Posted in Musings, Relationships
September 23, 2015

Sex With Your Ex: Best Idea Evah or a Trip Down Disaster Lane?

By Elizabeth Shore

You know how there are guidelines out there about the best way to approach a Tinder hookup, or engaging in a friends with benefits relationship, or even getting it on in the kink scene and how to go about it? Recently I saw another set of guidelines that really caught my attention, because it wasn’t only a “how to” article, but something that also suggested how great it is to engage in this hot new trend. I’m talking about having sex with your ex.

Certainly this isn’t really something new. People have been hooking up with their exes ever since they’ve been breaking up with them. But apparently it’s gaining traction to the point that it’s been labeled a “trend,” primarily because lifestyles today are geared toward that which is easy, not time-consuming, and allows for instant gratification. Sex with your ex perfectly fits the bill.

Of course, if you search for information on it, there are a lot more results on why not to do it then reasons why you should. Those in the “con” camp include the following: it delays the final breakup, it’s emotionally exhausting, confusing, and you’re being used. Those are all solid reasons to run far far away. After all, you’ve probably already been hurt once by this person, why set yourself up for round 2 in the drama and heartache category. But yet … but yet. The beginning of a relationship often starts with the physical. Your chemistry was off the charts and sex wasn’t the problem. Then the relationship began, emotional baggage ensued, and ultimately – for any number of reasons – it didn’t work out. But the chemistry, people! That didn’t necessarily go away and without the emotional expectations that come with a relationship, sex with your ex can be pretty hot indeed. So if you want to delve into that territory, how to do it so you don’t get burned in round 2? Here are some suggestions:

Conceptual photo of a woman holding stop signRule #1: Make sure you’re on the same page as to why you’re doing it. In many situations, people’s lives are so busy and so complicated and so time-consuming that the thought of developing a relationship seems as daunting a task as reading Atlas Shrugged. But you still want to get laid, and you sure as heck know someone who knows how you like things best. Enter, your ex. If his reasons for sleeping with you are the same as yours for him, you’re good. The need is identified and met. But if one or the other of you wants to start having sex again as, for example, a means for getting back together, hold up a big ol sign that says STOP. Don’t do it. It’s messy and complicated and will take one or both of you straight back to the Heartbreak Hotel.

Rule #2 Limit the frequency. If you don’t establish how often you’ll be getting together it could get messy. One of you wants it every day, the other every month. Or somewhere in between. The point is, have an agreement as to frequency (with allowances to bend the timeframe if, as one post advises, a “sex emergency” should emerge). Frequency should probably not be more than once a week because otherwise things can start feeling like a commitment. And speaking of …

Rule #3 Neither of you is exclusive to the other. This is a tough one. If you’re not in a relationship, you’re not exclusive. Or so advises one post. Another, however, came down firmly in the opposite camp. You’re having sex. Diseases can ensue. So while you’re having sex with your ex, you’re not having sex with others. If one or the other of you gets involved in a relationship that itself becomes exclusive, well then, so ends your physical relationship with each other.

There are other suggestions I came across, such as never talking about your current romances with your ex, and making sure to treat each other with respect (duh). But perhaps the best piece of advice I saw was from a writer who comments from personal experience. She reminds us not to forget to focus on your future. Your ex is, by definition, from your past. The relationship you once had with him is over. So enjoy the sex, but remember that ultimately one or both of you will be moving on and forming a relationship to move you into the future.

Tell us … would you do it? Good idea? Horrendous mistake? Have you ever done it? Share your stories, share your thoughts. And don’t forget to follow us at Lady Smut.


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