Sunday, April 20, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Study finds rebound sex following a breakup is very, very real


Following a breakup, it’s nice to feel anything besides the soul-crushing loneliness that tends to accompany an effort-intensive relationship go down the tubes. Which, of course, might explain why so many of us go for rebound sex soon after a split.

Researchers at the University of Missouri found that roughly one-third of study participants had sex with a new partner within four weeks of a breakup. What’s more, many of those sex-positive respondents they did the deed for “revenge” against their ex. That particular situation is more likely to develop in people who were broken up with rather than people who did the breaking up. 

That rebound phase tends to increase in frequency and duration as the subject’s anger level remains high—meaning, of course, that many of us reach for the time-tested elixir for pushing ourselves over the morality ledge: pure, unbridled rage. Only this time, it comes out in coitus.

The study’s authors refer to this type of behavior as “maladaptive,” which is science for “you’re probably going to regret that later.” However, despite the connotations to the contrary, it would seem that a little wild phase after a relationship might actually count as a good thing—especially in terms of moving on, so long as the sex that comes out of it is done with that in mind and not as a way to exact some odd form of revenge.

Think of it like this: Even the Amish let their young adults out on a Rumspringa to see if the way of life they’ve been saddled with is for them. To throw of one’s usual sexual proclivities—especially in the name of personal growth—in a similar way likely could afford similar results. And, not for nothing, but we’d probably all be happier having explored that particular life path.

Otherwise, we’re left with crying into a pint of ice cream or getting a weird haircut. Which, of course, has its place—and increasingly, that seems to be after the inevitable rebound sex.


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