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Make-Up Sex Is Like Cocaine Addiction, Says Clinical Psychologist

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Make-up sex is just like cocaine? So wrote clinical psychologist Seth Meyers (not the one on SNL) in a recent blog for Psychology Today titled "Make-Up Sex Hurts: Why and How to Avoid It."

Meyers argued:

In a healthy relationship, two people can come together after a disagreement and share physical intimacy because they feel close. However, the search for greater intimacy and trust isn't what motivates most make-up sex. The truth is that most make-up sex results from having felt and expressed extreme negative emotions during a heated argument, without any true resolution afterward. Because these individuals get sick of feeling the negative extreme end of the spectrum, they hunger to switch gears and jump to the opposite end of the spectrum -- to feel the high that comes with making up. Honestly, it's not that different from an addict who needs a hit of cocaine.

He went on to say that couples who have make-up sex inevitably use it as a band-aid for larger intimacy issues. And according to Meyers, this creates the illusion that sex can solve relationship problems that it can't -- which only leads to greater dissatisfaction and disappointment. He suggests that, should you find yourself having angry make-up sex, you "gently pull back and explain to your partner that you want to stop and try again later."

Not everyone agreed with Meyers' harsh reading of post-argument sexual activity -- especially when it comes to interrupting said sexual encounter to chat. "Talk it out before the encounter begins, by all means. Have a chat after the encounter ends. But why put your blinkers on in the middle of the autobahn?" wrote Gawker's Caity Weaver.

In a piece for Health magazine published in 2008, Jennifer Berman took on the topic of make-up sex and came to a very different conclusion than Meyers. She wrote that make-up sex is not only normal and healthy (in most cases), but it can also spice up your sex life: "It be madly pas¬sionate, but it can also sustain intimacy during tough times. Besides, it's natural to feel turned on after an argument," she writes. She does however include the caveat that couples shouldn't be sexually intimate only after a fight -- that is indicative of a larger issue.

Personally, I'm more in Berman's camp than Meyers' -- cocaine addiction strikes me as a wholly different beast than the occasional anger-fueled sexual encounter. However, encouraging couples to communicate with one another when they argue, and not just jump into bed to solve every problem, seems like a reasonable suggestion.

What do you think? Is make-up sex problematic?