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Intimate Encounters: Getting Over It

Sex after a break up is really, really complicated. I always used to hear “The only 
way to get over someone is getting under someone else.” First of all, ew, I’d rather be 
on top, and second of all, that’s false. Sure, it may provide momentarily relief. And yes, having a 
physical orgasm can release some of your stress and tension. Or you could end up 
bursting into tears mid-coitus and uncontrollably wail out your ex’s name. Not that this 
has ever happened to me. Ever. Let me tell you my story, and then don’t follow in any of 
my footsteps.
I went through a pretty traumatic breakup within this past year. (School year, not 
2014 year, mind you.) I’m not that desperate– yet. Talk to me when I’m still single at age 45 and 
have adopted five disabled cats and named them after members of the Kardashian 
Klan. Then we’ll talk. Point is, he broke my heart, it really sucked, I drank tremendous 
amounts of wine and sobbed my poor little heart out. You all know what heartbreak feels 
like, and no matter which way you look at it, it freaking sucks. People try to give it a 
positive spin sometimes like “Look at it as a learning experience!” or “Bullet dodged! At 
least he cheated before you got married!” or some other lame excuse. Yes, I might 
understand that ten years down the line but right now I want to drown my sorrows and 
drunkenly sing Bonnie Rait’s I Can’t Make You Love Me while wearing tube socks and 
mardi gras beads in my living room. Not that I ever did that. Ever.
So once I had my mandatory mourning period, I was ready to party. Single, and ready to mingle! Yeah, 
baby! I’ve pity-starved myself over the past few days and I can finally squeeze into that 
obnoxious bedazzled dress-that’s-really-a-shirt and hit the town! Which is fine and 
dandy, until I drunkenly decide to bring someone home with me. It was awful. Not only 
did I cry, but I felt so guilty I then composed a very lengthy email to my ex explaining my 
predicament. Thank God I didn’t hit the send button, but looking at the draft the next 
morning made me feel like I wanted to die. Not to mention the hangover. Not to mention 
the stranger sleeping on my sofa who had kindly opted to not spend the night in bed 
with me but couldn’t call a cab that late at night. Disaster.
Just because I enjoy casual sex doesn’t always mean that I’m emotionally 
prepared for it. When you go from being in love with someone and sharing something 
intimate with them, you can’t just ricochet back into the world of single, casual sex. It’s 
something you have to ease into. I started a very, very casual relationship with 
someone– so it was consistent and sweet– and a nice stepping stone from lovey dovey 
sex back into the jungle that is single’s sex. And that worked for me, but it might not be 
for everyone. Some of my friends have waited until being in another serious, committed 
relationship before having sex again, and that’s just fine as well. Listen to your heart. At 
times when it’s hurting, it’ll give you some of the best answers.
Xx, Gemma
*Have a relationship question? Ask Gemma.
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Pictures: 1,2
Intimate Encounters is a new column I'll be writing for Her Campus ND and I decided to become a part of it because I want people (especially women) to start feeling comfortable with their sex life. I’m not here to lecture, preach, or tell you that everything that I have done or will do in my sex life is the right or wrong thing to do. I’m going to talk about mistakes that I’ve made, amazing experiences that I’ve had, firsts (a lot of firsts), funny stories, awkward moments, and people that have made a difference in the woman I’ve become. Hopefully I’ll also be able to answer any questions you might have-- seriously, no shame.
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