At UCSB, it’s extremely easy to fall out of your depressed break-up funk and into someone’s bed — that is, rebound sex is not hard to come by. It’s no surprise that rebound sex happens frequently — studies show that about one-third of college students will engage in rebound sex within a month of their breakup. Those numbers are probably even higher on a campus like ours. And, in some cases, rebound sex can be harmless. You wham, you bam, you thank your ma’am and it’s all out of your system. Look at you, getting on with your life.
But is it really beneficial? Does it help ease the pain of a lost love? Unfortunately, there are no valid studies out there to show whether or not rebound sex helps anybody. All we can go on is personal experience. And, of course, to each their own. Some people might swear by rebound sex, and others might condemn it.
I condemn it. And not because I think casual sex is wrong. If that’s your thing, you do you. I simply feel the disadvantages of engaging in rebound sex will drastically outweigh the advantages.
Rebound sex is, well, awkward. I don’t understand the appeal of having a drunken night of trying to figure out how to please a complete stranger. You just came out of a long-term relationship, where your partner knew exactly how to please you and you knew exactly how to please them. Now you’re like, “Is this guy into biting? My ex was into biting.” And that guy is like, “This chick really needs to stop biting me.”
And then there’s the awkward post-sex moment of thinking how unsatisfying that experience was. And then — of course — you start missing your ex. And instead of feeling empowered by going out and sleeping with someone else, you end up feeling guilty.
Why is this a good idea again?
Not only does the whole experience seem blatantly un-enjoyable, but it can even be detrimental. Being close and intimate with someone won’t necessarily distract you from your ex. In fact, it could just end up reminding you of your ex, because you were intimate with your ex for such a long time. You’ll compare these kisses to your ex’s kisses. You’ll compare this body to your ex’s body. How could you not?
And, generally, if you still have feelings for your ex, then your ex is going to win this mini competition in your head. Instead of thinking that this new sex partner is great, you’ll be lying in bed wondering if anyone will ever have abs that are as great as your ex’s were. So, instead of distracting yourself (which was your game plan in the beginning) you are inadvertently making your head explode with thoughts about how great your past love was.
Motivations for rebound sex are also generally not thought through very well. Are you seeking rebound sex for revenge? Why exactly should your ex care if you sleep with someone new? If they dumped you, they probably anticipated you would have sex with someone else eventually. And anyway, it will be obvious to your ex that this “great sex” you had was actually nothing but a dig at them. It’s not an indication that you’ve moved on, it’s an indication that you are not handling the breakup well.
And if you’re trying to make your ex jealous, having rebound sex isn’t the way to do either. That will most likely just make your ex angry with you or end up hurting them, and that will not make them want you back — trust me. Hearing that my ex has turned into a man-slut will not make me desire him more. And if they aren’t angry or hurt, then they’ve probably moved on and your sexcapades are pointless.
Now, I’m not saying that if you’ve had rebound sex that you’re an idiot. On the contrary, very intelligent and rational people do it all the time and maybe it actually does help some. The broken-hearted will search out all avenues. I’m just pointing out the bad side and some of it’s flawed logic. If you’re just sleeping with someone to get back at an ex, it will probably not make you feel much better. And if you’re doing it to forget an ex, then that probably won’t work out too well either. I think people should be warned.
Instead of focusing all your energy on having meaningless sex with someone random, maybe you should focus your energy on a new hobby or building a new friendship. Surround yourself with good people, keep distracted with projects you enjoy and try to be happy alone. Eventually, the urge to rebound will fade, and you’ll find that sexy someone who you want to start a new relationship with. And, best of all, they will be able to give you a much more enjoyable and less awkward sexual experience.
Brenna Dilger says getting it up quickly is not always best.