Is sex a legitimate coping strategy? Science has shown us that sex releases all sorts of ‘feel good’ hormones. It bonds us with our partners. It helps relieve tension. And, yet, it seems socially frowned upon to utilize sex in a functional way outside of baby-making.
I’m calling bullshit on that.
Sex is wonderful and I’ve used it in many different ways throughout life transitions. I had a one night stand simply because I wanted a different penis inside my vagina after my husband left me. That partner gave me the gift of a sex memory that did not include my ex of 17 years.
I’ve scheduled sex around major life events. The day my divorce was set to be finalized; I asked one of my partners to block out the evening to “fuck me back into my body” since I tend to dissociate during times of extreme sadness.
Sex has been a way to rebuild confidence after it came out that my husband and the nanny had been having an affair. Beautiful men helped patch me back together with tender kisses and rough sex. Or, rough kisses and tender sex.
My personal jury is still out on the debate regarding ‘sex addiction’. We all need to have our own internal barometer for if we are too off kilter. If you begin to chase sex in a way that feels reckless; if sex starts to get in the way of your normal life functioning; if you deprioritize family and friends for sex then you may wish to seek help to rebalance yourself.
However, I’m proud to state that sex is one of the self-care tools in my tool box. I’ve used it to cope and plan to continue doing so as I move through this wild, unpredictable life.
Thank you to all the kind, interesting, and sexy men (and women!) who have loved, cherished, and desired me. Y’all have been my therapists and have contributed to the person I am today. I can’t wait to continue sexing myself healthy!