Sex After Divorce: Are Casual Hookups Healthy?

OMG 24

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

divorce, sex, dating


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BGarcel BGarcel

I dont think there is a problem with casual safe sex. I dont recall that ever being a big deal either... perhaps its different in other parts of the country.

Cel7777 Cel7777

^Agreed. As long as you're safe and comfortable with it, there's nothing wrong with experimenting sexually, although I'm sure there are a lot of people who will claim otherwise.

nonmember avatar blue

Well, my opinion? I think casual sex is gross and pathetic. MY opinion. If other people want to have casual sex, whatever. It's not my body. I did read such an interesting article, that had statistics about sex after divorce. Apparently unplanned pregnancies and STDs spike hugely, for recently divorced people. I guess people forget that pregnancy and STDs happen. Don't forget, you can still get herpes with a condom. Honestly, I would just never do that. I feel I deserve more then that, and I have more respect then just putting out to whatever penis happens to be available. Self control people. It's not that hard.

Venae Venae

Would any of you have sex with someone who you knew had AIDS as long as a condom was used?  

Of course not - so why have sex with someone whose AIDS status is unknown - using a condom or not?


Cel7777 Cel7777

Any time you have sex you take a certain risk. If you're having sex in a committed relationship or marriage (with or without a condom), there is always a possibility that your partner isn't faithful and therein you could get AIDS or other STIs.. Even if you and your partner are tested before having sex, the HIV virus can sometimes take years to show up in an infected person, but can still be transmitted to one's partner. If condoms are used correctly and regularly, the risk of contracting AIDS is incredibly small. Just as a person who enjoys travel will still fly even though there is a small risk of plane crashes, contracting malaria, etc., a person who enjoys sex takes some risk in having it. Period. Just because it's sex doesn't make it any dirtier than the million other risks people take for enjoyment. It's sad that so many people seem to think it does.

IKnow... IKnow0101

Maybe I'm old fashion but I don't believe in casual sex.  I'm not such a prude and say wait for marriage but I do hope you are in a healthy relationship before handing over the goods.  Just my opinion of course.

Cel7777 Cel7777

And before the barrage of comments stating so---of course NONE of your husbands/wives/ex partners did or would EVER cheat on you of course. But, considering the possibility that maybe, at some point it did or could have happened, you should probably just stop having sex at all. It's just too risky.

nonmember avatar blue

Cel7777 - Sure, there is a "risk." However, most people enter a marriage with the expectancy of fidelity. NO ONE enters a casual sex relationship, with any kind of expectation of fidelity. (If they do, they are idiots.) Not only that, one still assumes they are having sex within a RELATIONSHIP. Not just spreading your legs for a stranger, who could have just came from sticking their junk into god knows how many holes. (Or the other way around. I would say the same thing to women0 and men.) It IS different, because being cheated on is not voluntary. Sleeping around with strangers IS.

Rosas... RosasMummy

I think people who don't think it's ok are missing the point talking about 'handing over the goods' or 'spreading your legs for a stranger' it's not something you are giving away to someone, your doing it for your own enjoyment.

nonmember avatar Hendl Smith

Hey - I went for two years without ANY sex or affection at the end of my marriage. Sex and affection are NEEDS - if you don't need it ok, but I did - and like the author, I had a great time. After a while, I got a boyfriend. some people think sex is something only men 'want ' or need' - t'ain't so!

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