Sex with the Ex
It might start with an innocent phone call to get together for drink and a chat. The way you look at it, connecting up for a little ‘catch-up’ is harmless. You may have gotten over the initial post-break up hump, the first stretch of time that involves eliminating any trace of the ex; that includes, reestablishing your social schedule, and getting used to being single again. Unfortunately you’ve also come to the realization that it involves being without regular sex!
Now that enough time has passed, you might feel strong and totally over them ... and getting together is just going to give you the ‘closure’ that both of you need; if anything, you remind yourself, “It’ll help me move on, really.”
Here’s a piece of advice … don’t kid yourself! Somewhere deep down in the recesses of your mind, there’s a part of you that secretly wonders, or (perhaps even) wishes, that this platonic hang out might have the potential to turn into a post-break up, screwing-each-others-brains out, swan song.
Alright, maybe your intentions are as pure as snow - but when it comes to hanging out with your ex, especially the first few times, sexual desire - not to mention the urge for a last hurrah - has a tendency to win-out over knowing better. Therefore, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons and prepare yourself for the possibility. If you don’t, ex sex will likely propel you onto a slippery slope of emotional confusion … and before you know it, you’ll be ensnared right back in the dysfunctional relationship that took so much work to get out of in the first place.
The Pros of Ex-Sex
It’s Hot - having a casual sexual tryst with an ex can be quite thrilling and might end up being some of the best sex you’ve ever had together. If the break up is recognized by both parties as a positive thing and the lines of communication between you are open, it can be a great way to release sexual tension without dealing with all the involvement that a relationship requires.
It’s Convenient and Familiar - the other person already knows your body so there is no ‘learning curve’. Your ex is part of your comfort zone. Since you’ve shared an intimate history, there’s a certain level of ease that comes with knowing your partner emotionally as well as physically, which makes an occasional erotic rendezvous more fulfilling than some random one-night stand. Also, there’s only a minimal risk of STDs/STIs (unless, of course, other sexual partners are in the picture).
It’s Elusive - the thrill of the chase subsides significantly when you’ve been getting it on for a while, but now that you’re technically ‘not allowed’ to be intimate with one another, the powerful draw of their unattainability will attract you more. Knowing that sleeping with the ex is ‘bad’ - and we mean in the naughty, sexy sense of the word - every hookup becomes alluringly elusive, and that will give you even more incentive to go after them.
It May Lead to Reconciliation - using sex to rekindle what once was is dicey and may be somewhat counterproductive, but it may just get the wheels in motion for you to reconsider why you broke up in the first place. Now that you’ve had some time apart, you’ll have a fresh perspective on the strengths and weaknesses of your relationship, and as long as your primary focus is on repairing the issues that led you down the road of separation, there may be a possibility for a second chance.
The Cons of Ex-Sex
It’s Confusing - for the most part, ex sex is a total rush, but you’re also playing with fire. Hitting the sheeting with an ex is one of the most emotionally confusing things a person can do, especially when it’s done shortly after a break up. Even when both of you agree that, "It’s just sex and nothing more", the probability of one of you having ulterior motives and unspoken expectations is high. Also, the more often you have sex, the easier it is to get enmeshed.
You’ll Fall for Them Again, and Get Burned Again - if you’ve been burned once before, who’s to say it won’t happen again? Plus, there’s a good chance it will hurt worse than the first time around. There were reasons why you broke up in the first place, and it’s much easier for them to get swept under the rug now that you’re blinded by transition sex. Our brains do a funny little thing when we start getting laid again; we tend to avoid the bad and focus only on the good. Be careful not to get sucked back into a situation that you were desperate to get out of in the first place.
You Won’t Make Rational Decisions – ex-sex has a tendency to do this very easily. Getting nookie under the clause of ‘ex’s with benefits’ may keep you coming back for an endless array of “one last time”, which keeps you stuck in the past and missing out on saner dating opportunities in the present.
Old Wounds Don’t Heal Easily - is sex with the ex a way for you to have a fond farewell, or is it a ploy to lure them in and drop them on their ass, just as they did to you? Leaving a loved one is hard enough as it is, and a complicated entanglement (such as an ex that you’re trying to get back at while still sleeping with them), means that moving on becomes practically impossible.
Sleeping with a past lover gives “Just for old time’s sake” a whole new meaning … one that is fraught with excitement, lust and (likely) a bit of drama. But living life is about looking forwards to new prospects and opportunities, not about trying to re-live what you see in the rear-view mirror. Unless you genuinely feel that you made a mistake in breaking up, and that there might be a real opportunity to remedy the breakdown of the relationship (not just the lack of sex), then follow your best judgment and avoid getting swept up in the quagmire of old attachments.