We’re taught to stay away from the bedrooms of our exes at all costs, and are frequently reminded that nothing that goes on in there post-breakup can ever be a good thing for our mental well-being.
But new findings suggesting that “ex-sex” can, in some cases, be a good idea.
Divorced partners who have slipped up and fallen back into the marital bed report that sex with an ex can actually lessen the psychological distress caused by the break-up.
In a recent study published in the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, researchers at the University of Arizona examined a group of 137 recently divorced adults and asked how many had had the occasional post-conjugal visit after their divorce papers had been signed.
Findings found that most participants (82.5 percent) remained in contact with their ex after the separation, and almost one-fifth (21.9 percent) had sex.
Meanwhile, partners who had accepted the break-up found sex made no difference at all to how they dealt with it, indicating that “ex-sex” may not be quite as emotionally detrimental as we had previously thought, and that it can, in fact, have benefits for those who are not quite over their relationship.
Psychologists believe that break-ups can leave us with attachment needs that go unfulfilled, and that sex with an ex helps to provide some sense of security, and at least partial fulfilment of those needs.
In a separate survey, sex toy firm Lovehoney found that more women than men look back with longing on past relationships and admit to having had better sex with an ex than with their current partner.
The survey of 1 100 adults found that 38 percent of women said the best sex of their lives was in a previous relationship.
Sex and relationship expert Tracey Cox said this “grass is greener” syndrome is not new.
Cox said many women benefited from having sex with their ex because it ultimately gave them “closure” on the relationship.
She said: “Sometimes we need to go back to move forward, and revisiting the sexual side of the relationship can sometimes make us see very clearly that we’ve idealised the relationship or feel much less pain than we thought. So there’s a sense of closure that can be helpful.”
Cox, who has her own range of sex toys with Lovehoney, warned women to be wary before jumping into bed with their ex.
She said: “I still think it’s dodgy ground if there’s a lot of emotion involved.
“If a much-loved partner who has left is interested in sex with you it sends a message of hope – and that could be false hope.
“On their side it’s a trip down sexual memory lane, on your side, it’s make-up sex with a view of rekindling.
“If you’re going to do it, make sure you go into it with a clear understanding of what it means to the other person.”
In the hit movie It’s Complicated, Meryl Street and Alec Baldwin star as exes who start sleeping together years after they divorce. – Daily Mail