Breaking up is never easy. In the immediate aftermath, you may never want to set eyes on your ex again. But once you’ve shouted your final insults and slammed the front door, would you consider walking back into someone’s life…or, indeed, their bed?
As cliché as having sex with your ex may be, that doesn’t stop oh-so-many of us going back for more. Here's what eight women have to say about what it was like having sex with an ex. (Some of these are NSFW!)
1. “He finished extremely quickly”
“A couple of months after we had broken up, we decided to meet for a catch-up. He picked me up in his car, and we were driving around the small town we lived in. He parked in a secluded spot and I started to give him a blow job, but he finished extremely quickly.
“I don’t regret it, but afterwards, it felt a bit awkward because he finished so fast. I think there had been a lot of sexual tension that built up, mainly on his part.
“There were no feelings there when we first got together. It was my first proper boyfriend so I felt like I was still learning a lot about relationships and kind of experimenting.
“I went to college and moved on pretty soon after that. He did try to contact me a few times, but I just wanted to move forward with my life. I felt like he was from a different chapter of my life and I was starting a new one.” – Chantelle*
2. “I didn’t feel the passion”
“Ex-boyfriend who was long distance, when we saw each other in person we decided to have our 'final goodbyes.' It wasn't great, I didn't feel the passion with him anymore, and it really affected the overall experience. I had a hard time getting turned on, and felt [too] lazy to put in the work, tbh. I don't regret it, but I wish it happened only once.” – [via]
3. “Everything was more electric”
“It was usually a case of ‘let's meet up to chat or clear the air or try to be friends’ and then we would get carried away. My bed, his bed, his sofa, his parents’ living room floor. It always starts with the hand on the leg, the look, kissing, pulling back and saying ‘we shouldn’t,’ followed by more kissing and then the inevitable.
“It was different, and at the same time so familiar. I feel like it’s fair to say that couples fall into a routine, favoring certain positions and the like. Even after we had broken up, we would fall back into those routines, because we knew it worked for us, but at the same time it is so different. Everything was so much more electric, all of the emotions of the previous few months come out so the sex is, on paper, the same, but it feels so different.
“I’ve slept with all of my exes of long term relationships in the time that follows the breakup, and in my experience they all follow this same rule. There’s always the post-sex cigarette and ‘that was amazing, and then there’s always the ‘we should never do that again,’ followed by the tearful goodbye—only to make the same ‘mistake’ a few days later.” – Eve*
4. “He clearly still had some feels”
“I’ve hooked up with a couple of my exes afterwards. The sex was great and I had no regrets. It was a little awkward afterwards in one case when he clearly still had some feels, but overall it was okay.” – [via]
5. “We stopped halfway through”
“Twice with the same guy. We dated for five or so years and had a horrible breakup but then eventually developed a friendship. The first time was really fun and nostalgic without any pressure for more. The second time, we both realized we still have this very strong connection but it's on such a platonic level that the sex itself was awkward and we both stopped halfway through.” – [via]
6. “The intimacy was gone”
“My ex and I slept together multiple times over the course of a year and a half after we broke up. Our split, although not a surprise, was very sudden, and within a few weeks of being apart, we caved in and spent the night together in the apartment we used to share–where I still lived at the time.
“It happened again a few months later, and then there was the week when we spent almost every night hanging out, even discussing the idea of living together again (nope, not getting back together–we skipped that step).
“The sex itself was amazing as we knew each other's bodies and likes so well, and I didn't once feel self-conscious or worry about what he thought of me. I knew he wanted me and that passion we had before was still there–it was what made our relationship so fiery and dramatic. But the intimacy was gone.
“The first time we slept together after the break-up he insisted he use a condom, immediately changing the atmosphere between us as it was clear he was already sleeping around. There was no cuddling, no exchanging ‘I love you’s, and actually not much conversation. It was like we knew it wouldn't last and it was just a fleeting moment of casual fun, and it added a touch of sadness to the whole experience.” – Serena*
7. “We had mad physical chemistry”
“He dumped me for a prettier woman or maybe two, came back six months later. We had mad physical chemistry, but clearly I wasn't really who he wanted to be seen with in public.”
“Anyway, we ended up falling back into bed but I'd already met the man who was going to end up my [next] ex. And this guy now wanted to ‘commit’–he all but said he wanted to marry, that he'd learned his lesson and looks aren't everything, basically. I think, needless to say, I wasn't buying it. We made time for about another month before I finally called it off.” – [via]
8. “Like having sex with a stranger”
“It happened a month after we broke up. I was still in love in him and wanted to see him, which led to us having sex. The first time, I started messaging him and making general conversation. Basically, I was seeing whether it would be a possibility, but without saying that. We arranged to meet at his, and it just happened.
“It wasn’t as good as I imagined it would be, or as good as it had been in the past. The passion was missing. It was like having sex with a stranger. The relationship gave us a connection, but this didn’t have that, and didn’t get me off in the same way.
“It felt a little systematic, as we both knew why I was there. It’s not like when you’re in a relationship and just hanging out and it just happens. This was like small talk and let’s go.
"There wasn’t much contact afterwards, unless it was to arrange to meet.” – Sasha*
*Names have been changed to allow subjects to speak freely on private matters.