You may have read around the internet today that 10 percent of women sometimes feel depressed after sex. Which is weird, sure, but Marie Claire’s Maura Kelly seems surprised the numbers aren’t higher.

Her article begins:

‘When I read about a new report from the Queensland Institute of Technology in Australia that looked at women and discovered that one-tenth of them frequently or almost always felt sad right after sex, I thought, “Hmm, if we’re talking about casual sex, I’m surprised the number wasn’t higher!“‘


The assumption that casual sex leads to feelings of depression, specifically among women, is antiquated and offensive.

Some women like casual sex, some women do not. But I think we can safely assume that the majority of women who do engage in casual sex do so because it does not make them depressed (or make them feel bad about themselves, as Kelly’s correlation seems to imply). Right?

And then it goes on:

‘But lead researcher Robert Schweitzer was looking at a range of college women, not necessarily those who’d, for example, only had one-night stands.

Ah, yes, for example. Because only a one-night stand, and not, say, sex with a long-term partner you no longer had feelings for, could trigger depression.

‘He was also asking about their feelings in the moments just afterwards (and not, for instance, the next day, by which time regret or disappointment may have set in).

The original study, according to LiveScience, makes it pretty clear that post-coital depression has very little to do with any psychological attachment (or lack thereof) to the sexual partner at hand. Just like postpartum depression has nothing to do with the baby you delivered. It’s just a (rather unfortunate) hormone thing.

But in her article, Kelly again and again makes the connection between casual sex (and, therefore, what? Regret? Shame?) and this phenomenon, even as she disproves her own assumptions by quoting the article.

Her surprise at the lack of correlation between post-coital depression and casual sex is disheartening: I’d like to think that at this point, most women are comfortable enough in their sexuality to not continue to have casual sex if it makes them feel bad about themselves, and to do it all they want if it makes them feel good.