If you’re in a loving, committed relationship then sometimes, when you’re having a bad day, there’s nothing better than a hair-pulling, dirty-talking, sweaty session in the sheets with your significant other to shake it off. Sex, as a stress-reliever, certainly has its merits. But you run into a problem when you use sex to “fix” problems in your relationship, and in your life, that require real thought, time, effort and solutions. Because sex gives you an instant boost of all the feel-good hormones, it can give you the illusion—at least for a little while—that everything is better. Since sex makes you physically close to your partner, it can make you believe you are emotionally closer—even when you aren’t. But ultimately, it cannot fix large issues. So, do you use sex to fix your problems?
You go in and out of flings
If you use sex to fix problems, then every time you go through a rough patch in life (what do I want to do with my career? How do I fix this rift with my family?) you have a new hot-and-heavy fling. Flings are usually all-immersive, and all about the sex, so they can completely distract you from your problems. But the second you do actually face those issues, you suddenly lose interest in your fling.
You feel sad after sex
If you have sex under any conditions other than those when you feel happy and stable, you’re bound to feel a bit sad after. If you often feel sad after sex, it could be because you were just using sex to escape your problems. That makes you feel guilty because sex is supposed to be a time you bond with your partner. So in a sense, you tainted that otherwise cherished time.
You’ve gotten angry your partner turned you down
You’ve found yourself furious that your partner didn’t want to have sex when you did. You didn’t necessarily feel insecure or unattractive, but you felt like he wasn’t giving you some sort of help that you needed. While your partner should certainly be willing to talk to you and comfort you when you’re going through something, he isn’t obligated to enable your habit of using sex to avoid your problems.
You’ve cheated. Several times.
If you’re a serial cheater, then you almost certainly use sex to fix your relationship problems. Nobody mindlessly cheats. Women, in particular, cheat as a direct response to something happening in their relationship—or not happening. If most of your relationships have ended due to your infidelity, then you likely turn to having sex with other people instead of communicating your needs to your partner.
You turn serious talks into sex
If your partner wants to talk to you about a problem in your relationship, you feel very uncomfortable. You usually start navigating the conversation into something more playful, making a lot of jokes, and eventually into something sexual.
Your number is high. Very high.
There are, of course, people out there who just love sex and have lots of partners not because of any problems they have. But for the most part, people who have slept with a lot of people (think upwards of 100) did so to run away from some problem, avoid facing some insecurity, avoid analyzing themselves and figuring out why they couldn’t have a committed relationship and more. If you’re right with yourself, you’re bound to end up in at least a few long-term relationships that would naturally keep you from reaching 100 notches on your belt.
You often feel horny when you’re sad
Horniness follows closely on the heels of sadness. You have done the Pavlov’s dogs experiment on yourself. Since you so often turn to sex to run from sadness, your body has become conditioned to start producing sex hormones the moment you feel sad.
You have mostly drunk sex
If you have mostly drunk sex then you’re almost certainly using sex to run away from your problems. Think about it: if you only have drunk sex, then you drink a lot! In which case, one can naturally deduce you’re avoiding or numbing something.
You wake up next to people you regret
After having sex with most people, you wake up wanting to be a million miles away from them. They nauseate you. They make your skin crawl. Oddly enough, when you got into bed with them, they were the most gorgeous person in the world to you…Those were your avoidance tactics at work. Your brain made this person look perfect to you so it could use sex to get away from something. But once you’ve had the sex, it’s no longer blocking your view of your problems. And your brain is no longer making this person look perfect.
Your partner has tried to say, “We should really talk instead”
Your partner has had to (with an erection, mind you) pull you off his lap and say, “We really should talk about this.” Um. Hi. Men love sex. If your partner has had to put the breaks on sex because he felt you needed to have a conversation, you likely use sex to fix problems.
When you’re really happy, you’re rarely horny
You know how you’re horny when you’re sad? Well, during long stretches of time in your life when you haven’t had a major life dilemma, you haven’t had the urge to have sex at all. When you’re happy, you’d rather see friends, get out and see the world and do things outside of the bedroom. This could also be part of the way you’ve conditioned your brain. Your brain knows that it has to make the most of your happiness now, because once you’re upset again, it’ll be all sex all the time.
You get back with exes a lot
When you’re having a particularly terrible day and you are desperate for a fix, an ex is an easy person to get sex from. But, of course, sex with the ex comes with complications. It usually comes with giving it another go. You’ve gotten back with a lot of exes after just needing some pain-numbing sex.
Sex first; bad news later
If you think back on days you’ve received terrible news, like the death of a loved one or your parents’ divorcing, you had sex on those days. In fact, you went home to your partner, and the first thing you did was seduce him. Only later did you tell him the bad news. This has made your partner very uncomfortable because he had no idea he was making love to a grieving woman.
You don’t see your girlfriends when you’re down
You don’t call your friends or your family when you’re down. No. You hit the bars. Or you get on dating aps. Or you text an ex. Your friends often don’t even know you went through a rough time until it’s over—you were shacked up with some guy.
You stay in dead-end relationships too long
You can resuscitate dying relationships for quite some time with sex. If you’ve stayed in relationships far past their expiration date, but just had lots of sex towards the end of them, well, you know where this is going.