Is Make-Up Sex Good For Your Relationship Or Just Masking The Real Issue?

Have you ever heard people say that their make-up sex made the fight worth it? Did you ever agree with them, or have the opposite opinion? As long as couples have been arguing, they have also been rekindling in the bedroom. Many, if not most, couples find their way to bed after a heated fight, and they will likely agree that the passion after the anger is electric. Outside of the frustration or irritation, though, both partners might be feeling vulnerable and worried. These emotions also spark the need to reconnect with one another, especially after a particularly nasty disagreement.

While make-up sex is a tale as old as time, is it the best way to move on from a fight? Intimacy is definitely a key factor in a relationship in many relationships, but relying on physical touch and sex to fix all of your problems might feel risky. Some couples might think of intercourse after arguing as the ultimate sign of apology and forgiveness, but it could also be a bandaid over a much bigger problem that will only spiral if it's not dealt with. There are pros and cons to make-up sex, but as Psychology Today notes, it could be stimulating bad habits by rewarding fights with physical pleasure after the conversation is done. With two sides to consider, it is best to have all the information before applying it to your relationship.

Sex shouldn't be used to cover up the real issues

Defining make-up sex isn't as simple as it sounds. This kind of intimacy usually follows a big argument or fight, but it can also come after a small disagreement. Sometimes couples engage in make-up sex after they've reached common ground, while others will only be in the mood after apologies take place. On the other hand, some partners don't reach an agreement and use intercourse as a way to reconnect and feel more seen or heard. These actions could be seen as endearing or prove there is passion, even after a blow-up, but sex could be covering up bigger, more deep seeded issues in the relationship.

After you've fought with your significant other, each of your emotions could be reeling from hurtful words, hard discussions, or downright angry thoughts. People tend to feel distant and adrift from one another after a fight, which stimulates the need to be intimate and close to regaining balance. Many couples look to sex to help them get back to normal, or at least to bring them together after such intense interactions. Sex brings adrenaline and oxytocin to the forefront of your consciousness, replacing stress with good feelings, but these are only temporary. There is nothing wrong with wanting to feel connected to a partner, especially if one or both of you is particularly vulnerable from the row. However, using intercourse as a bandaid can be a slippery slope, and doesn't fix the issues that are causing arguments in the first place.

Make-up sex is hot — but so is communication

There is no question that make-up sex can be one of the hottest experiences in your relationship. The closeness that comes with the vulnerability and fear of losing each other takes the intimacy to another level. Physical touch can be very beneficial to building trust and attachment, which is why people hug, kiss, cuddle, or even initiate sex after heated exchanges. In one episode of the Foreplay Podcast, the host discusses why make-up sex is so, well, sexy. He notes that the anxiety and confusion add a new level to the throws of passion — that wondering if your significant other still wants you despite the upset. However, if these insecurities aren't addressed before you engage in sex, they might end up rooting themselves in your mind and causing bigger doubts down the line.

The act itself isn't wrong, and it definitely doesn't need to be taken off the metaphorical table. But in order to preserve your emotional connection with one another, there needs to be a healthy, open discussion to fix underlying issues. Even if every problem doesn't get resolved before you become intimate, each partner should provide verbal reassurance that they want to work through the hard moments, and that they appreciate and love each other. Advanced Psychology Partners explain that sex can sometimes replace a heart-to-heart conversation, which isn't fixing anything, but rather postponing or prolonging it.

Conversation before canoodling

Good, healthy sex is the result of trust, balance, and passion. You can have fantastic sex with someone, but if there is no true understanding or communication behind it, eventually the connection will dwindle. On the opposite side of things: if you and your partner can't properly express yourselves and your doubts or worries, your sex life might suffer. When it comes to fighting, honesty and the willingness to listen are the best way to rekindle, especially if you want to avoid the same conversation later. Psychology Today recommends waiting to get intimate for a little bit after an argument in order to get a handle on your emotions before jumping into bed.

If you feel heard and understood, then make-up sex will be equally as good, if not better, than getting straight to it as soon as the talking is done. You can still want to tear each other's clothes off because the memory of the anxiety and worry is there, but it is no longer taking up space in your present thoughts. Say everything you both are feeling during the conversation portion of the fight, then take extra time to discuss how you plan to work on the problem or misunderstanding together. With a strategy in place, neither party will have the fear associated with fighting hanging over them, even after the post-coital bliss has passed and it's back to business as usual. 

Ways to get the steamy sex without the fight

You can still get the intense passion of make-up sex without the heartbreaking appetizer of a fight. In the Foreplay episode: How To Have Hot Makeup Sex — Minus the Fight, the hosts discuss other ways to channel the physical and emotional excitement of post-argument sex, without the anger or sadness associated with it. Couples who face challenges and risks together tend to find deeper intimacy in their relationship, especially as they overcome them. You don't have to bungee jump to catch the adrenaline rush that leaves you breathless and needing to connect, but even something as simple as a hike or completing a task that is daunting to one of you can be incredibly arousing.

Making plans to get outside your comfort zones or try something new is a good way to kickstart passion, and it can lead to new desires that offset a chain of constant intimacy and excitement. Don't underestimate the power of communication and emotional intimacy either. Building trust and learning to forgive can also produce highs similar to those you get during make-up sex, according to, so continue to work on those factors as much as possible. Being a couple is about more than just sex: it's about creating a life together where you feel loved in all areas of the relationship.