Orgasm hangover?

Submitted by Karezza Korner on
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Sadly, most of us assume we've "come to our senses" when we go out of sync with partners after the temporary neurochemical honeymoon phase, and emotional distance seems appealing. This is a fundamental misunderstanding. The fact is, our inner state has a large, and unsuspected, impact on our perception. Whether we're feverish with honeymoon neurochemistry, or stuck in a neurochemical "downer" after overstimulation...we're not seeing each other clearly or free of the haze of our own neediness. We may be wearing glasses that distort our vision one way or the other.

In short, perception is to some extent an inside job. We may have more control over the clarity of our perception than we've realized. Balance (via careful lovemaking) makes love and relationships a lot less scary, because clear perception won't be shifting with extreme post-excess neurochemical fluctuations.

Read Women: Does Orgasm Give You A Hangover? to learn about studies that may be revealing a postorgasm/postcoital neuro-endocrine cycle in women. And Men: Does Frequent Ejaculation Cause A Hangover? to learn about recent research that may shed light on post-ejaculatory symptoms in men.

Here are some examples of how the neurochemical shifts after orgasm affect partners and their perceptions. If you're just curious about the effects that women report, click to this list a man culled from the comments below:

  • I'm a neuroscience student, so learning about the brain's reward circuitry was nothing new. After traditional (and good, by those standards!) intercourse, I could almost immediately feel isolated. Or rejected. Or cold. And my partner couldn't assuage those states. Frequent or intense orgasms seemed to even make it worse. I had determined that something was horribly wrong with me... However, I wasn't previously aware of the neurochemical shackles of orgasm! Upon discovering karezza and CPA, a lightbulb turned on and a tidal wave knocked me down.
  • I was unhappy. I started to realized I was experiencing this strange general resistance towards my girlfriend that I couldn't put words to and out of that energy field arose irritation, impatience, and basically cold feelings towards her. I often felt like she was a 'stranger'. However, since about the fourth week of no orgasm and practicing karezza with my girlfriend, I've experienced increasingly loving and warm and safe and close feelings with my girlfriend. It's really refreshing and I know that this is the feeling I want with the woman I choose to be with.
  • Permalink - a bit related in so far as more people notice that orgasm has long-lasting effects on brain and thus mood... in terms of days or weeks...https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sv6vr5Zlezg

    To me it's clear orgasm is an extreme neuroendocrine event. It can be pretty exhausting for our body and brain. After all orgasm is the most intense experience humans can choose without using drugs... so it's only sensible that nature built in some fail-safe regulatory break mechanisms so we dont masturbate and orgasm ourselves to death :)
    All those mood dips and flatline AFTER orgasm are proof that body is going through a REST & RECOVERY phase after each orgasm... only recently Western guys started to pay attention to these POST ORGASMIC side-effects and realise their full extent and length... it also comes with age... when i was 19 i hardly noticed any stupor after orgasm... now i am 33 and when i orgasm i get so sleepy as to almost faint for 30 minutes and i can sense several days after orgasm that my body is aching, iam more tired, moody, bitchy :)

  • (keygrove)I've always found that during my many trips inside the two week cycle that coffee in the morning was a must to not be a total grouch bag to my wife. I also found that muffins, cornbread, and delicious burgers also are of considerable aid. As long as I keep it gluten-free I find that I can manage the two-weeks without getting into a fight with my wife. Totally different outside of the two weeks though. The coffee habit falls away, the world looks a lot brighter, I'm not as hungry and I'm interested in personal growth again. It's like going in and out of the passion cycle has shown me what looks like a "split-personality". It's been a real boon to look at all of this from a brain chemistry aspect. I'm trying to make sure the whole world doesn't become a nail... but it does seem to explain a great deal logically and efficiently.

For some, the "hangover" is more of a chaser:

  • (sender) Sometimes, when we're together, my wife and I go overboard and Karezza turns into fucking with orgasms. At that point, we're both enjoying it, so it's not a problem. But afterwards, like for the next few days, I wind up with a wicked chaser. I'm back in a place where I am thinking about sex like I did when I was using porn. But I don't like that feeling anymore. I don't like the way it causes me to rationalize, the feelings of urgency around getting off, and the way it distorts my perception of my wife (that I want to use her for my pleasure). I much prefer the feeling of balance I have now to the extreme, exciting, exhausting high highs and low lows.

    It's not that I can't relate to those feelings, I totally can. It's just that I don't enjoy them anymore. Prior to quitting porn, I couldn't remember a time when I didn't feel that way, so this is one of the surprises for me after having some months of recovery under my belt. If someone had told (and convinced) me that I'd feel this good if I gave up porn, I'd probably have done it long ago. But like most, I didn't even consider giving up porn until I discovered that it was causing my ED issues.

    The fact that I don't enjoy those feelings anymore makes it a lot easier to stay porn-free. I had very strong attachments to some of my porn material, watching it over and over; just loving it. But when I think about that stuff now, it seems kind of ridiculous or even comical. That it's not how real people naturally behave when they are loving each other; not even close.

  • I agree that orgasm makes things weird after sex, and I've seen it personally come into play with 3 different girls that I've been with. With the first one I had orgasms both at night and in the morning while having sex with her. And about an hour afterward, when I was in the car with her, she acted all clingy while I was trying to get directions to drop her off. She was like, "I really like you. I don't care if I get lost with you." And I kid you not, all I wanted to do was drop this girl off. I was so sexually exhausted. I had lost all interest in her quickly. Another girl. In the morning we both have an orgasm, and 20 minutes later, she didn’t even want to have breakfast with me, and was ready to leave. And I was like, "That’s fine, but lets not make this weird ok?" I was the clingy one. Then the third girl. We were very into each other and after we were done having sex night and morning, I slept for like a half hour. Then, when I was dropping her off everything was cool: When are we going on another date?" "When are we going camping, blah blah?" And before you know it 1 whole week went by and neither of us called each other. By the week after, we didn’t even care to see each other anymore. So, I say to myself if I don't want to orgasm through masturbation and porn, why should I orgasm through sex? I've seen it with several different girls. My attraction and theirs going from sky-high to 0 after 1 or several orgasms. I feel like in the future I will try to employ a style of sex not entirely based off of orgasm.
  • I just wasn't seeing it. It starts about 3 days post orgasm [and] by day 5 I'm a needy mess looking for any way out. I read about post O symptoms and didn't really see it in me. It became clear to me, clear as the sound of a bell, a few weeks ago. I was intending karezza but oops -  and there it was, like clock work on day 3. The wanting started. Day 4 "Why can't I have the relationship I want?" Day 5 wanting porn, a lover, a way out...Yikes! I thought the problems in our marriage were, well, problems in our marriage. What has become clear this year is that there is a HUGE load of chemical crap thrown into the mix post O.
  • Instead of having intercourse last night, I asked if we could spend some time talking about what our feelings are with our new lifestyle.....No issues on the wife's part. She really loves it! She does not miss orgasm and has no desire to have any more. I asked about that, as she had extremely powerful orgasms in the past. For me, they were quite fun to participate in and watch! I asked how she could be so powerfully orgasmic, but not want them any more. She said they left her wiped out for days afterwards! I never knew that. She said orgasm is just not worth it for her......
  • My wife told me, somewhat sheepishly, that having me ejaculate was an effective way to get rid of me when she wanted her own space, since I would lose interest in her afterward.
  • [Recovering porn user] I found that for me, having sex will cause social anxiety to come back to me, I also get lazy, depression comes back a little and the risk of viewing porn becomes higher. However, I still feel generally better than when viewing porn.
  • (emerson)One thing I scoffed at *especially* was anything contradicting the belief that orgasms only have "positive effects". Seemed silly to me. 

    Now I think back on it and I know I was living in a much more difficult world when I was ejaculating all the time. I think it depends on your age, but as we get older it takes more out of us guys. That's the utilitarian argument and it's a fact. It also really makes our partners less appealing and that's also a fact. We just take it for granted and never notice it. I never did.

    Everything is *so* much easier today. Business, relationships, everything is so much easier for me. Strange that a few moments of "bliss" should have that effect...

    But on a pure pleasure angle, my pleasure quotient is vastly more than ever before in my entire life. Seriously, 30 minutes of sex is like a 30 minute orgasm to me, not quite as intense but much better and lasts longer and the feelings are incredible because of my connection with her. There is no comparison, or else I'd have orgasms, but I don't want to because this is so much better.

  • My wife and I started incorporating a relaxed lovemaking approach a few weeks ago; lots of gentle touch, no expectations, etc. The gentle intercourse was something neither of us understood at first, but with only a few days of practice, what we experienced was truly magical. It was as if we were young lovers again! Instead of our usual once-per-week 15 minutes of routine sex, we have been making love almost daily for hours. She has been excited about it and looking forward to those times. She gets very wet and doesn't want to stop. We eye gaze and talk to each other during lovemaking. It's very relaxed and wonderful. Also, from this place, she was much more relaxed, less critical and just easy-going.

    A couple of days ago, she slipped into a "surprise orgasm", and has been uninterested in sex since then; and her mood has an edge to it that was absent during our period of bliss. But we're not worried; we'll just continue with the bonding behaviors without expectations and when the magic feelings return, we'll enjoy them again just like we did before.

    What strikes me the most about this whole process is how quick and dramatic the changes were for us. We went from being your typical 20-year married couple to completely open-hearted, always at the ready, 24x7 lovers, in a matter of days! This magnitude of change, occurring in such a short time frame cannot be the result of any sort of cognitive process; that can take years. This is clearly a neurochemical and/or hormonal related process. If there was a pill you could buy to do that, it would be on the front page of every magazine and in a t.v. commercial at every break. But since it's inside every one of us and free, we never hear about it. Such a shame...

    I think the biggest challenge is to recognize these states (both the bitchy state, and the open-hearted state) for what they are, and to accept the role our biology plays in them. For my wife and me, this is empowering because it helps us remember to step outside of the state we are in and observe it with compassion and even humor, and also to trust that we will make it out of the "bad" state, and back into the blissful one with a little time and patience.

  • (Deadsun) For me, only orgasms give me an hangover, not intercourse without it, even if my mate comes.

    I think I really have this neurochemical hangover, but not immediately after sex. On the contrary, I feel so good during 24h or even 48h. But then, everything is falling down, and this during 7 to 15 days!
    And I have more than this simple neurochemichal hangover: month to month, years to years, everything is getting worse.
    When I orgasm almost every day during 3 months, the result is that I feel extremly weak, and I look like someone VERY ILL: no breast (38B), big legs, thin face.
    When it's been three months I practice karezza, I look 10 years younger, my legs are thin, my breast is more 38D and I have a "rounder" face.

  • When I orgasm too much, I've found that it takes me 7 days for my body to feel like it's back in balance again. I don't start feeling "good" again until then. And it's pretty crazy how it affects my drive in life, my perceptions of my girlfriend, my anxiety level, etc. Too much O is not good for me, so I will definitely be limiting it. I'm actually somewhat blown about by how my perception shifts about my girlfriend through the week of no orgasm after a binge. She goes from someone I'm just mildly fond of to my reason for being. I delight in every aspect of her, ever part of her body is so amazing to me. Just after a bender, my feelings about her are basically "meh." Incredible.

  • Needless to say, I once again bypassed all of the loving exchanges, had orgasmic hot sex (with a few successful runs of sex without orgasm). I feel no attraction to him at all now. He is disoriented and confused. It looks to me like he is obsessed with authority, prestige, and the question of his potency as a male. Forgiving, supportive, yin energy? Not sure that I have it in me.—
  • About a week ago, I gave myself a few orgasms. Using porn, and not even the nicer kind, the fairly obscene stuff I used to watch. What happened was that I started a new diet and exercise routine for spring. Back in my football days, we used to overload on calories to put on muscle mass, so I did that, ate like a pig, all kinds of sugars and carbs and lifted heavy weights. The only other dream orgasm I had came after eating a lot of tortilla chips after sundown, and I've always noticed the sugars and carbs fray my nerves. Intense weightlifting itself stressed the body, and it also gave me what seemed like a huge testosterone rush the first few days. The result was two dream orgasms in the first three days of lifting. Whether it was those, the frayed nerves, the testosterone surge, maybe all of them together, I got the urge to watch porn. Not entirely an out-of-the-ordinary occurrence, I probably still look at it an average of once a week. I guess the idea is that I prefer the times when I just forget about porn for extended periods of times, rather than imposing limitations and using force of will. But, I got burned this time. At first, it didn't affect me at all, as the new usual. Then, only slightly, and it escalated into the more risqué porn and progressed to the point where I didn't want to restrict myself from masturbating to orgasm. In the back of my mind, there was also the thought that I was having orgasms anyway and wanted to see how my orgasm functioning was affected by the continence. A few things I noticed: One, the orgasm didn't feel as pleasurable as orgasms used to. In the past, I've noticed that orgasms got less pleasurable after I started meditating and eating well and such, I took it to mean that, a flashlight shines brightest in the dark, a feel-good surge when you're already feeling good doesn't register. Alert! Too-Much-Information. Alert!: since it was a curiosity, the continence seemed to have a positive effect on my system. The consistency of the semen reminded me of the "healthy semen" from my fasting and raw-eating days; fluid (not viscous), felt easy on my plumbing, no odd smell (eh, another abstainer complained about that and it stuck in my head), and there was a ton of volume, seemed like more than enough to conceive every child I'll ever father. So, uh, thumbs up on that one. The after-effects have basically been kryptonite, sapping me of my superpowers. An example is the stamina, I helped my aunt move twice last week, the first time I moved heavy boxes for eight hours, climbing hundreds and hundreds of sets of stairs; no problem, I was singing at the end of the day. The second time, I was sluggish and leg-burning even though I only made three trips. Weightlifting, I was surprised before to see how easy it was, now I'm tired during workouts, and the aforementioned testosterone burst it gave me doesn't come back anymore. Socially, I've been back to being comfortable alone. Both of the women in my life (a young woman I've been going on dates with and my mom, of course) have said the same thing, that they miss me. I spotted the troubled look my mom used to get when she wasn't sure what to make of me, and later she asked if something was wrong or if I was mad at her. Later, as we were saying goodnight, she said she "misses her partner". The young woman wrote to me, quote, "I'm beginning to think that if I didn't initiate any kind of hello or anything we wouldn't talk at all. I hope you're well." They both guessed that I was sick, and, luckily, I did conveniently come down with some digestive issues a few days ago. (I don't quite know if I can blame the sickness on the orgasms yet, give me time.) With my mother, I've consciously trying to maintain the bonding behaviors and regulate my prolactin-down, but I guess it's different when you fake it. With the woman, it's been the lack of social motivation. Plus, I've been thinking more hostilely about her, seeing her flaws and thinking of reasons not to see her anymore. I obviously wouldn't tell my mom, but the woman's the type I'll just be honest with: "It's not you, it's my orgasms". Just in the interest of being exhaustive; mentally, I've noticed I'm slightly more hostile to people and thoughts in general, and I've noticed some foreign thoughts coming up, things like existentialist ideas that I hardly recognize. The after-effect from the waking orgasms has been incomparably worse than the dream orgasms; the effects of the latter were things I'd have to think about or search for. It also seemed like my eyes were very wet in first few days. It's probably impossible, but also sure seemed to me like my body got flabbier in just a few days. On the bright side, there don't seem to be any withdrawal symptoms or itchiness for orgasms getting back on the program. Still, bah humbug, remind me never to try that again. (As an aside, am I more prone to orgasm-sickness than other people, or am I just more aware of the symptoms. Maybe both?)
  • I am learning to truly relax in lovemaking. And when you are going for an orgasm, you are tense, very tense, and only thinking ahead to that goal. I prefer to be present and in the moment instead of thinking of the future orgasm to come. Second reason is I don't want to lose that magical, delicious feeling I have *before* an orgasm. For me, once I have an orgasm, I'm kind of done and over it for awhile. I don't like that! I like the sensuous feelings to go on and on. I've decided those pre-orgasm feelings are 100% better than any short-lived burst of feeling I can get through an orgasm. Also, it makes him *hungrier* for sex while making me *much less hungry* for sex and that is not a good combination!! (and I feel certain this is what happens to most all marriages?). I love my sexual side and orgasm takes that away from me. I don't like it one bit! The last reason is because I do feel I have a post-orgasm let-down. There was a time a few weeks ago where he and I both "went for it" and I truly paid the price in the following weeks. My feeling of "lack" was through the roof (what a great description for that "woe is me" attitude). I *do not* like myself that way. Orgasms also equal flu-like symptoms (at least for me, with weepiness to boot).
  • I found a personal mood pattern: The day I masturbate and the day after are great, lots of energies and very optimistic. Then the 2-3 days afterwards are terrible: headaches, tiredness, laziness, and mild depression at times. If I get through these (which in the past I failed to do), I sort of balance in a "normal" mood, not too high, but not depressed either, at times willing to engage in difficult tasks. The only big difference is in having more energy for physical activities. That's a sure improvement.
  • On Monday, my new love interest came over and I let him go down on me. He is really good at that and I got off for the first time with him. I feel mostly the same, but today we made out and I could sense a difference. It still feels nice but the most shimmery feelings are gone. Today I gave him a blowjob, so now we are both de-magnetized. I could sense the difference, but it was subtle. It's nice to know that, in theory, we could bring those good feelings back. Normally, right now I would be depressed because the delicious sexual tension was broken and the peak of good feelings would behind us (gone for good).
  • I believe I've learned to deal with my O hangover pretty well. She, on the other hand, has not. She refuses to admit she even has one. Yet at 5 days since her last O she is wanting to fight about everything. (When my ED would force her to go long periods of time without O we would never fight). I've since learned to tread lightly on day five!
  • i remember my own post-orgasm barbs, clearly. At first they distressed me, how come we just had great sex and less than 24 hours later im hoeing into her with some less than nice remark. Eventually a pattern formed, but because i didnt understand it, started learning to watch out for, expect and to censor it. All that did was sugar coat a problem that wouldnt go away.
  • Things have been good between my wife and me recently (lots of bonding behaviors and increased closeness), but about 12 hours after a night of great lovemaking, I'm feeling really needy around sex. I HATE that feeling. It is so energy depleting, worse than being sick. Only later did I realize, "Okay, THAT'S what this neurochemical cycle does." It makes a ton of difference to know what's really going on. I can totally see how this feeling would affect a relationship, particularly if one person felt it while the other didn't, or if they felt it at different times. The touch of a needy person is so different, and quite possibly the opposite of sexy for their partner, and it's so hard NOT to project the feelings onto your partner. "Why doesn't she want to meet my needs?"
  • After going this long without orgasm I ran into a few "triggers" which made me long for an experience with a woman: the kissing, being close, the smell of her, the softness of her body, her touch- okay I have to stop.lol So I decided after having a close encounter with a woman recently, to see how I would feel if I fantasized and allowed myself to have an orgasm (no porn). It was wonderful until the next day, the day after and the day after that. I felt a mental "fog," which I hadn't in quite some time. I cried when I heard old love songs that reminded me of my ex, and I "longed" for her sooo much. I imagine this must happen to those that are having relationships with porn. I say this tongue in cheek but I think the women in the porn become like girlfriends (remember, I tried porn, but just didn't like having a lazy imagination). The orgasm seems to make you long for your infatuation is (live or real). In my case, somehow it brings me back to my last love affair and it is quite emotionally intense for me. Today I even woke up late and almost ran the risk of getting in trouble at work- all because of an orgasm you say? Well I wouldn't have believed it either, but if I need to refrain from this in order to have a balanced brain, and therefore a balanced life, then so be it. I am still in shock how powerfully it changed my "outlook," my energy levels, etc. I am convinced that I was "drugged" up during the time with my gf because our orgasms were so intense! Looking back it's no wonder why we broke up, we were making each other feel "bad" (foggy, confused, tired, cranky etc). I did not know about all this yet, and our enormous emotional swings caused us to repel each other. I may not be typical for a man but I started avoiding having sex with her, because I started to recognize the aftermath. I was feeling "used," as if I were her toy or something. So I pulled back. Near the end, I spent two times at her place where all we did was stay clothed and I held her all night. It was the closest I had every felt to her, and I still remember just lying there listening to her snore and thinking that this is what love between a man and women should be like. BTW, at first she was agitated and felt rejected. I believe many of us link orgasm to love and feeling accepted. I definitely I felt her "thirst" for sex. She gave me a CD once with a song called "The Broken Road" on it. Somehow I can't help feel like she has been on that road for a while, and even though initially she thought I might be different, the big "O" was like a pothole on the road that we hit. Now look at where we both are. When I orgasm now, it brings back the sorrow feelings. What I have noticed for myself is that abstaining from orgasm has dramatically improved my memory. I feel doped up for days after orgasm. I now know that in prior relationships it would shut off my auditory memory, so that if my partner told me things I wouldn't always remember them. But even now with my own experiments of no orgasm versus trying it every once in a while, once I have an orgasm my brain is definitely different. I have talked about blood sugar affecting my memory as well. The interesting thing which I didn't even realize until just now is that my blood sugar has been much more stable since I have not been experiencing orgasms. Perhaps dopamine has an affect on how the brain processes sugars.
  • It has been a year since my husband’s death and I decided to see if I was still capable of orgasm. (My husband was very sick for several years before his death, so it has been a while.) The very next morning I woke up slightly depressed. Each night I masturbated again, trying to shorten the time to climax. Each morning I woke up a bit more depressed. After a couple of weeks of this I made the connection, and stopped. The depression is now completely gone, but I’m still horny from all that masturbating. (I wasn’t at all horny before starting to masturbate.)
  • During my post orgasm time, 11-13 days ish for me, my vagina is not responsive to my partner's penis as it would be and is when I am free and clear of the orgasm cycles. I have had one experience of relaxed PIV within the past two weeks when I had not had an orgasm for one month and we were just beginning karezza again. It felt really good and safe, due to that my vagina could wrap around my partner's penis in a relaxed interactive way. After I have an orgasm, my vagina becomes rigid, either too tight or too loose and I don't have the "hugging" sensation during karezza that makes me feel so loved and connected. .. so, pretty important, orgasms need to stay in the clear for my vagina to serve me well and for me to be where I want to be emotionally during (karezza) sex.

    Disappointing because I will have to wait longer again before karezza can be what I want, but I also realize that this experience of karezza during a post orgasm cycle has taught me some important things and will encourage me to keep on the karezza o-free track/plan in the future. Also happy to say that my partner told me last night that he enjoys karezza and wants to keep doing it.

  • I feel a 'different brain' after orgasms. It's like my brain shuts off and I drop priorities. It's as if after the urge of orgasmic bliss my mind starts revaluing things. Running or meeting up with people doesn't produce the same high as masturbation to porn—therefore forget about those things.
  • Masturbation / ejaculation gives you a sense that everyone is judging you all the time and that everything is a materialistic give and take.. . And everyone is trying to get something out of you.. .
  • One reason I'm giving PMO up is my concern at the circumstance that I receive less and less satisfaction with my SO as time wears on. Like I've said, I happily remain attracted to her, no ED, DE, or anything long term or severe. In some ways I used PMO to prevent PE, at times resorting to doing it just before intercourse, which actually never worked because I lost interest. Recently however, I've felt like I couldn’t get enough from my SO and that she couldn’t really satisfy me. I've now been talking to her about approaching sex with an attitude more towards bonding rather than showmanship and finish-line shenanigans. A change from all the pressure I was putting on her just days ago, saying "I need it at least five times a day". [Editorial note: insatiability is a hangover effect.]

    She is very open to the idea - which brought up some conversation between us. She said to me that she was hurt that she couldn't satisfy me - This statement was brought on by my recurring attitude in saying "round 2?" minutes after sex. She'd apparently felt this way for awhile. I asked why she hadn't told me this before. Her response was that she knew I would say "we don't do it enough" or "we need to do it more" or "you need to do this better". Immediately I saw that she was right to feel that way, and I had the opportunity to apologize and explain that it was my brain going for a rush rather than anything to do with her. I explained bits of Karezza and we made a go at it this very night, but I orgasmed.

    In some ways I feel very strange in comparison to how others describe their post-coital state. I shut down and stop caring for 10 seconds or so, but I've never noticed a lack of energy (though I consider myself somewhat of a low energy person to begin with) the next day. I do not fall asleep after sex, nor could I - it wakes me up. I remain interested in my partner - let’s say that we had sex at 10 AM, finished by 11AM, by 11:20 AM I'd have my hands all over her again.

    Issued I've faced, which accelerated more recently: A lack of zest when it came to real sex. Lack of pleasure from PIV. Thinking I would rather just PMO instead of take the time and trouble to make her climax. This can be some work, as I think she's desensitized over the years, also her orgasms do make her tired - she can't walk for 10-30min after one. Like her legs really do not work, we like to call them seizures.

  • We had sex, and he told me instantly afterwards that I had to leave (seconds post-coital). He was cold and disinterested in me for fourteen days . . . and then for a further fourteen days slowly changed and tried to woo me again until. . . . This went on for years. He is normally a nice guy and none of this ever made sense. I charted the pattern for a while and was at a complete loss to explain its rhythmicity
  • Another thing I noticed, post-orgasm, was that SMELL coming from my armpits, that very strong, musky, 'manly' odour. Very sharp it was. As I have synaesthesia. I would describe it as a 'dark green' smell. It reminded me that I haven't smelt that smell since quitting masturbation, yet hadn't noticed until today. Yeah, very green indeed.
  • (Quizure) The hangover is real for me. But I was *sure* it wouldn't be! My partner and I started down this path about 18 months ago. (We're just toddlers!) It took months for me to see myself as the source of the problem. My partner was very patient with me, he would let me pout and rant and have fits, but wouldn't engage in a fight. When I am post orgasm, I feel more critical, and far more emotionally unstable. I also feel more alone and misunderstood. For example, I would move to the far side of the bed, but blame my partner for some slight.

    The thing that worked for us was implementing naked sexual snuggling on a daily basis. I'm the one with the higher sex drive, and without the daily sexual snuggling, I would unconsciously make sex too hot, and would frequently end up O'ing. That was a problem because I'm the one with the serious fight-triggering postcoital ripples that can turn into tsunamis at the slightest trigger.

    We didn't do the exchanges - karezza sex - then regular sex. We just went to trying Karezza. It took us quite awhile before we really found our 'sweet spot' with Karezza. My partner is younger, and still has unintended orgasms more easily than he'd like. He can tell the difference in the after effects of an accidental orgasm vs one he 'goes for', so he doesn't go for them at all anymore, and neither do I. (He says they make him feel "Crabby") All told, I've had 2 accidental (his having one triggered mine) ones in the last 12 months. The last being 225 days ago. The level of harmony between us is amazing now. We were good before, but now I experience a peaceful bliss just snuggling with him. We don't fight at all anymore, and even honest disagreements are few and far between, and we always end up laughing, instead of fighting. The one trigger I still have for being irritable is going too long without food, but now we both recognize that trigger, and don't allow it to cause a fight, instead it just makes us go get something to eat, STAT! (I get hypoglycemic.) Recently, I had someone comment about how happy we seemed all the time, now. Always smiling and laughing together. And it's true. I can't remember the last time we had an argument. The thing I would recommend doing is keeping a daily mood journal. It can help you pinpoint what might be triggering something, and to help give you a clear picture of how well this works.

  • Do orgasms affect moods? Yes they do. Things are more even keeled for me and my wife when we are out of the orgasm cycle. As it happens, I had an orgasm this Saturday. I had made up my mind to have one, I realized, because she wanted me to have one. She told me she wanted me to have one and I decided I would. It wasn't worth it. I really feel the aftermath strongly myself.

    With her orgasms, I feel the aftermath as well, more of an up and down feeling for days afterward. Cuddling can ameliorate the symptoms but those odd feelings of separation, aloneness, seeing her critically (And she seeing me critically) happen during this time. I find after orgasm she is more likely to go into a wide mood swing. In fact I think the wide mood swings she would go through during our entire marriage may be largely attributed to this.

  • I don't like the way orgasms make me feel. A little sick, a little angry. They leave me with a strong desire to push him (my partner) away. I want to be left alone after they happen. I don't have them easily or often during sex but I do give them to myself when alone (tension release and insomnia cure). Even while alone, I don't like the way I always feel afterward.
  • On the other hand, we've been pleased with our consistency with karezza. Occasionally orgasm sneaks up on us, but we don't go for it. We find the orgasms useful...because we definitely notice the hangover...which motivates us to continue enjoying karezza.
  • I did notice the dramatic drop off after O as the Coolidge effect kicked in. I would gladly trade both the feeling of being driven to have an O and the Coolidge effect for more consistency in the warm fuzzy loving feelings of Karezza. Nonetheless, I did find that being sure to engage in post O Karezza really did help counter the Coolidge effect.
  • Once I made the decision to avoid orgasm, I really should have communicated this to her directly. Instead, I just hinted about it and for two successive nights she pursued the old "goal" and drove me to orgasm. That was actually a good learning experience for me because I really noticed the Coolidge effect. In particular, I was very aware of how intense and enjoyable the experience was pre-orgasm and how suddenly it dropped off afterward. I also noticed how continuing to employ karezza techniques really did help counteract those effects to some degree.
  • Yet again I've demonstrated for myself the poisoned arrow phenomenon. After the first orgasm in this recent set, I felt very close to my wife, and I initially felt satiated. After two more orgasms, I began to think about when I could get the next one--perhaps three times per hour. Then I had one orgasm alone, and the frequency of the thoughts approximately doubled.
  • But it is quite clear that high frequency of orgasm is a disruptive influence that, from a utilitarian perspective, is not desirable. I am quite comfortable with having non-orgasmic sex once every other day (our preferred frequency), and I greatly value the additional hours each week that became available to pursue non-sexual activities once I stopped having so many orgasms.
  • Sometimes I feel like it's a one-way street -- I'm giving her lots of what she wants (non-sexual bonding) but there's it seems like there's not enough coming back -- I want the sex part. (Response) I can say that it's normal in this part of the cycle to feel like you're giving more than you're getting. Whether you are, or whether it's a projection of low dopamine, it doesn't matter. It sucks. Try to do what snuggling you can (knowing that for now it will not fully satisfy)...and watch the sparkle return about 15 days after your last orgasm. It's actually the best way to see the reality, so be glad you're conducting this experiment.
  • Last year, I started to experiment, and started to opt out of orgasms with my sexual partner. I was shocked at how I felt totally satisfied and blissed out for at least three days. Whereas if I had an orgasm, I would feel horny and in need of another release in about 20 minutes. It was a huge difference to feel “blissed out” for days rather than “in need” shortly thereafter.
  • Every time you have an orgasm, it’s a neurochemical high not unlike shooting heroin. No wonder it feels so good, and makes you want more! Also, from a biological perspective, once you have an orgasm, your body thinks, “Okay, I’ve fertilized this woman,” (if you’re a man) or “Okay, I’ve been fertilized by this man.” You may become irritable, or just lose interest. Sometimes within hours, sometimes days, weeks or months, you can stop being attracted to the person and want to move on to someone different. (Moving onto a new partner helps to create more variety in the gene pool.)
  • One night, I had an orgasm, which was not my intention at all. For about two weeks, my yoni felt dense, as if I needed another release (orgasm). On that occasion, I also felt really separate and distant from my partner, while at the same time pining for him and feeling like I needed to be nurtured and held. This was different also because I felt like I didn’t have much to give. It felt like I was pushing and pulling at the same time, rather than connecting and playing and laughing. My hormones went through the roof. I picked fights with people I loved, had a rough menstrual cycle, and altogether felt uncomfortable for two weeks. Once the cycle released, I calmed down, and was able to connect again. This cycle is just not worth it for me for a few seconds of orgasmic pleasure.
  • When I have a “normal” orgasm I experience loss of the ability to feel the beauty, loss of the enchanting sense of life, and lack of subtle tenderness and completeness. After ejaculation I feel depleted not only hormonally, but also emotionally and spiritually. For partial recovery, I need at least three or four days. For complete recovery, about two weeks are needed.
  • The first few times we tried sex without orgasm, we were both REALLY blissed out, and started experiencing some amazing psycho-spiritual phenomena, like amazing synchronicity, deepened AND heightened intimacy and tenderness, etc. This was exactly, I suppose, what I'd wanted. Then we tried it 'his' way (more conventional sex), leading to orgasm. Then he would become really needy (my interpretation), and I would become incredibly disinterested and aloof.
  • After ejaculating I experience clouded thinking, lack of interest in things I love (including people), fatigue, difficulties sleeping, and short attention span. The symptoms go away slowly after a week. My symptoms are more intense when my orgasm is more intense. Maybe people who experience severe symptoms have stronger orgasms. If so, orgasm could be compared to drugs or alcohol. The more intense the rush/high/orgasm, the worse the recovery/low. Incidentally, I’ve gone months without ejaculating, and felt terrific!
  • It even seems like the 'world goes against me' for a couple of days after O. I get unlucky in the most stupid ways, while after a few weeks of abstaining everything seems to go so well... it's like one big fortune-fest at those time. Of course in the end it's most likely a perception shift, but it sure it a pretty big one.
  • I have some important motivations to remain non-orgasmic, which others likely do not, in the fact that orgasm effects are particularly debilitating to me. Also, my lovely wife has a sensitive "kitty" and my ejaculate upsets her delicate balance and triggers endless yeast infections - so even an "accidental" orgasm inside her would not be a good thing. The effects of orgasm hit me particularly hard, and it takes some time for me to return to “normal” afterwards. Having said that, we are both seeking to maximize our intimacy and pleasure so we continue to experiment and push our boundaries seeking more out of every experience.
  • At about day 60 if I had an O with my wife, I was pretty much guaranteed a good chaser about 3 days later, which I had to be ready for.
  • I noticed that when I went from somewhere between 7-14 orgasms per week to 1 per week, much of those negative feelings (anger, irritability, annoyance, negative feelings... basically that things are just...wrong) melted away...most...but not all...especially my tendency to be negative and worried about stuff in the morning.
    So, I decided to give up orgasms completely for a while. I'm only on day 10 sans orgasm (day 35 of nofap); but the negative emotions are nearly gone.
    Supposedly after day 14 your brain is free from the negative-emotional-chemicals induced by orgasm and you can enjoy a much happier, positive, less stressful life. I feel like I'm on track for that.
    From what I'm gathering, much of "enlightenment" (and things like The Secret, the power of attraction, Think and Grow Rich, living in the present, etc. center on maintaining a positive attitude that things will work out and you will get what you want...but only if you maintain the positive attitude.) For me, it was nearly impossible to maintain a positive attitude under the 'drug' of orgasm-induced-hormones... but nearly effortless without orgasms clouding my mind.
  • [A week after stopping porn] I also notice myself looking for the feeling of lack that I was so used to after busting an O. I was definitely used to feeling depressed and down. But now, there is no "emptiness". I feel full.
  • [From another forum] One thing I do want to comment on is the orgasm-chemical-hangover stuff you find on /r/karezza. For us it's true. Too many orgasms lead to dark, negative, bitchy feelings. For her it is more than two per week. For me it is more than three per week. The one part of my new normal that is awesome and is not lost on me is my ability to be a happy, positive person. When I was fapping once or more per day I was in a very dark place emotionally.
  • I have orgasmed 2 more times with my girlfriend the last 2 days. What I have noticed is I am in a really short-tempered, bad mood. It's strange; little things seem to be annoying me a lot.
  • (Age 24) After each ejaculation, I would lose motivational drive, focus, energy, and have spikes of high sexual desire. This made my workdays (often spent in an office alone for several consecutive days) very difficult.
  • (CuriousFellow) I don't like to have orgasms anymore because I get uncomfortable cravings, a few days later, that make it hard for me to get to sleep, and because I sometimes get mild headaches on the day or two after the orgasm. I used to get irritable, but I've learned to keep that in check. So, while karezza is my first choice, these days I'd rather just cuddle (and can be quite happy doing nothing more than that) than have sex with an orgasm for me.
  • Over the years at various times I have suffered various symptoms after orgasm and ejaculation: a loss in physical strength (dragging my butt at work all day after lovemaking that morning), light to severe brain fog (dependent on the number of orgasms and ejaculations within several hours), a stabbing pain in the prostate immediately after ejaculation, or, at other times, a severe pain in the prostate that seemed like a residual muscle spasm (that was usually only resolved by taking a brisk walk or walking briskly in place). I also have experienced, off and on, short bouts of depression and/or indigestion after orgasm. I was married for several years. We often made love in the morning on weekends. One or more orgasms, without any immediate rest, would usually result in a significant degree of fatigue, lethargy, and/or brain fog even though our weekend pace was more relaxed.
  • What we noticed after the orgasms yesterday was that when we went back to bed later, we were trying to stimulate each other too much. She was sore and was having issues getting comfortable with being touched and I was tired and was having issues with achieving a full erection. I think that we both agreed later that we felt like we were both tired and yet had an expectation of needing to excite each other. it felt like the old "performance pressure" of conventional sex. Yet through it all, we held each other and eventually dozed off to sleep. When we woke in the morning we were back to staring in each others eyes, kissing, caresssing and not focusing on genital stimulation. All of a sudden i felt this wave of love rush through me and i felt myself getting excited again. I would say we had a front row seat to seeing how the frustration of worrying whether we could perform in bed spilled over to our behavior outside of the bed. I was wiped out mentally and she was a little "edgy". This morning we looked in each others eyes and just knew we were back. It was an awesome experience to go through that and see the differences.
  • After three orgasms in a day, I got really, really dead tired a couple of days later. I used to feel like this all the time, and having it happen again made me realise that I hadn't been feeling so tired for a long time now. Sure I get tired after a busy day, but there's a different quality to the fatigue that hits in the week after orgasm. It makes me quick to anger too. I haven't got angry so much in the latter part of the 100 days, but the other day I was needlessly angry with my kids.
  • What a change three days can make. The first three days post orgasm I was rested and slept well.There was some dismissive energy, however, I understand the cycle somewhat, so I do by best to just "go with it" and not attached to those feelings. It does help that I resect and admire my partner, and whenever I feel myself drifting (attraction wise) , I come back to that respect.

    And then the anxiety and moodiness began to creep in last night. I slept a total of about 4 or maybe 5 hours. I woke up this morning very frustrated and angry very resentful moody and cranky. I was frustrated as my dog wanted out in the night; I was frustrated that my partner snores; I was frustrated that the air cleaner/white noise generator kept on turning off which I use to block out snoring. I tried to keep to myself as my partner got her daughter ready for the day. As we don't live together, I generally have to head home and get what I need for my day before work (lunch , work clothes etc). This adds a layer of complication to my life and today I was wondering if all of this is worth it. Yep, I was in a mighty grand funk.

    Also, yesterday I had a reflexology session (from a practicioner) and found myself feeling quite out of sorts - which is unusual as normally a good foot rub is pretty blissful. Was that a day 5 thing? Was it maybe the flu coming to visit? Was it some stored energy that the reflexology helped to move? Today, once I got to work, I was still cranky - really cranky, then began feeling ill. Cold sweats, exhaustion, some dizziness. It became managable after an hour, so I didn't pull a sick day. Now, in the evening, I am staying at my own home in my own bed (normal on Fridays as I work late ish then start early on Sat and just dont have the time to play musical households). Still somewhat cranky. I'm not projecting/blaming this on my partner - as I would have done in previous relationships. At least I've learned something from my past.

    I'll remain open and curious as to what the next few days will bring. Last night I gave my partner a 30 min foot rub before trying to fall asleep. She enjoyed it and I enjoyed seeing her enjoying it.

  • [Letter from a twenty-something man, included in Diana Richardson's Tantric Love Letters] I find it unbelievable how much one can observe in respect to conventional sex. Symptoms after the orgasm - If I do not fall asleep right after the orgasm, and go for a walk, I have the following sensations:
    • An intense idleness is spreading inside of me.
    • Contact with people becomes difficult for me. I do not feel like seeing people.
    • The front of my torso is extremely tense for the next two days.
    • My lower back is contracted.
    • My neck is tense.
    • My body is generally tense. There is no space in me, no mobility.
    • I am irritable.
    • I behave like a child that did not have enough sleep, even if I slept a lot.
    • Even little things are often too much. If I have to do something, it often feels like an insurmountable obstacle.
    • My thoughts are racing.
    • I doubt in my profession, my relationship, my living space, and my life. Nothing seems good as it is.
    • I lack serenity. I feel no joy. I am afraid that everything will become too much.
    • My eyes are blurred and my head feels foggy.
    • I do not want to look at my beloved anymore, and I am hardly able to look at her. And if I do it anyway, I do not see her clearly.
    • I feel restless.
    • In brief, nothing is fun.
    • I need about 2-3 days till I have recovered (at least) and I start watching movies endlessly and avoid contact.
  • (Guy on Reddit) I noticed that when I went from your same number (somewhere between 7-14 orgasms per week) to 1 per week, much of those negative feelings (anger, irritability, annoyance, negative feelings... basically that things are just...wrong) melted away...most...but not all...especially my tendency to be negative and worried about stuff in the morning. So, I decided to give up orgasms completely for a while. I'm only on day 10 sans orgasm (day 35 of nofap); but the negative emotions are nearly gone. Supposedly after day 14 your brain is free from the negative-emotional-chemicals induced by orgasm and you can enjoy a much happier, positive, less stressful life. I feel like I'm on track for that. From what I'm gathering, much of "enlightenment" (and things like The Secret, the power of attraction, Think and Grow Rich, living in the present, etc. center on maintaining a positive attitude that things will work out and you will get what you want...but only if you maintain the positive attitude.) For me, it was nearly impossible to maintain a positive attitude under the 'drug' of orgasm-induced-hormones... but nearly effortless without orgasms clouding my mind. So my answer to your question is that you should try to abstain from ALL orgasms for 21 days and see if anything changes. If nothing changes for you what have you lost? You've given up a maximum of a few moments of blissful contractions. On the other hand, if you experience enlightenment, it could change your life -- for the better -- forever. But unless you make up your mind NOT to fap during that time... no edging, no porn... you will almost certainly fail... and potentially miss a life changing fork in the road.
  • (online forum) I am becoming more and more aware of the negative impact of frequent orgasms on my relationship. Marnia Robinson's book Cupid's  Poisoned Arrow suggests that: Oxytocin is the primary neurochemical that enables us to bond with others ~ Emotional bonds require both oxytocin and dopamine to stay strong ~ Orgasm causes dopamine to fluctuate." Thus orgasms have a hugely destabilising effect on the average relationship, (we experimented with this and found it to be true). The problem seems to be our DNA. We are programmed to mate, yet we are also programmed to bond and the two drives remain in constant 'competition'. There are of course health benefits to retaining and excreting sexual fluids and the jury is still out. Balance appears to be the way forward. My wife and I are experimenting with Karezza and enjoying it. I find Marnia Robinson's book offers us a very
    interesting and thoroughly researched piece of the puzzle.
  • (intriqued) It's coming up to two weeks since I was rather unexpectedly dumped by my lady. I've been through the whole raft of breakup emotions; denial, anger, depression, and now I think acceptance. It's let to lots of reflection, research and re-reading Cupid's Poisoned Arrow. This time round I was alarmed by the logic and precision with which the science matched the patterns in my own relationship. Both occasions she broke up with me had been preceded by our hottest sex sessions. It also explained why our initial sexual encounters together were so 'loving'. Because I wasn't allowed to ejaculated (no PMO) they were very tender with lots of touching and kissing. If my memory serves me well I felt very peaceful during this time as oppose to my horniness, tiredness, and agitation whilst having orgasmic sex with her.
  • Wow, I thought I was the only one who got depressed, irritable and “jerky” after an orgasm. My wife calls it “bitchy”. We both hate how I am after an orgasm. ... We work together to make sure I do not have an orgasm. We are both happier when I do not orgasm so we are down to about 2-3 orgasms a year now and my wife would like that to be zero but it may not be practical.

    To tell the truth, I was surprised at how [this] made me feel better and improved our intimacy. We still have sex regularly, maybe even more so now that all sex focuses on my wife so she can have a quick orgasm and get back to what she was doing. Most times though she enjoys edging me for an hour until I am begging for release. It took her over a year to stop feeling guilty about denying me but we feel it is better to give up those 10 seconds of an orgasm than weeks of feeling and acting bad. Lenny

  • (Jethro) In the past, it seems that my wife and I have gone through this loving/hating cycle many times. More than once, we have had an argument the day after a really great sexual session. Several times she has said, "I don't understand it. It feels like you just want to have sex and then when you get it, you turn all mean and bitchy." Of course I have no idea what she is talking about. I think she is the one who gets moody and sensitive afterwards.

(Zia) Since discovering these ideas and seeing the effect it's had on my body and mind so far, I seem to manage to find a way to talk about the passion cycle and karezza with just about everyone I get into a good conversation with (I just counted 17 people I've talked with about this over the past few weeks). I wanted to share a few of the observations and reactions. Some I thought were humorous, some interesting. Overall, men seem WAY more receptive. Oh, you should know that I always talk about this as what I'm learning and finding for myself, how I'm seeing my past relationships and where I want to be now. I'm never telling anyone what they should do:

Woman 1: "So when do I get to have my orgasm?"

Woman 2 (about 50yrs old): "Wait a minute, DON'T TELL ME I CAN'T HAVE AN ORGASM. They told me for years that I couldn't have orgasms and then they told me I should and it took me a long time to learn how to have orgasms and now you're telling me I can't have them! Well that makes me really...I don't know...angry"

Most of the men: "Yeah, I can see that." And followed by lots of curious inquiry into these ideas and relating to how they can see this pattern in their past relationships and how they really want something more sensual and not performance oriented or pressured.

Man 1: "I was with a woman in a long distance relationship for a while and she'd come over and we'd have sex and then she'd leave and I would think this really isn't working for me, I shouldn't keep doing this, and then at about exactly two weeks I would suddenly feel interested again and I'd call her up and ask her to come to see me. Can't I just have a relationship where we see each other and have sex every 2 weeks?"

Man 2: "That's exactly what happens, the next day I just have no interest at all in being around her. I'd rather she just not stay the night so I don't have to wake up and see her."

Woman 3, 4: "I can see that working for my husband."

Man 3, 4, 5, 6: "Where do I buy that book?"

  • (Male) I've noticed after my recent orgasms, although my mood seems unchanged, I am less interested - massively so - in having sex; and this is reflected in (or reflects) my wife's diminished attractiveness to me. It's quite subtle, but whereas before, for as long as I was avoiding orgasm, everything about her seemed delightful, and I felt an almost continual urge to reach out towards her, for a period of days following the orgasms, my interest waned. I still appreciated her, but I was less drawn towards expressing this. It was as if the magnetic pull I had become familiar with had vanished. ...I prefer sex without orgasm. I never thought Ii would say this, but it's true. I still like orgasms, and I don't seem to be too adversely affected by them; but they're not so good that they make up for all the advantages of not orgasming.
  • (Female) I found that I enjoyed the early stages of these relationships - all of the cuddling, kissing, and connecting. Every time - WITHOUT EXCEPTION - that I had sex with a partner, the dynamic so changed afterward... and to something that no longer appealed to me. It's not that I didn't enjoy the sex, but that I felt like my partners always "left" me afterward, even if they stayed in the relationship. I even felt like this with my ex husband. It's like they always "checked out" and stopped engaging with me. I liked them better when they were trying to get me into bed than I liked them afterward. My experience with men was that we would have long conversations and spur each other to growth, but that -always- went away the day after the relationship became sexual. In one case - this was my ex husband - I had 15 years of friendship with the man, connecting on every other possible level, then the "deadness" set in after sex and after we married, he retreated into porn and stopped even talking to me. Every time I had sex, whatever had drawn me into the relationship went away. I remember one time, one lover actually looked dehydrated and deflated and less alive after we had sex - it was kind of horrifying to behold - and he completely lost interest in me afterward.

  • (Timetraveler) [We decided we want to start our orgasm cycles together, so] I surrendered myself to his will for the O. It was my very first time actually relaxing and letting anyone have that much control. I was trying to have an easy, small O but it was quite the opposite. It was precious in many ways, a beautiful gift of love from him that I finally was able to receive, and I don't regret it at all. But soon after, I was feeling my legs drag as I walked. Gone was the bounce in my step. My thinking wasn't clear anymore either and I burned a few fingers grabbing a hot frying pan wrong. He spent the night and, not being so sexually charged or doe-eyed for my partner, I was able to sleep deeply. It's actually a relief not being in such a high state of desire.

  • I am in awe about how big of a picture can be outlined from the passion cycle using animal studies, comparison with dopamine-related disorders and studies that did not aim to investigate a passion cycle but their findings contribute to outline one. This is especially intriguing, since the theoretical outline of the neurochemical pathways and their effects on perception and behavior can be noticed on one's own experience.

I myself found, that there are two highs of sexual interest after an initial orgasm which are located at the second day and around the fifth day. On the first, third and fourth day the thoughts are not likely to wander off to sexual fantasies or I am less susceptible to sexual cues, this peaks at the second and fifth day. Also at the sixth day, I am set to find cuddling very rewarding and I get the urge to make my girlfriend as often happy as possible. Nontheless, this urge totally drops from the moment we would have sex. Then, it's like "Yeah, there you are...so what?"

I still wonder how such a simple fact like "I had an orgasm with that person" is able to poison a relationship to the point, in which the person's perception of the partner becomes critical rather than loving. There are so many other things which we consider important in a relationship, that one might conclude that such a fluctuating perception of the partner may be rather unimportant. I am certain there are some conditions which must first fit, before it is possible that a relationship may be stable over more than just a few weeks or months. So, if one's opinion on crucial things corresponds, a relationship will be possible. Nevertheless, due to this shift in perception, one might be inclined to consider minor things such as "Now she watches this stupid show again..." important enough that they might serve as a reason to break up.

  • (A recovering porn addict) I'd consider this topic as very important for some addicts (including me), who've lived in a mid to longterm relationship with their gf (in my case it's 6 years). I'm finding my gf less attractive and myself less in love after having Sex with O. Instead I enter the compulsive dopaminr-seeking mode, staring (and fantasizing) at / about other hot girls, wanting more and more. I find myself pushing away my gf for some days and hardly wanting stuff like cuddling. I'm also less communicative; my depression and anxiety are in charge. Besides the fact that I don't want to break up my relationship, I know and feel, that having sex with these other girls would leave me - sooner or later - equally unsatisfied. The problem is my insatiable dopamine-seeking brain, which appears to never get or have enough. :( And I love my gf, so I blame myself for feeling, acting and thinking so weird sometimes.

    These unwanted feelings really seem to be triggered by having an O. After the O I have a strong hangover and also experience a strong chaser effect, that would easily pull me back to porn, if i weren't vigilant. The situation gets worse, if I relapse to PMO. I'm hoping that I can fix this issue by accomplishing the reboot (even if it takes me 200 days of no PMO). To be honest, I don't know what to do any more, since Karezza is not an option that I'd  seriously consider at the moment. Nor do I want to split up with my gf - she in fact is not the problem It's without any doubt my severely damaged dopamine system. I'm wondering, if it'll come ever back to normal and if I'll ever be satisfied again by normal sex with my gf. Or are there really only two options: Karezza or break up the relationship (even though I love her)? No normal sex life with current gf possible? :(

    Besides my issues with partial ED and PE sex with O is currently not much fun. Because I know the weird feelings are about to come back as soon as I O - and I hate myself for these feelings. I should not feel this way, but I can't help it. It's soo weird, this whole PMO addiction thing...

  • (Ms. Soojin Chang | Columnist) I frequently experience these neurochemical hangovers the morning after. It’s hard to simply walk away from a rendezvous and accept the postsexual dopamine level as my own. Approximately 12 hours after the deed, I begin to feel a hollow pit growing in my stomach. In hopes of disregarding this peculiar surge of unhappiness, I focus my attention on finding a fix through alternative means.

  • The one thing that can kill my energy more than anything is ejaculation. The more intense the ejaculation, the more devastating the effect is for my energy levels and the more days it takes to recover.

  • Last time I ejaculated, a half year ago, I noticed it's really no good. It took 1-2 weeks untill I got back the nice happy mood.

  • There are certainly some unpleasant symptoms that pop up after climax, like the neediness, cravings, distancing behavior, and apprehension of touch, etc. These can be disconcerting to experience, for both partners. For instance, I am frustrated with myself when I feel needy, because I'm faced with unfulfilled desire and it makes me feel weak. On the other hand my wife can feel annoyed with my touches/advances and at the same time feel guilty because she has been taught that "men have needs" and she feels a certain wifely duty to fill them. Obviously these kinds of things can drive couples apart. Now, we have learned that many of these feelings could be hormonal and not actual reflections of character flaws, conflicting expectations, or a strained relationship. This has made it safer to talk about these feelings & symptoms. And we are finding that giving voice to our feelings and naming them, they are having less power over us. We are actually laughing a lot as we describe what is going on. Just a month ago there would have been hurt feelings and miscommunication as unspoken expectations weren't met. Now, we talk through it and have fun with it.

My wife says "total bitch"- depressed, easily angered, selfish. This is also pretty much how I feel. Prone to anger and depression with a childish grudge against life for not giving me something I want, but I don't know what that is.

(Hotspring) For me it's a feeling of edginess, lack of polar charge, taking things more personally, feeling more impatient and critical, reacting more defensively

(estimated_prophet) Today, after about a month of no orgasm, we decided (kind of decided, kind of just happened, but mutual decision at that very moment) to have an orgasm together after a month of avoiding them. Tonight I feel a bit cold and distant, a bit sad, have a headache, a bit hard to focus, much less "porous" to the world....I can see clearer than ever the hangover effects, but I am having a hard time: beating myself up about the orgasm, not believing that things will come back into soft focus over the next days and weeks as I avoid orgasm, not feeling patient.

  • (SingleCurious) I like others have noticed a very disruptive behaviour in myself after orgasm.

    I now imagine that it may have interfered with all or most of my relationships with people and that intermixed with alcoholism in my early years (sober over 25 years) served as 'reason' for others to simply abandon the relationship, either mentally or physically or both.

    - during menopause I became rageful and angry and resentful of everything going on around me.
    - felt out of control
    - felt grief and sadness
    - in denial of responsibility and blamed others for the above actions and feelings

    It usually only lasted a day or two as far as I can tell, possibly more because I almost always even though I don't have a partner wind up in a battle with someone, pride seems to stay with me right into day 2 & 3 until I can journal it out through writing about it and seeing that indeed some of my thoughts are misperceptions only, others are mishandled behaviour in dealing with actual situations that need to be dealt with. Discernment of such is clearly affected by the after affects of orgasm.

  • I've been noticing that days and weeks after orgasm (small type O these days) I think I get grouchy, selfish, and irritable, especially toward my man. Although, I'm not sure since it's hard to keep track of orgasm after-effects vs. emotional effects of my cycle. So, for the past month, I've been circulating my energy instead of masturbating whenever that urge comes up. I love being able to use the extra energy for other things, and I think I've been more loving and less irritable. For about 2 weeks I was bothered by headaches and waking up at 3 or 4AM. It's possible that those things relate to orgasm withdrawal. They seem to have gone away now. Its easy for me to wake up at 6AM or so now, which is awesome.

  • During one of our more physical exchanges I messed up and over excited her and she finished, which lead to me experiencing for the first time her being on the passion cycle while I wasn't. In this period I was able to see very clearly how it affected her and although I felt a lot of connection and love and continued with a lot of bonding behaviors, I noticed that she didn't reciprocate as easily. At times I felt a definite distance coming from her or edge that wasn't there before. We returned to the exchanges and after the second one, we both felt so much closer to each other and healed. This has given so much hope to our future together and after each mistake and each adjustment of our habits, it becomes more and more clear how sweet and lovely and pure the exchange is with karezza and how depleting and separating it is when the passion cycle is triggered.

  • (SO Reboot Partner)) As a reboot partner and lady that has done the karezza - lemme let you guys in on a little secret - for about TWO WEEKS after a lady O's our reward systems deal with the flush of hormones. I did not believe this in the beginning, but shoot if it isn't true for at least me.
    It is just as unmanageable as "the craves". I just kinda want to be left alone or start a fight, or shop my brains out. Karezza helps a bunch. I've been able to control this through the first pass at our reboot/rewiring, avoiding O for myself, but when O happens it is very challenging for about two weeks. It hasn't become a huge issue yet, but if we make it into a recovery mode it will.
    (Just trying to help here, offering one possible explanation, not saying this is true in your case.)

  • (thegentlevegan1) Soon after I had an orgasm, I realized I felt a change in the relationship and my feelings towards my bf. it was subtle, but I knew it right away. Instead of feeling and receiving what he gives me, I felt like I was trying to take what he could give me. It was subtle, but the mood had changed in me. For a moment I thought- "oh darn! I found something so glorious and golden and now I returned away from it!" But in another moment i felt gratitude and thought that "by experiencing orgasm again, I now know that not having it affects me greatly and I can have a whole new realm of experience with the one I love." [Now] The last few days I have been plagued with a brain fog I can't put my finger on and a tension in my groin that I keep trying to put a finger on! :) I also feel slight anxiety and grumpiness that has no basis in reality or my place in my life. In fact, when I think about my life right now, I feel really stoked and excited because there are new things and opportunities I can involve myself in. ...but- my groin keeps telling me somethin is wrong or strange... And unfortunately this little tension in my pelvis is something that will just be there until it isn't. Lesson learned.

  • (MCCrochet) I am committed relationship of about 8 months. I entered into the relationship with a good foundational awareness of how orgasm affects me psychologically and physically, and stayed orgasm free for a few months. But my partner seemed determine to make me come and he eventually succeeded! Now I am in about a once-a-week rhythm of orgasm, sometimes up to 10 days. It's not quite working for me! It's interesting that different people have different symptoms. I'm realizing this path has a lot of flexibility and it's not an all-or-nothing kind of thing. My symptoms include:

    1. Foggy brain
    2. Low energy
    3. Social paranoia/withdrawal (I don't feel like seeing anyone at all!)
    4. I get into touching my partner in an ungenerous way

  • [Worse with ADD?] My boyfriend struggles (and me along with him) greatly with this exact condition. I can’t get him to admit he has ADD, let alone that it affects his orgasm. He seems to think the post coital anger is related to psychological scar. I, of course, practically see the chemistry unfold in front of me every time. As a former therapist and as someone who has siblings with both ADHD and bipolar disorder, I know psychological reactions are much messier than chemical ones. Sure, they affect one another, but chemical reactions with certain disorders are quite…well…orderly. Rhythmic. Predictable. Although he avoids orgasm with me most of the time, his post orgasm anger looks exactly the same every time. His unwillingness to get his ADD assessed and treated damages our relationship. There is so much he just doesn’t see or remember that leaves me feeling neglected and over-burdened, unloved. He is a deeply kind, caring and giving person, and when we aren’t fighting, we have such so much fun when we are together. But too often unless something is smacking him right in the face, it is invisible to him. I understand intellectually that he has a beautiful heart and soul, but the end result is still very difficult to accept over and over again and my pain and resentment build. I sometimes think that people with ADD struggle so much with memory and attention that they can’t see patterns and that makes them more inclined to make false associations (like blaming a salient event, like something painful, for their reactions simply because that is what they remember), rather than seeing they have a condition that needs treatment.

  • (thegentlevegan) My bf called me a post-orgasm princess (in a playful way) today. I think it accurately describes how I act, behave and feel when I'm in an O-recovery period.

    I ...
    ~feel less motivated
    ~feel more "crave-y" for sex; but when I "get it", I'm very particular how I want it, which is because...
    ~I can't relax completely during slow sex or karezza and can't feel pleasure when I normally would (because of the leftover tension in my vagina, and/or dopamine/pleasure expectation in my brain, which makes my body tense to search for it)
    ~am more whiny about different aspects of our day to day life
    ~am more self-focused
    ~feel irritable more easily, about anything
    ~have subtle, but assumed expectations (because of my post-o vaginal and back tension) that other people will make things more comfortable for me
    ~feel like the world is more unfair
    ~feel frustrated by my responsibilities, rather than taking them as they are
    ~find no real comfort in being comforted by others, even though I desire it, like a small child

    Crazy, right? Orgazy is what I call it.

  • (SensualFreja) For me it's lethargy and lack of motivation and less mental sharpness.
    I can't write or be creative. I say can't, I mean motivate myself to be as I'm self employed so do not have the same pressures of working in an office or deadline type environment.

    I am not actively attracted to my partner or other men in the refractory period and get the antisocial feeling that I get pre-period or when overstimulated. To explain, I love socializing but am very intense and after a period of time I need to be alone again to recover, it drains me. Normally I feel compelled to socialize and have a very very high libido, I actively desire to be around and interact with people I like as well as men I am attracted to. Post orgasm I desire very strongly to be left alone and to stay by myself on my laptop, or with a book.

    I am someone who cuddles after sex for the emotional benefits and to please him, but it's really a drop for me. I lose interest, I don't want to cuddle I want him to get away from me and to be left alone,I want my own headspace and bodyspace.

Here's an ex-porn user describing his post-ejaculation let down, and giving his version of why he experiences it.

 


See ‘Post-sex blues’ hit nearly half of women (2015 research)

List of post-O effects reported by women culled from above:

  • pout and rant and have fits
  • more critical
  • picked fights with people I loved
  • blame my partner for some slight.
  • feel no attraction to him at all
  • done and over it [sex] for a while.
  • takes my sexual side away from me
  • flu-like symptoms/feeling sick
  • weepiness
  • depressed because the delicious sexual tension was broken
  • woke up a bit more depressed
  • a little angry
  • a little "edgy"
  • strong desire to push him (my partner) away
  • felt really separate and distant from my partner
  • want to be left alone
  • feel alone and misunderstood
  • feeling of "lack" (what a great description for that "woe is me" attitude)
  • feeling like I needed to be nurtured and held.
  • felt like I didn’t have much to give
  • more emotionally unstable
  • my yoni felt dense, as if I needed another release (orgasm).
  • felt like pushing and pulling at the same time, rather than connecting and playing and laughing.
  • hormones went through the roof.
  • had a rough menstrual cycle
  • altogether felt uncomfortable for two weeks.
  • issues getting comfortable with being touched
  • lover actually looked dehydrated and deflated and less alive after we had sex
  • my legs drag as I walked
  • [No]bounce in my step
  • thinking wasn't clear anymore
  • (Male observation) 5 days [after she] wanted to fight about everything
  • it's a feeling of edginess, lack of polar charge, taking things more personally, feeling more impatient and critical, reacting more defensively
  • "total bitch"- depressed, easily angered, selfish
  • ~12 hours after the deed, I begin to feel a hollow pit growing in my stomach

Topic:

Comments

Great anecdotes!

If I may add one, hardly unique.....

It's been about three months since my last orgasm. Last week I had one accidentally, and it took at least the entire week to begin to feel normal again. My mood was lower, my happy-go-lucky ways with my wife took a hit, I lost ALL interest in sex.....yet still felt a need for a "chaser". I thought, well, if I had this slip up, might as well make sure I am "empty". So that subsequent orgasm was worse than the first.

Honestly, it doesn't really feel that good. And the trade off was utterly NOT worth it.

David

metaphor or analogy

I now consider the accidental orgasm to spilling an expensive glass of wine.......you'd have preferred not to, but won't really be THAT upset since it's just a glass.....

I am just surprised at the absolute and clear recognition that the hangover is severe...at least for me.

David

Spilling wine

You are right~~an *accidental* orgasm is very similar to spilling a glass of expensive wine~~but a "contrived" (worked for) orgasm is going to take a couple of weeks to get over! More like dropping a whole case of expensive wine...on a brand new rug...at a friend's house...ha!

Rachel

~Be present when you are with people. Breathe deeply and listen not only with your ears but more importantly with your heart~~

Inclined to agree

Rachel, I think the biggest "discovery" for me has been that within the last few months I have been able to seperate out most of the other factors as far as my orgasm hangover goes. I have (luckily) been without any sort of cold/flu/athletic injury, etc. for quite some time. As such, I have been able to truly isolate the post-orgasm feelings.

I'd go this far: if my choice was no sexual contact at all (distinct from hugs and closeness) or only sex with orgasm......I'd give up sexual contact entirely--my hangover low is that long lasting.

Fortunately, that's not the choice I have to face, but an orgasm hangover is like a wine hangover...only it lasts about a week and a half.

David

Me, too~

If I were given only two choices: a partnership with conventional sex or no partnership at all, I would choose the latter and just be happy to live out my years as the crazy old horse lady, lol~~hopefully, it will never come to that!

Rachel

~Be present when you are with people. Breathe deeply and listen not only with your ears but more importantly with your heart~~

From Marnia's wine metaphor link.....

I read this quote with great interest as it refers to a question I have posted here. I fear that my questions sometimes evoke emotional reactions, so I wish to emphasize what the author says:

"inally, not only did Lloyd suspect the vital role of the endocrine glands in sex and sexual hangovers, he also touched on the evolutionary biology of sex. Nature meant [orgasm] only for propagation and its whole modus operandi is calculated to check love, defeat love, and turn love into indifference or aversion."

I cite this quote for my earlier point that orgasm (for the male) serves no other purpose than for propagation. As such, the male orgasm has no other use.

How often (if ever) should the male have an orgasm?

David

How often (if ever) should the male have an orgasm?

I really think it depends. As I told imnotcoming, I think it's a personal decision. It probably also depends on where you are in a relationship. Early on, I'm not sure an occasional O has as much of an effect. Also any O with a partner for me is less damaging than MO or PMO.

The good news is people can experiment with it. Again, earlier in relationships couples have their honeymoon period and then may want to have children. But later when the trouble seems to happen more (male drifts off to other women, sex gets dull) it seems that O isn't such a great thing for the relationship. But some people probably do just fine.

For me, learning about the effects of O and being able to experiment with my partner and discussing our feelings really helped us become even more committed to karezza.

I get the issues that O causes and completely agree with CPA after personal experience. But I also think humans have a hard time living a specific way without a little variety.

Note I believe the question applies to women also.