As a sex engineer and relationship therapist, I often come across situations that whilst not necessarily life impacting can cause complications in relationships. To want to have sex or to unexpectedly have sex with your ex can, on the one hand, be nostalgic on the other a disaster? Whether you are the one doing the dumping or being dumped it’s not uncommon for ex-partners to find themselves revisiting carnal pleasures with an ex-partner. In this article are some of the more common questions I get asked. The answers are my take on challenges of having sex again with an ex.
Is sex with an ex-worthwhile?
Sex with an ex could be likened to visiting a favourite restaurant that you enjoyed in the past. Familiar surroundings, familiar faces and unless then chef has changed the menu, familiar food that whilst it may satisfy your immediate hunger it probably won’t get your taste buds bursting. So unless your ex- took time to expand their sex skills the sex could likely be comfortable but predictable.
On the other hand, when a relationship comes to an end it’s easy to idealize what it was and who that person was as if selective memory kicks in and it refuses to let you see the truth. But sex with an ex can get rid of that.
Sometimes we allow our past relationships to disallow our future relationships and happiness. When that is the case, going back to move forward can sometimes make us see that we’ve idealized the relationship. Revisiting the sexual side of the relationship can help resolve some of that past hurt.
How does one know if you are emotionally ready for this?
If you are considering sex with the ex then ask your self why. Who dumped who? A possible motivation maybe to win them back or could it be retribution to show them what they are missing.
Does it make a difference if this is a one night stand or something that goes on for months? How would it effect you emotionally?
A one night stand with the ex may help a person to move on. On the other
it may complicate any new relationship. If with a current partner who then finds out then sparks are very likely to fly whether it’s one night, one month or one year. If single then the one night stands is probably a convenient fall back if longer then lily that the emotions for this person are still there since if holding on to the past will undoubtedly hinder you progressing to the future
Even if you think you can detach emotionally from it, can the other person? Are there signs to look out for?
When a couple breaks up there is always an imbalance in the emotional separation. One gives a sigh of relief while other a sigh of sadness. Likely that the one that was left hankers for a reconnection while for the one who did the leaving the sex will be more pragmatic and unemotional.
If you still have feelings for your ex or hope that it will all work out, then sex with an ex is a bad idea. Bad, bad, not good, bad. So bad that you can kiss any hope of getting over your ex goodbye
if you sleep with them. Hoping that sex with your ex will rekindle your relationship is setting you up for false hope. Chances are that the issues in the relationship that caused the breakup weren’t sexual.
Could a positive be that this could be a time to focus on exploring yourself sexually, with no strings but relatively safe?
The pros of sex with the ex is the familiarity and safety but as a place to explore it is unlikely to reveal much more than what was there before. It is also likely that if the ex joined
you in new areas of exploration, it could bring up judgment or accusations of deception that these new interests were not mentioned or explored before and this may cause them to see you in a different light. In my opinion to truly explore new sexual horizons its best to do this either within a secure relationship where things have been discussed and agreed or outside of relationship altogether giving you the freedom to explore to your boundaries and not others.
Should you ever bring up the reason you broke up, or should you just treat it for what it is – sex?
Inevitably the sex will lead to conversation so even if you don’t want to talk about the past one or other will likely make reference to it. So have your answers ready, don’t get caught wrong-footed. Sex with the ex is best if planned and not spontaneous encounter when rational thinking may be absent.
Can the pleasure be better with an ex?
With familiarity comes knowledge and with that comes, well, great sex. When you’ve known someone so intimately and physically, there’s a better chance you’ll be able to climax because you’re at ease with someone who knows exactly how to make your toes curl. So if you’re not in the category of wanting to get back together with your ex and can just leave it at sex, then sex with an ex can be great. As long as you keep it to just looking for an orgasm.
What happens if they have moved on? Then it’s just the same as cheating, right?
If they have moved on and with someone else then yes its cheating on their part and probable manipulation on your part.
Does this usually just fizzle out?
Depends which one you are, if the leaver then the new relationship will probably give what was missing in the past relationship. The proviso is that if the sex was amazing and it was other stuff that broke the relationship, then they may keep coming back just for the physical pleasure. If the left, then the need may linger longer so its best to get back in the saddle quite soon the less likely to retrace old ways
What kind of time gap would be recommended between splitting up and this starting? or is it not recommend at all?
To avoid unnecessary complication, I would recommend not having sex with the ex. In my experience, there are usually two outcomes, a disappointment of it not reigniting the relationship or that the current partner finds out, and that can lead to one more ex to not have sex with!