Should you have sex with your ex? For the sake of your emotional health, common sense says no.
However, according to two new studies published in the scientific journal Archives of Sexual Behavior, having sex with an ex isn’t a bad thing at all and won’t hinder the whole moving-on process...even if you're in a bad place about the breakup.*
In the first study, conducted by researchers at Wayne State University, Western University, and the University of Toronto Mississauga, 113 freshly dumped people completed an online survey where they were asked if they had physical contact with their ex (a.k.a. if they hooked up), how attached they felt to them, and how they felt emotionally at the end of the day.
The second study, also conducted by the same researchers, had 372 people explain if they had sex with their exes or at least attempted to, and if they still felt emotionally tied to them.
Both studies found that sleeping with your ex definitely does not cause more heartache, even if you hook up with them more than once, as did most of the people in the studies.
Furthermore, those who said they felt most emotionally tied to their ex lovers sought sex the most, likely because they're trying to fill the emotional painful gaping hole that was once their significant other.
But perhaps most importantly, the researchers discovered that having sex with an ex didn't make the heartbroken individuals in the study feel any worse about the breakup -- Instead, it made them feel more positive about the situation. Nice! Sex and emotional healing. A true win-win.
“This research suggests that societal handwringing regarding trying to have sex with an ex may not be warranted,” says lead author Stephanie Spielmann of Wayne State University.
“The fact that sex with an ex is found to be most eagerly pursued by those having difficulty moving on, suggests that we should perhaps instead more critically evaluate people’s motivations behind pursuing sex with an ex.”
With that said, go ahead and make her hotline bling. Booty call her right. now.
*Unless your ex is toxic. In which case don't do it. Stay far, far away.