Heartbreak, Sex

6 Brutal (But Liberating) Truths About Post-Breakup 'Revenge Sex'

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Having Revenge Sex

If you've ever had post-breakup "revenge sex" as a way of getting over (or back at) your ex, you're in good company. A study conducted by the Archives of Sexual Behavior found that approximately one third of people have sex with someone new within four weeks of a breakup.

Why do so many people do this? And does it really ease post-breakup pain? Read on to find out what six men and women said about the pros and cons of seeking revenge through sex. 

Lesson #1 (Con): It doesn't help when you're angry.

"I was going out with my ex for about two years when she broke up with me because of the long distance. So, I had sex with this other girl that I met at a party, just because I was angry. Afterward I felt terrible. I had only had sex with my ex up to that point, so this random girl was now my number two, and I regretted having sex with her from a moral standpoint. I totally thought it would make me feel better, but it didn't. All in all, I think it really depends on how much you like the girl who broke up with you. I loved my ex, so I couldn't get over her that easily." — Khad, 24

Lesson #2 (Pro): It helps remind you of the importance of sexual chemistry.

"My previous relationship was sexually non-existent, but I loved the man. I finally ended it after two years, and the next week I was in bed with another guy, following that old advice: The best way to get over someone is to get under someone else. I can honestly say, it did help — I felt amazing with this guy who I wasn't even romantically involved with. It reminded me that when I am with the right guy, the full package will be much better than what I left!" — Nadina, 25

Lesson #3 (Pro): No-strings is very fun.


"When I got transferred to a job in Hawaii, my girlfriend of six years didn't want to commit and move with me, so we broke up. The next night, I went to a bar with her best friend — who was way out of my league. She knew that we broke up, and we had crazy sex for a few nights. I found that having sex without all the commitment and rules helped — and it was way more fun! — Dennis, 35

Lesson: #4 (Con): Revenge sex won't help you grieve.

"I had been with the man, who I thought was the love of my life, for almost three years. Things didn't end up working out, and I was left completely destroyed and broken-hearted. After about two weeks of moping, I decided that the best revenge would be to sleep with someone new. I met this guy out at a bar who totally caught me off guard. We started talking, he bought me a drink, and before I knew it, I was three sheets to the wind and five Ke$ha songs deep. "Ex-boyfriend who?" I thought as he started to kiss me. It was good kissing too —the fun, unexpected, fiery, random hot man in a bar kind of good.

"He asked me if I wanted to go back to his place. At first it was OK, but as the act became real so did my emotions and my very real tears. I couldn't even look at him. All my memories of my ex came flooding back, and I wanted nothing more than to escape that moment. I left his apartment feeling even more defeated than before. There was nothing empowering or enjoyable about the experience in the least. As I balled the entire way home, I realized that sometimes jumping into something (or someone) isn't the best idea post-breakup." — Alli, 26

Lesson #5 (Con): Time is a better cure for a broken heart.


"After being dumped by my ex after a five-year relationship, I found someone to have sex with. I was working in another state for the summer, and I hooked up with a co-worker. It didn't make me forget about my ex, but it definitely helped at that moment. I was trying to get over her, and I thought sex with a woman I barely knew would help. I worked there for a few more weeks and had sex with two other women. I wasn't looking for love or anything. I guess I was just trying to fill that void and was hoping that I would get over my ex faster by doing so. I learned that if you're heartbroken, random sex isn't the answer. Sex is definitely an emotional release that can help, but the only thing that helps a breakup is time." — Jason, 25

Lesson #6 (Pro): It can feel incredibly liberating.


"I guess I would consider the entire two weeks after breaking up with my super long-term boyfriend, something of a revenge 'activity week.' It wasn't just revenge sex — it was revenge shopping (for scandalous clothing), revenge going out (to trashy bars), revenge flirting (with anyone who had a penis) and all of that combined led to some awesome, eye-opening revenge sex. It was amazing.

After being bottled up like a genie for so long, I was free and loving every damn minute of it. The very first partner after my ex (the second sex partner of my life) completely blew my mind. He gave sex a whole new definition for me. After that, going back to my ex just wasn't even an option. Looking at men as a source of free meals and easy sex was easily the most liberating time of my life. The only advice I would give to my self back then would be to be to put a time stamp on the revenge sexcapades." — Ash, 27