Sex After Divorce: Are Casual Hookups Healthy?

Unmade bedIf you’ve been stuck in a bad marriage for a while, getting divorced is a release. Yes, it's still hard and sad and complicated, especially when there are children involved. But the truth is, once you're out of the marriage, it feels like a weight has been lifted.

And with that lifting can come an invigorating rush of new-found sexuality.

Sure, for some divorced women, whose marriages dissolved unexpectedly or as a result of infidelity, the heartbreak and trauma they've experienced can translate in to a complete lack of sexual desire.

But others, like me, who were unhappy in their marriages and whose divorces gave them relief, can't wait to break free.

Break free to have some hot, casual sex, that is.


My informal polling of other divorced women tells me that I'm not alone.

For the last few years of my marriage, my sexuality was completely repressed. It even trickled into my daily life, from the asexual way I dressed in long shorts and oversized shirts to the lack of goings-on in my bedroom. My marital issues numbed my attraction to my then-husband, and my unhappiness deflated my libido.

So after my divorce, I was ready to re-discover the sexual part of my personality, both alone and with a partner, because a vibrator only takes you so far. I didn't go bar-hopping looking for a roll in the sack, but I did date casually. Meaning I had casual, protected sex with people I knew.

And having sex to fulfill my needs without looking for an emotional attachment? It was no different than what hordes of men do. Just judged differently. And it worked for me. 

Until I met this one guy and started running into him around our small town. At the grocery store, his restaurant, and yes, a local bar. Over time, we became friends and stayed that way until a late-night ride home turned into more. And that wound up putting my casual sex days to an end. That guy became my second husband.

So while I actually did know him before I stumbled into bed with him, we didn't go on a date until a month after we first had sex. A year-and-a-half later, we were married. And after being together for 10 years, I can happily say that this time, it's worked out.

But I wouldn't change those years in between my two marriages. I'm thankful that I had a handful of casual relationships before I settled down again. Having those experiences helped me become comfortable with my post-divorce self -- and let me get my ya-yas out.

Do you have any tips on sex after divorce? How do you feel about casual safe sex?


Image via Jennifer Cullen

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