Samantha Jones once said, “Sex with an ex can be depressing. If it’s good, you can’t get it anymore. If it’s bad, you just had sex with an ex.” Even the fictional queen of casual sex knew that sex with an ex is complicated, yet Surveys report Even 44% of people sex their ex.
In another recent survey LELO conducted a survey and found that 37% said they had reached out to a loved one since lockdown started.
What’s even more amazing is that a further 50% of single people admit to reigniting a spark with an ex, and even 68% had a virtual date with an ex.
People are craving intimacy. It is clear that people are looking for more intimacy.
But before you send that thirst trap to your ex to try and reignite the spark, let’s talk about the actual pros and cons of sex with an ex and what the science says.
The Benefits of Sexing with an Ex
Science has recently shown that having sex with your ex is not as dangerous as we thought. Ex-sex can be a good thing.
Explore Without Pressure
Research shows After a breakup, people are open to trying new things if they have sex with their ex.
Justin Lehmiller, a social psychologist, and sex researcher, suggests that people who engage in sexual activity with their ex-partners might be open to exploring new options to show their love or to reconnect with them. “.
He then adds, “Alternatively, perhaps they see it as an opportunity to explore fantasies and desires with a comfortable partner without fear of judgment or concern about how it would affect the relationship.”
This is a very valid reason. It’s not uncommon for people to be ashamed of their sexuality or lack of sexual needs.
“There are many reasons people don’t talk about sex with their partners, including fear of being shamed, they were socialized to perceive talking about sex as taboo, and, for some, there is a lack of socio-cultural scripts surrounding sex, to name a few,” social psychologist and sex researcher David W. Wahl, Ph.D. This explains.
You can really explore your sexual potential when you remove the pressure from your partner not being with you because of strange sexual fantasies.
And because it’s easier to explore with a partner you already know, then an ex is a perfect candidate for some casual exploration without fear of losing them.
You don’t care if they refuse to accept you or call your a freak. They’re already an ex!
A little bit of Hedonism is never a bad thing
Women report more frequent sex with ex-partners for hedonistic reasons, while men are more likely to do it. Lehmiller writes, “In terms of gender differences, men were more likely to say they’d had breakup sex for hedonistic and ambivalent motives.”
These men might be on to something.
“People find it easier to have a sexual relationship with an ex-lover than with someone new, as friendship and shared history facilitate such activity,” Aaron Ben-Zeev, Ph.D. This explains. It is clear that you know what you and your partner like, what drives you, and what position you should use to get to the finish line the fastest.
You can take advantage of this and have sex with your ex to have a few more orgasms before you meet someone new.
Show Them What They’re Missing
Many reasons people have sex after a breakup with their partner are numerous. One of the reasons, though, is to show them what they’re missing out.
Maybe you’re feeling a little bit bitter about the way your relationship ended; maybe you feel like you want to give them a show one last time before you can move on to better things.
Whatever your reasoning might be, it’s a valid reason to have ex-sex.
The Studied In 2020, 52 reasons people had broken up with sex were presented to them. They had to choose which reasons they believed were most important.
While the top three answers were “sex is fun,” “want to get back together,” and “miss sex,” reasons like “closure,” “show them what they will be missing,” and “final goodbye” was in the top 15 as well.
So, it’s not a rare occurrence for people to have sex with an ex to get over them or show them that it’s their loss.
If a little hate sex can help you get over your ex, then why not indulge in it and have some fun while on your way to the door.
Breakup recovery might be helped by ex-sex. Sometimes it is difficult to understand the reasons for the breakup or maintain your self-esteem after it. These emotions can be dealt with by having sex with your ex.
“In the post-breakup stage of a relationship, maintaining one’s self-esteem is paramount. Sex with an ex can facilitate this healthy stance by enhancing the feeling that the breakup has more to do with incompatibility than inferiority,” Aaron Ben-Zeev, Ph.D. Writes.
It will help you find a new relationship
Although it may sound strange, having sex in public with an ex can be a great way to start a new relationship or get more people interested.
“Breakup sex may also be beneficial to the extent that it enhances one’s status and, in turn, increases one’s attractiveness to other potential partners via mate-choice copying (Hill & Buss, 2008),” the study Claims.
Truly, being unavailable can increase your worth and value in other people’s eyes. And it’s true for all genders, but it is stronger when it comes to women.
The same study explains, “When a man is paired with a woman who is labeled as their romantic partner, other women tend to rate that man as more attractive, an effect also known as the desirability enhancement effect (Rodeheffer et al., 2016).”
Why you should not have sex with an ex
As with everything else in life, there are also some (quite a few *cough*) negatives to having sex with your ex.
It might be detrimental to your next relationship
If you’re caught in having sex with an ex for a long period of time after a breakup, it might affect your ability to start a new relationship or keep the current one from thriving.
“Sex with the ex in the long term often takes place when at least one of the partners is in a different relationship; the sex here has a greater, typically negative, impact on this relationship,” Ben-Zeev explains.
He then further explains his point by saying, “the current partner might be considered as a romantic compromise not merely because of future available opportunities, but also because the romantic past, which is highly emotional, is not dead—as it is possible to revive old loves.”
So, while it’s true that sleeping with your ex might make you look more interesting to other people around you, the complex human emotions and being stuck between the past and the present can truly hurt your current or next relationship.
If you’re unable to move on emotionally from your ex, you might find yourself in a situation where sex with an ex had become a burden. And this is why a lot of relationship experts advise against seeking comfort in your ex-partner’s arms.
It might distort your reality of why you broke up
Nostalgia can be a powerful feeling that we all experience. This can cause you to miss important people or relationships in your present life, and it can lead to a distortion of reality.
You probably had a reason to break up with your ex. And the ongoing sexual relationship with an ex, mixed with the feeling of nostalgia, might confuse you, and you’ll forget why you are not together anymore.
“From the distance of time, our memory can enhance our love for our exes, making the relationship seem better than it probably was. We thus feel justified in our romantic search and optimistic about its success,” Ben-Zeev writes.
You might want to rekindle your relationship, even if it’s not the best thing to do for you both. This can be more difficult if you are still feeling the emotions and feelings of your ex.
You may also be affected by nostalgia or your feelings for the person you are currently with. This can lead to you becoming a worse situation where you keep returning to your ex even though you are not compatible as partners.
It’s possible that men may be more attracted by sex with an ex than women.
Studies show Men are more likely to feel positive about sex with their ex and get greater satisfaction from it.
It could be because women are more embarrassed than men about casual sex. This could impact their feelings about ex-sex.
“It could be a function of the sexual double standard, or the idea that women tend to be judged more harshly than men for their sexual behaviors; this may partly explain why women are more likely to regret casual sex in general,” Lehmiller explains.
Another reason is our biological differences.
Because of the greater sexual consequences, women are more likely to be selective about their partners. If women end up having sex with multiple men who are not fit to be long-term partners and end up pregnant, it’s a burden on their shoulders.
Men don’t have such troubles to consider when considering short-term mating. Researchers explain, “Men having a smaller amount of time investment, differences exist in preferences for short-term mating behaviors such that men express more favorable attitudes toward uncommitted sexual encounters—a difference, according to sexual strategies theory, that emerged due to sex differences in minimum obligatory parental investment.”
While this doesn’t necessarily mean that women can’t benefit and enjoy the casualness of ex-sex, biology and societal expectations make it harder in some cases.
Be Honest with Why You’re Seeking Out Sex With an Ex
Before you jump into the sheets with your old flame, have an honest conversation and ask yourself why you’re considering having sex with your past love:
- Do you do it because you fear being alone?
- Are you doing it because you’re lonely?
- Do you need security?
- Do you secretly hope you will be reunited?
- Are you avoiding moving forward because it’s easier to fall into old habits?
The media has long claimed that sex with ex-partners is harmful and can cause emotional trauma. But, there are some exceptions. Recent studies Stephanie S. Spielmann (Ph.D.) conducted the research. It proved to be far from the truth.
Spielmann had found that sex with an ex might not be as harmful as believed before and didn’t hinder the breakup recovery in people.
“Rather, sex with an ex is most eagerly pursued by those having difficulty moving on, suggesting that we should perhaps instead more critically evaluate people’s motivations behind pursuing sex with an ex,” Spielmann Ends In her study.
Only after having a honest conversation with yourself, answering these (and other) questions honestly, can you decide whether sexing with your ex is something that you should pursue.
Only You Know What’s Best for You
Scientists still have limited research on the effects of sex on relationships. So, only you yourself can answer whether it’s worth going for sex with an ex or not.
Have fun! But remember to be gentle. Establish rules and boundaries That will make it easy for you to have sex together without having an emotional impact on your lives.
Karolina Wilde, a writer on sexual wellness, is her name. Her work has been published by The Ascent and P.S. Her work has been published on The Ascent, P.S. She can be found podcasting, reading or creating TikTok videos during her free time.