Revenge sex can have different motivations for why it’s done. Here, we will cover the two most common types of revenge sex and why people do it:
1. After being cheated on
Most commonly, it’s used as a response to being cheated on. Someone might be angry at their partner for mistreating them, so they have sex with someone else as revenge. A “taste of your own medicine,” if you will.
In this scenario, the person having sex is doing so to express their anger and feel in control.
Sure, there are other ways to show your frustration such as writing a strongly worded letter or slashing tires, but for some, it’s not enough. They feel powerless after being cheated on, so choosing who to have sex with someone other than their partner can make them feel a sense of control again.
2. After a breakup
Another common time people have revenge sex is after a breakup. Like rebound sex, someone may have sex after a bad breakup to show their ex what they’re missing out on.
The difference is, revenge sex is about making your ex feel hurt, whereas rebound sex isn’t intended to hurt your ex but more so to move on.
Going through a bad breakup can plummet your self-esteem and cause serious emotional distress. This is why people use sex after a breakup, to boost their self-esteem and distract themselves from the sadness that comes from their past lover. Some might even have revenge sex as a means to try to move on.
The pros and cons of revenge sex
Revenge sex doesn’t come without both pros and cons. It’s important to weigh both the benefits and the drawbacks of giving in to the temptation of revenge before you go making any rash decisions.
With the health benefits that come from having sex, revenge sex has the potential to be good for you. Here’s why:
1. You get to have sex.
2. It offers reassurance that others find you physically attractive.
3. It could help you reconnect with your sex appeal.
4. It can give you a sense of control.
5. Sex releases feel-good hormones, like dopamine and serotonin.
6. It can relieve emotional and physical tension, such as headaches and anxiety.
7. You may cope with negative feelings after being cheated on or broken up with.
8. You may sleep better after an orgasm due to the release of oxytocin and endorphins.
9. Sexual satisfaction has been linked to general well-being.
Revenge sex isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. There are plenty of drawbacks to each unique situation. Here are just a few to name:
1. You may end up feeling worse than you did before.
2. There is no guarantee revenge sex will affect your partner/ex-partner.
3. Because your focus is revenge rather than pleasure, the sex may not be enjoyable.
4. It can potentially harm a friendship if you have revenge sex with a friend.
5. It can bring back old feelings if you have revenge sex with an older ex.
6. It will create even more drama, possibly involving the new person you slept with.
7. It may lead you to think about your negative emotions even more, rather than move on.
8. You may end up feeling guilty, ashamed, and regretful.
9. The risk of sexually transmitted infections when acting impulsively.
Tips if you’re considering revenge sex
When it comes to revenge sex, everyone’s situation is unique to their relationship, or lack thereof.
So if you’ve weighed your personal pros and cons and have decided to proceed forward, there is no judgment from us. However, we do have general tips to follow to decide whether revenge sex is right for you:
1. Wait at least a day before you decide to have revenge sex
Anger, sadness, and heartache are all the perfect mix for impulsivity. But this is not a decision you’ll want to make acting on impulse.
Try to wait it out before making your decision for revenge sex at least for a day. Having a clear head when deciding whether or not to have revenge sex can save you from regret and even more heartache down the road.
2. Make the decision when you’re sober
This should go without saying. Deciding to have revenge sex after a breakup or straight-up cheating on your partner should never be done while drunk.
A sober and clear mind is the only mind that can weigh the pros and cons of revenge sex. And the last thing you’ll want to do is wake up in bed next to someone you hate or don’t know feeling regretful.
3. Reach out to a friend beforehand
A true friend always has your best intentions in mind. If you think a vengeful sexual act will benefit you, meet up with your most rational friend and explain your situation to them.
They’ll help you assess the benefits and drawbacks of revenge sex that you might have not considered.
4. Be sure the relationship is over
Before you jump the gun and have revenge sex, you’ll need to absolutely be sure that your relationship has failed.
When you have revenge sex, you risk the chance to mend things between you and your partner. Be certain that the relationship is really over and that what you’re going through isn’t just a rough patch.
5. Be honest with who you’re having revenge sex with
No matter who you decide to jump in bed with—whether it’s a friend, an ex, or a stranger—you should tell them your true motivation beforehand. Remember, revenge sex isn’t about the sex, it’s about getting back at the person who hurt you.
So, the person you choose to sleep with deserves to know your true intentions so they can decide if they’re comfortable being a part of the mix. After all, your situation may bring in more drama than they originally bargained for.
6. Be honest with yourself
Revenge sex means having no-strings-attached sex with someone that may be a friend or a stranger. Is this something you’re okay with doing? Or are you the type who needs intimacy and an emotional connection when you have sex?
You’ll need to sit down with yourself and seriously consider if you’re someone who can handle a one-night stand. If you’re not built for one-night stands but have one anyways, you may cause yourself even more heartache.
How to have revenge sex
So, you’ve weighed your pros and cons, you’ve considered the tips above, and your heart is still set on revenge sex. Now you need to know how to shield your heart and your body.
The most important part of sex with a new person is protecting yourself, both emotionally and physically. Here are the dos and don’ts of revenge sex to get the most out of your experience.
1. Use protection
When you have sex with someone new, you need to always use protection. There is a wide variety of contraceptive methods for both men and women. Choose a type *or two* that best fits your needs and be sure to use it.
Alongside this, be sure that you and the person you’re considering sleeping with have had recent sexual health checkups.
Unprotected sex puts you at risk for many things, from pregnancy to infections. If you don’t want to leave a one-night stand with a life-long problem, use protection.
2. Don’t talk about your ex
Listen, we know revenge sex is all about getting back at your ex. But seriously, your new hookup doesn’t want to hear about it.
Yes, be honest with them about your intentions, but don’t mention your ex every chance you get… Especially during sex!
3. Keep your revenge sex private
In the heat of the moment, you may think posting photos or sharing your revenge sex story with others is a good idea, but it may not be later down the road.
If you end up regretting the sex, you can’t take back what you’ve told everyone. It’s best to keep this between you, a trusted friend you’ve consulted, and the people directly involved.
4. Follow hookup etiquette
Revenge sex isn’t about the sex itself, so the more casual, the better. Following one-night stand etiquette is the best way to leave the intimacy behind you and be on the same page as the person you’re having sex with.
First and foremost is consent. You’ll need to have full consent of who you plan to sleep with, both about having sex and the meaning of your sex.
Other one-night-stand practices include staying sober, not having sex in your bedroom, staying respectful and kind *without emotional intimacy*, and not rushing to leave immediately afterward.
5. Keep it cool
Yes, you had revenge sex to get back at your ex, but being overly eager to brag about it to them isn’t going to give you the desired outcome.
In fact, you may come across as desperate and still stuck on the relationship. Approach the topic in a cool fashion and they’re less likely to see through your façade.
6. Be realistic about your expectations
Breakups and cheating bring out extreme emotions, both positive and negative. So, be realistic about what you’re expecting from your situation.
The person who you have revenge sex with can’t heal your broken heart and setting unrealistic and unhealthy expectations will only make your emotions worse. If you’re looking for genuine ways to cope with a bad breakup, consider an alternative to revenge sex.
Healthy alternatives to revenge sex
It’s no secret that revenge sex can potentially make your situation worse. In fact, there is a high possibility that sex will open up a whole new range of emotions you didn’t initially bargain for.
More often than not, people who act on revenge end up dwelling on the experience far more than those who don’t. So, what can you do instead?
Communicate. Talk to your partner or your ex-partner about how their actions have impacted you and go from there. You might find that having an open line of communication with the person who caused you pain can bring you enough clarity to find closure and move on.
If you don’t think you have the emotional strength to confront this person, seek out a support group of friends or professional help.
Having positive people in your life can help get you through the tough times you’re facing. A counselor can help you cope and process the emotional turmoil you’re in free of judgment.
Experiencing revenge sex firsthand
I am a nice guy and have always been loyal in my actions. But after four years of being in love with a girl, I caught her cheating on me… With my best friend!
I was furious. And as soon as I found out the truth, I avoided her and her calls. She cried and begged me to take her back. And after a lot of failed persuasion, she said she’d do anything to get me back.
And then she said something shocking. She told me she’d convince her best friend to sleep with me so we could get even.
I pretended like that idea was ridiculous and out of question, but almost immediately I was quickly aroused by the whole idea.
After a while of fake negotiation, I agreed to it. I had wild, passionate sex with her best friend who was more than willing to help my girlfriend get back with me *surprise, surprise*.
The revenge sex was a high that I just can’t explain. It felt powerful and made me feel good again. But once I had revenge sex, I knew that things could never be the same again.
I didn’t love my girlfriend anymore. In fact, it pushed me away from her. The whole negotiation to have sex with her friend made me feel sick in my throat.
If you’re swapping partners or swinging, that’s on mutual consent to explore new sexual options. On the other hand, revenge sex is different.
Revenge is only a way to satiate your ego and to nurse your ego and confidence back. It’s only a sneaky way to bring balance back in the game of love. She cheated, so I had to cheat, even if I didn’t intend to.
Things I learned after having revenge sex
1. People can stoop to any extent to get back what they had.
2. You’d do anything to get your ego back. When you’re cheated on by your partner, you feel shattered and your ego is bruised.
3. Most of us just need to find a good excuse to cheat. I didn’t want to cheat on my girlfriend, but when an opportunity presented itself, I couldn’t help but get aroused. How many of us can stay away from temptation when it so willingly comes our way?
4. Revenge sex doesn’t make things even, it only pushes both of you apart.
It’s shocking how we throw all the love away in a moment of haste just to balance our egos and reassure ourselves that we can do anything our partner does if we choose to.
Revenge sex is your way of telling yourself that you can get anyone you want and that you don’t need your partner anymore.
People who indulge in revenge don’t do it out of love. They do it out of hate. You’d want to hurt your partner for hurting you, wouldn’t you?
We’ve heard this line before: an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind. And when I first had sex with my girlfriend’s best friend, all I thought was, “So what if the world goes blind, at least I get my revenge!”
But now, all blind and lost without love, I wish I could have saved my eye. Revenge sex with my girlfriend’s best friend was fun, but it was never worth losing sight of the bigger picture.
The bottom line
Because revenge means something different to everyone, only you are in the position to know whether it is the right decision for you. It isn’t necessary to get over the pain your partner caused you, but there are studies that prove it can bring satisfaction, depending on your situation.
Before you have revenge sex, be fully informed about the benefits and drawbacks, and be completely honest with yourself. Truly look inward to decide if revenge sex can benefit you.
Revenge sex can be a way to release your anger after you’ve been through a painful relationship, but it also can make matters worse. Carefully consider how revenge sex will benefit or hold you back from moving on.