So you’re divorced and ready to get physical again. Whether you’re just looking to get laid or are looking to commit to a new relationship, it may seem daunting, especially if you haven’t been sexual with anyone else for years, decades, or ever. You may feel like a born-again virgin, but there are major benefits to post-divorce sex.
If you got out of your marriage, there were likely reasons. For many people, one of those reasons was a dwindling, nonexistent, or problematic sex life. Put that crappy sex life behind you and consider these six benefits of post-divorce sex:
You can let the real sexual you shine:
In a failed relationship, sometimes you are turned down for sex so many times that you forget that you were ever a sexual person. Or you may begin to think that you just aren’t a sexual person, period. That likely isn’t the case. You may benefit from rethinking who you are as a sexual being. When your sexual desires aren’t being met for a long period of time, you can feel trapped, like the real you isn’t able to shine. Post-divorce sex can be a liberating experience, one where you are discovering a whole new world of opportunity for sexual pleasure.
You have the benefit of the comparison factor:
If a divorce occurred, chances are the sexual and/or relationship satisfaction was low. Research consistently shows that sexual and relationship satisfaction are intertwined — when one is low, the other follows. So when you are comparing your new sex life to the one you left, the something different will become something exciting — and finally — satisfying!
You can get what you really want:
Did your ex beg for anal sex, even though he knew you couldn’t stand it? Did you never receive oral sex, even after asking for it time and time again? Well, you don’t have to deal with that anymore. Find a partner who is sexually compatible with you. Those things you hated about sex with your ex can be forgotten. Time to start anew. The best way to get what you want? Ask for it. Don’t be afraid to speak up.
You can move at your own pace:
You don’t have to respond to feeling pressured into getting sexual with someone new. The whole feeling of “duty” that you may have felt for your ex has thankfully been removed. So don’t push yourself too fast and be sure to speak up and ship out when you’re feeling uncomfortable.
You can rediscover sexual pleasure:
One thing that’s been pretty consistent in the literature is what works for one person isn’t necessarily going to work for another person when it comes to sexual pleasure. Additionally, what works in the context of one relationship isn’t necessarily going to work in the context of another relationship. Communicate with your new partner to find out what he or she likes, and make the communication part of the foreplay. Getting to know a new partner’s body (and letting them explore yours) can be one of the most exciting parts of having new sex.
You can enjoy new romance chemicals:
There are some chemical benefits of this new journey, too. Dr. Helen Fisher, a biological anthropologist and leading researcher in the area of romantic relationships, found that a surge in testosterone and estrogen contribute to the feelings of lust that increase the sexual desire for another person early on in a romantic relationship. Novelty and excitement both increase the activity of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain, the neurotransmitters associated with energy, motivation, and elation. At this same time, serotonin drops, allowing for an increase in mood and sex drive. This chemical cocktail is yet another benefit you won’t find in the long-term relationships you left.
Ian Kerner, a sex therapist and CNN contributor, recently wrote of a friend who gushed about post-divorce sex saying, “if I hadn’t gotten divorced, I never would have had the top five sexual experiences of my life.” By opening yourself up to the prospect of being sexually active again, you’re opening yourself up to a level of sexual pleasure you may have never expected possible!
There is a silver lining to divorce: a second chance at having a mind-blowing sex life. It can only improve from here, right? So let it.
This post was originally on The Huffington Post.