I’m gonna start this story off with a newsflash: Having sex with your ex is a terrible idea. Actually, I’ll rephrase. Having sex with your ex if you haven’t asked yourself, “Am I sure I know what I’m doing?” is a terrible idea.
Or at least, for me it was.
So stupid. I have too many regrets about having sex with my ex-husband, and one very good reason why I don’t regret what I did at all. And I’d like to talk about that. But first, the dirt.
Like many bad decisions (or at least the ones I’ve made), my ex and I made this one while horny. We’d separated a few months before, enough for us to really start missing the sex.
It all started with his damned triceps.
Sex with my ex-husband was my weakness. I trained him well. He was eager to learn and learned fast.
Plus, there’s a special kind of magic knowing someone on a deeper level of trust and comfort, isn’t there? It’s not wrong or uncommon for a pair of exes to miss this intimacy. Especially while the split is still fresh. Or at least, this is what I told myself after I came home early from dealing cards one night.
My ex-husband and I were still living together at this point. He’d insisted I take the room upstairs while he nested on the couch. This is where I found him, playing Street Fighter. We’d avoided each other since we broke up as much as we could. I prepared to go straight upstairs when I noticed his triceps flex, and I thought, Oh, mama, this isn’t going to be good.
My ex was staring at me, controller in hand, as I went to the fridge to place some leftovers inside. When I came back, he still faced my direction — eyes level with my ass. He was not discreet, and I was all for it. I missed that look. I missed us — my first regrettable choice. I allowed myself to get caught up in familiar feelings instead of telling myself, we are exes for a reason. Are you sure you don’t want to walk away? It might hurt.
I was ready for some Jack and Rose making steamy handprints in a carriage kind of sex. A “Notebook” style kissing in the rain before heading to the attic moment.
If this instance taught me anything, it’s that there’s no shame in missing what you once had in a relationship. Even if getting over someone is often the best course of action. But people change. Relationships change. If you go back hoping to find familiarity and you aren’t prepared for things to be different, you might be a little sore for a while.
I wish I’d known that then — but all I knew is I was going to get some booty.
I didn’t ask myself, “Why am I doing this?” first.
“Did you get a new tattoo?” my ex-husband asked. His eyes now rested on the new doodle peeking from under my collarbone, his game now abandoned. “Can I see it?”
When he asked to touch it, I let him. He said, “the skin is soft.”
And I replied, “want to watch TV upstairs?” I don’t even remember what my ex and I watched — it was either an old episode of Rugrats, or some fail videos on YouTube. It didn’t matter.
All I know is we were laughing at something.
Then we were kissing — a lot — followed by a few other maneuvers you can use your imagination on. The sex was confusing. Hot, but also not.
In fact, performance-wise, it was some of the best we’ve ever had. He kissed me harder, pulled my hair a little tighter. He looked into my eyes with such intensity it kind of scared me (and I couldn’t get enough of it).
Intense is always a good distraction. Of course, I reciprocated. I’m pretty sure we almost broke the bed frame and the couch. When you know it’s the end of your relationship it’s amazing how much you can let go.
But once we finished, another regret came: not asking myself first, “What do I want from this decision?”
When making choices, it’s a smart idea to ensure you understand what you want from making it. And the possible consequences. Especially when dealing with heart matters. This is the realization that came to me as my ex-husband hopped out of bed and told me, “I need to go pee.”
I felt dirty, then annoyed that I wasted our time.
If you want to sleep with your ex after a break-up, you do you. In fact, break-up sex, in my experience, has been a positive way to say good-bye to a past relationship.
From the start, I’d entertained the option, prepared myself. If everyone is on the same page, who cares? Maybe you feel safe and familiar with this partner, and you both agreed to have a “friends with benefits” deal.
(A recent study by Wayne University finds having sex with your ex can actually make you feel more positive. Fascinating.)
Whatever your reason, as long as it’s not a harmful one, good for you. With the right mindset, a lot of “unusual” life circumstances can work. And that’s the key — being in the right mindset.
I’m not sure what my ex-husband and I expected to get out of having sex one more time. Neither of us wanted to get back together. We didn’t hate each other at all and were still kind of friends, sure, but sleeping together felt so off — so final. I didn’t want to do it again.
Mostly it just hurt to the point I felt nauseous, then dirty, then plain annoyed I had wasted our time. Even after we did it three, four, five more times to be sure. The last go around, I put my all into it because I knew that was it. I will say this — I don’t regret giving 110 percent. It was like a gift, which is weird but honest. A part of me wanted to give him a hard time forgetting me, and that’s exactly what I whispered in his ear. And he made sure I had a hard time right back.
But after all the fun we were done — like done done, and it sucked. There’s no other way to put it. This last one was probably my biggest regret of all — the hurt. I regretted hurting myself. I regretted hurting my ex-husband. I feel like this is a popular regret. With relationships comes hurt.
In my ex-husband’s words, “it’s like riding a roller coaster for the last time as the theme park closes.” Luckily, he and I had been ready to shoot ‘Ole Yeller for a while now. We only needed a push.
“I should go back downstairs, huh, Ev?”
I smiled. He smiled. I let him smack my butt one more time for good measure, and we were happy never to touch each other again. And that’s okay — more than okay.
Painful moments are excellent teachers.
Once he left, I melted into the mattress like a cracked egg, more satisfied than sad. I’m not sure what changed in me, but I was actually relieved. I may have regretted so many things about the last few questionable hours of my life. The truth is, when I thought about it all, I was actually grateful. Judging by the next time my ex and I ran into each other and we could laugh with each other, I had an inkling he felt the same.
Painful moments are excellent teachers — especially when learning to let go. They’re also necessary, which is why, when I thought about it, I didn’t really regret all my questionable choices that night because it taught a lesson I’ll take with me for life.
There’s always a moment in a dying relationship where you realize it’s done, and it can be hard to accept, you will probably do some regrettable things before the end. But take it from me, once you know, save yourself and walk away. Just go. I have a sense you’ll be grateful for the signs and your time back more than you’ll be heartbroken, but that’s me.
And having weird good-bye sex with my ex was definitely a sign. But it’s all good. That’s one funny thing about life — you can’t go back. All you can do is learn, and, of course, leave with one hell of an exit.
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