You got this

Sex After Divorce Is Messy, But It Sure Is Fun

I wanted to get laid, and I did — but the wave of feelings that followed surprised me.

doing sex on the bed
franckreporter/E+/Getty Images

When I separated from my ex-husband, I was ready for some male attention. Our marriage had been sex-starved, and we’d go months without connecting. I thought it was me. My libido wasn’t the same after kids; I was feeling touched out from the constant needs of three young kids. But the truth was, my ex-husband and I were missing that spark. He didn’t turn me on anymore.

Needless to say, I wanted to get laid after our divorce. I wanted to feel those butterflies in my stomach that come with a first kiss. I wanted to express myself sexually. I wanted to be spanked. I yearned to do all the things I hadn’t done in the bedroom in a really long time.

I got my wish six weeks after my ex moved out. A man I used to date in high school caught wind that I was getting divorced and slid into my DMs. I wanted him to slide into more than just my message box and I told him as much. He was at my front door in under a half hour.

The sex was great and it was also familiar. I had been with him before, and even though it had been 25 years, it was still felt electric and exciting. We had the same chemistry and he still smelled like Tide and Crest.

It was what I wanted: passion, newness, excitement.

But after, he feel asleep in my bed, and I began to feel agitated. I wanted him to leave. I suddenly missed my ex-husband and kids. I got up and roamed the rooms in my house — the home I used to share with my ex-husband, the home where we used to be a happy couple. I suddenly found myself mourning my marriage and I wanted to be alone. I stared out the windows wondering what the hell I was doing. I wasn’t excited to see what would happen next with this guy, despite being really excited to have sex with a new person.

I thought I maybe even wanted my old life back. I craved the normalcy and security I once had. I always knew what my days were going to look like. And more than anything, I missed knowing I’d see my kids each and every day when I was married.

When he woke up the next morning, I pushed him out. He woke up and said, “Let’s have sex again.” I made up an excuse telling him I had an appointment. I grew mad at him for being okay with being there, even though I was the one who invited him. He tried to talk me into letting him stay, and I told him he had to go.

I wanted my space, and I felt like I’d done something wrong. He looked at me, said okay, and left. He sent me a text that night that read: “You weren’t ready for that were you?” I told him I wasn’t. My guilt was chewing me up.

But eventually, those feelings of guilt wore off. I just needed more time to process my new life and put myself first. My friends encouraged me, and my ex moved on and encouraged me to do the same. Even my kids asked me when I was going to start dating. I think I needed reassurance I was allowed to build a new life. I had some fun after that. There were more men, and a few good relationships.

If you have these feelings — while going through a divorce or even just thinking about a divorce — they are temporary and normal. Women are so used to pleasing others that we can feel guilty when we go outside our comfort zone. Sex after divorce is messy and can bring up confusing feelings.

A new sex partner can make you feel alive and ignite a lot of things that have been sitting dormant inside of you. It’s beautiful to awaken that part of you, but it can also make you feel a bit hungover. It’s scary and unknown. We all have baggage we need to work through after divorce.

If the first sexual encounter after divorce isn’t what you thought it would be or leaves you feeling a little lost, give yourself the time and space to feel those feelings. And please know, they will not last forever. You deserve a great connection. There is nothing wrong with you.