Sex and Intimacy Part 2: Why Men Pull Away

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Here is Part Two of My Five Part Series, Sex and Intimacy.  This topic is of major importance as there are so many definitions and interpretations of this topic and I wanted  offer some perspectives by discussing topics related to sex and intimacy that many of us have experienced, questioned, cherished, and even regretted. 

This week’s topic is about Why Men Pull Away, particularly right after sex. Some of you may already know why, some of you are wondering why, but this blog will definitely tell you why. 

Let’s continue  the journey…

Why Men Pull Away

I was a Biological Sciences Major in College so I hope that my technical terminology is not so overbearing in this blog…but I have to break down some facts as we discuss why Men Pull Away…particularly after sex, whether you are just casually dating or even in a  stable relationship.

Have you ever had sex with a guy, only to watch him slowly disappear from your life? Maybe he doesn’t actually ghost you, but he stops texting as often, always seems to be too busy to hang out, and suddenly starts acting weird around you.

There are a few reasons men tend to get distant after sex – and a few different ways to handle it. Let’s break it down.

Falling back on my Biology degree and my personal experience, I know I am about to perpetuate clichés about the differences between men and women, but when it comes to the way we behave after sex, there’s no avoiding it: we’re slaves to our hormones. 

After women have any kind of orgasm – and there are several different, amazing kinds – we release oxytocin, which is sometimes called the love hormone or the bonding hormone. This makes us want to do things like cuddle, spill our deepest secrets, and have lots of babies. Okay, maybe not that last one, always – but if you start having fantasies about settling down and popping out kids, oxytocin can take the blame.

Men, on the other hand, experience a drop in testosterone after sex, which makes them feel like pulling away. That’s why they often fall asleep right after sex, answering your deep dark confessions with a snore. Having performed his manly duty, he loses interest for a while, until his testosterone levels have a chance to rebuild. 

This chemical imbalance kind of sucks, but once you’re aware of it, it’s less likely to hurt your feelings. 

I mention this to just drive home the point, it’s natural for a man to pull away after sex and it’s natural for a woman to want to bond more once she senses that a man is pulling away…however, if you can remember that biology is mostly to blame, it might help you keep things in perspective. Try to play it cool until you’re both clear of those orgasm-induced hormones, give him space, and he will return soon.

I have spoken with happily married couples over the years and once again, men pull away naturally…the marriage is sustainable because the wife gets this and lets her husband return on his own and trust me, it does not take the man long to return, especially if his wife respects his need for space.   

What if you are dating a man and you have questions about why a man pulled away after sex? 

Let me explain this as simply and kindly as possible. You two didn’t go get ice cream together or laugh at a new movie together, you put your most private parts together. It could just as easily be you acting strange after sex, but with men, it’s a little different.

When you’ve had sex with a man you become vulnerable, and so does he. It is going to bring up every insecurity that you could possibly imagine. It forces you to look at someone in a completely different light. To save you some serious headache and heartache, we’re going to answer all those questions swirling around in your head, like, “What happened, we were so great together?!” or “Did he just sleep with me and dump me?” or “Is he still interested but just freaking out because we got busy?”  Better yet, “Is he leaning on you for physical comfort after a break up” or “is he just horny with no other prospects”,  or has he secretly wanted to take your friendship to the next level since he first laid eyes on you?

Let’s get something straight: there’s nothing wrong with being needy. We all have needs; it’s nothing to be ashamed of. But right after sex might not be the best time to initiate a big talk about the future. Maybe you’re feeling unsure about how you feel, and you just want to discuss things, casually. You’re not making any demands – how could you, when you don’t even know what you want? Still, right after you have sex, the absolute worst thing you can do is start peppering your sleepy lover with questions about how he feels, what he wants, and what the future might hold.

It’s not uncommon for both men and women to feel a little bit of ‘what does this mean?’ confusion after sleeping with someone for the first time. Men, as a rule, aren’t as comfortable talking about their feelings as women are, so if they sense that you might be about to start a ‘where is this going’ conversation, they might instinctively pull away and try to avoid you. 

Of course you want some clarity about what is going to happen to your relationship after sex, but it boils down to having an open an honest talk AFTER he has had a chance to recover from lowered testosterone. Then, and only then is it safe to broach the subject, and then it should be addressed.

Wouldn’t it be better to know if that “oops” sex between the two of you is something he wants to pursue further or if he wants to go back to being friends, and it really was just an oops because he can’t picture himself with you.

As harsh as that may sound, it’s a gift. Knowing where you stand frees you to stop obsessing. Men often have a very particular “type” of woman in their minds that they want to date, and you either are that type or you are not. Women tend to be the same way. And scientifically speaking, people usually know if they are interested in each other sexually within the first 30 seconds of meeting!

In the best-case scenario, you would have talked about what having sex meant in the first place, so there would be no misunderstandings. Since that talk likely didn’t happen before you had sex, you have the responsibility of having it now. Believe me, it’s actually rare that the “talk” happens beforehand with most people. 

Most of the time, it’s better to wait for him to initiate contact and then ask if he wants to talk about what happened. Feel out his stance on the subject before you blurt out, “we had sex, are you falling in love with me, or not?!” 

What you really should say to him is this (If you really like him): “I really enjoyed having the intimate contact with you and you are amazing! I  do not have sex with just any man, only  a man that I do feel a connection with, I am not trying to tell you how you need to feel about me, but I want to let you know that you can be as transparent with me as possible.” 

Approaching him in this manner is not only being respectful to yourself but also to him. Trust me, he will respond. 

Hopefully, you hear the answer you really want to hear!

Just KeepingIt100,


Part III: Friends with Benefits

Part IV: He Says/She Says

Part V: Relationship Goals

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