A new study confirms what we all expected: rebound sex is definitely a thing. About one third of people reported sleeping with someone new within four weeks of a breakup, according to a recent study in the Archives of Sexual Behavior.
The study invited participants who had recently suffered a breakup to chronicle their sex lives for 10 weeks or more. What they found were two main types of post-breakup sex: "revenge sex" (getting back at your ex) and "rebound sex" (getting over your ex). Researchers considered both types to be short-term coping mechanismsÃ¢â‚¬”that is, sex in order to deal with distress, anger, insecurity, and all of the other miseries of a breakup.
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While one third of all participants slept with someone new within four weeks post-split, this number was significantly higher for people who had been dumped. And it makes sense: We're more likely to be hung-up on a relationship if it wasn't our choice to end it.
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Overall, people were more likely to have coping sex immediately after the breakup, when self-esteem was lowest and feelings of resentment were high. And "revenge sex" was more common among those who were getting out of a long-term relationship.
But here's the good news: After about six months, negative feelings and coping sex leveled off while participants saw an upsurge of social self-esteem. So whether you choose to have a post-breakup romp or not, chances are you'll feel better eventually regardless.
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