Between the Sheets

Rock you like a hurricane

By Viv Steele, Sexual Climatologist

Early last week, Hurricane Sandy was sweeping over the Atlantic, devastating eastern states and provinces and laying waste to developing nations like Haiti and Cuba. When Sandy touched down in New York City, I was busy touching down on my own personal weather systems. Specifically, the very special hurricane that takes place inside when one engages in my favourite kind of sex: sex with an ex.

When you breakup with someone, like I did about a month ago, there’s very little warning. You might have been thinking about it, but you might not be exactly sure when it’s going to happen. You can’t know if this movie you’re watching cuddled up on the couch will be your last; you can’t know if this is the last time you’ll fall asleep next to each other. Whatever catalyst spurs you to end things (or makes your partner want to call it off with you) will hit you on your weak side when you’re not expecting it, like a foul ball or an intense, ocean-born tropical storm.

That’s the tragic thing about breakups, and also what makes it so tempting to double-dip. It’s also why ex sex can be so passionate. You’re making up for lost time. Now you know this could be the last time, and you want to do it on your own terms. You know your ex’s body like a well-worn map and you’re just itching to explore all those side-trails again. The sex that results from banging your former lover is usually an athletic affair; you touch on everything that used to make you tick, you try to hit up every sexual position you used to like, leaving no doggy unstyled and no missionary left behind. It’s a hot, sweaty mess, but it’s the devil’s candy.

For a self-proclaimed emotional junkie like me, the flash flood of feelings that surges forth after a fraught liaison can be a positive thing. I’m not saying that’s an emotionally healthy way to be, but there’s something good to be said about visceral emotions. The key to keeping your psyche safe in navigating the treacherous waters of sex-with-an-ex is an awareness of your emotional needs, and the communications skills required to be honest about those needs.

If you feel like you’re being pressured into having sex with your ex and it’ll be too difficult for you: don’t do it! If you feel like your ex still has strong feelings for you and is trying to spark a relationship reboot: don’t do it! Be very clear about what the score is and where you both stand, in regards to your previous breakup, as well as this exciting new chapter in your lives. If you both have an itch that needs to be scratched and you feel ready to do so, I see no reason not to. So board up the windows, stock up on supplies, and wait out the hurricane together.