Why Men Pull Away After Sex (and What You Can Do About It!)
You’ve been seeing this guy and all is well and you decide it’s time to get between the sheets … and then everything changes. He pulls away after sex and you feel crushed and devastated. What happened? Is this just a thing guys do?
It could be a guy you’ve been seeing, or maybe a friend that you got a little too friendly with one night. No matter what the circumstances, it’s devastating to a woman when a guy withdraws after sex. And she can’t help but take it personally.
So is it true that all men are after one thing? Do men really lose interest after sex? Are all men scumbags? No, no, and no.
Yes, sometimes men do pull away after sex but it’s not for the reasons you may think. Let’s get to the heart of the matter and look at what’s really going on here.
Take The Quiz: Is He Losing Interest?
We Had Sex, Now What?
The truth is, nothing really changes for a man after sex. He doesn’t see you or the relationship any differently. But a lot can change for the woman. Suddenly, she is in a totally different headspace. She’s consumed with fears and worries and doubts and her insecurities do a full takeover.
- Does he like me?
- Is he going to commit?
- Did I do something to turn him off?
- Was he just using me?
- Am I ever going to hear from him again?
These questions can drive you insane and can totally change the vibe and dynamic in the relationship.
Women get more attached after sex. This isn’t just a stereotype, it’s a scientifically backed truth. During sex, a woman releases Oxytocin, known as the “love hormone,” which causes her to feel more bonded and connected to her partner. After having an orgasm, the oxytocin released can cause a woman to deeply trust her partner, and this may make her feel more attached to him.
Oxytocin doesn’t have this same effect on men. Rather than a surge of bonding, men experience a surge of pleasure and this makes them want even more pleasure!
This is why a man might emotionally withdraw (because he isn’t on the same wavelength as you), but still seem sexually receptive.
But let’s take a look at some more reasons a man will pull away after sex.
When a Guy Starts Acting Different After You Sleep With Them
Here are the most common reasons why it happens:
You put on the pressure.
So you and he did the deed and now you want to know … where is this relationship going?
If you try to have this conversation after sex, he might feel pressured and feel uncomfortable and start to withdraw. If he really likes you, he’ll sort himself out and will come back. As you know, most guys prefer to retreat and withdraw when dealing with something difficult or stressful, or even just when they want to gain clarity or perspective.
If you want to be in a relationship with him, you should probably have that conversation before sleeping with him, especially if it’s going to make you upset to learn he doesn’t want the same thing.
He doesn’t like you enough …
He’s attracted to you, he enjoys you, he thinks you’re a cool chick, he just doesn’t want to be in a relationship with you.
Guys know that girls get more attached. It’s just the truth. And we know that girls get more attached after sex. If a guy is really into you, this won’t be so scary. But if it’s a girl he’s not that into, he’ll back away because he doesn’t want to give her the wrong idea.
You’re acting differently.
Whether consciously or unconsciously, it’s possible you have an expectation of things in the relationship changing because you slept together. And it’s possible he feels this energy coming off of you and he feels pressured by it. Guys don’t see sex as some sort of relationship milestone. It doesn’t mean he is more invested than he was the day before and it doesn’t mean that you are now officially in a relationship.
Sex and the relationship are two separate things in a man’s mind. They don’t bleed into one another and sex doesn’t change the status of your relationship.
If you expect that it will and it should, then you will start transmitting a totally different vibe and that is probably what he’s reacting to, not the fact that you had sex.
Try to keep your expectations grounded. Don’t go into the situation expecting that things will be different when you sleep with him. You need to be in a state of mind where you will be totally OK if nothing changes in the relationship. If you’re sleeping with him as a means to move things along and take it to the next level then you really need to check your motivations. Do it because you want to, not because you’re hoping the sex will lead you somewhere.
You assume guys will lose interest after sex
I don’t know where this idea came from, but it’s not true. The majority of men aren’t going to fake a relationship with you in order to get you into bed and then bounce. Sex doesn’t cause a man to lose interest. Either he wasn’t interested enough, to begin with, or something else happened that caused him to lose interest. It wasn’t the sex!
If a guy isn’t acting as 100% all in after having sex and you immediately assume it’s because he did the classic guy thing of losing interest after sex, you will be consumed with fears and worry. And this will come across to him.
Suddenly, it doesn’t feel so good to be around you so he pulls back a bit. Then you get even more worried and even more convinced that he just used you and all men are scum and you try to get his attention back by any means necessary and you may start acting desperate and needy and then everything goes downhill.
He’s not really pulling away, you’re just being paranoid.
Women can be extra sensitive during the post-coital period for the reasons mentioned above. As a result, you might interpret innocent things as bad signs. For example, maybe he takes a while to text you back one day. Before you had sex, you wouldn’t have thought much about this. But after sex, you feel worried and crushed and sure that it’s a sign of worse things to come.
It’s possible he’s just acting totally normal and your fears are clouding your perception of reality and making things appear bad and doomed even when everything is fine.
It’s not because the sex was bad.
I just want to clear up this misconception. A guy isn’t going to pull away because you didn’t dazzle him in bed. For a guy, sex is like pizza. Even when it’s not great it’s still good. He’s not withdrawing because you were bad in bed. Sex is still sex! So don’t think you need to learn some fancy new tricks or be a little more “freaky.”
What to Do When a Guy Pulls Away After Sex
Just leave it be. Don’t keep contacting him, this will just make you look desperate and that is a huge turnoff.
Don’t sext him or send him sexy pictures or send him anything provocative. I mean, by all means, do all these things if he’s being receptive, but if he’s being short or cold or taking forever to reply (note: when a guy is into a girl and she sends a sexy text, he will not wait a few hours or days to reply to it! The only way that would happen is if he was in the hospital with some condition that caused him to lose all sensation in his fingers rendering him physically unable to text back!).
If you send him something like, “You should see the outfit I’m wearing, it’s so slutty!” And he doesn’t reply until the next day, or he gives you some blah uninterested reply, then just leave it alone. Don’t follow up with: “Want to see it?” “Want me to come over and show you in person?” “Are you picturing me in my outfit?”
Just leave. it. alone.
Women make this mistake all the time. They think if they push it a little farther, if they up the ante and get a little sexier or talk a little more explicitly then he’ll reply. If he’s not responding, it’s because he doesn’t want to, not because you’re not sufficiently pressing the right buttons. It’s really not that difficult to get a guy’s juices flowing. If you have to try that hard, he just isn’t feeling it.
MORE: When to Sleep With a Guy
Now, what if … he is receptive to your sexual texts, but not to anything that isn’t sexual…
Well, in that case, he likes having sex with you but he doesn’t like you. Look, men love sex. Women also love sex. If you serve a man sex up on a silver platter, well he’s going to take it! That doesn’t guarantee he’s going to want to take you out on fancy dates as well, though. If he isn’t interested, he isn’t interested.
If he replies right away when you text him something sexual, but takes hours or days to respond when you try to initiate any non-sexual conversation, then his intentions are pretty clear. He likes the sex, he doesn’t really like you (well not enough to date you). The simplest explanation is usually the right one, so don’t make yourself crazy analyzing his behavior.
What if he’s receptive but he doesn’t really initiate? First, take a step back. He may not be initiating contact because he’s used to you always reaching out. If you back off and he still makes no effort, then he’s just not interested enough. If you feel like the only way to keep a guy in your life is to always reach out to him … and if you stopped reaching out he would vanish from your life, it’s a pretty bad sign and clear indication that you and he are not on the same page.
Have the “Sex Talk” Before the Sex
If you know he is on the same page as you, cool, there’s nothing to discuss. If you feel unsure of what this is and where it’s all going, then just talk to him about it beforehand. Do you want this to be a casual, no-strings thing? Are you hoping to continue spending time with him? Do you want things to be exclusive? Just say what’s on your mind. Don’t sprinkle clues for him to pick up on.
If he’s on the same page as you, great! If he’s not, well you need to decide how you feel about that. Are you OK with the fact that he wants to continue dating other women or will this crush your soul? Get clear on where you stand and be honest with yourself.
The fact is, your mindset is what matters more than anything. If you’re a confident woman with a lot to offer and you know this, then he will see and appreciate the many sides of you.
If deep down you feel you have nothing to offer and you lead with sex, then he will pursue you purely for physical pleasure … because that’s all he sees.
It really starts with you and how you feel about yourself. If you feel good about yourself and trust that a man will see your value, you won’t feel the need to obsess over him and where he stands. This is the type of energy that pushes men away and only people who don’t really believe they have worth engage in this sort of thinking.
It doesn’t matter when you sleep with him, it’s the intention behind your action.
I hope this article gave you clarity and helped you better understand why guys pull away after sex. A lot of women have this fear and I totally get it. Before a man “ghosts” he’ll usually start pulling away first. It’s a horrible feeling, but there is a way to bring him back and get things back on track. Read this to find out more: If He’s Pulling Away, Do This...
Take The Quiz: Is He Losing Interest?
Why Men Pull Away After Sex:
- You put on the pressure.
- He doesn’t like you enough.
- You’re acting differently.
- You assumed he would lose interest after sex.
- He’s not really pulling away, you’re just being paranoid.