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Everything to Know About What Happens After Sex to a Man & Women

It's no secret that having sex can be a great feeling. But have you ever wondered what happens after sex? That's not a topic most information on the internet incorporates. Discover the biological workings of your body after sexual intercourse here, like never before!


10 min read
Everything to Know About What Happens After Sex to a Man & Women


Sex is an act of incredible intimacy that can make you experience different things. Generally, your body goes through some stages before you reach a climax. It is common not to pay attention to how your body reacts after sex because of tiredness or just enjoying the moment.

You can experience certain things that may seem a little different, but it is important to remember that sexual intimacy involves the entire body. This article will shed light on what happens after sex and help you understand what your body is going through exactly.


What Happens After Sex?

The sexual response cycle is a theory that explains how your body feels and responds towards sexual intimacy. There are four stages of this cycle: the excitement phase, the plateau, the orgasm, and the resolution phase.

During these stages of physical intimacy, sexual excitement tends to peak and ends with the release. You can experience muscle contractions as your body releases all the pent up sexual tension while it reaches a climax. Women can experience the contraction of their vaginal muscles and uterus. Men can experience a tightening and release at the base of the penis while they ejaculate.

Now that all the energy has been released, your body slowly returns to pre-sex mode. Your heart rate will slowly get back to normal during this phase, and your breathing will slow down. The tensed muscles will relax while the male and female sex organs return to their original size, colour, and shape. One can feel tired, calm, or satisfied.

However, it is important to note that this cycle is a way to classify the human response towards sex. In reality, everybody is different; hence, they can experience sex and its aftermath differently. Your response towards sex doesn't need to fit into these stages.


Stages Of An Orgasm

1. Excitement stage

The heart rate of an individual increases while your muscles become tense. This characterises a healthy blood flow to your genitals.

2. Plateau stage

While your muscles continue to tighten, the testicles begin experiencing a pull, while the vagina contracts under the clitoral hood.

3. Orgasm stage

The muscles of both the penis and the vagina contract and retract. Your body becomes flushed and red. If you have a penis, you end up ejaculating and if you have a vagina, you reach a vaginal orgasm.

4. Resolution stage

The tense muscles in your body begin returning to their original state, your blood pressure drops and heart rate gradually slows down.

These stages are similar for both men and women.

What Happens to Body After Sex?

There are various changes that you can experience after sex. We have listed out some of them below:

  • Women can notice semen leaking from the vagina if the man ejaculates inside. Couples who don't use condoms or other forms of birth control can commonly experience this. This, however, is not a cause of worry; the semen has nowhere else to go and hence can leak out. Females should urinate after having sex to expel as much of the leakage as possible. You can also wash that area with water and an intimate wash to clean it all up.
  • It is common for the face and body to look flushed. Don't worry if you spot pink patches on your face, chest, or other body parts after sex. This is a response of your body towards the excitement of sex and is caused by a temporary increase in the blood flow to the skin. Flushing of body parts tends to clear up within a few minutes but can also linger for a longer period in some people. However, the reaction is completely normal and resolves on its own.
  • People often find themselves extremely tired and sleepy after sexual intercourse. Sex in itself can be exhausting since it requires a good deal of physical exertion. Along with that, the body reacts to a change in chemicals that get released during an orgasm. Men often tend to get more sleepy than women since they react strongly towards the sedative properties of the hormones released during sex.
  • It is possible that you may feel itchy down there due to all the friction that was generated during sex. The rubbing of bodies against each other in the presence of pubic hair can cause irritation and rashes. This should resolve on its own, but consult a doctor if the signs don't go away within a few days. It is also possible to have an allergy to latex or a particular kind of lube that may result in allergic reactions.

What Happens After Sex Among Males?

Once males reach climax, their body goes through a phase known as the refractory period. What is this? It is the time between an orgasm you have just had, till your body is ready to be sexually aroused once more.

Experts suggest that the refractory period is shorter among young males and longer among older ones. Among young males, the refractory period may vary between a few minutes, to a few hours, to a day. As men get older, they may experience a refractory period of about 12 hours to 24 hours.

Experts also suggest that refractory periods may be longer once men have indulged in sexual intercourse with a partner, rather than masturbation activities.

What Happens After Sex to a Woman?

Some common changes that happen in a woman after sex are:

  • Your vagina is made of muscles. After having sex, the elasticity of the vaginal walls can change as they adapt to the new activity of penetration. It can take some time for the vagina to adapt and change its lubrication over a period of time.
  • You can expect your uterus and clitoris to start contracting and swelling in response to arousal. The clitoris swells up in females when aroused as the body becomes used to sex. You will get used to experiencing these transformations the subsequent times you have sex.
  • The tissues in your breast can swell as the blood vessels present in the breasts dilate, and blood flow through them increases. This leads to the feeling of firmer breasts, but this goes back to normal after sex.
  • Some women can experience cramps after having sex since climaxing can cause contractions in the lower abdominal area. Some women may also have a tilted uterus that needs medical attention.
  • It is completely normal for people to feel tired after physical intimacy. You may feel physically exhausted or as a reaction to chemicals in the brain. If you are feeling itchy near your vagina, don't worry. This can be caused due to friction or allergy towards latex.
  • Your vagina may look bigger than usual. A common reason for the swelling is the friction of having rough sex without using a lubricant. If your swelling doesn't go down, consult a doctor.
  • You may feel slightly sore after having sex. However, the soreness usually subsides in a few minutes, and it shouldn't feel like actual pain.

How do Girls feel During sex?

It is normal to experience a range of emotions while you have sex. Not only is sexual intimacy physically stimulating it also leads the body to release a series of hormones. Here are a few things that girls can feel during sex.

  • Girls can feel relaxed and happy. It is okay to experience sex over a period of time, but it should always feel good and enjoyable.
  • Orgasms are explosions of sexual pleasure that girls can experience during sex. Girls can experience multiple orgasms during one act of sexual intimacy, contrary to boys.

Female orgasms can differ for various women. Some women orgasm through clitoral stimulation, while others may prefer penetration or a combination of other sexual plays.  

Also Read: Top 7 Disadvantages of Having Sex Everyday ~ According to Sexologist

What Sex Does to the Female Brain?

According to scientists, different parts of the brain get activated when women get aroused. They also discovered that before orgasming, the brain's reward centre gets activated. Lastly, in females, just before they reach the peak of their experience, a certain part in the brain gets activated, also known as the hypothalamus.

During sex, in females, a hormone called oxytocin gets released. This is also called the love hormone. It tends to lower a person's defences and makes them feel an increase in their empathy level.

Whereas in men, there is an increase in the level of the pleasure hormone principally. This is an influencing factor in why men and women can experience different emotions during and after sex.

What Happens After Anal Sex?

Several things can happen after anal sex. As seen with other forms of sexual activity, there are some risks involved with anal sex. The foremost is rectal bleeding, where a person who has had anal sex can experience some amount of bleeding. Slight bleeding after anal sex is not a cause for concern; however, heavy bedding can indicate an injury or underlying medical condition.

During anal sex, the penetrative partner can sometimes cause a tear in the anus of their partner. This can result in ana fissures which are small cracks or tears in the lining of the anus. These small tears can cause minute bleeding and discomfort the next time the partner has a bowel movement or engages in ana sex.

Anal sex can also cause itching, which can be caused due to an infection. Anal sex can lead to sexually transmitted diseases such as gonorrhoea and chlamydia. If your symptoms do not subside in a few days, consult a doctor for medical advice.

What Happens During Sex?

During sex, you can experience a variety of sexual and physical responses. This is also known as the sexual response cycle, and the body's response changes in every stage. Men and women both go through these stages, but it is more common for men to reach an orgasm before women do. The intensity of the response may differ accordingly.

During the start of sex, you will experience increased libido, muscle tension, and heart rate. There can also be flushing of your face and body while your nipples harden. Blood subsequently flows to the penis and leads to the erection of the male sex organ.

This continues through the arousal phase and reaches a peak during the orgasm phase. In the climax phase, the involuntary muscles start contracting, and the heart rate, blood pressure and breathing are at their peak. Timed contractions at the base of the penis lead to semen ejaculation amongst men.

Does Your Body Change After Becoming Sexually Active?

No, the body doesn't change after a person starts being sexually active. These myths that breasts grow firmer and bigger or that a penis can enlarge after a person starts engaging in sex are not true.

Usually, a person has sex for the first time during their growing or puberty phase, which leads to organic development and changes in the body. Due to this coincidence, some people may believe that a body undergoes physical changes after a person becomes sexually active.


Tips To Shorten The Refractory Period

  • Make sure you indulge in extended foreplay with your partner while concentrating more on them. You can attempt to fantasise or indulge in role play as well.
  • Trying a new sex position is a great idea to extend your refractory period.
  • Try to control your ejaculation pattern while masturbating to feel more in control of your body. Then apply this practice when you indulge in sexual intercourse.

What Happens After Sex Among Females?

After sex, most women prefer to share an intimate moment with their respective partners. Experts suggest that post-sex affection is closely interrelated to relationship satisfaction when it comes to female behaviours. This is a question of socialisation. Women are often socialised into believe that sex and intimacy are the same.

Women experience a release in oxytocin after an orgasm that makes them wish to elongate cuddling, kissing or indulge in loving moments with their partner.

Men, on the other hand, are more likely to feel drowsy, wake up, get something to eat as they want to keep the presence of dopamine in their body rolling as their body is not producing much of it after orgasm.

The peripheral nervous system is highly involved in both male and female bodily responses after sex.

How To Bridge The Gap?

Even if men experience tiredness after sex, roll towards your partner while falling asleep and not away. Throw in a quick, ‘that was great, thank you’ or an ‘I love you’ if you’re in that stage of your relationship.

Both the male and female bodies are at their most vulnerable after sex. Hence, one must take advantage of these personal moments even though both bodies react differently in a biological sense.

Summing Up on What Happens After Sex

A person can experience a spectrum of emotions after sex. Along with that, people also deal with fluctuating hormones that vary in men and women. It is common for people to experience some amount of confusion as they try to sort these different types of feelings and changes. However, all your physical and emotional responses that occur after engaging in sex are valid and nothing to be concerned about.

Also read: What is Anal sex and 22 other FAQs

FAQs

What Should You do After Sex?

  • Make sure you wash your private area thoroughly after sex to avoid any infections.
  • Make sure to urinate as, during sex, bacteria may enter your urethra- the tube that helps you pass urine out the body.
  • Drink a glass or two of water so more urine can be flushed out of your system, helping you feel lighter.
  • Change into loose-fitting clothing as tight clothing increases moisture in the skin and high moisture environments are breeding grounds for fungi and bacteria.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly after sex as a part of sexual hygiene to stop infections from spreading.
  • If you happen to use sex toys, make sure to clean and disinfect those too.

Why Do Men Fall Asleep After Sex?

A hormone called prolactin is released after the male orgasm. Apart from governing how long a man's refractory period is, prolactin is also higher during sleep. Hence, men tend to feel tired and drowsy with a desire to fall asleep after sex.

References

K M Kendrick, R F Drewett (1981) Effect of testosterone on neuronal refractory periods, sexual behaviour and luteinizing hormone: a comparison of time-courses (National Library of Medicine) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/7217836/

S Kapicioglu, M Mollamehmetoglu (1998) Inhibition of penile erection in rats by a long-acting somatostatin analogue, octreotide (SMS 201-995) (National Library of Medicine) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9467491/

Olga A. Wudarczyk, Brian D. Earp (2013) Could intranasal Oxytocin be used to enhance relationships? Research imperatives, clinical policy, and ethical considerations (National Library of Medicine) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3935449/


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