Post-coital tristesse  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Sexual intercourse can sometimes lead to a feeling of melancholy called PCT, or post-coital tristesse (from Latin post-coital, and French tristesse, literally — “sadness”). This is more common in men than in women. Many PCT sufferers may also exhibit strong feelings of anxiety, anywhere from five minutes, to two hours after coitus.

The phenomenon is referred to by the philosopher Baruch Spinoza in his Tractatus de Intellectus Emendatione when he said "For as far as sensual pleasure is concerned, the mind is so caught up in it, as if at peace in a [true] good, that it is quite prevented from thinking of anything else. But after the enjoyment of sensual pleasure is past, the greatest sadness follows. If this does not completely engross, still it thoroughly confuses and dulls the mind."

A better-known reference is the Latin phrase Post coitum omne animal triste est —"After sexual intercourse every animal is sad". The correct phrase is " Post coitum anima tristes est" which translates to "After sex the spirit is sad"

In art


In Triptych Inspired by T.S. Eliot's poem "Sweeney Agonistes", Bacon shows a couple erotically entwined in the right-hand panel, while a clothed male figure stands looking at them. The left-hand panel shows another couple, in full view, lying in post-coital tristesse.

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Post-coital tristesse" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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