After breakups or in relationships we have different ways of coping – we might have an impulse to throw away everything that reminds us of them, or else we might even tell them “sex is off the table”, using sex as a weapon for revenge to get something desirable from our partner, as a form of blackmail. Furthermore, revenge sex is a manner of coping and dealing with a breakup/negative emotions.
What is the first thing coming to your mind when you think about the sentence: “Is sex a weapon for revenge?”
I asked this question to my friends, who have different backgrounds, and received different answers from them. Responses varied, on what came to mind when they heard ‘revenge sex’, with some of them being: “I see it as cheating on my partner with someone else because they cheated on me.”, “what I think is I am withholding sex from my partner, because he pissed me off, or I cannot get what I want from them” or “I am having sex with someone to feel the dominance over them and feel the power”. Apart from this, revenge-related reasons also included statements such as ‘‘I wanted to get even with someone,’’ ‘‘I wanted to make someone else jealous,’’ or ‘‘I wanted to even the score with a cheating partner’’.
All the answers seem to fit the question “Is sex a weapon for revenge?” and answer it perfectly. Of course, there are a lot more thoughts which will come to our minds when we think about this question, but not all of them we can strengthen with science and research.
While looking into the description and definition of revenge sex, platforms give you answers like – “random, meaningless hook-up merely to make the ex jealous”. Revenge sex may also be used for other motives, such as the desire to make a former partner realise what they are missing, to show anger, to repay someone who cheated on you by cheating on them, or to use someone else because you feel used.
Revenge Sex: Advantages and Disadvantages
Of course, as with everything else, revenge sex can have its advantages and disadvantages and we will try to explain and name them. Revenge sex might give you a feeling of control and might help you to connect with your sex appeal and confidence, resulting in a rush of dopamine and oxytocin. Negative effects come into play as when we are planning a revengeful act, we are holding onto the negative emotions and feelings, letting them control our actions and impulses. This stands in the way of getting over the pain caused by a third person. Thus, through revenge, we might reach our mission of hurting the other party, however, in the meantime, we would have hurt the individual who the act was carried out with; leading to feelings of guilt and regret.
Of course, it is important to remember that advantages and disadvantages will vary depending on the specific situation and does not mean that the list provided will fit in all cases.
In conclusion, we can say that sex can be used as an act of revenge in many different ways but there is some thought that would be important to keep in mind:
• Decide while sober – this will help you weigh the advantages and disadvantages of concrete action.
• Give the “rebound” person all information about your motives and plans, to give them a choice if they want to be part of this or if it will cause them some emotional damage.
• If you think negative emotions are taking over your actions, seek help from professionals to help you to find healthy ways of coping and dealing with your emotions.
If you think that you can benefit from professional support on this issue you can reach
Elene Jashi is a 24 year old, student of Clinical, Social and Intercultural Psychology
Masters. Elene is also an Intern within the Sex clinic at Willingness with an interest in
Lindsay Barber; Mary Cooper. (2013). Rebound Sex: Sexual Motives and Behaviors
Following a Relationship Breakup. Archives of Sexual Behavior.
Urban Dictionary. 2022. Urban Dictionary: revenge sex. [online] Available at: [Accessed 22 July