What’s the big deal?
Passion, for starters!
Angry sex tends to be the kind of throw-down, need-you-right-now sex you read about in bodice-ripping romance novels or see in rom-coms.
It can be fiery, exciting, and the ultimate tension release.
But as great as it can feel to give in to all of that emotion and pent-up frustration, angry sex isn’t always the best idea.
If you’re in it for the wrong reasons — like avoiding a difficult conversation — you might want to hold off.
Read on to learn more about why angry sex happens, how to spice things up, and when to reconsider.
Why does it happen?
It may be hard to imagine being in the mood for sex when you’re raging mad or find something absolutely infuriating, but angry sex happens for a few reasons.
To learn more, we spoke to Dr. Janet Brito, a licensed psychologist and certified sex therapist with the Center for Sexual and Reproductive Health.
According to Brito, angry sex is often used as a physical way to resolve tension between two people.
“For individuals who have a hard time communicating difficult emotions, angry sex could become a way to express [themselves],” she says.
She adds that “angry sex could serve as an outlet to express aggression” or be “a way to reconnect and repair” after a fight.
In some cases, angry sex is about avoidance. It may serve as an escape from painful feelings.
Angry sex isn’t always a result of your emotions. Biology may also play a role.
Anger can work as an aphrodisiac. It literally gets your blood flowing, increasing your heart rate and blood pressure.
It also increases your testosterone levels, which are directly linked to sexual arousal.
And that’s not all.
One 2010 study found that anger often evokes a motivation for closeness, making you want to get closer to the object of your anger.
This could — at least in part — explain why angry sex happens and why people who aren’t coupled up may also indulge in an anger bang.
What makes it different from ‘regular’ sex?
Angry sex is often fueled by intense emotions and an adrenaline rush — both of which may make it easier for you to step out of your comfort zone when it comes to sex.
“Angry sex permits for the crossing of boundaries, or having different sex than you’re used to,” Brito says.
In other words, angry sex is less about romance and following the “rules” and more about acting on your desires and urges.
In many cases, angry sex is a departure from the norm. And if you’re used to playing it safe, it could be liberating to try something new and exciting.
Is it the same thing as makeup sex?
It can be. Sex that happens after a fight could be seen as makeup sex.
“Angry sex could be a way of repairing the rupture and a way to connect after a fight,” Brito says.
But if you have no interest in making up — or you aren’t involved with the other person — angry sex can take on a different meaning.
Sometimes, it’s the pent-up frustration with the person or situation that fuels the sex. This can be entirely independent or void of a need to make things right.
Does it have any benefits?
Absolutely. Hitting the sheets when you’re angry can diffuse the tension by giving you a way — an enjoyable one at that — to step back from the situation.
Sex causes a surge of happy hormones in your brain. These hormones include oxytocin, dopamine, and serotonin.
These hormones may be why you feel happy and relaxed after a good romp.
There’s also scientific evidence linking oxytocin to improved psychological stability — a must if you want to work things out rationally — and improved communication between partners, especially during arguments.
In other words, angry sex may help you feel more connected and reestablish closeness after an issue has created some distance.
How should you go about it?
Talking may not be easy when you’ve got a hot head and hot, well, every other part of your body. But communication is important if you’re going to have angry sex.
CONSENT IS CRUCIAL
Sex, regardless of your reason for having it, must be consensual. This applies to everyone — from the person you just met to the friend you’ve hooked up with before to your significant other.
Angry sex is emotion driven and spontaneous. It may even be aggressive or rough. This can make it easy to blur or cross lines.
It’s important that all parties understand what this encounter does and doesn’t mean. For example, is this a one-time hookup, or are you expecting something more?
Also make sure that all parties are fully into it and have communicated their consent out loud.
Checking in before you try something new or different is crucial. For instance, saying yes to a heated makeout doesn’t mean yes to oral sex.
Need some pointers? This guide to consent will give you tips on how to ask, what to say, and more.BEFORE YOU HAVE ANGRY SEX
- Make your intentions clear.
- Communicate your consent and ask for theirs. Assumptions don’t count.
- Practice safe sex. Condoms are the only contraceptive that protects against sexually transmitted infections.
Is there any reason not to do it?
There are a few reasons why angry sex might not be the best idea.
For starters, it shouldn’t be used in place of healthy communication.
“If you only use angry sex to resolve relationship problems in lieu of communicating with your significant other, then it’s best to identify alternative coping skills that bring closure and closeness,” Brito advises.
She also cautions against engaging in angry sex if you struggle with resolving conflicts verbally.
As fun as it may be, angry sex won’t remedy any ongoing emotional or interpersonal conflicts.
If you’re dealing with something heavy — or simply in need of someone to talk to — you may consider reaching out to a therapist or counselor.
They can help you understand your feelings and move forward in a healthy and productive way.Bottom line:
Angry sex between two consenting adults can be a great form of release. It may even be some of the most exciting, toe-curling sex you’ve ever had.
Just make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into. It may help diffuse some tension and calm you enough to tackle a problem rationally, but it won’t make it disappear — no matter how good it feels.References:
Brito J. (2019). Personal interview.
Herrero N, et al. (2010). What happens when we get angry? Hormonal, cardiovascular and asymmetrical brain responses. DOI:
Iannuzzo G, et al. (2014). The relationship between anger and sexual behavior: A review of theories and research. DOI:
Kim SW, et al. (2013). Neurobiology of sexual desire. DOI:
Wudarczyk OA, et al. (2014). Could intranasal oxytocin be used to enhance relationships? Research imperatives, clinical policy, and ethical considerations. DOI: