The Problem With Makeup Sex
Hey everyone! I’m Jenny Hale and you’re watching my truth bomb series – a series of short videos about relationships advice that’s problematic, why it’s problematic and where the truth really lies.
Today I’d like to talk about “makeup sex”.
There’s a school of thought which has this picture of an ideal relationship being a really passionate relationship. The kind of relationship where something happens, everyone gets angry, and they yell and they carry on, and then at some point the passion of the anger just turns into sexual passion.
Then they have this ravishing amazing passionate sex, and then everything’s OK. Now it works in the movies … doesn’t work so much in real life.
Even if you have the flaming row and the argument, and then you go away and calm down, and you come back together, and then you have the passionate makeup sex (which is a bit more common in the real world), it’s still a problem.
The problem is that makeup sex doesn’t actually restore what was broken.
In the moment it might feel like it does. Early on in a relationship when you’re still in love with each other, and then something happens, one of you gets angry and you get over it and have sex and it’s like “ah everything’s back to normal now”. It feels like the makeup sex fixed everything.
My partner and I have a little saying “sex fixes everything”, because often it doesn’t matter what emotional state you’re in, if you have sex you get endorphins. It’s a bit like heroin – everything’s FINE …
However, whatever it was you were arguing about, if that wasn’t actually sorted out, if it wasn’t resolved, it’s going to happen again. You’re going to have an argument again, and maybe you could have makeup sex again, but ultimately, if you’re having the same argument every week, eventually makeup sex is not going to cut it.
At some point, you need to reach a resolution on whatever it is that you’re arguing about.
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Real Relationship Issues
Now there’s a couple of things that could be going on. One is that one or both of you might actually be doing something that’s inconsiderate or hurtful or unethical, crossing boundaries.
For example, your partner’s going into your phone and reading the messages you were sending to other people. That’s a violation of your privacy. It’s a violation of your boundary. It’s something that you would legitimately be angry about and want to change.
Now, if every time you discover your partner doing that you get really angry, they get really angry, and then you have makeup sex, your partner’s just going to do it again.
And then you get really angry, they get really angry, you have makeup sex …
At some point you’ve got to ask yourself the question – how important is my privacy? What am I going do to make sure that this actually gets dealt with?
Or maybe this person is just incapable of actually having an adult relationship. Maybe they need to sneak in and invade my privacy because of their childhood wounds, which they’re not dealing with. At that point you need to decide whether to walk away or not.
No amount of makeup sex is going to keep you in a relationship where your fundamental human rights are being violated.
Individual Issues That Cause Arguments
Likewise, if what’s happening is someone’s childhood stuff is being triggered – maybe you had a bad childhood, maybe your mother was really unavailable, maybe she was an alcoholic, maybe she was just never there for you, and you were looking after the younger ones all the time.
You feel inside a sense of insecurity and abandonment because no one ever really took care of you, so whenever your lover does something where it looks like they’re being inconsiderate, looks like they might be abandoning you, maybe they want to go on a weekend hunting trip with their mates or maybe they come home late later than you expected, whatever it is, it sets off your childhood fear, your childhood loneliness, your childhood abandonment.
Then you get really angry, and then they get really angry because it’s really unfair, then you have make up sex. It doesn’t fix your childhood trauma, doesn’t make you a more secure person.
The makeup sex doesn’t actually do anything except give you a shot of feel-good endorphins in the moment. It might calm you down on that day but the next day when your partner doesn’t come home at the time they said you’ll be off again and another argument and another round of makeup sex.
The only way this is going to end is when you actually do your work. When you go and do therapy, you go and do some release work, you go and work with your body, do some somatic work, whatever it is for you that’s going to move that childhood trauma.
That’s going to give you a much better sense of safety in yourself. When you do that then you won’t get angry anymore.
After you do that, instead of having makeup sex you can have just crazy passionate sex because you don’t need to have an angry argument in order to have passionate sex. You’re going to have passionate sex every day of your life for the whole the rest of your relationship if you take care of resolving conflicts as they occur.