Are your legs shaking after sex? This is why it happens—and how to ease it

Legs shaking after sex is a totally normal sensation, but knowing more about why it happens can but your mind at ease

two images of legs entangled in bed to illustrate legs shaking after sex, against a pink square background
(Image credit: Getty Images/Future)

If you've ever felt your legs shaking after sex, there's no need to panic. Along with a raised heartbeat and a slight (or not so much) glimmering of sweat, shaking legs post-coitus is actually one of the most normal sensations in the book—but why exactly does it happen, and what can you do to relax your trembling limbs after some private time in the bedroom?

If you notice your legs shaking after sex, you may know that the effects can be even more pronounced if you orgasm during sex. Whether you've been intimate with a partner, have just tried out one of the best sex tips for the first time, or have had solo time with one of the best sex toys, reaching climax can trigger our muscles to move in unexpected ways, such as shaking. And as you may know, the same sensation can arise even if you don't orgasm—in fact, intense sexual pleasure can be it all it takes to trigger shaking legs.

However, while very common, post-sex leg shakes won't happen to everyone. In the same way that turn-ons and turn-offs vary from person to person (the idea that the same thing turns us all on is one of the biggest sex myths), so will the way in which your body responds to some feel-good bedroom action. But, if you're wondering, 'why do my legs shake after sex', or if you experience leg shaking after an orgasm, here's the low-down on why it happens—and what you can do about it if it bothers you. 

Why are your legs shaking after sex?

As mentioned, it's important to know that your legs shaking after sex is nothing to be worried about. But why do legs shake after sex? While leg shaking is more likely to happen with added intensity during sexy time—perhaps from one of the best app-controlled vibrators or maybe the edging technique—it is usually due to having either reached orgasm, or the overall intensity of the physical act of sex. 

Generally, shaking after sex or orgasm is one of the number of ways our body releases the built-up tension after intercourse as part of the “come down” experience, after feeling something so euphoric. 

It has a technical term; myotonia, which is essentially a muscle contraction that occurs after having sex. Put simply, shaking legs after sex is simply your muscles relaxing after the intense contraction that occurs all over our bodies after sex, not just in our genital areas.

Tatyannah King, a sex blogger, explains, "An intensely pleasurable release of sexual tension is accompanied by contractions of the uterus, vagina, and pelvic floor muscles. Muscles throughout the rest of the body, like in the legs, may contract as well." 

When we climax, we often have a physical reaction to the pleasure. This includes a heady build-up, toe-curling contractions and afterwards, the tingling feeling of peak relaxation. “As arousal grows, heart rate, blood pressure and breathing increase and skin becomes rosier,” says Dr Laura Vowel, therapist and principal researcher at sex therapy app Blueheart

“When an orgasm happens, the muscles in the vagina—and sometimes elsewhere in the body—often twitch or spasm," explains Dr Vowel. "At the same time, the brain releases a surge of dopamine— which triggers a feeling of pleasure—and oxytocin, the bonding or cuddling hormone.” 

Midsection of two women cuddling in bed

(Image credit: Getty)

Charlotte Johnson, in-house sex expert for MegaPleasure, also explained that leg shaking can be due to the amount of physical effort involved in having sex. 

She told us, “leg shakes or tremors experienced after sex are more common than you’d think. Medically known as postcoital dysphoria, it is caused by the release of tension that naturally builds up during the orgasm stages of sex due to the amount of energy your body exerts."

Experts explain that shaking legs after sex can *also* be down to the position of your legs during your intimate time, too. For example, if you regularly hold one position for a long time during intercourse, your legs may simply become more tense or clenched, resulting in shaking when you finally relax again.

If you experience shaking after sex, this may also be heightened due to something called 'squirting' (you can see some of our top sex tips here if you're looking to achieve this!) King continues: "Some people may ejaculate when having a vaginal orgasm. When this happens, a clear fluid spurts from glands close to the urethra during intense sexual excitement or orgasm.”

So, if your legs are shaking after sex, it's probably just thanks to a release of post-sex tension—meaning more often than not, it's absolutely nothing to worry about. In fact, you might even enjoy the heady come-down!

Do women experience legs shaking after sex more than men?

While, anecdotally, more women say that they experience legs shaking after sex—it seems that it does happen to women more than men statistically, too. 

Hipster couple playing cards on sofa

(Image credit: Getty)

So why do women's legs shake after sex? “Research has indicated that women experience leg shaking more so after sex than men, and whilst there’s no definitive answer as to why, some suggest it’s because women tend to orgasm more intensely, which leads to the muscles contracting in a more aggressive and more pronounced way," Melissa Stone, sex and relationship expert at Joy Love Dolls, said.

"Another reason women could experience it more than men is down to how ‘loud’ we can be during sex. Women are far more vocal, expressing and releasing how pleasurable sex is, and it’s this energy release that can contribute to leg tremors."

So if you're keen to pleasure the lady in your life and have been wondering how to make her legs shake, it seems the key is to simply ensure she's having as pleasurable time as possible, however that happens for her.

What to do if your legs shake after sex

As we've established, legs shaking after sex is nothing to be concerned about. However, if the sensation bothers you, or it happens a lot and you're curious to know how you might ease it a little, there are things you can do.

"The same way you get the ‘shakes’ after an intense exercise class, after sex, it’s recommended to stretch thoroughly, reducing the muscle tension and tremors," Melissa explains. "Even without leg tremors, it’s always recommended to loosen your muscles straight after sex, to avoid any tension building."

"You can also experiment with massaging your legs. Ask your partner to help, or invest in a massage gun. Whichever way you do so, massaging will help alleviate the pain and anxiety from shaking."

Experts also suggest ensuring you are hydrated after sex, as being dehydrated (possibly from sweating a lot) can exacerbate the feeling of shaky legs, in the same way it might after exercise.

Melissa said, "As leg shakes are relatively normal, the most common thing to do is simply ride it out and wait for the shakes to naturally disappear. By staying hydrated and doing the above, your body will naturally rest itself and recover, relieving you of any discomfort."

couple under the duvet cover in bed facing each other, with their feet at the end

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Similarly, eating more potassium-rich foods, such as bananas, can help to combat shaking. As with water, potassium-rich foods can help to ease muscle contraction, therefore slowing down the shaking. 

However, Charlotte urged that if your shaking is prolonged, or much more intense than usual, it's worth getting it checked out. "If the shaking is more severe than you’d anticipate being normal, or you experience other symptoms post-sex, I’d highly recommend speaking to your doctor to have it investigated."

But remember that that leg shaking after an orgasm, or sex in general, is a very regular occurrence for lots of people. So if it doesn't bother you much, and doesn't last too long, there's absolutely no need to be worried, or to change your behaviors. 

Mariana Cerqueira

Mariana is Editor of My Imperfect Life. She has previously worked for titles including woman&home and Goodto, covering all aspects of women’s lifestyle — from beauty and fashion to wellness and travel. She was nominated for AOP Digital Journalist of the Year in 2020, and for New Digital Talent of the Year at the 2016 PPA Digital Awards. She’s mildly obsessed with reality TV (Love Island memes included) and spends far too much time checking her horoscope and figuring out the perfect curly hair routine.