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When to Say “Next” to an Ex: Is Breakup Sex Worth It?

Breakup sex can be a blessing of sexual and emotional healing or a curse in disguise. What happens when you hook up with an ex after saying goodbye?
Editorial team
June 3, 2024
June 22, 2024
min. read
Table of Contents

You know how, sometimes, no matter how full you are after a huge meal, you still say yes to dessert? You know you shouldn’t — whether it’s because you’re so stuffed or about to get stuffed, but …

One little bite of cake turns into a whole huge slice, and the next thing you know, you’re flat on your back, unbuttoning your pants and wondering where, oh where, you lost whatever was left of your self-control. 

Essentially, that’s breakup sex: a meal that you know needs to be over and done with, but you can’t help from going back for one more itsy-bitsy bite (or, in some cases, a few more). 

Listen, we get it. Breakup sex can be fun. And hooking up with an ex isn’t often just a good time — it’s actually pretty common. Studies show about 27% of people admit to sleeping with their former boo after deciding to call it quits. And understandably so. It’s easy. It’s familiar. It’s strangely bittersweet. But is goodbye sex actually … OK?

The benefits of breakup sex

People tend to be pretty prescriptive, and for many, sex with an ex is a bad thing — for several reasons. He screwed you over. You always deserved better. You’re supposed to be moving on. How desperate are you? And so on and so forth.

But … is this supposed “forbidden fruit” actually one of life’s tastiest treats? 

A one-night stand or booty call with someone you’ve just broken up with might seem like a terrible idea, but a few good things can come from it. That is, as long as you’re not dreaming about getting back together the entire time you’re on your back or mounted over his.

Here’s why:

It can bring closure and help you move on

Intimacy, whether physical or emotional, is a powerful, valid way to connect with someone. While sex with someone new can be exciting, sex with someone you know and trust can be toe-curling, too. And because of that, it can be even harder to let go. We rarely know when a sexual encounter with someone will be the last, so going back for one final fuck can be a sweet way to say goodbye. 

It helps you remember the good times

Maybe your ex is a demonic dickhole from hell who should be sentenced to an eternity of bad skin and horrible sex. If so, we totally believe you, and we’re absolutely on your side. However, chances are he really isn’t all that bad. One last shot in the sack might help you remember that, even if things ended on a low note, there was good stuff there, too — even if it was just the sex (which, in that case, it’s all the more reason to go back for one last romp). 

It can ease the tension

Breaking up is hard. That’s why so many people are so bad at it. It can be stressful and uncomfortable, which is why, sometimes, a little bit of goodbye sex is just what you need to burst that big, tense bubble. We all know good sex is a great way to release pent-up energy and emotions, and when done right, one final fuck can blow off some steam (among other things) like no other. 


Other reasons why we have breakup sex

Besides all those perks, there are plenty of other reasons why people backtrack in the book of love, including:

It feels good

News flash: Fucking is fun! Despite any drama surrounding the breakup, if you’ve already established that you have sexual chemistry with someone, wanting to sleep with them one last time makes sense. Sex with an ex might even be more convenient (and more pleasurable) than a booty call or one-night stand. 

It fills a void

Breakups leave holes, both emotional and physical, that your heart and head naturally want to be filled, and an ex often knows exactly what to do with all your holes to make you feel good. Sex with someone new can be exciting beyond words, especially after a breakup. But just like that old pair of underwear or T-shirt you just can’t manage to throw away, sometimes newness can’t compete with the comfort of something (or someone) you know — and know well. 

You want to get back together

You didn’t think we’d talk about goodbye sex without covering the obvious, did you? Listen, we’re all for you having sex wherever, whenever, and with whomever you want. Even if that’s your ex. So, we can’t pretend that when your ex wants to fuck you, or vice versa, it isn’t possibly because they want you back (or vice versa). Wondering if something is still there and if goodbye sex could be the spark that ignites it is totally fine. Just make sure you’re being honest with yourself about it. 

The downside of breakup sex

Breakup sex can be thrilling, but it’s not all rainbows and sunshine. Relationships are special; when they end, it’s understandably tough, to put it lightly. Breakup sex might feel exciting when you’re in the moment, but it’s not always necessarily in your best interest. Here’s why: 

It can get your hopes up

If you find yourself asking if you should have sex with your ex, chances are you’ve also wondered if sleeping together might lead to getting back together. You’re not crazy for thinking it or even wanting it, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. Sometimes, the physical and emotional separation is precisely what you need to move on, and sleeping together can give you false hope that it’s not over yet. 

It stops you from moving on

Getting over someone you’ve dated is no small feat. Wanting to sleep together and hold each other again is only natural, but all that contact, even if it’s just fucking, might not leave you with the physical and emotional space you need to move on. 

It prolongs the healing process 

You know how, when a new song comes out, you sometimes need to listen to it over and over and over again until you like it? But if you only hear it a couple of times, you start to forget about it? The same thing goes for breakups. Breakup sex is like putting your ex on repeat, and for you to move on and heal, you have to stop sometimes listening to the song altogether until you forget about why you liked it in the first place. 

Break holes, not hearts

When it comes to breakup sex, only you know what’s right for you and what you can or can’t handle. Your decision to indulge in goodbye sex is all yours (as it is his), and no matter what you decide, it doesn’t mean you’re not ready to move on. 

If you are ready to give him the official heave-ho from your head and heart, you’ll find plenty of guys to help you do just that on Grindr. Download the Grindr app and get started!

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