Should You Have Sex With an Ex?

Is sex with an ex ever ok?Conventional wisdom says it’s a bad idea to sleep with an ex. But some experts think sleeping with an ex might even be (gasp!) good for you.

Pro Ex Sex

Dr. Edward Ratush, a Board Certified Psychiatrist and Sex Therapist ( ) says sleeping with an ex might not be as bad as we think. Among his reasons for another round in the bedroom are:

1) Good Sex. “We always had good sex, so why not get some?”

2) Why not? “Sex does not always have to imply that you are building a relationship, so in that way, deciding on whether or not to have sex with an ex is not any different from a potential new sexual partner.”

3) You want to test yourself with respect to personal sexual and or intimacy issues that you have resolved since the break up.

4) Friendly revenge. “See what you have been missing.”

Divorce Attorney Lee Rosen has seen couples divorce and then re-marry each other later on, and under those circumstances sleeping with your ex could result in getting back together and rekindling the relationship.

Why? According to Rosen, many people mature as a result of the divorce, and sometimes the relationship was the right relationship, it just wasn’t the right time.

April Beyer, an L.A.-based relationship expert says, “The only way a roll in the hay with Mr. Yesterday will benefit you is if you need closure with this person. Perhaps it was a good relationship and it just wasn’t meant to be, due to timing or distance. A night of intimacy might be just what you need to put a spring in your step.

Just be smart with your emotions. If you are going to play an adult game then you need to have a grownup attitude and be responsible for yourself and how you feel afterwards.”

Danger! Danger!

Before you start lining up your booty calls, however, you should remember that there are some drawbacks to sleeping with an ex. The most likely outcome is that one of you is hoping that a little roll in the sack will get you back together, while the other one is just happy to get some action.

Beyer says, “It’s usually not a good idea to sleep with your ex. You might think you can handle it, but unless you are made of stone, sleeping with you ex will bond you once again to this person. Casual sex with an ex can lead to confusion and hurt feelings.”

And while you may be thinking, I can handle it, I just want sex, your partner may not be able to. Sure, he or she may say they just want to have sex for sex’s sake (seriously, who in their right mind is going to confess that they’re really plotting to get you back?) but in the light of day, it becomes clear that they were hoping for something more.

And finally, it’s easy to instantly revert back to the sex habits you kept back in the days when the two of you had a monogamous, committed relationship. What’s important to remember is that since the break-up, one or both of you may have been sleeping with other people. Be careful not to slip into old (condom-free) habits and unknowingly expose yourself to STDs that weren’t an issue back when you were a pair.

When to Never EVER Sleep with an Ex

There are three circumstances under which you should never sleep with an ex. First, if you have children. The stakes are just too high to give anyone false hope.

The second is if you’re angling for reconciliation. Sometimes we just think if we can help our ex remember how great it was between us, they’ll forget about all the reasons you broke up in the first place; that a few hours of naked bliss will wash away the memories of jealousy, bitchiness, lack of support, and general nastiness. But that rarely (if ever) happens.

Sometimes the just-in-this-for-sex-ex may try to clarify his or her intentions before any clothing is tossed on the floor — only to find the next morning that the partner hoping for round two has either lied about their objective or agreed to no-strings sex as a sort of relationship “bait and switch.” This never works. And if great sex was the only thing that mattered, you never would have broken up in the first place.

The last reason to avoid sex with the ex? If either of you is currently involved with someone else, sleeping with your ex is a no-no. Just because you had him first doesn’t mean you get squatters’ rights.

You Shouldn’t Have But Did Anyway? Is Atonement Possible?


All right, maybe you can save yourself from total humiliation. First, don’t spend the night. And if you do find yourself in his or her bed at daylight, don’t roll over with a smile on your face and say, “So, what are we going to do for New Years Eve?”

If you can pull it off gracefully, try to reiterate your position before you leave: remind your ex that last night was a great way to get closure on your relationship as you move forward. Separately.

There are only two reasons to ever sleep with an ex, says Lisa Earle McLeod, author of Finding Grace When You Can’t Even Find Clean Underwear ( “To remind yourself why you left them or because you just want to have sex and you’re too lazy to find someone new.”

There’s a big wide world out there. Do you really need to recycle sex partners?


Dating Expert Lisa Daily is the author of the best-selling dating advice book Stop Getting Dumped!

Lavalife About Lavalife is one of the original players in the online dating game. Committed to helping its members find fun dates and relationships, Lavalife is a prime source for online dating, dating and relationship advice.

Related Posts