What is the psychology behind rebound sex?

Most people have heard of rebound sex, sometimes referred to in broader terms as a “rebound relationship,” or simply a “rebound,” but why is it that this practice is so common? What is it about the human psyche that makes someone seek sexual comfort so soon after ending a long-term relationship, and is that behavior helpful or hurtful? To explore this topic, it is important to separate rebound sex from an actual rebound relationship. Rebound sex can evolve into a relationship; but it is often spontaneous and occurs with the individual having no plans for a long-term commitment. SEE ALSO: Does love make sex feel better? A rebound relationship, however, involves all of the commitment of a standard relationship, the only difference is it occurred during what many people would define as “too soon” after a breakup. A rebound relationship can be how someone deals with the loss of an ex, and according to a handful of studies cited by Psychology Today, a rebound relationship is a very positive thing for someone whose goal is to move on. In this situation, a rebound can signify a person is more emotionally stable, and evidence on the stability of marriages which occur after the dissolution of a previous marriage showed no negative evidence of a “rebound effect.” “Recent evidence suggests, in fact, that people who dive into rebound relationships get over their ex-partner more quickly and feel more confident in their date-ability (Brumbaugh & Fraley, 2014),” explained Dr. Theresa DiDonato. “This evidence builds nicely on research showing that individuals with high attachment anxiety are better able to sever their emotional attachment to an ex-partner when they start a new relationship (Spielmann, MacDonald, & Wilson, 2009).” DiDonato also noted that less time between a break-up and a new relationship generally predicted greater well-being, higher self-esteem and more respect for a new partner. Rebound sex Rebound sex can be a different beast entirely, though some rebound relationships also fall into this category. Susan Krauss Whitbourne, Ph.D, notes actual rebound sex is more about making the person just out of a breakup feel better about him or herself. In this situation rebound sex is a confidence booster; important because many breakups are devastating blows to self-esteem. The “rebound sex” associated with negative stigma is what experts refer to as revenge sex. Revenge sex is about paying an ex back for the hurt they caused during and after the relationship. This means how a relationship ended plays a big role in how and why rebound sex occurs after. “Levels of commitment to the relationship while it was in existence also served as predictors of rebound sex involvement,” explained Whitbourne. “Those with higher commitment to their ex were less likely to have rebound sex, at least immediately after the breakup. However, when they did have rebound sex, they were more likely to admit that they used it to help cope with their loss.” SEE ALSO: 3 ways the winter can affect your sex life All in all experts agree that rebound sex, as long as it is not intended for revenge, isn’t unhealthy. The only issue is statistics suggest people having rebound sex are more likely to have risky sex. This doesn’t just refer to unprotected sex; experts indicate the most vulnerable people involved in rebound sex are often taken advantage of by their new partner physically as well as emotionally.The post What is the psychology behind rebound sex? appeared first on Voxxi.

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Rebound sex isn’t necessarily a bad thing. (Shutterstock)

Most people have heard of rebound sex, sometimes referred to in broader terms as a “rebound relationship,” or simply a “rebound,” but why is it that this practice is so common? What is it about the human psyche that makes someone seek sexual comfort so soon after ending a long-term relationship, and is that behavior helpful or hurtful?

To explore this topic, it is important to separate rebound sex from an actual rebound relationship. Rebound sex can evolve into a relationship; but it is often spontaneous and occurs with the individual having no plans for a long-term commitment.

SEE ALSO: Does love make sex feel better?

A rebound relationship, however, involves all of the commitment of a standard relationship, the only difference is it occurred during what many people would define as “too soon” after a breakup.

A rebound relationship can be how someone deals with the loss of an ex, and according to a handful of studies cited by Psychology Today, a rebound relationship is a very positive thing for someone whose goal is to move on. In this situation, a rebound can signify a person is more emotionally stable, and evidence on the stability of marriages which occur after the dissolution of a previous marriage showed no negative evidence of a “rebound effect.”

“Recent evidence suggests, in fact, that people who dive into rebound relationships get over their ex-partner more quickly and feel more confident in their date-ability (Brumbaugh & Fraley, 2014),” explained Dr. Theresa DiDonato. “This evidence builds nicely on research showing that individuals with high attachment anxiety are better able to sever their emotional attachment to an ex-partner when they start a new relationship (Spielmann, MacDonald, & Wilson, 2009).”

People kiss in public
Rebound relationships can be healthy, lasting relationships. (Shutterstock)

DiDonato also noted that less time between a break-up and a new relationship generally predicted greater well-being, higher self-esteem and more respect for a new partner.

Rebound sex

Rebound sex can be a different beast entirely, though some rebound relationships also fall into this category. Susan Krauss Whitbourne, Ph.D, notes actual rebound sex is more about making the person just out of a breakup feel better about him or herself. In this situation rebound sex is a confidence booster; important because many breakups are devastating blows to self-esteem.

The “rebound sex” associated with negative stigma is what experts refer to as revenge sex. Revenge sex is about paying an ex back for the hurt they caused during and after the relationship. This means how a relationship ended plays a big role in how and why rebound sex occurs after.

“Levels of commitment to the relationship while it was in existence also served as predictors of rebound sex involvement,” explained Whitbourne. “Those with higher commitment to their ex were less likely to have rebound sex, at least immediately after the breakup. However, when they did have rebound sex, they were more likely to admit that they used it to help cope with their loss.”

SEE ALSO: 3 ways the winter can affect your sex life

All in all experts agree that rebound sex, as long as it is not intended for revenge, isn’t unhealthy. The only issue is statistics suggest people having rebound sex are more likely to have risky sex. This doesn’t just refer to unprotected sex; experts indicate the most vulnerable people involved in rebound sex are often taken advantage of by their new partner physically as well as emotionally.

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The post What is the psychology behind rebound sex? appeared first on Voxxi.