Behind Closed Doors: Training for the ex-games

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February 9, 2010

1:19 AM

Sex is beautiful in its simplicity. Fetishes and perversions aside, the act itself remains pure: in, out, done. But sex isn’t just an act, it’s all the feelings and emotions that surround the horizontal tango, and all of that can be very complicated.

Even in the best of situations sex is a minefield. Yet some daredevils take it one step further. They throw caution to the wind and jump headfirst into one of the most complicated sexual relationships one can have: getting X-rated with your ex.

Running into the arms of your ex — or drunkenly stumbling into them, as may be the case may be — is a pretty predictable situation. You know this person intimately; you already trust and like them. They already trust and like you. You’ve been between the sheets with them before, so you two already know what each other likes. It seems only natural that you would call them when you find yourself bored and horny.

Unfortunately, sex is an elaborate interaction that is strewn with emotion and delicate at best. Sex makes people feel and act irrationally. Compound the situation with the fact that feelings about an ex tend to be complicated and you find yourself in a sexual muddle.

A lot depends on how serious the relationship was and how recently the break-up occurred. As a general rule, the more serious the relationship was, the more likely the sex is going to be complicated. How recent the break-up was is a good indicator of how likely a hook-up is. If you can go a month without falling back into bed with your ex, your will power is probably strong enough that you won’t do it in the future.

Should you be a slave to your libido and falter one night. There are ways to deal with it.

Many people see ex sex as a lose-lose situation. If the sex is bad, you’ve wasted your time. If the sex is good, you may miss the person and wish you were still together. Either way, you’re screwed. It’s true, revisiting an old lover is likely to reignite lingering feelings you had for him or her.

I personally don’t think that’s a convincing argument. Sometimes you just want to get laid by someone who you know can do the job well. Why risk going home with a random person, who may be terrible in bed, when you can get naughty and nostalgic with an ex? In that sense, I say go for it.

There is a caveat, however. Unless you are sleeping with your ex in the hopes of a full reunion, you must understand that sex with an ex is a temporary solution. When your tire pops, you replace it with a donut tire, but you can’t drive on it forever. Eventually you, or your ex, are going to have to move on.

Going where you’ve gone before can be comfortable, but it stagnates your love life. You’re living in the past. Sleeping with your ex is easy, but moving on in search of the right person is scary.

So, what’s the verdict? Know what you’re getting yourself into before you go down that road again. Assess the situation and ask yourself why you want to hook up. Are you just horny and your ex is nearby? Do you miss something about that person and you’re hoping to get closer to them? Or are you hiding from having to go back on the dating scene?

When in doubt, follow your loins. You’re only young and virile once. Why not have your heart broken a few times? Good loving is worth a little complication.

__Maya Horowitz is the Flat Hat sex columnist. Her little black book could make the New York Time’s Bestseller list as being one of the most read books of all time.__

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