Should I Have Sex with My Ex?

It’s a question we’ve all thought about at one time or another: Should I have sex with my ex? I want to, but will it be confusing? Will it be great? Will I lead them on?

Sex with exes is a common fantasy as well as being hotly debated. Why? For some people, it’s the best sex they’ve ever had. For others, all it does is draw out agonizing post-break-up pain.

It’s tempting to backslide and many of us do it for all kinds of reasons. The sex is great, you miss being intimate with them, you want them to desire you, or you’re just horny and looking for a quick fix.

Whatever the reason you’re considering having sex with your ex, there are things you should take into consideration before diving in - and potentially making a mess. Here are the pros and cons of having sex with your ex.

Topless couple embracing on orange background

Considering sex with your ex? Read these pros and cons first

Pro: The sex could be great

A big reason people find themselves in an ex’s bed late at night is simply that the sex is great. This person knows your body, what you like and what gets you off. If you’re looking for casual sex, it’s the perfect scenario.

And because you’ve slept with them loads before, you don’t have to worry about someone seeing you naked or seeing your orgasm face for the first time. If the reason you’re wondering should I have sex with my ex is that you’re both craving something physical and nothing more, it could work.

Sensual couple kissing on the floor

Con: One of you could get hurt

As we know, sex produces the “love hormone” oxytocin, meaning having sex with your ex could easily bring up old romantic feelings. On top of this, few people have sex with exes without some form of ulterior motive inevitably leads to hurt feelings.

Often, someone has lingering feelings for the other, is craving closeness, and thinks sex can win them back. Even if you’re not feeling this, there’s every chance your ex might, and you’ll end up hurting their feelings unknowingly.

Pro: It can be less confusing than sleeping with someone new

If your breakup was clean and left you both knowing why you broke up and that you don’t want to get back together, sleeping with an ex can be simpler than sleeping with someone new.

You could avoid the “Where is this going?” and “How do we feel about each other?” type questions and just enjoy yourselves.

Con: You’re less likely to meet someone else

The point of breaking up is to actually break up. Your relationship didn’t work and at some point, you’ll both find someone new.

Woman with eye mask checking her phone in bed

But it’s hard to put yourself out there and flirt if you’re waking up next to your ex. If they’re meeting your physical and emotional needs, it takes away your incentive to be properly single and take risks with new people.

Pro: You could learn something

Can I have sex with my ex... years later?

Sometimes, sleeping with an ex after a longer period of time (years as opposed to weeks) has passed can give you insight into yourself and how much you’ve evolved since your relationship with them.

This can be satisfying, a treat for your ego, and a good way to realize what you want and don’t want out of a relationship.

Con: There’s a reason you aren’t together anymore

On the other hand, having sex with your ex can easily make you miss them and forget why you broke up. It can throw you into the blind excitement that comes when you first hook up with someone - and make you forget all the things you didn’t like about them.

Then comes the confusion.

Worried man sat next to partner in bed

Pro: It can be a nice way to say goodbye

Closure sex is common. It’s like one last hurrah, or getting it out of your system, and can be a lovely way to say that you still care about each other and are attracted to each other, but it didn’t work out and now it’s time to move on.

You can both move forward knowing you’ve had a proper goodbye and left things on a (very) friendly note.

Con: It’s going to be complicated

It’s likely that even if you and your ex are the healthiest communicators in the world, sleeping together will be complicated and will require difficult and emotional conversations.

At best, you’ll have to talk very frankly about your feelings, or lack thereof, for each other. At worst, you’ll have to deal with misaligned emotions and desires.

This kind of intense emotional labor wouldn’t be present with a new partner (not for a while, at least).

Woman rejecting red rose from her partner

Pro: It can give you a confidence boost

Having no strings attached passion (and orgasms) can boost your confidence and make you feel emotionally strong and sexually confident while transitioning from a relationship to singledom.

This could help you meet new people and take the edge off the post-break-up loneliness.

Con: It can seriously hinder moving on

If you’re wondering Should I have sex with my ex? this is probably the main thing to consider before sending that late-night text. If you have sex then not only are you spending time together, but you’re also being intimate.

The best way to move on from a relationship? Space! You can’t get over someone or focussing on being by yourself if you’re still giving your ex physical and mental space in your life.

Intimate couple lying down holding hands

Should I have sex with my ex? Ultimately, it’s up to you

Only you know what’s right for you. Our main advice? Be honest with yourself about your expectations and intentions.

Successful sex with exes only happens when you’re both honest with yourselves and each other from the start regarding how you feel about your shared relationship and why you want to have sex with them.

And remember: don’t text them drunk. This decision should be something you consider, not a blurry spur-of-the-moment text that you might regret the next day.