Monday, May 9, 2011

Sleeping With the Enemy


It's 3 am on a Saturday night and you didn’t find love in a dark corner of the bar. It’s 2 pm on a Sunday and you’re bored. It's 7 pm on a Tuesday and your latest relationship has fallen apart. Maybe you’ve been single so long and just need to feel the weight of another person’s body on top of yours. Maybe you are dating someone new, but aren’t ready to take it to the next level. No matter the day, time or situation, sex with an ex is never a good idea.

You never know when the urge will strike, but for some it always unavoidably does. One lonely Friday evening, for no apparent reason at all, you’ll find yourself anxiously waiting by your phone after sending the ever elusive “what are you doing?” text to your ex.

Never mind the fact that just two months ago you asked this same person to stay out of your life for good. That the break up was hard. That feelings were hurt and mean words were spoken. All of that emotional baggage goes out the window for the few minutes or hours that it takes for your ex to arrive, timid as they walk back into your life, and your bedroom.

The conversation is awkward at first. Two parties who have spent a significant amount of time apart, coming back together for supposedly one night only. Do you lead them straight into your bedroom, as your libido so desperately wants to? Or do you do the “lets watch a movie” routine so that the sex doesn’t feel quite so cheapened? Why does watching the first twenty minutes of Mr. and Mrs. Smith even make you feel less dirty?

What do you talk about? Months apart can feel like a lifetime. What have they been up to? How’s that new job going? Small talk ensues that is not at all reflective of the relationship you shared. You know this person’s first dog’s name, their favorite morning cereal and their work schedule by heart, yet the conversation is reminiscent of two strangers sitting on a bench.

“Yea, this weather has been so depressing. So much rain,” you say.

Eventually both parties give up trying to pretend. All the words have been said or screamed. Months ago. Instead, you simply ask if they want to lay down on the couch. And you do. High School all over again. Knots in your stomach as their hand grazes your body. Then it happens, that commencing kiss and it’s all downhill from there. Any and all hatred for this person is masked by fleeting passion and you forget how much you used to hate the way they bit your lower lip when you kissed.

Regardless of whether you stay on the couch or somehow wander to your bedroom, penetration occurs. And it’s exactly what you wanted, needed, just an hour ago when you sent that text. The awkwardness of your ex’s arrival is gone and it’s just like old times again. There is no timidness as there might be if sleeping with a new boyfriend for the first time, or worse, a one nighter. The sex is exactly as it was before. And if it’s not, you will wonder where they learned that new move and who they have been sleeping with that actually enjoys their fresh talent, or lack thereof.

Then it’s over, just as fast as it all began. An array of questions begins to cloud your mind. How long do I have to lay here and cuddle? Do they think they are spending the night? Is it inappropriate to kick them out now? Do they still love me? Do I still love them?

Sometimes you voice those questions and sometimes you let them linger in your mind for days after your tryst. But it never ends there. Both parties will agree that the other night was great and that maybe they can continue having a random rendezvous for as long as both parties need each other, for as long as both parties are single or for as long as both parties continue not caring that they’re cheating on their new significant others.

But in reality, both parties are not just sleeping with an ex. They’re sleeping with the enemy and forgetting all the reasons they didn't make it as a couple. Old problems and issues are still prevalent and while it may seem like a good idea every now and again, too many of these trysts dilute the new relationships they could have or do already have.

The arrangment falls apart again. One party meets someone new and one party gets jealous. There will be a second break up reminiscent of the first. One will be accused of using the other. But that’s what you signed up for, right?

You’ll tell them you never want to see them again. That is until 3 months later, when a new relationship doesn’t work out and the whole cycle will repeat. It’s just sex you reason, and it’s better than none at all. But, sex with an ex is never just sex. In the end, just buy a vibrator. Because if you’re fucking your ex, you’re only fucking yourself.