Even in the healthiest relationship, arguments happen. When you’re mad at your partner, the last thing on your mind may be taking your clothes off and getting intimate.
But trust us — there are plenty of benefits to having makeup sex. Still skeptical that fighting about the dishes can be a form of foreplay? We promise we’ll convince you while also helping you avoid the downfalls.
What Is Makeup Sex?
Makeup sex is sex that you have after an argument with your partner. It’s usually a lot more intense than the sex you typically have with your partner, but it isn’t appropriate in every situation.
There are many reasons our bodies tell us we need to run to the bedroom after a romantic conflict — some healthy and some not so much. We’ll take a look at both.
Why Does Arguing Sometimes Lead to Makeup Sex?
Even the most pointless arguments can fill you with adrenaline. Post-fight, your heart rate is up, your blood is pumping, and you’re operating at a heightened state of biological arousal.
These reactions are part of your body’s natural fight-or-flight response, the same response that has kept us safe from predators since the dawn of time. On a biological level, arousal is arousal.
We get turned on after a fight due to a concept known as arousal transfer. All that adrenaline and emotion you felt while arguing with your partner doesn’t just go away when you’ve resolved the issue. Instead, those feelings get transferred into sexual arousal.
Are There Benefits to Having Makeup Sex?
As promised, there are plenty of benefits to having makeup sex. Here are five of our favorites, but we wouldn’t recommend starting a fight with your partner to try them out!
1. Better Communication
Makeup sex alone can’t fix the problem, but it can help you develop better communication with your partner. Once you’ve gone a round or two of hot sex in the bedroom, you’ll have worked off all that angry energy you felt during the argument.
Dispelling that energy can leave you in a far more open, neutral state to hash out what the fight was about in the first place. After all, laying in bed naked with your partner with no distractions can be the perfect time to talk.
2. Accepting Vulnerability
No one really likes to fight with their partner. It’s stressful and exhausting and can make you lose sight of the things you love about each other. Makeup sex is a way to help accept that vulnerability you may feel and remember that one fight isn’t the end of the world.
Being genuinely vulnerable with your partner is one of the most crucial parts of building a solid relationship. If you can’t get there, you may have other issues you need to work out that makeup sex won’t be able to help.
3. Heightened Intimacy
Intimacy isn’t always about the good times; it’s about how close you feel to your partner, even when arguing. Intimacy is about truly seeing your partner and being seen.
The period post-fight is delicate, but it is also full of heightened intimacy for most people. Taking advantage of that heightened intimacy through makeup sex (and a little bit of our Awaken Arousal Oil to amp up the experience even further) can lead to sensations you may not have experienced before.
Hopefully, you’ll end your romp in the sheets feeling much closer than you did going into it.
4. Lowered Inhibitions
It can be quite a rush when you finally let your guard down after a fight and reconnect with your partner. The lowered inhibitions that come with just letting go and being with your partner can break down barriers in your sex life you may not have even known existed.
You may even try new sex positions or acts that you’ve been too shy to bring up before! Make sure you use plenty of lube — sometimes, that fight-or-flight arousal response can make it difficult to produce enough of your own.
5. Ease Upset Feelings
Honestly, fighting with your partner can be scary. Your partner is the person you’re supposed to love and trust more than anyone else, and arguments can seem catastrophic.
Makeup sex done healthily can help you ease those upset feelings, release oxytocin, and help you remember that your partner still loves you even when you fight. Finish up with other acts of physical intimacy, like a good cuddle, for even more stress relief.
Is There a Downside to Makeup Sex?
Makeup sex isn’t always a good idea, and it can sometimes put you in a worse position than you were going in. Let’s discuss the downsides of having makeup sex and what red flags to look out for.
Ignoring Red Flags
As much as we like to see the good in everyone, some people are just toxic. If your partner keeps pushing for makeup sex instead of actually talking through your issues, it can be a form of manipulation and emotional abuse.
Once or twice isn’t necessarily a red flag, but if it happens every time you argue, you need to look at the goal of having sex. You may need to seek counseling with a counselor or sex therapist, either with your partner or on your own.
Lingering Upset Feelings
Your body may tell you to take your clothes off and jump your partner, but your head may still be full of lingering upset feelings. We’ll let you in on a little secret; no one gets over a fight that quickly.
In a perfect world, you can push those feelings aside momentarily so you can get to a better place to talk through your issues. Makeup sex can help make that shift, as long as you’re using it to help you work through things and not just as a band-aid.
However, you should always honor how you feel. If you’re still feeling too on edge and angry at your partner to have makeup sex, don’t! No rule says you can’t take a little time to clear your head and return to it later.
Less Sexual Desire
You may not always want to have makeup sex after a fight, and that’s okay. Many people notice less sexual desire after an argument, especially depending on the subject.
If you and your partner had a big, awkward fight, it could take some time to start to feel attracted to them again. However, if you are interested in being intimate (and your partner is consenting), using available sexual aides (like our Melt Into Pleasure bundle) can help you relieve the physical tension so you can get your head in the game.
Passionate sex is great, but it can sometimes lead to a sense of temporary closeness. This is especially the case with breakup sex. Makeup sex may temporarily smooth things over, but it doesn’t fix the problem and certainly doesn’t make up for bad behavior.
The only way to really work through those things is to talk them out. You may discover that your relationship has hit a wall and that you’d be better off if you weren’t together, an issue that good sex definitely can’t fix.
The Bottom Line
In the right circumstances, makeup sex has the potential to help improve your relationship after a fight. Physically reconnecting with your partner after an argument can help break down the barriers that may be stopping you from finding a resolution.
However, it's a huge red flag if your partner is always pushing you to have sex instead of working through your issues together.
Want more? Sign up for our newsletter