Make-up sex. You want it to be a real thing. You may have even experienced it and believe it to be a real thing. But is it really better than any other sex?
Science says, YES!
Research found that the arousal state achieved during an argument can be transferred to sexual interactions, leading to a better sexual experience. I don’t want to bore you with all of the research details so I’ll just point you to the source. Read “Why Make-Up Sex and Breakup Sex Are So Good” from Psychology Today to learn more about why make-up sex is so much better.
Yay, it works! Now the even bigger question…should we use it?
Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should…
Too often, make-up sex is used as a band-aid following an argument. When you have experienced all the negativity you can stand, sex (especially good make-up sex) can be the perfect expression of positivity. Unfnortunately, Miss Taylor Swift knew what she was talking about when she sang, “band-aids don’t fix bullet holes”. When you find yourself constantly arguing with your partner about the same thing chances are you have a few “bullet holes” that need more advanced care than a band-aid can provide.
When relationship wounds or struggles are deep, they need to be addressed and healed. Research shows that make-up sex will help you to feel better in the moment. What it won’t do is heal your relationship or fix the bigger issues. To heal your relationship you and your partner will need to explore the bigger issues and work towards resolution. To find resolution you will need honest communication and a willingness to see situations from your partner’s perspective.
While effective communication is not nearly as sexy and fun as make-up sex, it will have an even better payoff in the end. That is not to say that you should leave sex or even make-up sex by the wayside. On the contrary, there is a time and place for everything, including make-up sex.
When Make-up Sex is OK
Given the benefits of arousal transfer as it relates to make-up sex, there simply must be situations when it’s ok to partake in the benefits, right?
Make-up sex is not a replacement for quality communication, but it works well as a dessert. Just because you talked it out and found resolution for your disagreement, does not mean that it’s too late for make-up sex. In fact, according to Shape Magazine, make-up sex is even better after you have resolved the disagreement.
Working with your partner to successfully resolve conflict leads to increased feelings of affection and attraction. Both of which will improve the already intense feelings and sensations associated with make-up sex.
Who knew conflict resolution and effective communication could be aphrodisiacs?!
With that said, there may be times when it’s OK to have dessert before dinner or even instead of dinner. Think – moderation.
When you and your partner have a solid foundation and disagreements are fleeting and not an indication of deeper issues, you might have the freedom to indulge in make-up sex as a main course every now and then. Be mindful if this is the path you take. Make-up sex can momentarily increase passion and eliminate feelings of anger and frustration. However, if used too often it can also limit true conversation and resolution.
Not only is make-up sex a real thing, but when used in combination with quality communication it can have a powerful impact on your relationship. Sex can and should be a part of your relationship when times are good or not so good. Physical and emotional intimacy are connected in relationships. Engaging in physical intimacy after resolving an argument is a powerful expression of the emotional strength found within your relationship.
About the Author
Amber Groves is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and infertility specialist at The Marriage and Family Clinic in Denver, CO. She helps couples, families and children to have the calm and peaceful life they want in their relationship and family. In her spare time, she is the mother of one busy toddler and a new little baby.