Adult Sex Ed

Ask the Sexpert: Getting Back in the Sack After Divorce

AGWDM getting back in the sackIs it just me, or am I not  the only one who has a bunch of friends in their 40’s and 50’s going through divorces and getting back into the dating scene over these past few years?

The thing I hear most often from my friends is that dating is so different than what it was 30-some years ago when we were in college and in our 20’s. Lots of them aren’t saving themselves for “serious” relationships or are even thinking of marriage. Yet navigating sex and dating the second or third time around can be a landmine. When is it appropriate to bring up sex? The first date? The third date? Is it okay when you’re getting to know more than one person or just playing the field? Do you wait until you know that you want to be exclusive with someone who has long-term relationship potential?

I’m pleased to have Ian Oliver, author of Getting Back on Top, offer his advice.


Sex for the post-divorcée is a complex, often confusing, yet an extremely important topic.

It starts with knowing yourself and what you want and communicating that to your potential partner.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with one-nighters, friends with benefits or waiting to have sex because you want to savor each stage. The key is conveying your desires and needs to your partner to be sure you are both on the same page.

Usually the trickier situations to navigate are those where there is a real potential for a relationship or at least an interest in pursuing something longer term.

I feel strongly that you do need to find out if there is real chemistry relatively early on so as not to waste each other’s time if there isn’t. Relatively early on means within the first 1-3 dates. But that doesn’t mean having sex! A good first kiss and subsequent make out sessions will establish that.

AGWDM getting back on top coverAnd that brings up the infamous first kiss! One strong suggestion that I have heard from hundreds of women in the course of my research is for men to watch for the nonverbal signs and do not try to kiss a woman until you do receive those signs. When you do get those signs and you do kiss her, do it softly and let her lead the way of intensity.

Once you establish that there is good chemistry and you want to pursue something more involved, I strongly recommend that you take it slow sexually and explore and enjoy each stage. As I describe in my book, each stage is worth savoring as it is so enjoyable. If you rush into the more involved stuff, your relationship misses out on so much experientially and developmentally.

The romantic relationship that proceeds gradually in the sexual arena has a better chance of building a solid and even foundation in all areas. The non-sexual elements have a chance to evolve along with the sexual creating a more balanced and stronger bond.

At the same time, I would not recommend waiting too long to have oral sex and intercourse. Waiting too long can put too much emphasis on that first time and can create pressure and excessive expectations. So find the balance. Usually that would be somewhere between date 7-10 or 3-4 weeks.

Another important part of good sexual communication is to make sure you discuss STD’s, contraception and abortion NOT in bed and NOT right before having sex! It is so much better and so much more romantic to have talked about it with your clothes on. Bring it up when it feels right but make sure you do bring it up. It is very important to be on the same page regarding these potentially life changing issues.

More creative and adventurous sexual activities like restraints, dressing up, role plays, threesomes, etc are great for keeping things alive and spicy but better to not start with those too early. It is important to first build up your sexual trust and confidence before pushing the envelope a bit. Even if you think that your new partner is on the more adventurous side, it is best to wait until the trust is established.

As your relationship evolves, if either of you wants to become exclusive, make sure you discuss exactly what that means to each of you so there are no misunderstandings. I have seen many a fight over a companion to a business function or lunch or dinner with friends be considered off limits by one partner and not the other. Discuss it with specifics!

Despite more experience and being older, so many couples still do not talk enough during and after sex about what they want and like during sex. It can be really fun to do it and it will make your sex so much better. The more you do discuss it, the easier it is to discuss it more! So talk!! In my book, I have a chapter on the 10 Commandments of Sex, Dating and Relationships and one of them is to never let ANYTHING fester. This applies to sex too. If anything doesn’t feel quite right or could be done better, let your partner know right away. Always deliver suggestions in a loving and constructive way because your partner most likely really wants to know. Wouldn’t you? Isn’t making your partner feel the best you possibly can exactly what you want? So talk during sex in a sexy suggestive way and talk after sex in as specific and direct way as possible. No one I have met is a real mind reader so remember that.

Sex is always a critical binder in any serious romantic relationship. Take the time to nurture this important part of your relationship and discuss it often with your partner. It is extremely rare that talking about important issues cause the situation to get worse. So talk about it all and have a chance to have the best sex of your life.

About Ian Oliver

Ian Oliver has advised and guided individuals and families with comprehensive relationship advice and is a blogger for The Huffington Post Divorce section.

His new bestselling book, Getting Back on Top, was inspired by the work with these couples as well as his own post-divorce journey.

In addition to his passion for and commitment to helping couples transition into the single life, Ian devotes a large amount of time to children-related philanthropy through organizations such as Promises2Kids, Voices for Children and the San Diego Children’s Museum among others.

100% profits from this book go to these and other selected U.S.-based children’s charities.

Ian lives in Manhattan Beach, Calif. When he’s not writing, advising or spending time with his kids, you can find him in Bikram yoga or on the beach or traveling.

For More information visit his website at

Like him on Facebook at

Follow him on Twitter at @getbackontop

Get his book at Amazon