There you are, sitting alone on a Saturday night, eating stale Doritos and watching old re-runs of Seinfeld you have already seen seven times. It would not be so bad except you have an itch—a sexual itch, that is—in need of scratching.
You start flipping through your brain’s Rolodex and realize, other than the slightly creepy person in accounting who flirts with you, there are no real prospects on the horizon. Big time Bridget Jones–loser feelings start seeping into your every pore. Panic ensues.
Your mind wanders back to the sex you had with your last partner. Instead of remembering all the reasons you broke up, you start obsessing about their soft, warm body up against yours in your nice cozy bed.
Without thinking, you pick up the phone. They answer. You try to make some small talk but it is of no use. You ask them to come over for a “drink”. Both of you know that is code for, “Let’s have sex at least three times tonight.”
Your legs are raw from twitching when they finally arrive. In a mad haze to rip each other’s clothes off, there is little or no thought given to consequences. Your itch is about to be scratched…hopefully they will sleep over as an added bonus.
Sex with an ex: good idea to keep your sexual juices flowing during the transition time, or bad mistake that will keep you messed up for a longer period of time? As every breakup is different, doing some analysis might save you heartache when your libido takes over your brain.
First, know you are not some freakoid because you want to have sex with the exact same person you spent days (maybe weeks) getting all bent out of shape over after the breakup. Sex can comfortably numb the I’m-a-big-fat-loser worries, pain and panic in the short term. It is convenient and semi-reliable.
As well, yours is an established relationship, so all the preamble of getting to know each other and weirdness of seeing each other naked does not exist. Your ex is (hopefully) clean of any STDs. Also, you might have gone through a lot together and, on some level, only they can understand you.
Now let’s look at the other side of this equation. Never fool yourself. As much as you want to believe that sex is simply sex and nothing more, the act of sex is a ticking bomb of many emotions waiting to go off.
To start with, count the time elapsed since your separation. The fresher the breakup, the stronger both your favorable and angry emotions for this person will be. Conversely, the longer time your relationship has been over and done with, the better chance those dormant emotions will be jolted back to life.
Be clear in this confused moment. The need for sex can be a clever cover for a need of an emotional reconnection with another human being.
If the sex is good (i.e. deep emotional connection), you may wonder why you broke up in the first place. Due to these confused emotions, it is easy to start playing the “come here/go away” game, and moving on may take a lot longer than necessary.
Next is being okay with the hardcore reality of your situation. Before you have sex, are you willing to reestablish safe sex practices? Or are you in denial that your partner is not messing around behind your back?