La Tristesse (Sadness after orgasm), 2024

Monika Falkus

180 x 150 cm

oil on canvas

We both know perfectly well what has just happened. Intense tension, accelerated breathing, increased pressure, involuntary muscle spasms. Increasing heat causes our bodies to blush. Lying lazily on the pink couch with our nine outstretched limbs still gently pulsing to the rhythm of the pleasure experienced – yours four seconds and mine twenty-six seconds – we throw each other smiles of satisfaction. The amorous satisfaction of our bodies, hastily fleeing from us, gives space to emotional needs. The cool gray reality outside the circle of the safe bed returns. Peaking, the tension subsides, but sex is not just a moment of ascent. After reaching orgasm, mistakenly equated with completion, there is a final stage of rapprochement in which we touch our emotions – a sudden reflection on what has just happened. Sometimes we feel a mundane need for food, restorative sleep, or immediate repetition. We expect gentle touch, closeness, and tender conversation, which is an acknowledgment of the pleasure given and received and our simultaneous farewell. Orgasm, despite the personal, internal experience, we feel together, thus building carnal confidentiality. Sometimes, however, moans and screams are followed by sadness, anxiety, and crying against our will. Slight depression – tristesse, a feeling of disappointment, discouragement, disappointment. At the moment of sexual fulfillment, the desire that gave courage falls. The body wants to disappear or get dressed right away. Restrained by ourselves, we want to remain in silence. We project mutual rejection when we intimately share a bed. We build fantasies of infidelity and visions of betrayal.


Was it just a shared experience of pleasure or something else? Every second, 2,500 couples in the world experience sexual pleasure. Each bonding orgasm consistently leads to the next stage – separation.