join the Love Bird email list.

Twice-monthly reminders that love is for you.

Five tips to help you have successful, playful, and intimate rebound sex

Is Rebound Sex Right For You?

If you’re wondering whether rebound sex can help with your healing process after a bad breakup, you’re in the right place.  

We’ve all found ourselves on the heel of a breakup: hurting, sad, and lonely. It can be dark times for the newly rejected.

For a while, the idea of being intimate with someone new can be enough to make you crawl back under the blankies and wish you’d never met your ex.
And then the thought creeps in.

“Wouldn’t a little rebound sex make it all better?”

Unfortunately, there’s no easy answer. Rebound sex can help, and it can also hurt.

Read on to find out if getting under somebody is the best way to get over somebody (God, I hate this expression!)

The painful reality of breakups

Nothing can fuck you up harder than a bad breakup.

Losing a job, getting evicted, or getting rejected from grad school can sometimes pale in comparison to the feeling of losing what you thought was the love of your life.

Note: I’m in no way diminishing the pain of losing your employment, your housing, or your future academic endeavors. As open-hearted humans, we tend to place a lot of importance on our romantic relationships, and losing that particular person can be especially devastating.

It sometimes feels like nothing can make the pain of a breakup go away.

If you’ve been through the wringer and come out the other end, you know that eventually, it will get better. Time does heal all wounds, but gosh darn it, I wish it didn’t take as long as it does.

After a while, though, the idea of sleeping with someone new doesn’t fill you with dread or painful memories of sex with your ex, and you start thinking that a little rebound sex might be what the doctor ordered.

Are you ready for it, and can it help?

Can rebound sex help with my breakup?

​It depends.

How fresh is the breakup, and how do you feel daily?

Are you still crying yourself to sleep every night? Do you find yourself dreaming of getting back together, seething with anger towards them, or spending more time than you’d like looking at their social media profiles?

Or are you hearing the birds chirp, smiling when you see new lovers kissing in the park, and starting to feel a sense of hope about your future love life?

If it’s the latter, you might be ready for a little rebound sex.

It certainly has the power to take your mind off your recent breakup, and it can remind you that there are other wonderful, lovely people out there that are not your ex.

But tread carefully; you’re still fragile.

Let the dust settle before rebound sex

If you’re still bawling your eyes out every night and cursing the day your ex was born, you might need some more “you” time.

When you engage in sex, however casual, you’re bringing someone into the fold of your life, however briefly. If that fold is messy, tear-filled, and full of old photos of your ex scattered around your bed, you probably want to spare them the awkwardness.

And if you’re somewhere in the middle, consider telling your rebound hook-up you’re still hurting from a recent breakup and looking for a little loving distraction. Who knows, hooking up with grieving people might be their kink (no kink-shaming here!)

While rebound sex might make you feel better in the short term, if you’re not quite ready for it, it could do more damage than good.

Take a breather for a bit and know that deep down, rebound sex is right around the corner for you when you’re ready for it. And, it’s better to take advantage of it when you’re in a better position to enjoy it.

​What purpose does rebound sex serve?

A breakup can have a pretty shattering effect on your self-confidence, and rebound sex can boost your confidence and self-esteem, if even for a short bit.

When someone says yes to sex with you, they’re validating you, and you could use a little validation at this point.

After​ a breakup, I often have a hard time picturing myself with another woman, especially if I still think that woman was ‘the one.’

Rebound sex might be an eye-opening experience that I need to remember that there is more than one person I can have loving, playful, and intimate connections with.

What if the rebound sex sucks?​

Yea, well. That’s the risk you take when you have sex with a new partner.
​It’s like the first pancake that sometimes people throw away; it’s never as good as the following pancakes, but it’s still a pancake.

 If you can, and this is incredibly hard to do, try not to compare it to sex with your ex, and you’ll be fine. ​

It’s possible to have fulfilling casual sex with a new partner even though you’re still somewhat grieving a past relationship. You can navigate rebound sex with an honest and playful approach that will leave a pleasant aftertaste behind, and following these five simple steps can help.

5 Simple Steps to Killer Shame-Free Rebound Sex

1. Be honest with yourself

If you can’t sleep, eat, or get out of bed because you’re still devastated about your ex, you’re not ready.

Take the time to heal. Jumping back in before you’re ready could prolong the healing process.

The best thing you can do in this situation is to surround yourself with friends, family, healthy food, exercise, and self-care. I know, boring, but don’t worry, rebound sex will be ready for you when you are, and you’ll be in a better position to enjoy it.

2. Be honest with your partner

Tell them where you’re at and what your intentions are before you have sex.
You’ll have a better chance of finding someone who wants what you want, and you’ll avoid disappointing anyone or leading them on.

Here are a couple of scripts you can use to help you have that conversation.

“I just got out of a relationship last month and while I’m not completely over my ex, I’m really attracted to you and would love to have sex, if you’re up for it.”


”I’m still getting over a breakup but it’s been a few months and I’m really enjoying my time with you. I’m not available for anything more than sex right now but if that works for you, I’d be excited to play with you.”

Give your potential partner all the information you have and let them decide whether or not they want to have rebound sex with you.

3. Stop if it starts to feel weird

It’s OK for your feelings to change at any point during the encounter. Feelings change; that’s what they do.

If having rebound sex makes you feel sad, disconnected, hurt, or just plain weird, stop.

Tell your partner what’s happening.

“I’m sorry, I have to stop. I’m not feeling as good about this as I thought I would be. I want to be present with you and right now ​I’m not feeling present.”

“I’m sorry, I have to stop. This is bringing up some uncomfortable feelings that I’m not sure how to process.”

There’s nothing misleading about changing your mind at any point during the sexual encounter. Consent can be freely given and taken away. Do what you need to care for yourself in the very best way possible.

Trust me; your partner will be glad you spoke up and will appreciate your honesty.

4. Do it for the right reasons

Have rebound sex because you want to feel good and wanted. Or because you’re excited to connect with someone new.

Here are a few reasons why you might want to have rebound sex:

  • It’s fun
  • You feel like it
  • You’re horny
  • You’re lonely
  • You want connection
  • You miss it
  • You crave intimacy

The only reason I can think of avoiding rebound sex is if you’re doing it to get back at your ex. Having sex to spite someone isn’t going to lead to anything productive or useful.

5. Be safe

If you were used to having sex without condoms, barriers, or some other form of birth control, it might be a bit of a bummer to start using them again, but that’s the deal.

No one loves to use barriers, but it’s no excuse not to be safe, protected, and responsible about your sexual health and the health of your new play partner.

Wrap it up (euphemism even if you have nothing to wrap). Don’t forget to talk about your sexual health practices and history; talking about sex is sexy and your responsibility as a sexually active adult.

Rebound sex should be fun

All sex should be fun!

That’s why we have it, to have fun, relax, enjoy ourselves, and feel closer to someone.

Following these steps can help you have a more connected and intimate rebound sex experience and might lessen some of the common pitfalls.

You’ll know when the time is right and how to have playful and honest sex, even if your heart is still a bit fragile.

Remember, there is light at the end of the tunnel, and sometimes a little rebound sex can help you see the light that much faster (and also, totally not, lol, so tread carefully!)

Oh, and if you want some tips on making the first hookup less awkward, this is the blog post for that. 


Shaun Galanos

Shaun Galanos is a love coach and course creator. He teaches communication and intimacy tools for better relationships and more love.

1 Comment

  1. Jay

    Rebound sex, is exciting. Especially if you haven’t had sex in a long time. Flirting with each other is a good sign of being horny for that person. Also it’s a no strings attached sex,



  1. What You Need To Know About Having Sex At Burning Man - […] Are You Ready For Rebound Sex? […]

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This