Having Sex after Divorce: Getting Naked Can be Really Scary!

having sex after divorce

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

Having sex after divorce is a scary thought for a lot of people. Think about it. You have slept in the same bed with the same man for what? 10 years? 20 years? 30 years? Now you are separated or divorced. Inevitably, you are going to start dating, and you are going to meet someone you like, and well, eventually, if things continue to go well, you are going to take your clothes off. I can tell you first hand how terrifying that is to newly separated or divorced people.

The first time you have sex after divorce can be traumatizing, scary, sad, or strange. The flip side: it can also be exciting, fun, heart-stoppingly great, or over-the-top, out of the ballpark amazing.

When it comes to having sex after divorce, here are three reasons why people are scared to get naked:

1.       People (mostly women) are beyond self conscious about their bodies.

Okay, so your marriage wasn’t working, but at least when you had sex with your husband, it was comfortable. He knew what you looked like naked, and he still wanted to have sex with you. Or, maybe he didn’t, which makes this aspect so much worse.

I am constantly amazed at how hard women are on themselves when it comes to their bodies. They are so critical. They look in the mirror and they notice every imperfection; every wrinkle, every vein, every bulge. They don’t focus on the good parts of themselves!

My advice is two things: First, just eat healthy, work out and appreciate that you are in good health. Half of feeling fat is mental. So, if you start eating like a thin person, you will feel like one, (even after one day) and then you will eventually become one.

Secondly, I’ve said this before. Just be yourself. Think, ‘This is who I am. You either like me or you don’t.’ That self assurance you exude goes a long, long way. On a side note, I read in a magazine once that men see women 10 pounds thinner than women see themselves. So, see? You just lost 10 pounds!!


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 2.       A lot of women get emotional.

You just had sex with another man, and in your mind, you broke your wedding vow (even though you are getting divorced and maybe it wasn’t even your choice.) Still, you beat yourself up and you just ruined the whole experience because you are feeling guilty, like this is wrong. Please don’t ruin it for yourself! Let yourself enjoy it. The last few months (or years) of your marriage were probably not good, and you probably didn’t feel sexy or wanted for a long, long time. So, let someone make you feel that way.

 3.       Vulnerability is scary. 

It takes courage to be vulnerable, especially after a broken heart. It’s not easy to put your heart on the table, show someone who you really are, with the risk that he or she might not like it. So, why be vulnerable? Because although it feels risky, and although the relationship might end–whether you open up or not, being vulnerable has its rewards. BIG rewards.

There is nothing better than an authentic relationship where both partners are vulnerable and loved by one another for who they truly are. It makes the relationships so genuine and rich and fulfilling! Vulnerability is scary until you say that you are not only accepted, but adored by your partner for who you really are. It’s the best feeling in the world.


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In closing, I have two additional things to say on the subject of having sex after divorce. First, please use condoms. Think of the consequences that could occur if you don’t. You have kids now. You have a responsibility to be smart about this.


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Secondly, I want to share something about the first person you have sex with after divorce. When that relationship ends, don’t be surprised if it hurts worse than the divorce.  It’s a hard one to get over, and I think it’s because the break up opens up all the raw wounds you felt when your relationship with your husband or wife ended. So, it’s not so much about the guy (or girl.) It’s more about the loss. Again. It’s very, very hard. Trust me. I know.

Here’s the thing about having sex after divorce…

The first person you sleep with after marriage is an experience (and a person) you never forget, no matter how it turns out. Like so many other aspects of divorce, it’s just something you have to go through. But I’m not saying that in a bad way. It can truly be a lovely, sweet, special experience.

Like this article? Check out, “9 Signs of a Healthy Romantic Relationship”

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    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

    12 Responses to “Having Sex after Divorce: Getting Naked Can be Really Scary!”

    1. Divorced Kat

      I can’t decide if this makes me excited or terrified for my first lay post-divorce! I guess either way, it’s going to be emotionally messy for me.


        I do not agree with the writer. If your first time sex with your spouse continues to be a memorable experience, I find no reason why one should spoil it, even after separation, by being intimate with someone else. Divorce, except in extreme cases, is a legal concept. It has, at least in my opinion, nothing to do with your feelings, your emotions that flow on within you. There is much more in life than sex. There is writing, photography, music – so much, indeed. And, above all, there is the fond memory of a person you have been with. Try to save your marriage. And, if you fail, tell yourself:
        “Man, I am not a dog in the street. I had it all once, I have no regret because I no longer have it, for whatever begins must end someday.”

    2. Condescending Ex

      I already want to cry and it hasn’t happened yet! This explains why I can only imagine hooking up with an ex boyfriend, it’s like I can’t introduce someone new into my life in that way.

    3. Moni

      I was married for 24 years and never expected to be here! Well my husband was my first and only guy I had ever been with. My second experience was very different,. It was with someone I knew and it was amazing, He made me feel alive, young, and passionate. I had forgotten all those feelings for so long! He also made me realize what I wanted in my next relationship. Thank you for making feel like I am not alone.

      Moni-Single & loving it!

      • Virginia

        Thanks for this Moni, l am not quite there yet, but that is exactly the experience I am looking forward to after 27 years of criticism and being made to feel never good enough when I know l most certainly am!

    4. Mikey

      I’ve been divorced twice. I’ll never forget either of my ‘firsts’ after I was divorced. My first divorce was 11 years ago and the gal that I was with was far from perfect. She was 10 years my senior, couldn’t teach me anything in bed, couldn’t hold a job, couldn’t discipline her dog (thank God she didn’t have kids) and wasn’t always emotionally stable. But man, the sex was great! – I think it was because it was so good to be with someone after 5 years of arguemnts and pain (emotional and physical) from my Ex. So even if it isn’t Mr. or Mrs. Right, it isn’t always bad to be with Mr. or Mrs. Right Now.

      To Jackie’s point #1: I’ve known a few women in my time and they are their own worst critics. Believe me, as a middle aged Single Dad, I am happy to get any woman naked in my bedroom! Oh, and since you are talking about the bedroom, a few extra pounds can be a good thing there….

    5. Free2BeMe

      I was married for 20 years to someone who made me feel horrible about every aspect of who I am. My body. my personality, my cooking&cleaning skills..you get the picture. We hadnt had sex for years and years.

      I met a man a few months ago who really seemed to like me for me…post divorce weight gain and all. We met up occasionally and talked and talked and talked some more. He explained to me that at our age men are not out just for beauty on the outside they want beauty on the inside and then the outside is beautiful too! He also explained that my self confidence and the way I carried myself was incredibly sexy to men no matter what size I am.

      Just had sex with him for the first time last night. The sex was unbelievable. I felt totally free just to be me without fear of criticism or judgement from my partner. I never felt free in my marriage. I WAS pretty critical of my body initially until he showed me how much he enjoyed every part of it.

      I am definately not ready to jump back into a relationship just yet and I have made it perfectly clear to him that right now its just Friends with Benefits and we will see what happens from there. Guess my point is just be truthful to both yourself and your partner.

    6. Children in the Divorce

      I recently discovered a new blog for teenagers and a main topic of discussion is dealing with divorce. This blog is written by teenagers and is a sort of support and advice system. In the advice column is where they give some great advice about dealing with it. If you have a son or daughter who is having a hard time dealing with your divorce you should have them check it out, I showed it to my daughter and she said it really helped her.
      The blog is: https://sites.google.com/site/theed0tbl0g/home

    7. GG

      Sex with anyone for the 1st time so is scary. After years of having meaningless sex, I’m a lot more selective with partners now. Great read!

    8. Julie Phelps

      Women self conscious about your bodies – hear this truth: Men are aging, just as we are. Many are a bit concerned about how their bodies will appear to a woman too. Lust and a willingness to be honest and open can do wonders.

    9. cheated on

      Was married for 27 yrs, still in love with my adulteress ex wife.
      Never having sex with another woman, keeping my vows sacred before God. Personally find this wrong, dirty, and adultery.


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