It was 1991 when Salt-n-Pepa’s hit song, “Let’s Talk About Sex” blasted from radios across the country. Sex. It’s often a taboo subject in the widowed community. People think we shouldn’t be dating, let alone having sex. Heck, at times, even we feel guilty for getting our freak on.

Whether a widow is waiting to remarry or opts to engage in a “friends with benefits” situation, sex is often thought about, though seldom discussed.

I recently reached out to the widowed community and asked them to openly and honestly discuss this three letter word that’s been known to get widows in heated exchanges (no pun intended). Below, they share some of the unusual and eye-opening aspects of sex and intimacy post-loss:

Unleash the Libido

  •  I feel like my sex drive has become over the top. My partner and I have sex at least once a day to two times a day
  • My sex drive went up. With my husband, 2-3 times a week I was happy. Now, I want it like 7 times a week!
  • Before my husband died, my drive was almost gone. Now it’s over the top! I get cranky if I don’t get anything at least twice a week. I would like it more but with kids, that’s almost impossible.
  • I now have a crazy high libido that made me consider (but never follow through with thankfully) friends with benefits or even just a fling with a stranger. I dubbed myself a “celibate nympho.”
  • The days following my husband’s death I felt absolutely nothing…except for horny. I was walking around in a cloud of numbness and profound pain and ALL I wanted to do was to get screwed by a massive and muscular man. This sensation was odd and confusing to me, but it slowly passed. Three months out I still get hit with waves of high libido and an urge for physical connection, but I let them flow through me. I know I could find someone to help me meet my physical needs, but I am choosing, for now, to sit with it and let myself process these feelings.

 Watch Out! Older Women on the Prowl

  • My sex drive is in overdrive and I’ve experimented with different races. I’ve definitely become a cougar. I’ve only been with much younger men since my husband passed.
  • I’ve turned into a cougar. I tried not to, but I just can’t help it!
  • My inner cougar is on overdrive though I’ve calmed down considerably recently.
  • I’ve found that guys who are 10 years younger are showing interest and that is definitely a bump in the ego.

The Wait will be Great

  • I’m saving myself for that special someone. Offers are there, just not interested.
  • I know I will be ready for a relationship in the coming months, but for now, I’m okay learning from these desires and urges as I process this profound and unexpected loss.
  • I fell in love with a man who had been an acquaintance for years. I am incredibly drawn to him and it was like losing my virginity all over again. He was patient with me and the end result is a very active and much more satisfying sex life.
  • My drive skyrocketed almost immediately after my husband died, which is unfortunate since my morals require I wait until marriage. It’s been 16 months and it hasn’t let up. I’m dating again and let’s just say I’m half tempted to find one of those drive-thru wedding places so we don’t even have to get out of the car on the way to a hotel.

 Who Says You Can’t Learn New Tricks

  • Rough sex and BDSM (bondage, dominance, submission, and masochism) are definitely in the repertoire now in a way they weren’t before. My late hubby was not into hurting me physically. My boyfriend and I have a mutual enjoyment out of playing the pleasure/pain games.
  • I feel more confident than ever before, which makes sex more exciting. It’s very freeing. Losing my spouse made me approach everything in life with sort of a “f–k it” attitude (no pun intended).
  • I’ve started trying new things (kinks, fetishes, whatever). I never realized before that I like pain…not like cervix punching pain though.
  • Being a woman of “mature” age I was surprised at my curiosity in trying new things (some pleasant and some not so pleasant). I was 46 when my spouse was killed and I’m 54 now.
  • I definitely enjoy rougher sex now. I can do it without too much emotional attachment but I could do that before my late husband too. It’s just back. I have great orgasms but this may be due to reaching sexual peak more than anything else.
  • I’ve become a connoisseur of vibrators.
  • There is more intensity for sure. The passion in sex has really heightened with my current partner and I am much more sensitive to touch than I used to be; not sure why.
  • I learned that I actually enjoyed sex! I became the aggressor and am now unafraid to say what I want. Death taught me life is too short to wait around for things to happen. If you want it YOU have to go for it!

Regrets, I Have a Few

  • I had a one night stand at nine months and it was horrible. I cried for days afterwards. I waited until the 14-month mark to have sex again, with the guy I was dating.
  • I waited a year and a half before sleeping with someone after my husband. It was like losing my virginity all over again. Then, I engaged in some reckless behavior for a few months (made it out unscathed thank God)…. felt guilty, took a few months to get myself together, jumped back into it with a clearer head and made better choices.
  • I used sex, abusive sex for a couple of years post-loss because I thought I deserved to be treated that way because my husband took his own life.
  • I started dating three months post-loss and had a fair amount of sex trying to fill the void. Luckily I ended up with a guy who helped me see love and acceptance in all of the relationship, not just sex.
  • Un-character like, I had a lot of sex with several partners to seek and satisfy validation of many things, which I am not proud of.
  • I definitely had a heightened libido and I affectionately called this as my “hoe phase”. Ultimately I realized I needed more of a connection than just the physical.

Doesn’t Everyone Have a “Special Friend”…Or Two…or Three

  • I’ve been surprised by my ability to have sex with no strings attached. As a woman, it’s frowned upon but… why? I’m always safe and take care of myself so why can’t I enjoy sex with someone I just met or sex that won’t mean anything tomorrow?
  • I come from a very conservative religious background where sex is ONLY between a husband and wife. Losing my husband so suddenly, I find I am a bit rebellious towards my upbringing/religion/values. I decided to make up my own mind about what I want. This has included becoming sexually active with someone other than my husband. Surprisingly, I don’t carry much guilt. Even more surprising, I have had the best sex of my life with someone who is NOT my husband. I bought into the whole “You have to love someone to connect with them” attitude towards sex but as it turns out, I have had mind-blowing sex with someone I don’t love.
  • My sex drive has always been high but after not having sex a year and a half post-loss, I made up for it. There was lots of meaningless sex with partners I would never have chosen previously.
  • I knew I was not ready to date or be in a relationship so I tried a more casual approach. I have never done this before. At first I was horrified at my behavior but came to realize if it’s mutually beneficial than I am good with casual. In my pre-widow life id never have considered this!
  • My inner hedonist is dancing gleefully around shaking her ta-tas. It has to be shining out of me, too. The Home Depot guy gave me the “veterans discount” on my new freezer (I’m not a veteran), and another man tripped into a door because he kept trying to look at me. I’ve got a booty call scheduled for tomorrow afternoon, and let’s just say that I made a very, very good friend last night. It’s a huge confidence booster to know I still got the ol’ mojo and as long as we keep it safe, what’s the harm in it?

Remind Me…What’s Sex Again

  • I’m like a virgin again after 5+ years…well, kind of. I wish I could let my guard down and be more free-spirited.
  • I couldn’t care less if I ever have sex again. I’m fine with that. I do miss the physical touch sometimes but massage therapy takes care of that.
  • I have no interest. I no longer feel pretty or attractive and have no desire at all to have sex.
  • I used to have sex three times a day sometimes but since my spouse’s death, I can’t even think it. I am 15 months out and I feel so repulsed that I don’t think I could even get off if I tried with someone else. It’s weird. My husband wasn’t the only guy I have been with either. I just feel dead on every level. I wish I could be the exact opposite of what I feel, cause this is crap too. I am literally angry about it.

Regardless of the route you choose, hopefully, you’ll learn that you’re not alone and only you can determine what you want your sex life to look like post-loss – or if you even want to have one. Perhaps this widow summed it up best when she said, “There is no right or wrong way. It’s just a journey and we all have to find our way”.

Mom to a feisty preschooler, Kerry Phillips became widowed at age 32. She runs an online support group for young widows and widowers venturing back into the world of dating and is a blogger for The Huffington Post.

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