

If you’re a cry-maxer, stand proud and feel no shame! What you’re experiencing is so, so normal. It’s just another one of the wacky, wonderful and unpredictable ways our bodies can react to sex. And hopefully it means you’ve just had a bloody good orgasm!

As long as you feel good when you’re doing it, it’s absolutely nothing to worry about. Just relax and enjoy the ride. 

I cry when I climax, and I don’t think it’s a good thing. Why is it happening? 

Not all sex crying is a good thing. 

It’s really important to differentiate between positive crying (i.e. a cry-max) and crying because you feel negative emotions like distress or pain. 

If you find climax painful, stressful or traumatic, or if it just doesn’t make you feel ‘good’, there might be other factors at play. You might be experiencing postcoital dysphoria (PCD), which is defined as ‘a sudden or unexplained feeling of sadness after sex’. 

PCD is totally different from cry-maxing, and it’s also super common (a study published in Sexual Medicine found 46% of women had experienced PDC at least once in their lifetime). If you’re feeling sadness or distress after climax, you might want to check in with your gynaecologist or a therapist/counsellor/psychologist.  

I’m a cry-maxer! Should I tell my sexual partners in advance? 

If you cry during climax with a partner, you might want to give them a little forewarning! 

Seeing a partner cry during or after orgasm can be more than a little confronting, so a heads-up might be nice – the last thing you want is to be relaxing in post-coital bliss, while your partner is worrying they’ve hurt or upset you. 

So let them know in advance that they might see some tears and that’s a good thing. Make sure they know your tears are coming from a place of connection and pleasure, not pain or fear. At Joy For Women, we’re all about normalising and de-stigmatising the things that go on in the bedroom, and the absolute best way to do that is through open and honest communication. 

Love, Dina G xx

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