Saturday, April 01, 2006

Should you have Sex with An Ex? - By Trina Read

There you are sitting alone on a Saturday nite, 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 wonders 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 tonite.”

Your legs raw from twitching 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 freak’oid 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 lets 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 reestablishing safe sex practices? Or are you in denial that your partner is not messing around behind your back.

Are you ready, in the aftermath of your sex, when your ex starts exhibiting the traits that had you breaking up with them in the first place? Know you will most likely feel empty and unfulfilled because after they leave you will again be partnerless.

What if they never call you back and shamefaced you realize you were simply their booty call for the evening? Speaking of which, are mentally prepared for the eventuality when your ex tells you they have moved on to their next partner?

If you are all right with all of this then go ahead have tons of protected sex with your ex. If not, take a long cold shower or slap on a chastity belt when you feel your resolve wearing thin. Do whatever it takes to stop you from calling them.

One great thing that comes out of having sex with an ex is the valuable lesson learned.

Ultimately satisfying an urge at the sacrifice of self worth is never worth it—yes, even if the sex is amazing.

Samantha Jones, the infamous character from “Sex and the City” put it best, “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.”

Dr. Trina E. Read is a Sexologist, National Newspaper Columnist and International Speaker. Email drtrina@ with comments, visit her website or her find some useful information on her blog,

Dr. Trina writes two newspaper columns. Let’s Talk About Sex shows couples how to maintain a fresh outlook on sex over the long term. Sex Doctors to the Rescue is written with fellow Sexologist, Dr. Brian Parker, and takes couple’s hot-button issues and dishes the male/ female side of the story. Dr. Trina’s columns appears bi-weekly in twelve papers across Canada.

Trina has been “Dr. Love” for ThermoSpa 2005 Radio Campaign, featured in First for Women, quoted multiple times in Cosmopolitan, as well as MSNBC News, Self, Marie Claire, Pregnancy, Women’s Health, Men’s Health, Destinations and Honeymoons, The Calgary Herald, Vancouver Sun and The Edmonton Journal, The Medicine Hat News just to name a few.

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