If you’ve ever had post-breakup sex as a way of getting over (or back at) your ex, you’re in good company. A recent study conducted by the Archives of Sexual Behavior found that about one third of people have slept with someone new within four weeks of a breakup. Why do so many people do it? And does it really ease that post-breakup pain? Read on to find out what six men and women had to say about the art of revenge — in the bedroom.
Lesson #1: 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, and afterwards I felt terrible. I had only had sex with my ex at that point, so this random girl was now my number two, and I regretted having sex with her on 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: But it can help remind you of the importance of sexual chemistry in relationships.
“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 helped — I felt amazing with this guy that 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: No-strings can be 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: When you’re heartbroken, you’re better off grieving.
“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 okay, 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 I had been. There was nothing empowering or enjoyable about the experience in the least. As I bawled the entire way home, I realized that sometimes jumping into something (or someone) isn’t the best idea post-breakup. Sometimes the only thing that heals is time, and you really need to respect yourself and the time that you need to grieve the end of a relationship.” -Alli, 26
Lesson #5: 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 coworker. 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 heart broken, 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: It can be 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’ve given to my self back then would be to be to put a time stamp on the revenge sexcapades. There is definitely a point where it switches from female empowerment to just straight up hoe behavior… and nobody wants to marry a hoe.” -Ash, 27