Exes typically fall into one of two : the kind we block on social media and cross the street to avoid, and the kind we dream about landing in our DMs and running into on a good hair day—perhaps fanning a flame that never went all the way out. But what about the exes we maintain contact with—you know, the kind who make our phones light up at 2 a.
Is it ever a good idea to sleep with them? Some might argue that a tryst with an ex-partner is an ideal arrangement. They already know your most intimate curves and crevices, and you get to avoid the first-time awkwardness of sharing your naked body with someone new. Because, at the end of the day or nighteven if they once made a mess of your heartsex with a former plus-one is just a harmless rendezvous in native territory—right? Maybe…or maybe not. We turned to some relationship experts to comb through the pleasures and pitfalls of slipping back under familiar sheets, along with some new and improved rules to play by.
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Is there a spark of hope that a night of hot sex might resuscitate months or years of lost love? Are you trying to pacify pain by seeking a false, perhaps toxic, sense of comfort? Whatever is fueling your motivation, no matter how simple or complex, be clear about it.
With your ex, even if they once aroused your most rampant insecurities, at least you know what to expect. You already know the annoying comments, subtle digs or lifeless feedback they may or may not toss your way. Rhonda Richards-Smithpsychotherapist and relationship expert, says it is oftentimes the piece of not knowing what the future might bring that keeps us bolted to exes—even in seemingly innocent ways.
The relationship ended for a reason, so why are you considering going back to the sex? Because thrilling as a spontaneous hook-up may be, every action carries consequences we have to live out later on. Richards-Smith says that, in her practice, she has found that the one reason people have regret is because they act impulsively. Your plan may be to give them access to your erogenous zones while keeping Attractive mature sex buddies lady desired padlock over your heart, but even the most masterful plans sometimes go awry.
Of course there are the obvious dangers, like the resurgence of lingering feelings, or the possibility that one of you is housing fantasies of rekindling the relationship, while the other may not share in the same desire. But could dipping your toes back into familiar waters threaten to drown your future in more obscure ways?
Richards-Smith says she has counseled many clients who exist in a revolving door between a few ex-lovers. She warns that this can keep them and the other person emotionally stuck for months or years. In fact, Richards-Smith says that if thoughts of an ex still ding a tuning fork in your heart, any contact with them at all—from social media interaction to text communication—may cripple your ability to evolve beyond it. But the kind of contact that has you rolling out of their bed and tip-toeing to their toilet at 4 a.
That could make your recovery slow to an agonizing speed. Richards-Smith says it may inhibit your ability to see the relationship—and the individual—through a fresh lens. That could create an emotional barrier between you and the possibility of newfound love.
Or, maybe you were the one to declare the breakup—severing the commitment and never again gazing through the same emotional filter. But what if your ex is reading from an entirely different book—secretly hoping you'll get back together? Mixed als could be exchanged during the act, leaving one or both of you confused.
In fact, after devising two separate studies, Spielmann determined that exchanging orgasms with an ex welcomed some positive effects for both involved. Whether the subjects benefited from moving on slowly, as opposed to a sudden disconnect, or were tenderly comforted by the lingering interaction, the exploratory findings were fairly clear: even in instances where someone was crying into their pillow and pining for their ex-partner indefinitely, sex did nothing to hinder their recovery. Just be sure to explore your reasons why and check in with your feelings above all else.
It typically depends upon a couple of factors: one—the foundation of your relationship with your ex, and two—if you have compatible goals within the arrangement. Eventually, someone either finds that they never lost their sense of attachment or that they re-established that attachment.
First, the state of the relationship or lack thereof must be blatantly clear. Because disconnects happen more often than you might think—the kind that lead to tearful, jealous accusations. Second, Richards-Smith advises to be clear with yourself about a timeline. How long do you plan on doing this—until one of you meets someone you want to commit to, or is it just a one-off?
Is it ever a good idea to have sex with an ex?
Third, have a conversation beforehand—preferably while clothed. Are you struggling to move on? Are you having casual sex with other partners as well? Be sure to have an open conversation first preferably while clothed and create transparent boundaries.
In other words, staggering out of a bar after four rounds of shots is probably not the most responsible time to consider getting naked with a person who once ripped your heart from your chest. Your desires and perspectives—or theirs—could shift dramatically.
So could your standards and priorities for your love life.
And be sure to check in with yourself and your ex as you progress. Our bodies and minds may fall into patterns that trigger old habits, especially when stimulated by a person who is well-versed on how to send our nerve endings into a frenzy of pleasure.
Unless you are clear where you stand with that person when you are outside of the bedroom, don't take anything said while in bed—no matter how poetically unpacked—to heart. And if words are spoken that have you up late at night, pacing the floor and staring at your phone screen, sharing drafts of text messages with your girlfriends? Richards-Smith says that ex-partner sabotage is common. Just as they have likely memorized your erogenous zone, they know your emotional hot buttons as well.
We have to be careful how we filter information from others—especially those who know how to activate our most titillating regions.
The people we share space with are leaving impressions on us with every energy exchange. We impact one another in ways both blatant and subliminal.
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Richards-Smith warns that vulnerability avoidance is why it can get tricky when thinking about exes—because familiarity can be a hallucinogen. Depending upon the nuances of the relationship and the reason for breaking up, it can cause you to be intoxicated by a past that you need to move away from. There could be an extraordinary opportunity a room away, down the hall of your office building, or across the bar, sipping cocktails and plotting how to catch your eye.
But if your eyes are locked to your phone screen, awaiting a red light from an ex-partner, you may be oblivious to an opportunity that could color your future in a more vivid way. So if you genuinely desire to have sex with an ex, you have every freedom to enjoy yourself. But if doing so tampers with your confidence, brings your value into question or mutes your vision of the future? It may be time to take your heart—along with all of your clothes—and run. Because your past no longer needs you like your future does. Your Best Life. Type keyword s to search.
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