If you’ve gone through a hard break up, you’re familiar with the shitty, soul gouging pain that comes with it.
You’re also familiar with the famous coping mechanisms – a bone-shaking bawl-fest, ice cream, sad movies, angry text messages, tequila, and …
However, are these casual encounters part of the healing process or a destructive path that damages us more than it heals?
THERE’S NOT MUCH FROM SCIENCE
THE SHORT – There’s nothing definitive tell us how rebound sex affects us.
While there are literally MILLIONS of online advice articles, there are (sadly) only a dozen or so formal studies and papers published in physiological journals.
Which means that people can give all the advice they want, but it’s really nothing better than writing a letter to Dear Abby and getting back the same, regurgitated warnings.
The one thing I think we can all agree on is …
It boils down to each person’s individual experiences, the frame of mind, and the current situation.
Let’s look at both sides of the equation – and you can decide for youself if rebound sex would work for you or not.
REBOUND SEX – THE NEGATIVES
- If it’s over an extended period of time, it signals a lack of recovery and inability to move on.
- Having rebound sex for the purpose of revenge is personally destructive.
- It can be an emotional crutch rather than healing tool.
- An increase in sexual partners comes with an increased risk of pregnancy or STIs – remember there’s no such thing as 100% safe sex.
- You might find yourself attached to your new partner, but only for the sake of not being lonely.
THE BENEFITS OF REBOUND SEX
- If people have been dealing with an unfulfilling sex life, having sex with a new, more capable partner can scratch that itch.
- It can help some people with reaffirmation in their own sexual abilities or sexual appeal.
- While a healthy diet and exercise go miles towards recovery, neither of them can give you the dump of happy hormones (or general stress relief) that an orgasm can. There are piles of papers that prove how sex itself is a healthy thing.
- If you have only been with one partner for your entire sexual life, getting out into the game can be education and liberating, not to mention help people reconnect with the abilities to engage with physical contact with another person.
People say, “Wait until the pain has passed. Then sleep with someone new.” Although there is an elementof truth to this concept, some pain can take YEARS to pass – expecting someone to stay celibate the entire time is ridiculous.
The same goes for “finding yourself again” or “getting through your baggage”. These sorts of soul searching takes an entire lifetime.
Should you jump between the sheets when you’re a hot mess and can’t make rational choices? No.
Should you stay a prude until you’re 100% mentally healthy? No – because no one would be getting laid.
There’s also a great deal depending on WHO you end up sleeping with.
If they’re sweet as hell, you might be the one who ends up hurting them, and, therefore, turning yourself into the asshole of the equation.
If they are the asshole, or don’t reciprocate the attraction etc., it can end up more emotionally damaging.
BULLSHIT YOU’LL HEAR
“You’re just a notch on someone’s bedpost.”
This isn’t necessarily true, and it can happen with any kind of sex, not just rebound.
“What if you get back together with your ex?”
It could be a problem if you have sex the day after, but this is assuming rebound sex has an expiry date of days. This phase can last months.
“You’re vulnerable and can’t make correct decisions.”
That’s assuming A LOT about people. Not everyone falls apart.
“They could be a psycho.”
Or they could be an angel. This advice is pretty stupid for rebound sex because the same thing could happen for dating or even friendships. The answer to that would be locking ourselves away and not interacting with anyone ever again.
“You have to do the walk of shame.”
We’re not having sex in some college comedy movie.
“The sex is probably bad.”
Or it might be good. You can’t predict this.
We all love easy answers.
But in this case, there are none.
What it boils down to is each person is different, each relationship is different, and each dynamic with a rebound partner is going to be different. There’s no be-all-end-all advice to tell someone whether they should do it or not.
The only thing you can do is surround yourself with supportive people, get help if the pain is serious, and practice safer sex.
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Have you had any positive or negative rebound sex experiences? If you’re comfortable, share in the comments 🙂