HOT SEX y— with our ex

Should you go there?

CLEO (Malaysia) - - FRONT PAGE -

The sheets feel com­fort­ingly fa­mil­iar and, oh look, he still hasn’t fixed that crack in the ceil­ing. You squeeze in closer, in­hal­ing his fa­mil­iar smell (wait, is that a new sham­poo?) then yes, yes, there it is – your guar­an­teed or­gasm. An ex can be a pleas­ant, umm… filler un­til some­thing – or some­one – bet­ter comes along. Like a sex drive-thru, if you will. “I’ll have the usual, please, with a side of fore­play. And let’s up­size the or­gasms.” Af­ter­wards, you pick up your emo­tional bag­gage from where you left it out­side the bed­room door last night (along with your coat and shoes) and carry on with life. Ah, the per­fect ex-sex fan­tasy.

The prob­lem is it rarely goes down that beau­ti­fully. Char­lotte, a 29-year-old fash­ion stylist, went back to her ex again and again… and again. “I went back to the same ex for FIVE years. Ev­ery time I bumped into him, we would end up in bed. Look­ing back, I’m not proud, but I was be­sot­ted. He would have been kinder to let me go and get over him but in­stead it pro­longed the heart­break.”

When An Ex Texts

The en­tic­ing ping of a booty-call text from an ex can elicit a fraught bat­tle of head ver­sus heart. Or mind over muff, if you pre­fer. You know you shouldn’t, but he does this re­ally great thing with his tongue… Do you A) ig­nore the text and block him; B) send a flirty-but-firm ‘No, thanks’; or C) re­ply with a cheeky sext?

Yvonne K Ful­bright, psy­chol­o­gist and au­thor of Sex with Your Ex: And 69 Other Things You Should Never Do Again… Plus a Few You Should, says you should go with A. And yet, so many have opted for some vari­a­tion of op­tion C. Sure, for some, it’s noth­ing more than a harm­less bit of fun while on the look­out for a new part­ner. But there are plenty of us out there who hope that get­ting it on with the ex will reignite a past re­la­tion­ship. And we can all guess how of­ten that works out. “A lot of women think they can have no-strings sex but end up emo­tion­ally in­vested,” Ful­bright ex­plains.

A Chem­i­cal Risk

So why is it that while some women can com­part­men­talise their emo­tions when it comes to sex, many can’t? Well, it seems to come down to biology. This may be in part be­cause dopamine – a

“A lot of women think they can have no-strings sex but end up in­vested.”

chem­i­cal in the brain that’s in­volved in ex­pe­ri­enc­ing plea­sure – drops off dras­ti­cally af­ter or­gasm in men, but lingers longer in women. Another chem­i­cal, oxy­tocin, is also re­leased dur­ing sex, and this one cre­ates a bond that could leave you feel­ing at­tached to your old flame.

But it’s not al­ways the guy who sees it as sex-and-noth­ing-more. “I in­vited my ex to my 21st be­cause we’d re­mained friends,” con­fesses 25-yearold trainee lawyer Sara. “At the end of the night, I fig­ured I ought to have sex with him for old times’ sake. Trou­ble was, he as­sumed it meant we were back to­gether. I had to dump him all over again a few weeks later.”

All In The Tim­ing

As a gen­eral rule, ‘Sex With An Ex’ should be filed with ‘Sex With A Mar­ried Dude’ and ‘Sex With Your Best Mate’s Boy’ un­der ‘Things Not To Do’. As Ful­bright says, “If one of you still has feel­ings, it will al­ways lead to heart­break. One of you will even­tu­ally move on and no­body wants to be the one who gets re­jected.” How­ever, there is an ex­cep­tion to ev­ery rule, and ex sex doesn’t have to lead to emo­tional car­nage. “My ex, Stuart, popped up ran­domly on my Face­book feed eight years af­ter we’d split,” says 29-year-old so­cial me­dia man­ager Karen. “We hooked up, re­alised we’d both grown up and guess what? We still fan­cied the pants off each other. Now we’re get­ting mar­ried next year!” But can it re­ally be that easy? “Tim­ing is key,” ex­plains Ful­bright. “As long as the rea­sons you split in the first place are dealt with, re­vis­it­ing an ex can work. There is such a thing as ‘right per­son, wrong time.’” So if you’re cur­rently ag­o­nis­ing over whether to go back for a re­play, you’ve got to be real with your­self. If you only split three weeks ago and your best mate had to ham­mer down your door, wash the melted choco­late from your hair, and force you blink­ingly into the world just to get you out of the house, you might not be over him – and a shag­for-fun may just send you back into the Cad­bury hole. But if you’re tick­ing along quite nicely, thanks very much, and just bored on a Fri­day night then, frankly, you’re go­ing to do it any­way. And why not? YOLO and all that.

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