An article in The Daily Mail a few months back told of a couple who’d been married in 1954, divorced a few years later after a bitter row and got married again in 2004 after a 50 year separation.

The wife, now 90, said, ‘it was wonderful seeing him again, we gelled straight away like we had never been apart.�?

Isn’t that the cutest story you ever heard?

Of course if they hadn’t had that stupid row in the first place, they might have spent those fifty years together. (Cynical? Me?)

It’s a sex with an ex story with a happy ending. Ah, what’s rare is beautiful.

More often than not sex with an ex is tricky territory.

The infamous Samantha Jones of Sex and The City says the occasion is fraught because if, “it’s good you can never have it again and if it’s bad, you just had sex with an ex.’

Perhaps fifty years is the time it takes to forget what pissed you off about an ex in the first place and therefore seriously consider giving the relationship another go. In which case, it’s probably just as well that most of us don’t make it to 90.

The implications of sex with an ex are typically the following: it’s a one-off, never to be repeated, a sneaky dip into the past, a salacious reminder of what never was.

Despite these constraints, there is something tender and delicious at the prospect of sex with an ex. There’s that unique familiarity, haunting allure, hidden potential and shared history. It’s the shared history that makes the whole thing rife with danger.

As it is, sex for the single girl can be tricky. Sure there is always the option to pick up a random dick. For me, the shallowness of that activity had lost its allure before I hit thirty.

That said a girl has needs. Enter the ex boyfriend.

Firstly, the sex is not explicitly hollow as there was once love there. More importantly, you can be quite confident that you know what the sex will be like having indulged in it with him many times before.




Enter the catch. Once done, it can either remind you why the relationship ended in the first place or it can leaving you wanting more.

Either way, sex with an ex brings up memories from the past and leaves you wondering about the whole relationship matrix.

There must be something in the air because in the last six months, I’ve tangoed in the bedroom with two different exes. While one experience left me broken-hearted, the other led me to see that ex in a new forgiving light.

This is not familiar territory for me. I am not in contact with any exes from my Twenties. Not so the Thirties boys. In fact one of my exes is one of my best friends. Is this maturity?

When you can be good friends with an ex, it’s great. Again what’s rare is beautiful. But this only works when there is no lingering hint of sexual attraction.

In the same way that it’s never works to use friends for sex, boundaries have to be drawn with the exes.

Although my two occasions were very different experiences, both shared a distinct feature. In stark contradiction to the previous connection I shared with these guys, suddenly it was all about the sex. And nothing else.

Having once imagined a future with him, then dealt with and accepted the demise of that future, it was weird to be intimate and expect nothing at all.

Ironically, both of them would have been happier and the relationships would probably have lasted if I’d had that attitude when we were together. Life? There’s no justice?

I’m just not made that way. I have no interest in no strings sex. The strings are what make it interesting. As a result I felt like I was using them. Something that had once felt sacred between us had shifted. Despite the intimate history, we were suddenly sexual strangers.

Sex with an actual stranger is about the moment – in fact it can’t be about anything else because that moment is perhaps all you know or will ever know about that person.

Sex with an ex is all about all the moments that went before and might come after. How can it be anything else? In order for it to be just about the moment, you’d either have to have no feelings or no memories.

I suppose it comes down to attitude. If you are doing it on the basis that it might rekindle old feelings, make that clear before the action starts. If it’s just for fun, with no expectations, well then it can be anything you want it to be.

Ultimately sex with an ex is disappointing because it will not be the way you remember it and the only thing it will remind you of is what never was.

So while sex with someone new has all the tantalizing possibilities of the unknown … sex with an ex, it’s going nowhere but the boner graveyard.