Whenever I’ve been in a relationship going south, the last thing I want to do is exchange body fluids with a man. Nope. I’m a girl like that: My mind, heart and vag are tight like that. BFFs. I hear all the time from recently divorced people that the sex was the first thing to go, and by the way, they haven’t had it in years.
It seems, however, that plenty of girls are not like that. I have been stunned in recent years to hear women recount how, while going through a contentious divorce with a man they despised — could not stand, wanted to scratch with her recently silk-manicured nails his smug face and then pour lemon juice on it — they had great sex. All the time. Could not get enough.
Like my friend, whose philandering, coke-addicted husband hid hundreds of thousands of dollars in assets when negotiating their split, mostly skipped out on any parenting responsibilities, and was generally a disgusting human being. Following the final hearing for their painful, drawn-out divorce, they walked out of the courthouse together, jumped into the back seat of his BMW and had at it.
Her explanation? “It was our last hurrah, I guess,” she said. “We were celebrating.”
Another friend and her soon-to-be ex were both dating around after they separated — and fought bitterly — but would still have a roll in the hay every few weeks after he dropped the kids off from their visit and tucked them into bed. “I dunno,” she said with a shrug when asked to explain. “I need to get laid, and that part our relationship never fizzled. It’s convenient.”
A third woman I know can’t stand the sight of her husband, but loves to fuck him. “Everything about him disgusts me, and I would love to divorce,” she said. “But the sex is still really hot.”
As someone who has never had any interest at all in hate sex, I find these reports fascinating. Like I said, if you’re pissing me off, I don’t want to get naked with you. But there are plenty of good explanations for hate-humping:
-It’s easy, convenient and familiar. You know what you’re getting and where to get it. If you’re not ready to date you still get your needs met in the comfort of your own home, and without money changing hands.
-All the tension inherent in divorce for some people translates into sexual tension. Yum?
-Being intimate fro some is part of the grieving process — remembering some of the beautiful things that brought you together is an act of holding on, and wallowing in the pain and loss.
-You’re lonely and worried no one will ever want to have sex with you again. So you find someone who wants to be with you and have sex with you (who happens to be the same person who was with you and having sex with you for the past 17 years).
-You feel rejected and unconsciously hope that if he connects to you sexually he’ll come back.
So I get it, I understand why divorcing couples enjoy rocket sex with one another. But it doesn’t take a Dr. Phil smackdown to know that sooner or later you gotta pull on your big girl black lace boy shorts and not take them off until you are doing a strip tease for a new beau (or the gigolo you hire with your settlement). Because there is no such thing as meaningless sex with someone with whom you loved. And it is never casual if you are embroiled in the inherent misery-making of divorce.
So as natural as it may feel to hit skins with your soon-to-be ex, put on the breaks. Give yourself and the relationship some space. You have so many decisions to make and negotiations to settle. And you must give yourself time and distance to move on. And when you do you’ll find your next lover with a head cleared from your last one.
Emma Johnson is a veteran money journalist, noted blogger, bestselling author and an host of the award-winning podcast, Like a Mother with Emma Johnson. A former Associated Press Financial Wire reporter and MSN Money columnist, Emma has written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Glamour, Oprah.com, U.S. News, Parenting, USA Today and others. Her #1 bestseller, The Kickass Single Mom (Penguin), was named to the New York Post’s ‘Must Read” list.
Emma regularly comments on issues of modern families, gender equality, divorce, sex and motherhood for outlets like CNN, Headline News, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Fox & Friends, CNBC, NPR, TIME, MONEY, O, The Oprah Magazine and The Doctors. She was named Parents magazine’s “Best of the Web,” “Top 15 Personal Finance Podcasts” by U.S. News, and a “Most Eligible New Yorker” by New York Observer.
A popular speaker, Emma presented at the United Nations Summit for Gender Equality. Read more about Emma here.