Once those divorce papers are signed or perhaps after the initial separation between you and your ex, the idea of sex and intimacy after divorce can make someone feel one or two ways:
- Elated excitement, like when you were a kid and found out where your parents hid the holiday gifts. You had to sneak a look right then and there!
- Awkward and uncomfortable, like when your wisdom teeth were removed and you could barely slurp soup.
Some people run right out for the first warm body upon divorce and others run away from the idea of sex. But even the most eager of “beavers” so to speak encounter a lot of the same emotions that the timidest of wallflowers do when they venture into sex after divorce like:
Guilt: “Am I really allowed to do it with another person?”
Excitement: “Someone new is kind of sexy—hey, actually make that VERY sexy!”
Anxiety: “Will she think I’m flabby?” “I’m not sure he likes what I’m doing. Does he see my thighs?”
Weirdness: “This is strange.”
No matter what side of the emotional fence you’re sitting on, here are some pointers for navigating the roads of sex and intimacy again after divorce.
Are you ready?
Yellow Light Caution:
Just Because You Can, Doesn’t Mean You Should.
Not to call out men specifically, but some men dive into sex with multiple partners after divorce simply because they can. This isn’t to say that women don’t as well, but men are more apt to because it’s socially acceptable for guys and hey, they’re hunters with that evolutionary need I suppose. Whether you’re a lascivious man or woman, dial down the casual sex a bit if it starts to get out of hand.
It’s not about judgment. You have the right to enjoy casual safe sex with whomever you want as often as you want, but it’s not uncommon for people to fill post-divorce loneliness with sex after divorce. Rather than trying to fill up the loneliness that might be there or fear of starting over, dial back and decide if you’re going a bit too crazy sexually.
If you feel comfortable with an active sex life and casual sex then by all means, enjoy! But be sure you’re not trying to fill an empty hole inside of yourself that would be better spent getting to know who you are as a person, post-divorce.
On the flip side: if you’re terrified about the idea of hopping into bed with someone after divorce, don’t feel pressured to do so simply because you can now legally and morally sleep with another person. Go at your own pace.
If You Feel Weird After Your First Post-Divorce Romp
You had sex with someone and enjoyed it yet a few days later or hours later even, you feel strange. It’s as if you willingly walked into a classroom nude and enjoyed it, only to wonder, what Did I Just Do?
It’s normal to feel a bit odd after getting naked with a new person after divorce. Don’t worry: this won’t last forever.
If You Feel Weird During Your First Post-Divorce Romp
If you start to feel guilty or awkward while being intimate with another person after divorce, its okay to slow it down, stop it, or decide after, to take a break for a while from intimacy.
Getting a divorce is a bit like breaking yourself down and rebuilding yourself back up. You may feel vulnerable as the clothes come off and the naughty activities move forward simply because you’re starting over again and it can be scary.
Take it Slow If You Feel The Need
Foreplay goes a long way. The engine needs to warm up. Why not tell your new partner you want to take it slow and enjoy all the different various “stages” of intimacy like making out, mutual masturbation, oral sex, etc., without going straight for intercourse first.
Don’t be afraid to set boundaries with a new person. It’s important and will earn respect from your bedroom partners whether they’re serious long-term potential or casual bed buddies.
Green Light: Go!
Turn those fantasies into realities.
This is the time to try all the sexual things you couldn’t with your ex. Perhaps you were secretly into S&M or role play yet your partner couldn’t be bothered. Seize the opportunity to find a partner who’s a willing player and enjoy it, even if the two of you don’t talk the next day.
At some point, you may end up checking off every fantasy you’ve ever had and may decide it’s time to settle down, so enjoy this playtime while you’re open to it.
Have a Brief Fling
Have a short fling with someone who thinks you’re amazing and sexy. There’s nothing like a little fling to boost the confidence of a man or woman after divorce. Be sure of course that this person will be attentive and loving.
Ladies, give that Don Juan a chance for a bit, but expect he will leave shortly after. Simply enjoy him for the ego boost he’ll give you.
Men, that black widow spider isn’t right for long-term romance but she will devour you the right way so you get some of your game back again!
Sexual Self-Knowledge Is a Good Thing
Explore what you like through masturbation, sex toys (especially for the ladies!) or pornography if you’re inclined. You may have been going through the “sex routine” with your ex for so long that you’ve forgotten what you like or may even discover things you’d never thought about before. Get to know yourself!
Red Light: Don’t Even Think of It!
Don’t Devalue Yourself
I have seen many a man or woman settle with a bad catch after divorce simply to avoid being alone. Don’t do it!
Worse, I have seen divorced people settle for being someone’s “booty call” when what they really wanted was a committed relationship. Value yourself and your intimate partners will as well.
Let Go Of The Shame
Don’t feel bad for craving intimacy and sex after divorce. It’s a normal feeling to want to get out there. And if you’re too nervous to consider the prospect of sex, don’t let others get to you. Everyone navigates life after divorce differently and at his or her own pace.
Most importantly, if you do find yourself between the sheets with someone, do not feel guilty! You deserve to love and live after divorce. You’re not tied to your ex anymore. Go out and get what you’re after! Life is waiting for you!
If you believe in the work we are doing here at The Good Men Project, please join like-minded individuals in The Good Men Project Premium Community.