Sex after divorce: Does it get better?
January 19th, 2012
07:15 AM ET

Sex after divorce: Does it get better?

Ian Kerner, a sexuality counselor and New York Times best-selling author, blogs about sex on Thursdays on The Chart. Read more from him on his website, GoodInBed.

“If I hadn’t gotten divorced, I never would have had the top five sexual experiences of my life,” gushed Tom, a friend of a friend at a recent holiday party.

What a turnaround! In 2010, at the same party, Tom* had been in the midst of splitting up with his wife of 12 years and I was offering him the names of marriage counselors. Now he was bankrupt and only saw his kids every other week, but he was exuberant about the change to his sex life.

“I’d given up on sex and fooled myself into thinking that I wasn’t even a particularly sexual person,” he explained. “I didn’t want to be the sort of guy who cheated, so I resigned myself to lackluster sex every other week... if I was lucky. We were so young and inexperienced when we got married. Now, for the first time in my life, I feel like I’m approaching sex as a confident adult.”

Does sex get better after divorce? Unfortunately, there haven’t been any formal studies that explore levels of post-divorce sexual satisfaction, but intrigued by Tom’s exuberance, I spoke with a handful of recently divorced friends, colleagues, and former patients. To my surprise, I found that many echo Tom’s enthusiasm.

While divorce and its adjustments aren’t easy, many newly single people say they are seeing its silver lining … in sex.

Dr. Andy Trees, author of "A Scientific Guide to Successful Dating," says Internet dating has really changed the game.

“Divorced people find it much easier to get back in the saddle so to speak," Trees said. "I also think this is a classic case of the power of chemistry in the early months. Sex with someone new is always exciting in a way that sex with a familiar partner isn't (which isn't to say that long-term sexual intimacy doesn't have pluses as well).”

“At first I was cautious," said Sandra*, 38. "Our culture treats divorced people like babies or wounded birds. Everyone says things like ‘Take it slow, be careful, you’re still getting over a painful situation.' And all this advice made me feel unsure of myself. But after my first post-divorce hookup - and first orgasm in years - I realized that this bird has wings and it’s time to soar!”

Says Kristen Mark, a sex researcher at Indiana University, “When sexual desires aren’t being met for a long period of time, you can feel really trapped, like the real you isn’t able to shine.”

Adds psychicatrist Gail Saltz, “Embedded in divorce sex is the knowledge that your partner has in essence rejected you, or at least let you go, and part of hot sex is the unconscious desire to show them what a mistake they made by not keeping you.”

Sometimes life after divorce can reinforce a person’s libido type or help them discover what they like and don’t like, as is the case with David*, 39, twice married and divorced: “It took me two marriages to realize that I like a lot of sexual excitement and experimentation, but I’m also a romantic. I believe in marriage and monogamy, but if and when I get married again ... it’s going to be with a woman who enjoys the kinkier side of life.”

The enjoyment of sex after divorce may also have something to do with a sense of deserving a bit of hard-earned sexual selfishness.

Take Karen*, 38, who says, “I’d always heard that women experience their sexual prime later in life, but I never understood that. The more I was in my marriage and the older I got, the less sexual I felt. Then I got divorced and started having casual sex again. For the first time in a long time I was with men who were making an effort to pleasure me and discover what I liked, and I wasn’t shy or bashful about letting them know. I am having a sexual peak, but it’s not physical, it’s mental.”

With all the fun to be had, is there a downside? And are there any best practices for sex after divorce?

“Watch out for too much too soon,” says, Lance*, 42. “After my divorce, I was like a kid in a candy store. There were women everywhere. And a lot of them were willing to have sex. Suddenly, I was a womanizer.”

He continues, a bit remorseful: “Be honest with the person you’re with. What are you looking for from the sex? I don’t want to get married again, or be in a serious relationship right now, and I need to be clearer about that up front before having sex with someone.”

Remember, too, that just because you’re divorced doesn’t mean you’re necessarily wiser. “Practice safe sex,” says Mara*, 58. “My best friend and I both got divorced at the same time and were there for each other. We’re both well past the age of having kids. But I always use protection, and she doesn’t. I try to tell her that STDs are still a real possibility.”

Sex educator Amy Levine confirms that advice. “When ‘you don't know what you don't know’ a lack of sexual knowledge can put someone at risk for a range of STDs. For those that were married for quite a while, sex ed after divorce is imperative!"

And be cautious if you have children. “Don’t bring your fun home if there are kids in the house,” says Trish*. “I want to get married again, and I want my daughter to have a loving stepfather someday. But I’m going to make sure he’s really the one before I bring anyone home.”

There’s one thing everyone agrees on, in theory, if not always in practice: Avoid sex with your ex. Says Tom, who got this whole ball rolling, “I couldn’t believe it. Jackie* and I would be with our lawyers, fighting viciously about money or kids - and then we’d leave and go have hot crazy sex. It was really confusing. Why couldn’t it have been like that when we were married?”

*Names have been changed

soundoff (948 Responses)
  1. KhthMile

    corner drug store online pharmacy no prescription cheap viagra online canadian pharmacy

    January 8, 2021 at 21:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. AqwsEncox

    п»їviagra online canadian pharmacy med rx pharmacy nearest drugstore

    January 9, 2021 at 13:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. FgvdZisse

    24 hour pharmacy near me cheap erectile dysfunction pills online best drugstore primer

    January 9, 2021 at 18:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. LokuEncox

    ed pills that work quickly save on pharmacy the people's pharmacy

    January 9, 2021 at 19:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. JtmfEncox

    canada pharmacy online indian pharmacy online pharmacies near me

    January 11, 2021 at 16:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. NllpZisse

    legit online pharmacy drug store canadian online pharmacy

    January 12, 2021 at 21:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. KlioMile

    viagra buy online canada can you buy viagra online in australia without a prescription viagracanada can you buy viagra over the counter in uk can you get viagra sent to australia can you buy viagra mexico viagra albuquerque viagra mail order canada viagra syd does generic viagra work viagra with dapoxetine online viagra alternative over the counter viagra professional o superactive online viagra on sale edmonton alternative viagra

    January 13, 2021 at 16:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Rose Mile

    Getting your lover or your ex back has been made more easy by this powerful spell caster called Dr Odion. I am Rose by name and i am from canada, the only reason why i am on this site is to thank this powerful spell caster called DR. Odion and you can improve your relationship success by contacting him through these details (wisdomspiritualtemple@gmail.com Or call +2348136482342) This powerful spell caster did me a huge favor by helping me get my lover back to me within the speed of light and since then my relationship has been perfect.

    any problem of yours.He is specialized in the following:

    (1)Spell for protection from danger
    (2)Spell for magic
    (3)Spell for same sex love
    (4)Spell for healing
    (5)Spell for invisibility
    (6)Spell for riches and fame
    (7)Spell to get a good job
    (8)Spell for strong love and relationship
    (9)Spell to bring your ex back
    (10)speII for Lottery
    This man has great powers and is incredibly generous.You can contact him on

    January 15, 2021 at 11:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. NlbxZisse

    viagra 800 mg viagra generic sex shoping viagra buy viagra toronto diffents tipes of viagra buy gerneric viagra how much is viagra in tuajuana with a prescription buy viagra online without a prescription with overnight delivery viagra for sale online uk what if viagra doesnt work another tablet viagra no prescription cialis actually pay with paypal viagra generic viagra drugstore1st online viagra 100g viagra jelly for women

    January 16, 2021 at 23:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. JvcxCrulk

    viagra canada free sample viagra minn cialis and viagra mix ordering generic viagra online buy viagra brisbane buy viagra online for 50 cents a piece viagra where to buy viagra pills 90 viagra delivery to canada viagra 500mg safe to order viagra viagra samples canada brand viagra where to buy viagra in us overnight delivery viagra 100 mg generic

    January 17, 2021 at 11:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. KbctMile

    buy cialis online with paypal cialis overnight pharmacy buying cialis in australia http://mycialedst.com/ – buy cialis with paypal ’

    January 18, 2021 at 17:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. FbdhZisse

    ver to bay cialis 20mg what\'s works better viagra or cialis? cialis peru http://21cialismen.com/ – buy cialis online canada ’

    January 18, 2021 at 23:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. AqbvEncox

    reliable pharmacy online for viagra generic viagra review forum canadian pharmacies selling viagra http://acialaarx.com/ – viagra from canana without a prescription ’

    January 19, 2021 at 08:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. LcxEncox

    pfizer viagra india viagra in united states pills like viagra http://genqpviag.com/ – how much is viagra ’

    January 19, 2021 at 14:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. JbdcEncox

    viagra 4 packs viagra,inexpensive,no prescription viagra paypal http://llviabest.com/ – female viagra uk ’

    January 21, 2021 at 09:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. NlbxZisse

    canada cialis with dapoxetine 5mg of cialis indian cialis generic http://cialijomen.com/ – cialis ’

    January 22, 2021 at 00:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. JvcbxCrulk

    cialis for sale in toront ontario generic cialis best price cialis or viagra http://phrcialiled.com/ – cialis online pharmacy australian ’

    January 22, 2021 at 06:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. BestOCDivorce

    I was recommended this website by my cousin. I'm not sure whether
    this post is written by him as no one else know such detailed about my difficulty.
    You're amazing! Thanks!

    January 22, 2021 at 20:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. KbbtMile

    cialis 36 hour Betapace 20mg cialis best price https://xz-pharmacyonline.com – Brand Cialis ’

    January 23, 2021 at 11:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. FbgZisse

    viagra online samples buy viagra generic online viagra ireland 2011 https://canadianpharmacy-usx.com/organic.htm – viagra 25mg online ’

    January 23, 2021 at 19:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. AhmdEncox

    cialis no prescription buy original cialis 10 mg kupi online cialis http://cialmenshoprx.com/ – generic cialis (tadalafil) 20mg 30 ’

    January 24, 2021 at 03:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. JnhCrulk

    cialis online mastercard buy cialis online australia pay with paypal cialis dapoxetine http://loncialis.com/ – cialis without prescription ’

    January 26, 2021 at 14:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. FmfvEncox

    cialis shop dapoxetine and cialis best prices for generic cialis http://sjcialis.com/ – cialis dominican resort ’

    January 26, 2021 at 14:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. NmilZisse

    canadian generic viagra cialis and viagra mix viagra cialis enzyte http://xz-pharmacyonline.com/en/career-opportunities.html – viagra super active free shipping ’

    January 26, 2021 at 20:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Ronnie Rampulla

    Hmm it seems like your site ate my first comment (it was extremely long) so I guess I'll just sum it up what I wrote and say, I'm thoroughly enjoying your blog. I too am an aspiring blog writer but I'm still new to the whole thing. Do you have any points for beginner blog writers? I'd genuinely appreciate it.


    January 27, 2021 at 17:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. KbbgMile

    viagra 20 mg soft reputable canadian mail order pharmacies walmart pharmacy viagra prices http://erectilejyzd.com/ – Cytoxan ’

    January 28, 2021 at 17:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Leida Davise


    January 28, 2021 at 21:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. FhnhZisse

    Cialis Soft Tabs international pharmacies that ship to the usa canadian prescriptions online https://canadianpharmacy-yy.com/ – Furosemide ’

    January 29, 2021 at 00:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. AhmdEncox

    buy cialis in davenport fl best erectile dysfunction pills cialis black https://impotencecdny.com/ – Trazodone ’

    January 29, 2021 at 10:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. drbenharbalhome@gmail.com

    Bring Back Lost Love Using Voodoo Reunion Love Spells
    Have you been looking for powerful voodoo lost love spells with great results? You are not here by chance. You are in the right place because this is what you have been looking for. I am a powerful spell caster that will make all your dreams come true. Through my love spells, I can teach you how to use magic, your magic … Yes, we all have powers even if we have not discovered them yet or we do not know how to handle them. So you can fulfill your deepest desires. My voodoo spells pay after results will help you in:
    +18287990994(DRBENHARBALHOME @ GMAIL COM) call or whatsapp for more

    January 30, 2021 at 01:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. JnscCrulk

    viagra coupon printable getting viagra in bc viagra with dapoxetine 80mg http://erectilejyzd.com/index.php?called=terms – 36 hour viagra ’

    January 31, 2021 at 20:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. FmnfEncox

    generic cialis usps priority mail cheap cialis for sale cialis https://impotencecdny.com/info/history.php – cialis or viagra ’

    January 31, 2021 at 21:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. NgscZisse

    viagra 10 mg sildenafil 10 mg daily cheap generic viagra usa http://canadianpharmacy-yy.com/Fitness/how-to-get-a-six-pack.html – where can you buy viagra over the counter ’

    February 1, 2021 at 02:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Damian Crippen

    This is a very interesting article. Please, share more like this!


    February 1, 2021 at 04:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. LorenaBlairjar

    Bad spelling and grammar is the biggest turn off for women using online dating sites

    the learning looks at cases of singles who had rejected potential dates, Not due to boring hobbies or dodgy profile pictures, But expected incorrect spelling or punctuation.

    One online daterJeff Cohen had arranged to meet a woman he met on OKCupid but stopped in his tracks when he reread her message and came across this error: 'I will dsicover you their.or,–

    RELATED ARTICLES beyond 1 Next

    11 bath and body goods you asian beauties dating review NEED in your life this autumn (and also. Sponsored the beauty of the post baby body: dads bare their. 'He died inside my arms': Wife's heartbreak as salsa dancing. She's still started using it! Kate Moss, 41, Goes hell for buff in.

    Ananalysis by just Grammarly, A editing company, revealed that a man with two spelling mistakes in his online profile was 14 per cent less likely to receive a positive response from women viewing his profile

    However it is men who are most likely to fare worse in the dating game in terms of people who are particularly picky about grammar.

    the actual 5,000 single ladies who responded, 96 per cent rated good grammar over the confidence of their future partner and even the healthiness of their teeth.

    Another medical diagnosis by Grammarly, A proofreading and editing company, says a man with two spelling mistakes in his online profile was 14 per cent less likely to receive a positive response.

    but yet, There is evidence to declare that those who dismiss profiles with bad spelling or grammar may not just be pedants, As there's an easy very practical reason to avoid errors.

    Sift science, A fraud recognition company, Has found that spelling and grammar mistakes are often linked with internet scams.

    For example if you discover the spelling 'ur', That lesson is 3.8 times as more likely fraudulent.

    Experts also suggest that it shows a lack of effort, an issue that turns many women off, Whether it's your English or your own private hygiene.

    Dating app The Grade was introduced last year to give users a school style marking system depending how how well they presented very own.

    and moreover spelling, Singles are also graded on how well they interact and whether they send not good enough messages.

    If they fail to get a D average then they shall be kicked off the app, Or as the designers of the app put it, 'Make the grade or be expelled'.

    The aim is to weed out users who are unpopular, Unresponsive and not good enough.

    Popularity is assessed on how often the person is 'liked' by their fellow users and the quality of their profile, Including pictures and a brief information.

    February 1, 2021 at 05:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. LorenaBlairjar

    IP powers online love connections on eHarmony

    voice over ip powers online love connectionsOnline dating site eHarmony is using new technology to pof.com review bring the telephone back to matchmaking, proclaims Fortune's Stephanie N. Mehta.

    that by Stephanie N. Thanks to a new service from internet dating purveyor eHarmony, Modern would be lovers soon could are waiting by the phone once again.

    Pasedena based eHarmony is anticipated today to announce a new service that lets its members connect via phone without actually giving out their home, Work or mobile digits.

    Most stock quote data furnished by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, and it's delayed by two minutes. year 'round are ET. please note. Morningstar: Morningstar, corporation. Factset: FactSet look for Systems Inc. 2018. Chicago Mercantile alliance: Certain market data is the home or property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and also it licensors. Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, passed out and marketed by DJI Opco, A subsidiary of S Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S Opco, LLC and msnbc. Standard Poor and S are registered images of Standard Poor Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. subject matter of the Dow Jones branded indices S Dow Jones Indices LLC 2018

    Most stock quote data offered by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, aside from the DJIA, which can be delayed by two minutes. year 'round are ET. please note. Morningstar: Morningstar, corporation. Factset: FactSet reports Systems Inc. 2018. Chicago Mercantile organisation: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and the licensors. Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, spread and marketed by DJI Opco, A part of S Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S Opco, LLC and cnn. Standard Poor and S are registered images of Standard Poor Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. subject matter of the Dow Jones branded indices S Dow Jones Indices LLC 2018.

    February 1, 2021 at 08:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Social Followers

    I am typically to running a blog and i really appreciate your content. The article has actually peaks my interest. I'm going to bookmark your web site and preserve checking for new information.


    February 3, 2021 at 13:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. FqhhEncox

    canada drugs online pharmacy antibacterial medical information online

    February 4, 2021 at 10:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. KbcxMile

    apollo pharmacy online health canada drug database pharmacy in canada

    February 4, 2021 at 15:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Buy Best Social Media Subscribers

    Thankyou for all your efforts that you have put in this. very interesting information.


    February 4, 2021 at 16:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Kuikseelt

    viagraprise buying viagra without perscription reasons to use viagra

    February 6, 2021 at 09:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. FvfcZisse

    viagra and cialis viagra online no prescription viagra chewing gum

    February 6, 2021 at 14:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. LbsxEncox

    pharmacy online mexico viagra super force without a prescription cheap drugs online

    February 7, 2021 at 14:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. JbbvEncox

    shoppers pharmacy diuretics online drugstore pharmacy

    February 7, 2021 at 17:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. AhkdEncox

    buy prescription drugs from canada best canadian mail order pharmacies brand viagra

    February 7, 2021 at 20:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. JbnbCrulk

    buying prescription drugs canada pills viagra pharmacy 100mg mexican pharmacies online

    February 9, 2021 at 07:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. AqcfTeneseelt

    dapoxetine real cialis cialis for sale in toront ontario cialis from canadian pharmacy registerd

    February 10, 2021 at 01:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. NncsZisse

    viagra las vegas overseas pharmacies buy viagra with overnight shipping

    February 10, 2021 at 20:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. FqbbEncox

    non credit check payday loans trading standards payday loans payday loans that service ny

    February 11, 2021 at 08:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. https://tinyurl.com/y4old5o9| http://tvc.in/2vpkj| http://www.congreso-hidalgo.gob.mx/urls/4Hm| http://jtayl.me/4nw84| http://divineurl.com/28uqh| https://bit.ly/2LE7ASM}

    Your Store + This Bot = Leads & Sales Explosion Do you have a Website? Are you struggling for Leads and Sales? You’re not the only one. So many Website owners struggle to convert their Visitors into Leads & Sales. There’s a simple way to fix this problem. You could use a Live Chat app on your Website and hire Chat Agents. But only if you’ve got deep pockets and you’re happy to fork out THOUSANDS of dollars for the quality you need. ===== But what if you could automate Live Chat so it’s HUMAN-FREE? What if you could exploit NEW “AI” Technology to engage with your Visitors INSTANTLY. And AUTOMATICALLY convert them into Leads & Sales. WITHOUT spending THOUSANDS of dollars on Live Chat Agents. And WITHOUT hiring expensive coders. In fact, all you need to do to activate this LATEST “AI” Website Tech.. ..is to COPY & PASTE a single line of “Website Code”. Join HUGE Fortune 500 companies like: Facebook Spotify Starbucks Staples The Wall Street Journal Pizza Hut Amtrak Disney H&M & Mastercard They all use similar “AI” Chat Technology to ConversioBot – the Internet’s #1 Chatbot for Website Owners. The founders of ConversioBot have used their highly sophisticated ChatBot to: – AUTOMATICALLY build a massive Email List of 11,643 Subscribers in just 7 Days – AUTOMATICALLY add 6,386 Sales in only 6 Months – AUTOMATICALLY explode their Conversion Rate by 198 in only 6 Hours. Now it’s your turn to get in on this exciting NEW Cloud-Based App. You can start using ConversioBot today by copying and pasting ONE line of “Automated Bot Code" to your Website. Watch this short video to find out how >> https://tinyurl.com/y4old5o9


    February 11, 2021 at 10:34 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14

Post a comment


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.