Monday, July 22, 2024

What Is Hate Sex? 2 Sex Experts Explain

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Even if you’re not an entertainment guru, it’s likely at some point you’ve seen a sexy Netflix show or movie where two characters who hate each other inevitably have sex. Commonly seen alongside an “enemies to lovers” trope, hate sex is what happens when, you guessed it, two people who hate each other have sex.

“House of the Dragon,” “Vampire Diaries,” and “Mr. & Mrs. Smith” have all perfected the art of depicting hate sex, proving that sex doesn’t always have to be soft and passionate. (In Alicent Hightower’s case, it can even come shortly after slapping someone.) But is hate sex more than just a pop-culture plot?

“In my experience, it’s more of a movie and TV phenomenon than a day-to-day experience,” sex and relationship therapist Leigh Norén tells PS. “Most people don’t find that anger makes them hornier, rather the opposite.” But that doesn’t mean you won’t ever experience feelings of lust when angry.

Below, sex experts explain more on hate sex, including why people have it and whether it’s a healthy experience.

Experts Featured in This Article

Leigh Norén is a sex and relationship therapist with a master of science in sexology.

Sofie Roos is a sexologist and couples therapist with over 18 years of experience.

What Is Hate Sex?

Hate sex is any type of sex that’s fueled by anger, Norén says. Though it’s not as common to have hate sex with a stranger, it most often happens with an ex, colleague, someone you know from school, someone you may be in competition with, or someone you want revenge on.

But why would anyone ever have sex with someone they hate? It could be because the extreme feeling of hate can oftentimes feel similar to other emotions. “While anger is a negative emotion, it’s also a highly engaging, activating feeling,” Norén says. “It’s closely linked to feelings of passion, and so, anger, for some, could tip over into a desire for sex.”

Another reason why you could have hate sex is because you don’t actually hate the person at all. “One almost gets the same feelings from having sex with someone they hate that they would with someone they love,” sexologist Sofie Roos says. Norén agrees with this, adding that hate sex could “stir up something else entirely that scares you and turns into fear, which could turn into what you think is ‘hate.'”

Depending on your relationship with your ex, hate sex can sometimes blur into breakup sex as well. “The closest form of hate sex that’s really common is having sex with an ex you don’t like anymore,” Roos says. To be expected, having any type of sex with your ex could further complicate that relationship, though, even if it’s rooted in hate.

Is Hate Sex Healthy?

According to our experts, hate sex can be pretty toxic. “If you’re having sex to punish someone, to prove you’re better than them, or to hurt them, no, it’s not healthy,” Norén says. However, if hate sex makes you realize your feelings for this person aren’t actually “hate,” then it can be helpful. Though it may feel confusing, working through what you actually feel with a mental health therapist could be helpful.

Ultimately, though, no matter if you’re having hate sex or any other type of sex, it should always be rooted in consent. “Hate and anger can sometimes cause us to feel out of control, and if you’re having sex from an out-of-control-place, it can quickly become dangerous,” Norén says.

So, while hate sex is great to watch on screen, it’s probably best kept out of your personal life.

Taylor Andrews is a Balance editor at PS who specializes in topics relating to sex, relationships, dating, sexual health, mental health, and more.



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