Why Do I Feel Guilty After Sex?

a person laying in a bed under a blanket

Sexual guilt can be caused by a number of things, including: sex that isn’t consensual, masturbation, or being underage. It can also be caused by religious beliefs, cultural norms, or if you identify as non-heterosexual.

Thankfully, sexual guilt is something that can be unlearned. Here are some tips for doing so: Focus on pleasure rather than guilt.

1. You were raised in a society that sees sex as taboo

Throughout your life, you may have been exposed to a lot of sex taboo talk. It’s likely that the culture you were raised in taught you that sex is dirty, wrong, and should be kept secret. This is a form of socialization that takes place from birth and continues into adulthood, and often leads to people feeling guilty for sexual acts.

However, it’s important to remember that this sex taboo is not the reality of the world we live in today. Sexuality is no longer a secret or a taboo topic and people can talk about it openly, sex is not something that only happens in the bedroom, and sex can be pleasurable for both parties. This is a huge shift from the taboo that existed in Ancient humanity where sex was used as a population control measure and is probably why it was deemed so hush-hush for such a long time.

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Nevertheless, there are still a lot of people who feel guilty for their sexual experiences and for having an interest in certain kinks or sexual fantasies that aren’t considered ‘normal’ – such as BDSM, bondage and anal sex. This can have a detrimental effect on an individual’s sexual wellbeing and they may end up avoiding sex altogether. To get rid of this guilt, it’s vital to examine the underlying issues that are contributing to it.

2. You have an unusual sex preference

Many people feel guilty for their sexual desires, particularly those who have unusual sex preferences such as kinks or fetishes. These feelings may be a result of pressure from family, friends or culture that sees these interests as abnormal or wrong. It can also be a result of internal conflict, such as feeling uncomfortable or not being able to live up to sexual fantasies.

While it is not uncommon to feel a sense of guilt after sex, it’s important to know that these feelings are normal. They can occur as a result of a number of factors, including the rush of neurochemicals that happens during orgasm and then wears off (similar to a roller coaster ride) or because of the negative beliefs you were raised with about sex.

The key to overcoming these feelings is to work out what is behind them. For example, you might want to write them down in a journal or talk about them with a trusted friend. Once you get to the root of them, you can start to move forward and enjoy a healthy sex life.

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3. You’re afraid of being rejected by your partner

One of the most common reasons people feel guilty after sex is because they’re afraid of being rejected by their partner. This can be especially true if a person has internalized sexual shame, which is an intense feeling of anxiety and guilt related to their sex life. Sexual shame has been known to deteriorate a person’s physical and emotional well-being, as well as the health of their closest relationships.

Sexual shame has been shown to cause a person to avoid sexual activity and may even stop them from seeking contraceptive methods or medical treatment if they experience symptoms. Ultimately, the best way to get rid of these feelings is to address the root causes and learn how to set boundaries.

If you’re afraid that your partner will reject you, you can try to shift the dynamic by learning how to communicate more openly with your partner. For example, you could try asking your partner open-ended questions that let them know you’re listening to them and caring about what they have to say.

Another option is to seek professional help to work through the root causes of your fears. A therapist can teach you how to unpack the anxieties that are making you fearful of intimacy and make progress towards a healthy relationship.

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4. You don’t want to hurt your partner’s feelings

If you’re feeling guilty after sex because you don’t want to hurt your partner’s feelings, it may be time to have an honest conversation with them about your feelings. If you’re not being truthful about your emotions, your partner will never know what you are thinking or feeling, which can cause tension in the relationship.

If your partner feels hurt by something you did during sex, they need to be able to communicate this to you so that you can make amends. It’s important for your partner to feel heard and understood when they’re upset by a sexual blunder, because it will help them to feel calmer and more connected to you.

Alternatively, your feelings of guilt after sex could be a sign that you’re not bonding with your partner as much as you think you are. Sadness after sex is sometimes known as post-coital tristesse, and it’s thought to be the brain’s way of welcoming you back into reality after the euphoria and oxytocin you experience during sexual intercourse.

Of course, it’s also possible that your feelings of sadness are caused by another underlying issue, such as trauma or a sexual dysfunction. In this case, it’s best to talk to a therapist or other health professional about your feelings. They can help you understand what’s going on and give you tools to work through them.

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