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Sometimes, when something really bad hits you like a left hook to the ribs, you just feel like getting out of the funk by scoring.
A Naked Shoulder To Cry On occurs when one grief-stricken character ends up having sex in the aftermath of something really sad, like the death of a loved one, or witnessing something very traumatic.
Usually, the sex is not between two people in a relationship and it seems that, if not for the tragedy, the two characters concerned might have never pounded the Sealy together. Can sometimes be used as an excuse to finally resolve Unresolved Sexual Tension.
The Naked Shoulder to Cry On can either be someone else who is grieving over the same tragedy, or just an accommodating friend or acquaintance of the person who is grieving. Sometimes the griever will simply arrive at the other person's home and throw him/herself at them. But more often than not, it will begin with an innocent heart-to-heart that just leads to sex.
Sometimes, The Naked Shoulder to Cry On will be the griever's ex, which sometimes results in the rekindling of an old romance. Other times, the accommodating partner may be a scheming wannabe who seizes the grieving character's moment of distorted judgement to finally seal the deal.
Usually, these encounters will be a one night stand--often becoming immediately regrettable by one or both of the lovers. Relationships based on intense circumstances rarely work out.
Often, these one-shot encounters bear fruit. This is especially likely if the non-grieving partner is a woman exploiting the situation to start a relationship with the griever (see above).
Anime and Manga
- Griffith of Berserk does this with Princess Charlotte in the immediate aftermath of Guts leaving the Hawks. It ends badly. VERY badly.
- Partial example in Code Geass. It doesn't actually lead to sex, but Shirley's first kiss with Lelouch happens under these sort of circumstances; her father has just been killed, and while she's stricken with grief she semi-coherently asks him to "help" her and then kisses him. He responds, probably due to his own feelings of guilt, since (unbeknownst to her,) he's the one who (unintentionally) killed her father. A few days later, she apologises to him for jumping on him like that, saying it wasn't fair, and tearfully comments on the irony of not being able to enjoy their first kiss.
- In Fruits Basket, Akito and Kureno have sex after she has a gigantic, tearful meltdown over him being released from the Zodiac Curse, which absolutely terrifies her since she believes all the Zodiacs will eventually abandon her if they're free.
- This is how Robb Stark loses his virginity in A Song of Ice and Fire. To say it ends badly is a horrific understatement.
- Bones: Bones and Booth finally break six seasons of Unresolved Sexual Tension by having sex while coming to terms with the brutal assassination of one of their squints, just hours after it happened. A couple episodes later we discover that Booth knocked Bones up. This scenario was devised to accommodate star Emily Deschanel's real life pregnancy during the filming of the following season.
- Switched at Birth: Emmett is completely hysterical about his father giving up custodial rights, and is incredibly angry at his girlfriend Bay for interfering. Simone, meanwhile, is bummed out about her basketball tournament loss and her boyfriend Toby not trusting her. Both Emmett and Simone are out of town and coincidentally staying at the same hotel, and run into each other at the ice machine. She invites him to her room, and you can guess the rest.
- The 503: Averted hard when Shellie backs away from a kiss with Phil after learning about the death of his girlfriend three years ago in Strip 189.