Why do men fall asleep after sex?

After sex, I like to cuddle, but my husband always conks out. Why do men fall asleep right after sex anyway? --A


Dear A:

I get this question a lot. Despite the jokes associated with this situation -- him snoring, her reaching out for more -- for the most part, women are anything but amused by this behavior. Unfortunately, men who fall asleep right after sex are merely giving in to biological forces. At orgasm, both men and women release the hormone oxytocin. This is the same chemical the body releases during breastfeeding, which is responsible for putting babies to sleep as they suckle the breast. Why would a grown-up boy be any different? He wouldn't. Oxytocin is also known as the chemical that precipitates "bonding" between mother and infant during breastfeeding and may be what makes women want to cuddle after sex. In men, it may show up simply as the "urge to merge."

There is one way you may be able to keep his eyes open for a little longer. In coaching clients, I often observe that both men and women hold their breath while in the throes of lovemaking, in an effort to sustain the tension that is often necessary to bring the body to climax. By breathing consciously and fully, couples can lessen some of the urge to snooze after the Big "O." So, next time your honey is about to reach the finale and you anticipate his ZZZs, encourage him to take long, deep breaths. Say "ahhhhhh" together, and give him a short rest if he needs it, before you lure him back into action.

Another thing to keep in mind is how long it takes each of you to reach the finish line. Most men reach orgasm within three to 20 minutes after arousal, while women find that it takes them as long as 20 to 60 minutes to gain that momentum. So even if you can't get him to suspend sleep after sex, be sure your man pleases you before going for his own pleasure. That way you'll be satisfied in at least one way before he drifts off.