S-E-X! It may be good for your heart, great for your mood, and even work wonders on your skin, but not all types offer the same benefits. Sometimes sex can make a bad situation worse and leave you wishing you hadn’t wasted your good underwear and clean sheets on a brief fling with sexual mediocrity.
If you find yourself enticed by these five types of sex, you may want to take a moment to reconsider. And if you’re still tempted, at least consider the laundry!
1. Break-Up Sex
It may seem appealing to take one last ride on that pony for old time’s sake, but the consequences will likely outweigh the benefits. You’re breaking up, which means something isn’t working. And even if sex isn’t the cause of your break-up, it can complicate an already delicate situation.
For instance, it’s easy for your partner to misconstrue your intentions. When it comes to break-up sex, you don’t want your "It has been a pleasure doing business with you," to be misinterpreted for a "Thank You. Come Again!" Right?
Even if you’re the type who makes your intentions crystal clear (hopefully not via social media), science still offers warnings against break-up sex. Romantic rejection and heartbreak trigger the same parts of the brain associated with pain, distress, and addiction. It takes time to reduce these triggers and when the wound is fresh, you don’t want to train your body to link sex with these conditions.
2. Self-Pity Sex
If you’re having a little pity party for yourself and think that a one-night stand will elevate your spirits, you may want to think again — especially if you’re a woman. While a one-time roll in the hay (or nightclub restroom stall) can be fun for some, women seem to get the short end of the stick when it comes to casual sex. And the short sticks aren’t to blame...
Research shows that over half (54 percent) of women often feel disappointed by one-night stands and report high levels of regret the morning after. On the other hand, 80 percent of men feel positive about the experience and say that it helps them to blow off some steam. Steam? Is that what they’re calling it these days?
So, before you take the plunge and turn to casual sex to lift your spirits, be sure to consider other ways to crash the pity party. From hanging with friends to charging your favorite bedside toy, get creative with other options to elevate your mood.
3. Drunk Sex
A few drinks may loosen you up and help you to shed your inhibitions, but be sure to limit how many glasses you down, as you may end up shedding and downing more than you bargained for. “Bottoms up” may be in good fun at the bar, but you need to decide whether you’re open to letting it take on a whole new meaning in the bedroom.
If you plan on drinking, bear in mind that alcohol impairs your judgment. Booze goggles not only cause light-of-day regret the following morning, but also reduce the likelihood of using condoms and other safer sex tools — so plan ahead. And that liquid confidence may seemingly improve your performance on the dance floor, but it can have the opposite effect sexually. Alcohol impacts your body’s sexual response and circulation, making erections and lubrication harder to come by.
4. Sex With the Ex
As time elapses, we sometimes rewrite and idealize the past and it’s common for us to long for past lovers. My clients have sex with their exes for a number of reasons. Some say it feels good to be wanted by someone who abandoned or rejected them. Others like that it is familiar and convenient. And others are hoping that sex will lead to a rekindling of the relationship. In almost every case, they don’t usually end up getting what they want out of the encounter.
A few couples may reconnect, but more often, sex with an ex leads to a cycle of break-ups and disappointments. For many, it’s a band-aid solution that delays or prevents you from moving on. Research shows that time heals heartbreak and rejection and the chemical process involved in sex can counteract this process — particularly for those for whom sex is a bonding experience.
5. Make-Up Sex
Experts are split on this one and you can decide for yourself whether make-up sex works for you.
Some psychologists believe that it rewards fighting, drama, and generally bad behavior. They suggest that couples are dealing with intensely negative emotions and instead of finding a resolution, they seek an opposite experience (pleasure) in sex. They argue that this type of sex isn’t “real intimacy” and that it can lead to loneliness and the belief that everything can be fixed with sex. What a world it would be if this were true!
If the only way you resolve conflicts is through sex, I might buy into this theory. However, if you also address disagreements through communication, compromise, and an action plan for moving forward, I say go ahead and indulge in make-up sex if it tickles your fancy. After all, learning to fight effectively is a huge accomplishment. And the intense emotions and the sense of moving forward together can make post-fight sex hot and functional.
Enjoy expressing your sexuality in healthy ways and remember to always practice safer sex.