Let’s Talk About Sex After Divorce–Safe Sex, That Is

By Jackie Pilossoph, Founder, Divorced Girl Smiling, the place to find trusted, vetted divorce professionals, a podcast, website and mobile app.

Divorced Girl Smiling received this e-mail from a reader seeking advice about sex after divorce and how to be safe.

I went out with a guy a couple of times and we really hit it off. Our relationship quickly became physical and in the heat of the moment, I did not address the issue of protection. Afterwards, I brought it up because this is not my normal behavior, and I was worried because I did not know him well enough to take that risk.

In a nutshell, I felt like an ignorant teenager. I know better. When I asked him about it, he did not seem concerned at all. I asked him why he did not bring it up, assuming that he would say he knew he should, but in the heat of the moment let passion get the best of him. To my surprise, he said, “Oh, I can just tell when someone may have an issue.” I couldn’t believe it! That is so ignorant and naïve! Can you please give some advice for always being prepared and more importantly, a comfortable, natural way to bring it up – even in the heat of the moment!

I totally understand how passion can get the best of people. Not! Come on, really??



I will only say this once, but I will say it loud and clear.

Safe sex after divorce is just as important as safe sex was before you were married. It’s actually MORE important because you now have children to think about!

I can’t believe the number of older, divorced men and women who tell me they have unprotected sex with people they either just met or have yet to have the sex history talk with. They look at me with this innocent (I like to call it naïve and stupid) look and say, “Well…I’m sure it’s fine.”

My question is, how can you possibly know it’s fine?? You have no idea who that person has slept with. It baffles me how men and women in their 40s, 50s and 60s can preach safe sex to their children and then disregard their own advice and have unprotected sex themselves.


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Look, I’m not trying to be judgmental, but it really scares me. Not pregnancy or even other STDs that can be cured, but what about AIDS? There’s no cure for that. You have a responsibility to your children to make sure you stay healthy and live a long life. I cannot understand how someone can take that risk. I just can’t.

Safe sex after divorce is still fun

Just as before you were married, protected sex is highly wise. What’s the big deal about using a condom until you really get to know the person, until you know that person’s history, and most importantly, until you know the two of you are exclusive? Doesn’t that make sense?

How to have the sex history talk

Here’s where it might get tricky. Here’s a scenario. You meet someone and the two of you are gaga over each other. It’s only your second date, but you’ve had a couple glasses of wine and you are absolutely loving this person. You might even think he or she is the one. After months (or even years) of being alone and feeling hopeless, like there is no one out there for you, you finally met this person you really like. Plus, you are so physically attracted, and you’ve been lonely for so long, all you want to do is rip the person’s clothes off.

I totally understand that. But what I’m saying is that you have two choices: you either use a condom or you have the sex history talk. The sex history talk probably isn’t going to happen during the heat of passion, let’s be honest. So, I’d recommend the condom at that moment.

Have the sex history talk while both sober and not in bed. Maybe start off by saying, “I know this is awkward and not easy to talk about, but would you be okay with us talking about our sexual past?” Then the two of you need to be honest and upfront with each other. I’ve even known couples who have both been tested for STDs before having unprotected sex. I support that idea 100% and think it’s very wise.

So, when it comes to sex after divorce, my advice would be to enjoy yourself and your new guy (or girl). Sex is wonderful and fun and those breathtakingly passionate moments are heavenly. But sex is also so powerful that it can cloud judgment and emotions and cause people to do and say things they normally wouldn’t. Be smart and responsible when it comes to sex. Being safe doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy it. In fact, knowing it’s safe will most likely make it even better!


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    Divorced Girl Smiling welcome video
    Jackie Pilossoph

    Editor-in-chief: Jackie Pilossoph

    Jackie Pilossoph is the Founder of Divorced Girl Smiling, the media company that connects people facing with divorce to trusted, vetted divorce professionals. Pilossoph is a former NBC affiliate television journalist and Chicago Tribune/Pioneer Press features reporter. Her syndicated column, Love Essentially was published in the Chicago Tribune/Pioneer Press and Tribune owned publications for 7 1/2 years. Pilossoph holds a Masters degree in journalism from Boston University. Learn more at: DivorcedGirlSmiling.com

    3 Responses to “Let’s Talk About Sex After Divorce–Safe Sex, That Is”

    1. MyArrivalYear

      Thank you for this post! It is so important to talk about sex history and have a protection plan. The first time I had sex after my marriage, I completely assumed that he would have condoms and I was out of it so I waited to ask until we were nekked in his bed. Fortunately he did and it wasn’t a problem, and even more fortunately, we had easy conversations about sex history and safety from then on. I can tell you this…watching him put the condom on that first time as a single woman…HOT. http://wp.me/p4Hhko-1e

    2. MicKenzie Ellis

      Thank you for reaching out to others and giving perspective and an opportunity for support! I would like to pass on this information to you, and ask that you would pass on this information to anyone who may need some extra support during a tough time! Please email with any questions!

      Collins Oldham Clinical Group is an associate practice founded in the city of Chicago. COCG seeks to create a culturally sensitive environment that empowers clients to make change in their lives, focusing on acceptance, validation and increased self-awareness. Caleb Collins and Kelley Oldham work to provide a unique environment for persons to grow in better understanding of themselves and to gain emotional support in the midst of difficult personal situations.
      Caleb and Kelley understand the stress caused by marital tension, and are passionate about providing help and support. In response to an overwhelming need, they have specifically created a group to provide children support in the midst of divorce.
      Dealing with Divorce (Children’s Support Group) will recognize that divorce can be a confusing and overwhelming experience for children; while parents work to manage separation and the conclusion of their relationships they find themselves with less resources to offer support to their kids. During these times, parents report seeing an increase in isolating behaviors, anger, fear or emotional outbursts. This group will focus on offering children a safe space to process their own unique experiences while developing relationships with others who share similar feelings.
      Dealing with Divorce Group begins meeting every Monday night from 6:00-7:00pm startingJuly 21st.

      For more information email MicKenzie Ellis or visit the COCG website at http://www.collinsoldham.com.

      MicKenzie Ellis
      COCG Intern


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