Relationships Violence and Abuse Angry Sex: Is It Healthy? By Candis McDow Candis McDow Facebook LinkedIn Twitter Candis McDow is from Atlanta, GA, and has been a mental health advocate since 2014. She has lived experience and charges to bring awareness to the oblivious and provide hope to peers. Learn about our editorial process Updated on January 26, 2022 Medically reviewed Verywell Mind articles are reviewed by board-certified physicians and mental healthcare professionals. Medical Reviewers confirm the content is thorough and accurate, reflecting the latest evidence-based research. Content is reviewed before publication and upon substantial updates. Learn more. by Ivy Kwong, LMFT Medically reviewed by Ivy Kwong, LMFT LinkedIn Twitter Ivy Kwong, LMFT, is a psychotherapist specializing in relationships, love and intimacy, trauma and codependency, and AAPI mental health. Learn about our Medical Review Board Print Verywell / Alex Dos Diaz Table of Contents View All Table of Contents What Is Angry Sex? What Does Angry Sex Look Like? How to Make Angry Sex Comfortable How Does Angry Sex Affect Mental Health? Is Angry Sex Ever Successful? What Is Angry Sex? Angry sex is the engagement of pent-up aggression and passion during sexual acts that's often wild and intense. People that engage in angry sex are usually couples in relationships. Angry sex often happens after a huge fight while emotions are still high, or it could be initiated hours or days after in the form of 'makeup sex.' Sometimes angry sex may replace discussing relationship issues. This article discusses what angry sex may look like, the importance of consent, and how to make angry sex comfortable for any parties involved. Also, learn how having angry sex impacts your mental health. What Does Angry Sex Look Like? Despite learning why and when angry sex occurs, you still may be wondering what happens during angry sex. Jess O’Reilly, PhD, resident sexologist at ASTROGLIDE explains what angry sex might involve: Interrupting an argument to be physically sexualSexual activities that stray from your norm (expression of more animalistic desires)SpontaneityFeeling more relaxed and rational post-sex; relief of tensionTransferred states of arousal (e.g., when you’re angry, your body is physically aroused with increased heart rate, blood pressure, flushing; these changes are also experienced during sexual arousal and can sometimes trigger it) Angry Sex and Consent Consent is essential in all aspects of life. When you consent to something, that means you approve and agree to the circumstance at hand. When it comes to angry sex, it is imperative that all parties involved sexually, agree to sexual acts. Because angry sex can be rough, wild, and crazy, it's more important than ever to be sure that your partner is comfortable and OK at all times. Shagoon Maurya, a counseling psychologist, psychotherapist, and founder of www.ursafespace.com, says: "Having consent is not only healthy and safe but also exciting. You are more likely to perform better in sexual intimacy when you have your partner’s consent. Therefore, asking your partner [for consent] is the first thing you have to do when it comes to sexual intimacy." If you are a survivor of sexual assault, you can contact the RAINN National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 to receive confidential support from a trained staff member at a local RAINN affiliate. For more mental health resources, see our National Helpline Database. Can You Have Angry Sex With Anyone? Can angry sex be with anyone? Yes. Just as you could randomly have sex with a stranger when you're not mad, you are free to do so when you're upset. But is it safe? No. Angry sex is riskier because the stakes are higher. You are physically and mentally inviting a stranger into your world. So, comfortability is the biggest concern because this isn't just normal sex that's you're partaking in. How to Make Angry Sex Comfortable According to Maurya, angry sex might be a healthy tool to pull through a relationship from a rough patch. However, because of its intense nature, couples might hesitate and become more anxious (which defeats the purpose of angry sex). To practice comfortable angry sex, couples should: Communicate: Initiating the idea of angry sex even before hitting a rough patch is essential. This acts as consent and tells us the preferences of our partner. If they say no, then respect the decision. If they want to experiment, then you can go ahead when the time comes. Set boundaries: During angry sex, it is common to have intercourse that is rougher than usual. Things such as bondage, physical pain, domination, etc., are more prevalent in angry sex. Sometimes, it might become a little excessive for someone to have such intense sex, to the point that it becomes uncomfortable and hurtful. Therefore, setting boundaries in the bedroom and practicing them is crucial. Intuitive thinking: Develop the intuition for when to have angry sex. Sometimes things might be too serious. Therefore, it becomes important to read the mood and then approach your partner with any sexual advances. Post-sex aftercare: Sex was just the gateway for closeness during a time of discomfort in the relationship. However, this is just the starting point. What happens after intense sex is the more critical stage. That is, having a serious discussion about the problems that led to angry sex. Then, engage in soft intimacy with your partner and talk things out in a caring and affectionate manner. Have a healthier relationship (outside of sex): This is an umbrella statement that includes efforts towards improving the relationship and yourself. For example, having healthy communication, a strong intimate life, a comfortable professional life, etc., can help you live a richer life with your partner. In turn, this will allow you to have a healthier sexual relationship with your partner. How to Know If You Are In a Healthy Relationship How Does Angry Sex Affect Mental Health? As stated earlier, angry sex is a nonverbal form of communication. It may be used to avoid communication, but having angry sex instead of communication is usually not the best solution. Engaging in angry sex to avoid communication does not solve the issue at hand. Angry sex starts to affect mental health when consent isn't present and/or abuse happens. Maurya also believes that if anger leads to sex often, it creates an unhealthy pattern in the relationship because your mind will begin to equate anger with arousal and desire. In turn, partners may come to desire negative emotions to facilitate sexual engagement. This is known as the Pavlovian response, in which people become conditioned to patterns. What Is Classical Conditioning? Is Angry Sex Ever Successful? The best way to measure the success of angry sex is to ask. Ask your partner if they enjoyed and felt comfortable during sex. Assess yourself and think about how the experience made you feel. Do you feel better or worse after? Was it satisfying? Are you feeling awkward? The most important thing to remember is not to use angry sex as a means to avoid what's really going on. Sex will not resolve issues or make them better. Communication will always be the best option and if you and your partner don't know how to navigate together, therapy is an option to explore. Bottom line, don't attempt to use angry sex as a replacement, it could become a toxic addiction, and possibly harmful for everyone involved. A Word From Verywell Angry sex exists for a reason, so if you and your partner have given consent to engage in angry sex then it might be worth exploring. Feel free to have fun with it! Discuss boundaries and pay attention to each other's body language to gauge whether the experience is fun for either one of you. However, if you find that you and your partner as using angry sex to replace discussing important relationship issues then it may be time to speak to a couple's therapist. Why You Might Cry During Sex By Candis McDow Candis has been a mental health advocate since 2014. She has written several articles about mental illness, and her memoir Half the Battle (available on Amazon and candisymcdow.com) encompasses her journey of living with bipolar disorder. See Our Editorial Process Meet Our Review Board Share Feedback Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! What is your feedback? Other Helpful Report an Error Submit Speak to a Therapist for Relationships Advertiser Disclosure × The offers that appear in this table are from partnerships from which Verywell Mind receives compensation.