Why Men Pull Away After Sex (and What You Can do About It!)

Why Men Pull Away After Sex (and What You Can do About It!)

From a letter we received from a reader:


I’m friends with a guy that I’ve been hanging out with for about a year. We’ve always rally enjoyed each other’s company, and there hasn’t been anything sexual between us – until last weekend. Somehow we ended up sleeping together. I say somehow, but if I’m honest with myself I could tell that there was some sexual chemistry building between us even when we were “just friends.” The sex we had was not earth-shattering, but it was pretty great, and I’m worried now because he used to text me every day and now he’s gone totally M.I.A. How do I get him to pay attention to me again? Is he weirded out that we had sex? What do I do next so I don’t ruin our friendship?


Ariel, there are millions of women who have been in the exact same situation as you have been so we are going to tell you exactly what is happening here. You’re likely wondering to yourself – if we had so much fun together as friends, and sex was pretty great even the first time – why wouldn’t he want to hang out with me more?

The Truth is Staring You in the Face: sex changes everything

Let us 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. Keep reading, and we’ll explain why.

Take This Quiz And Find Out Right Now: Are You His Type

Click here to take our quick (and shockingly accurate) “Are You His Type” Quiz right now and find out if you are really the type of the man you like…

MORE: Why Did He Withdraw After Sex?

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?”

First, stop torturing yourself. If you let it, insecurity can get the best of you, and it doesn’t lead to a pretty place. Before you ever had sex with this guy, hopefully you were a wonderful, charming, intelligent, confident woman who could have almost any guy she chose. If you weren’t, to be honest, therein lies the rub. If you only slept with a man because it made you feel more loved or more confident, then he is going to feel that deep, aching need in you, and it isn’t very attractive. If you were already confident and love yourself, then the act of sharing another person’s bodily fluids won’t make him turn and run. In fact, just the opposite is likely to happen.

That being established, let’s look at how men and women tend to react differently after the line in the sand has been crossed – and yes. Were’ talking about S.E.X.

How Sex Affects Women

There is tons of research showing that casual sex is more correlative to negative psychological feelings in women than in men. It doesn’t mean that women don’t love casual sex, and can’t truly enjoy it, they certainly can, but women are more likely to feel emotionally vulnerable after they’ve had sex. It may be left over from a biological need to connect with a man after she’s pro-created with him (even though lots of sex is had without a desire to make babies).

MORE: Why Men Withdraw and Exactly What to Do About It

She wants him to stay and take care of his potential offspring – so it’s almost hard wired into a woman’s physiology to want to emotionally connect after sex, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Unfortunately though, it can make women emotionally needy. This is particularly the case if you really like a guy and want more from him than just a casual sexual encounter.

This is even more the case if she orgasms. When she has great sex, and the big O happens, a cascade of hormones (oxytocin in particular) flood through her body causing her seek the affections of the same man again.

Oxytocin, for example is the same bonding hormones that mother’s feel when the y nurse their babies, so it is pretty strong in how it affects a woman’s feelings.

How Sex Affects Men

Even though we live in a world replete with hook up apps, like Tinder, Blendr, Grindr, etc. a man doesn’t just want sex, but he is wired differently than a woman. His biological imperative is very different. Men tend to pull away after sex because even though they also get a flood of hormones like oxytocin just like a woman, they also experience a decrease in testosterone.

This is also why a man will temporarily stop the “chase” once he’s has sex with you. His biology will allow nothing different. When his testosterone levels stabilize again, he will find his libido is up and he will begin to seek out sex with an appealing partner or partners.

MORE: The Real Reasons Men Pull Away When They Are Falling In Love

What to Do About the Difference

The worst thing you can do is let your neediness get the best of you while his physiological, natural reaction is to take a little time out.

He may not even know if he is interested in pursuing a relationship while his body is recovering from sex.

Where Is Your Relationship Going?

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. The, 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!

MORE: Why Men Pull Away In The Early Stages: How To Get Your New Guy Back

There are also three distinct phases of falling in love, too, so you will waste a lot of time working against those deep instincts in human nature.

Sometimes it can be 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?!”

In the best-case scenario, you would have talked about what having sex meant in the first place, so there would be no misunderstandings. Is he leaning on you for physical comfort after a break up, 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?

Since that talk likely didn’t happen before you had sex, you have the responsibility of having it now.

The Sex Talk People Avoid

Talking about sex when you just want to have sex can seem like a mood killer, but if all the rules are established before you get freaky, you can really let loose, and enjoy sex more fully.

If you ask if your partner just wants to have fun, or if they are considering trying on a relationship, no one will get their hopes up for something more. At least, they are less likely to, because they are well informed before the sexual act ever happens. If he says he just wants to have some fun and you’re looking for a romantic partner that will be in your life for a long time, then there is an obvious disconnect, and as steamy as the moment may be, you can walk away, knowing you need to pursue a different relationship.

MORE: He Pulls Away After Sex: Why Guys Withdraw After You Slept Together

Try having a conversation like this:

When you are just looking for a casual hook up – “I just want to be completely open with you and let you know that I’m not ready for anything serious right now. I don’t want a commitment or a full-time relationship. I just want to have a little fun. Are you o.k. with that?”

If he agrees, then great, you can proceed. If he looks stunned, hurt or awkward, then you might want to rethink having sex with him.

When you are looking for a more serious relationship – “I’m having such a good time with you, and I feel like things are heating up. I just want to make sure we don’t do anything to jeopardize our friendship. I’d love to explore a sexual relationship with you, but I’m not looking for a one-night hook-up. Are you o.k. with that?”

MORE: Ask a Guy: When a Guy Withdraws After Sex

If he is, then proceed! If he says that he just wants to have a little fun because you look so good tonight, then that’s a red flag but you can still decide to have sex with him – just know what you are getting yourself into. He’s not going to be your boyfriend, he’s just friends with benefits until you find someone who is looking for the same thing that you are.

Don’t expect him to change his stance. It happens, but it’s about as likely as finding a palm tree in Antarctica. Usually men are very clear about what they want from a woman – just sex, or something more – and quite quickly into their relationship or friendship with them.

MORE: 5 Reasons Why Men Lose Interest After Sex + How to Change That

A Note About Casual Sex…

Obviously, we don’t need to stress enough that protection is a must if you’re going to engage in casual sex, but it isn’t just for men. Casual sex is not a good fit for many women, but some women can and do enjoy it. If you’re going to engage in casual sex, know that your biological programming is working against you since the hormones released from sex (and the emotions it triggers) are designed to make you feel bonded to the man you’re having sex with. If you’re going to engage in casual sex, you’ll need to protect your heart by knowing this up front.

Also, know that his tendency to pull away is normal and natural and isn’t a reflection on you. Men are going to try to have sex with just about any woman with a pulse. Only a select few will capture his heart.

The moment you can’t keep the relationship casual, you know it’s time to end it. It isn’t worth your heart and a negative psychological experience. If you can keep having sex, and it doesn’t keep you wrapped up in obsessive thoughts about the guy, then go for it. Know at all times what the sex means to you and only do what feels good.

MORE: Why Men Pull Away And How To Keep Him Interested

In any relationship there are 2 pivotal moments that determine if you get to live happily ever after or if it all ends in heartbreak so pay attention because this next step is vitally important. At some point the man you want is going to ask himself is this the woman I should commit to for the long term? And the answer to that determines everything… Do you know how men determine if a woman is girlfriend material (the type of woman he commits himself to) or if he sees you as just a fling? If not you need to read this next: The #1 Thing Men Desire In A Woman…

Also a final word of warning because this will destroy even the strongest relationship if you’re not careful: At some point he starts to lose interest. He doesn’t call you back or he becomes emotionally closed off. He seems like he’s losing interest or pulling away – do you know what to do? If not you’re putting your relationship and the future of your love life in great danger, read this now or risk losing him forever: If He’s Pulling Away, Do This…

Want to find out if you are really the type of the man you like Click here to take our quick (and shockingly accurate) “Are You His Type” Quiz right now and find out if you are really the type of the man you like..

Take The Quiz: Are You His Type

32 comments… add one
  • Richard July 18, 2019, 3:56 am

    The minds so weird for us guys. We see a girl we find attractive. The mind starts pumping away all these ideas. We see marriage and kids and all this kinda crap. It drives us crazy and we start to chase you HARD. We put in the work. Sometimes for years. We finally get in there and bust a nut and the illusion fades away in an instant and we wake up and there you are. You ever black out and wake up and not know where you are or how you even got there? It’s just like that.

    Done it enough times now that when I feel the mind start playing its tricks I just ignore it. So lame to do it. You never feel good about it. Especially hurting a girl.

    • Ally May 14, 2021, 12:09 am

      That is super toxic and mean to do. I’m glad you don’t do it anymore! Have you ever regained those feelings for those girls?

  • adriana September 26, 2018, 6:06 pm

    i really want some clarity on this. dealing with this kind of dilemma is not easy. if i could just talk to him so we could discuss where our relationship is going.

  • celeste September 25, 2018, 1:54 pm

    you are absolutely right. sex has different meaning and effects on men and women. this is such a good read, i will show this to my friends. thanks for posting!

  • lana September 24, 2018, 6:14 pm

    i am definitely not ok with this. i will do all that i can to avoid this from happening to me. i’ve also bookmarked this page so i would know what to do just in case.

  • tessa September 21, 2018, 2:26 pm

    i agree, never let your neediness get the best of you. this is usually what men do and it doesn’t always mean a man didn’t like you. it can be he’s only taking time thinking about how he wants things to move forward.

  • georgia September 20, 2018, 4:34 pm

    this happened to me too. i got scared and decided to take a break from dating. i also did some research about men and read articles like this to get some useful information.

  • daniela September 19, 2018, 2:11 pm

    very good points right here. men think very differently and women just gotta realize that to avoid feeling abandoned after some time or even the first time. it sucks to be in this situation but totally avoidable with these advice.

  • lala September 18, 2018, 3:52 pm

    sex really impacts men and women differently. good thing you posted this article. appreciate it so much! additional learning for me.

  • carina September 17, 2018, 2:19 pm

    if he pulls away after sex, it just means he doesn’t want any type of commitment. he’s just the regular guy who wants to have a night thing and nothing more. careful not to get your heart broken by these type of men.

  • abigail September 15, 2018, 6:36 pm

    this causes confusion and heartache to many women. i used to wonder why does this happen. now i have a better understanding. i could share this to some of my friends who are also having this type of dilemma.

  • Pharmacy September 14, 2018, 10:53 am

    Sex aside, what about when men back away emotionally—just as you start getting serious about love and marriage? Is it true that all men are commitment phobic?

  • brenda September 12, 2018, 7:37 pm

    i could not agree more. sometimes it is really better to wait for him to initiate contact. reading a man’s mind is not easy. so be brave enough to ask him about what happened and see if he is comfortable talking about it.

  • gabriella September 11, 2018, 6:12 pm

    i really wanna know the things i can do to make a man interested in me and avoid a disappearing act. hope i could get some help. thanks a lot!

  • lyle September 10, 2018, 1:45 pm

    this is why i don’t do casual sex. i had my fair share of casual dating and it always made me feel alone in the end. i would even be depressed about not being good enough to be girlfriend material.

  • elizabeth September 7, 2018, 11:47 am

    i learned a lot from this article. now i understand how sex affects men. i don’t want this to happen to me but just in case, i would know what to do. this article is really worth sharing.

  • kaela September 3, 2018, 1:11 pm

    thanks for writing this up. i’m too afraid of this ever happening to me and i think it’s a sign i came across this post. i might just have to wait a bit more and get to know him better before jumping in the sack.

  • latoya August 30, 2018, 4:11 pm

    yeah..it is better to wait for him to initiate contact then ask him about what happened just to be sure where exactly is your relationship going. i can say that this is the best advice ever!

  • monica August 28, 2018, 7:31 pm

    they say sex changes the mind of a man. i believed it when it happened to me. i learned my lesson and will never again give too much for too little!

  • celine August 24, 2018, 6:26 pm

    we women should let men learn who we are as a person. they should work harder for our approval and made them realize our worth. i learned from my experience so i am not afraid to tell a man that i don’t sleep with him just because he wants to. if i sleep with a man, it means he is very special to me to reach that point of intimacy.

  • camille August 23, 2018, 10:34 pm

    men and women react differently, even in sex. try to understand the situation first before torturing yourself thinking that he doesn’t like you because of what happened between you two in bed. talk to him and just be calm about it.

  • carlisle August 22, 2018, 10:12 pm

    this happened to me before and it hit me. i realized i’m not supposed to be getting intimate to a stranger. now, i make sure to really know the guy and if we are even compatible.

  • leslie August 21, 2018, 5:35 pm

    this happened to me to too and it was never easy! maybe all he wanted was sex and he thought of me as an easy girl. i don’t want to make the same mistake so i decided to go on at least 6 dates before sleeping with a guy. if he can’t deal with it then he just don’t deserve me.

  • paula August 20, 2018, 5:22 pm

    i had this experience before and this broke me for a while. after moving past it, i made a promise to myself not to have sex with someone i don’t know much or not in a relationship with. i want someone committed to me.

  • ashley August 17, 2018, 1:35 pm

    i say give it time and let him process what really is gong on. stop torturing yourself about what you could have done wrong and don’t let all negative thoughts get into your mind.

  • mary rose August 16, 2018, 8:34 pm

    i’ve been reading blogs about this lately and yeah, i would say that a lot of women go through this dreaded situation. i don’t want to experience this or if ever this happened to me, i would know what to do. thanks for the information i learned from this article. very good read.

  • gemma August 15, 2018, 2:39 pm

    maybe he’s not really pulling away just because you did it. ask him and he’ll tell you straight if he has a valid reason. if he avoids you or your questions, maybe he isn’t really planning on moving forward with you.

  • khay August 14, 2018, 6:46 pm

    me too, i was very confused with this man. we spent an amazing night together and we both knew that the sparks were there but then he just disappeared. i am happy to find some useful information about this issue.

  • rose August 13, 2018, 8:09 pm

    i’ve been in this same exact same situation before and it was very confusing. this is a male behavior that i don’t want to experience again. good thing there is an article like this who can help us understand why men do this.

  • sophia August 10, 2018, 8:39 pm

    oh-oh. this topic really bothers me. i am friends with this very wonderful guy and we somehow ended up in bed together. now, he is acting very strange ever since. i hope he is just busy.

  • carmela August 9, 2018, 4:00 pm

    maybe you gave him hints that you are okay with a 1 night thing. most men do not really care about women’s emotions at all.

  • martha August 8, 2018, 2:19 pm

    oh gosh, i will go cray-cray if this ever happens to me. i will sure get all paranoid thinking what i did wrong or what went bad and all. thanks for this post, i’ll make sure i know his true intentions before getting in bed with him.

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