Ex sex is like getting drunk. It all seems to be a grand idea while you’re knocking back the shots of good times but the emotional hangover the next day makes one wonder if it wouldn’t have been better to curl up in bed alone with a cup of rooibos tea.
That's why there's a rule against ex sex.
Of the few pages that remain in my personal Rulebook of Love – among them ‘Thou Shalt Not Date Someone Who Wears Crocs’ and ‘Thou Shalt Not Date A Person Who Abuses You’ – there is the ‘Don’t ever, ever, ever, EVER give in to ex sex. Ever.’ Golden Rule rule.
It is a good rule and quite safe and is a rule I stand by and support 100%. I also tend to break it every so often.
After almost four months, Mr Hardman and I slept together again.
Like that first tequila, it seemed ok at the time. Like the most very natural, manageable thing in world. In fact, I was so sure it was a good thing, that when I swanned into the local a day or so after to commence an evening of frivolity with Lady Lou I told her as much.
She took one look at me and in that crazy sexy drawl of hers said, ‘Oh darling, NOT clever. Not very clever at all.’ Accompanied by furrowing of brow by Lou, I performed my ‘Why It Was a Good Thing’ speech.
No, but really, REALLY it was the BEST thing, I said. It’s like it brought everything Full Circle you know. (No, she said.) No, but really, I said, it really DID something for us, I mean ME (Yeah, fucked your heart’s slow return from emo hell TOTALLY up). We’re just on a WHOLE new level you know (it's called Limbo, my dear). I don’t really know what’s going on or what’s going to happen (nothing and, uh, NOTHING) but this all feels pretty good (so does heroin just before you OD, my love).
I finished my speech and she ordered another round.
It took exactly four days for me to realise that, in fact, Lou was probably, maybe, possibly a wee bit right. My hangovers are pitifully delayed.
I started waiting for him to call again. I started checking my mail again. I felt incredibly disappointed when he didn’t make every effort to spend every moment of the day with me. Where was the declaration of eternal devotion? Where the rom-com reunion of lovers goddammit? Where was the blood!?
I started dialoguing again. I was in a relationship of one. It seemed unfortunate given how convinced I was that the topic of 'Us' was done and dusted.
But sadly, it’s naïve to believe that sex is only ever just about sex. Especially if you share a history with the person you're in bed with. And especially if you haven’t slept with anyone else in the interim.
I’ve had countless friends dish out the ‘the way to get over someone is to get under someone else’ shpiel. But it’s not something I’m really good at when I'm feeling all emo. Like a new friend, Red, said to me the other day: ‘My genitals are attached my heart.'
I guess mine are to. So it takes me a while to really enjoy a new lover.
That’s not to say I’ve never had great ex sex. I dated a boy many years ago who turned out to be a far better lover when we’d broken it off. After declaring unconditional friendship we’d hook up for a weekly joint and shag. It was awesome. There was zero expectation. But there was also zero love lost.
Maybe it’s the perceived lack of emotional responsibility buoyed by obvious physical attraction that makes ex sex seem ok at the time. I don’t know. What I do know is that, unlike many other rules that I’ve tested and have had to throw out, I reckon this one might stick.
One gets over hangovers disturbingly quickly. I’ll see Mr Hardman again. Even though its complicating the matter of new boys. And totally screwing with the boundaries of what we are exactly. We seem to be following a 'don't ask, don't tell' policy on that one.
It might not be rooibos tea, but hey, a tequila every now and then never hurt anyone right? Right?
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What are your thoughts on ex sex? Is it ever okay, have you done it?