Boy meets girl, they fall head over heels in love with each other, and have a happily ever after. Well, we’d all like to believe that romantic relationships are as simple as that, but the reality is starkly different from a Bollywood rom-com. You may think of being the Simran to your Raj, and Geet to your Aditya, but guess what? Fairytales are best left to the big screen.
Today, the dating universe is a hotbed of instant gratification—after all, we have the freedom to swipe right on hundreds of people at the same time. And it is this very access that could be a cause of trouble brewing in your paradise too — because cheating has become far more common than you think.
A breakup may be a consequence of infidelity, or there could be another reason—but it always leaves you high and dry. You are bound to experience a flurry of emotions; some of which can be potentially damaging for your mental and emotional health (sometimes, physical health too). There are some people who release their emotions constructively, whilst taking the help of their support system or therapist.
On the other hand, there is also a section of people who want to take revenge for all the pain that has been caused to them by their partner, and sex becomes their weapon.
Yes, we are speaking about revenge sex, and how it has transitioned into a tool for the younger generation to hurt their ex-partner’s feelings.
Revenge is best served cold
Shrishti Acharya (name changed) was in a serious relationship with her partner for close to five years. Right before they called it quits, she began to observe how he would text someone all night. She was patient enough and addressed the issue with her partner, only to be told that she was becoming ‘suspicious’ by the day. She initially let it pass, but despite telling him how uncomfortable she was, things didn’t change. Acharya had no choice but to break up with him, but it left her enraged.
Within a matter of weeks, Acharya started to flirt with her ex-partner’s best friend. They began meeting frequently, posting pictures on social media, and in no time, they had sex. Her motive was to take revenge, and she did it successfully, because her ex-partner tried to pursue her again, and made efforts to get her back into his life. She didn’t reconcile, but “had the last word”.
There are many like Acharya, who believe that the only remedy for their broken hearts is revenge, but they do not understand that it damages them to a great degree. According to a study conducted by the Archives of Sexual Behavior, around one-third of people have sex with a new person within four weeks of a break-up.
Mumbai-based Aneesh Bhargava met his then-girlfriend Preksha on a dating app. They instantly clicked, and within a few months, moved in together. Although it was a big step, Aneesh felt it was the ‘right thing to do’. After all, he was madly in love with his partner. Very often, Preksha would have her guy best friend over, and they would cuddle each other, and touch each other at the slightest opportunity.
Aneesh was shell-shocked and brought up these concerns with his partner. She confessed to having sexual relations with her best friend. It was at this point that Aneesh knew there was no reason to continue the relationship; he broke up with Preksha, but he wanted a balm for his aching heart.
To take revenge, he went ahead and got involved with Preksha’s sister. After learning of his move, Preksha was damaged beyond repair. She fell into depression, and also developed physical health issues. Aneesh, too, felt miserable because Preksha’s sister was serious about him. All in all, this cycle ended up hurting way too many people, and only caused irreparable damage.
Is it the same as rebound sex?
Revenge sex and rebound sex may look alike, but there’s a huge difference between the two. When you go for a rebound, your actions are motivated by a need to relieve yourself from the hurt that has been caused due to the end of a relationship. It isn’t the same with revenge sex — that’s because the whole act is steered by vengeance. You want to hurt a former or current partner by getting involved with someone who is a close aide of your ex. In a nutshell, the very idea of revenge sex is really not about the sex; it is about ruining relationships between your ex-partner and someone who has a meaningful role in their life.
The big question: Does revenge sex may you feel good?
Temporarily, you may feel good, but it’s sure to cause a lot of damage afterwards. That’s because you are having sex with someone, only to hurt your ex-partner.
“When you have sex, it triggers the release of oxytocin or the love hormone, which helps to avoid sadness. It could be a way for many people to vent out their frustration or anger after the breakup. It can also serve as a channel for them to boost their self-esteem, feel in control, or move on. However, it is important to ask yourself if it is a temporary or permanent solution. In most cases, it only results in more sadness, hurt, or anger,” explains Radha Ghanekar, Counseling Psychologist, IWill.
Indulging in revenge sex might send waves of adrenaline throughout your body, but experts suggest the act could lead to feelings of guilt, shame, or even regret afterwards.
“Moreover, there’s no guarantee that revenge sex will help you overcome the past relationship/breakup, or if your ex will definitely get hurt. It can be an unsafe and unproductive way to overcome a breakup. There are safer and better ways of processing negative emotions. Doing something to hurt someone or make someone feel bad is a harmful act. One can end up hurting the person involved in the act of revenge sex. All in all, revenge sex is an impulsive decision,” adds Ghanekar.
The last word
Since revenge sex has different connotations for different people, it can give rise to a varying range of emotions. But here’s the common thread—any act that is motivated by the desire to hurt another person is problematic. It may sound counterintuitive, but revenge sex can prolong your pain for a longer period.
It can bring up negative events in your mind more frequently, causing your emotional pain to last longer. Let’s just say the best way to get over someone is NOT always about getting under someone else.