Dear Mistress Maeve,
My girlfriend sometimes spontaneously bursts into tears after a particularly intense orgasm. This happens maybe once out of every five times we have sex. We've talked about it, and it really doesn't bother either one of us. I actually kind of like it. She says that it's only happened with a couple of her lovers in the past, and much more so with me. I've come to see it as a reward of sorts, and a sign of trust and intimacy. It's just new to me, so my question is, have you heard of this before? How common is it? And do you have any thoughts on why it happens?
While I don't have exact stats on how many women weep after whoopee, I can assure you it's quite common. On a biological level, studies show that women experience higher levels of oxytocin after orgasm, a hormone shown to decrease anxiety and promote a sense of security. For many women, this is an overwhelmingly joyous feeling and is often illustrated by tears.
Science aside, mind-blowing sex deserves a good cry. When our walls come down and our "O-faces" come out to play, the exhibition of vulnerability can cause an outpouring of emotion. As you say, your partner crying can be a reward for being a good, trusted partner who has granted her the ecstasy she deserves. And remember, postcoital cries aren't just for women - plenty of men have experienced unintended blubbering after an exceptionally sensational shag.
That said, if you find yourself sobbing after sex, it's important to communicate your feelings to your partner. While you're crying tears of happy release, your partner may be concerned that he or she has done something wrong, or that you're experiencing a breakdown owing to past sexual trauma. Be honest and forthright - if it's the best orgasm you've ever had, say so!