Is a little dirty texting sufficient enough to quell post-relationship lust? Rae Witte explores an alternative to jumping into the bedsheets.
Admittedly, in the past I’ve definitely offered the advice, “You just need to… like… knock one out,” when discussing a plan for a friend reeling off a break-up to bounce back. While this is obviously circumstantial depending on the break-up, the self-security of the friend, and the potential partner they want to rebound with, it’s not advice I will never give again. However, after a bit of research (that includes but is not limited to polling multiple group texts), I’d like to make the case for an alternative: just sext.
Before I go suggesting you switch your tried and true method of forgetting someone that once held some level of significance in your life by doing the same thing you want to do with them with one or more other warm meaningless bodies until you’ve convinced yourself that they don’t exist, let’s examine why we rebound and the feelings we’re looking for.
Usually there is a void to fill—physically, emotionally, mentally, and/or textually. Whatever level of relationship you’re rebounding from, the reality is that there is nothing where there was once someone. The desire to fill that space makes sense, hypothetically, but we are talking humans and relationships, so it isn’t that simple.
Sex is good. Well, good sex is good, and all sex is not good, so in your pursuit to feel good, or minimally better than you have been, this is something to keep in mind. I think we look to rebound sex to feel wanted, sexy, desirable, fill the void, and forget or replace the intimacy shared with someone that’s no longer around. And, if you get off, it is also offers a physical release.
However, someone new doesn’t know what you like. (They could be better than your last, but you follow.) You can also go back to someone from your past, but they are in your past for a reason. Further, if you’re feeling particularly delicate following your separation and are looking for anything beyond the sex for the person you rebounded with to make you feel better, it seems you should probably need to work on feeling better alone rather than trying to find “good” with someone else naked.
Sexting comes with a little less risk physically and emotionally. Obviously, you still want it to be with a person that you hold some level of trust and chemistry because screenshots are forever, but sexting offers every single thing we look for rebound sex to offer us outside of physical release—a sense of excitement, feeling desired, and someone to text. What’s better than waking up to a “good morning” text? An “I can’t wait until you sit on my face” text. And better than a returned “good night” text? The crying emoji and splash emoji combo in response to one of your VIP private selfies, of course.
Sexting is like the homebody or commitment-phobe’s rebound sex. You don’t need to leave the house, spend money, get naked, spend the night in bed with someone new or someone from a past life. There are no walks or Uber rides of shame after sexting, no questioning whether or not to take a Plan B, no risk for STDs, no worrying if the latest person that’s seen you naked will text back, and should you fall asleep on this person, it’s likely their ego will remain in tact with a simple, “my bad, I fell asleep” text.
The ultimate hack is long-distance sexting with someone, so you can’t even prematurely meet up and do anything before you’re feeling better post-break up. Ultimately, rebounding is to mend your broken heart and damaged ego, so while including someone in this process feels like it makes sense, you should probably be taking care of you alone. Thus, sexting requires less investment in someone or even less selfishly wasting someone else’s time while you’re trying to let go of someone that you aren’t with anymore.
This is not to shame at all. If rebound sex works for you, by all means, get it how you live. However, if it leaves you feeling empty and regretful, sext away the broken heart from the comfort of wherever you want. This is a time where you should be putting you first and I wouldn’t want anyone you’re having rebound sex with to get in the way of putting yourself first.