With someone new or with your ex, it's time to talk post-break-up sex! While having sex for the first time after a break-up can certainly be fun, there is also a lot to consider — especially when it comes to your emotions. There are a lot of complex feelings involved, and there's just no getting around it. When a break-up happens, particularly after a long-term relationship, your life will be uprooted. That includes your sex life. Everything that became your norm will change. And while that's often scary, it can also bring a ton of excitement and opportunity for self-discovery. We're breaking down what sex after a break-up could mean for you to help you find your way along this difficult path.
Before Sex After a Break-Up, You Need Confidence — You Need Time
In the wake of a break-up, your focus should be on moving on and growing. Post-break-up sex is a part of that process, but whether it hurts or helps depends on a lot of factors. First of all, it's not easy to get your sexy back after a break-up. Regular sex is a self-esteem builder and losing it can take a toll on your confidence. The only way to truly build that back up is time. A lot of folks immediately jump to the "I have to put myself back out there!" idea, but while that might sound fun (and will be), it can be rather intimidating at first. Give yourself the time you need, even if it's a while. Once you do have sex after a break-up, it can give you a much-needed confidence boost, countering the rejection you felt initially. But if you're still feeling a bit nervous or confused about your mental state, it might be best to hold off.
Do What Feels Right — But Know What You're Ready For
Keeping track of your emotions is of the utmost important. Having sex for the first time after a break-up is a big step, and you have to be ready to take it. There's no right or wrong way to think — or act — when going dealing with a break-up. Doing what feels right often is best, but there are certainly risks to acting without thinking, and some choices can be unhealthy. For instance, a lot of people get too emotionally attached too quickly when have sex after a break-up because they're trying to fill a void, which can be rather damaging. Only you know how risky this is for you, and it's crucial to be mindful of it. Post-break-up sex — and life! — is all about what you want and need.
That said, if you know you're ready for some steamy sex, get on it! You're no longer bound to another person, so this is a great opportunity to explore your sexual freedom. Try new things, sleep with new people and embrace all the newness that comes your way.
Post-Break-Up Sex with Your Ex: Good or Bad?
Let's face it — almost everyone considers having post-break-up sex with their ex. When emotions, feelings and tensions are running high, it can lead to sex under any circumstance. Plus, if you're still having honest and open conversations with your ex (which can be a healthy part of the healing process), that's a form of intimacy, which can head straight down to hookup town. Experts are somewhat divided on whether post-break-up sex with an ex is good or bad, but most agree that it is at least risky territory. We'll break down some perspectives on this, but always proceed with caution.
It Can Be Good (and Hot)
Your feelings and attractions don't go out the window immediately after a break-up. You (probably) enjoyed having sex with that person, and you (probably) still would. At least in the moment. It might feel wrong, maybe even taboo, and that can make it insanely sexy while you're doing it. Some studies suggest that sex after a break-up with your ex doesn't necessarily equate to emotional attachment. For some, it might even be a coping mechanism. A lot of that depends on what your intent is — if you're just looking to bang, then it could be fine; if you're still in the process of moving on, it could be harmful. On the other hand, if the sex is bad, it could give you a bit of closure. But the chances of that are slim.
The potential benefits of doing the dirty with your ex, both physical and mental, are short-term. The long-term effects are much more complicated, especially if you keep having feelings for them or one of you starts pursuing other people. Sure, post-break-up sex does have a reputation for being hot as hell, but that's because your emotions are firing on all cylinders, especially if you suspect it might be the "last time." That all goes hand-in-hand with arousal. Afterwards? You might be left with a bunch of questions, or worse yet, it could sustain your pain and prolong your healing. Only you can decide if it's worth it.
It's Probably Bad
Post-break-up sex with the ex is likely to be fun and hot — and confusing, which can harm your mental health and wellbeing. Most of the time, break-ups create a new and unbalanced power dynamic. The person who got dumped might want to continue the relationship, so sex would feel good. The person who did the dumping is probably still horny, so they might take advantage of that. This can be harmful for both parties, particularly if it keeps going on, creating a loop of post-break-up sex where neither one can sever the physical or emotional ties. The sex might be great, but itll get harder and harder to let go and move on. Talk about confusion!
On the other hand, if the post-break-up sex is bad or dull, it might make your incompatibilities clear and remind you why it was a good idea to split up in the first place. It could also make things incredibly awkward, and you won't have any of your old comforts to fall back on. The biggest thing to remember is that sex will never fix a bad relationship. Sex can bolster a good relationship, but it can't solve problems — those will still be there when the clothes go back on. If your ex is the source of your pain, no amount of attention or contact from them will lead to healing.
It's a Bit of Both — Control Your Emotions and Understand Your Motivations
Ultimately, having sex after a break-up with an ex is typically good in the moment but bad in the long run. Romance is addictive, and sex can give you the fix you're looking for. But that's just a temporary form of satisfaction. That shifted power dynamic we mentioned? It means you're both probably not on the same page, so your motivations behind having sex are incompatible. To know what your own motivations are, ask yourself the following:
- What do I want out of post-break-up sex with my ex?
- Do I still have feelings for them or not?
- Would I be upset if they cut off contact after sex?
Also, take your ex's feelings into consideration, too. They might say they're good with only a physical relationship, but if you know they still want to be with you, it's not fair to take advantage of that. The best way for you both to heal is to close the door to the bedroom and cut off contact. Maybe, much later after you've fully separated and seen other people, you could have some post-break-up sex as friends if you're both comfortable with it. But there's always a risk that it could fiddle with your feelings. If it happens, it's certainly not the end of the world, but recognize it for what it is and move on.
Sleeping with Someone New After a Break-Up
There's almost as much to consider before sleeping with someone new after a break-up. Sex always requires a certain level of trust, and you might need to build a bit of intimacy with someone before you're willing to jump into their bed. That's okay! Finding the right person is important. That doesn't mean you should try to have a new relationship right away — in fact, that's probably too much too soon. But you should feel comfortable getting vulnerable with them. While some people think "the best way to get over someone is to get under someone else," that's not necessarily the case.
Sex After a Break-Up Can Be Hard
Having sex for the first time after a break-up is not always great. A new person won't know your turn-ons like your ex did. However, that might be new and exciting if you let it be! You might also feel nervous and vulnerable, obsessing over your looks and sexual prowess for the first time in a while. You'll get a rush of emotions overall — some good, some bad, some scary! That can make the sex a bit awkward and strange. It would be absolutely fantastic, too. There's simply a lot of unknown factors, and single life isn't just some orgasmic paradise. The best course of action is to try not have any expectations for sex after a break-up — just try to have fun!
Sex After a Break-Up Will Eventually Be Good
The first time you have sex after a break-up might not be the one that makes you forget your ex. That's because, again, only time will do that. You might make some bad decisions at first, too. However, you don't have to be completely over your ex to start casually sleeping with someone new after a break-up, as long as you can distinguish between something physical and something emotional. Either way, sex after a break-up, like everything else, will get better with time.
How to Have the Best Sex After a Break-Up
The best advice is to get out of your previous routine (even if it was good). That will help you rediscover your sexual desires. As for sleeping with someone new after a break-up, consider the following to make it the best sex it can be:
- Be open with your partner — express your anxieties, share your likes and listen to theirs.
- Feel comfortable — don't worry about how you look.
- Slow down — stay relaxed and build up with some kissing and foreplay.
- Keep things fun, funny and flirty — even if it gets awkward.
- Always have protection and lube at the ready.
- Talk about what you liked in the past, not who — avoid discussing your sexual history unless you're both absolutely okay with it.
- Get some sex toys in the mix — it's one of the best ways to feel a sense of newness.
In addition to all of these tips, remember that it's not all about the orgasm. You're both new to each other, and while having and giving an orgasm is great, it doesn't have to be your main focus. That should be on your level of comfort.
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