An ex to grind

Updated on: 08 February,2011 06:20 AM IST  | 
Priyanjali Ghose |

With Valentine's Day around the corner, it may seem like the perfect time for patch-ups. But in case you have plans to get cozy with your ex, Active! suggests you tread with caution

An ex to grind

With Valentine's Day around the corner, it may seem like the perfect time for patch-ups. But in case you have plans to get cozy with your ex, Active! suggests you tread with caution

It is a busy Monday morning and 30 year-old Meera has just reached office after fighting the bustling city traffic. She opens her mail box and her heart stops. The inbox shows a mail from Abhinav, her ex-boyfriend with whom she had a live-in relationship for five years.

But it has been two years since they parted. He married someone else and moved to another city. With questions racing through her mind, Meera opens the mail to find that Abhinav wants to meet her next week to spend some time, for old time's sake. Mixed emotions run through her head and heart as she wonders if it's only good sex that is making Abhinav want to meet her.
The return of an ex has always raised uncomfortable questions but what does one do when he or she decides to make a comeback? How safe is it? Is it only sex? What is the future of such an interaction? We bring to you all that experts and people from different walks of life have to say about the idea of sex with the ex.

A known devil is better than an unknown one
The comfort factor of sleeping with someone they know rather than with an unfamiliar person seems to drive people to their old partners with whom they once enjoyed a strong sexual chemistry. Dr Anjali Chhabria, a practicing consultant and psychiatrist, says that nowadays people are more open to the idea of establishing physical intimacy with old flames. According to her, sex with the ex is looked at as a hassle-free and no strings attached kind of arrangement.
"Having the 'been there done that' factor or having a level of comfort with someone is another important factor. People find it less threatening to have sex with an ex than to deal with the awkwardness that may arise from a new partner. Casual sex with a known person is safer than with the unknown," says Dr Chhabria.

Look before you leap
A good amount of introspection on the matter before saying yes to your ex is a good idea, feels relationship counsellor Ameeta Sanghavi Shah. Since such reconciliations may create moral and social discomfort, Shah recommends that both the partners should maintain new boundaries of keeping a distance by meeting in less intimate spaces and timings.
Admitting that often, guilt after a break up makes a partner feel obligated to give in to sexual interaction, Shah says, "Both the persons need to be clear of their intentions and the implications before taking this step and even then they need to know that such a high level of intimacy will give rise to questions and confusions."

Sailing on two different boats
Being intimate with your ex can lead to emotional and social complications. Either the two individuals have a great sex life leaving aside their emotions or it complicates things between them. Experts say that people in such a relationship should know and accept that sex in this situation does not always mean love and often does not end in a reunion. Moreover, people can also run the risk of losing their current partner and face emotional turmoil while juggling both situations.
Dr YA Matcheswalla, Honorary Professor at Grant Medical Collegeu00a0u00a0u00a0 and Consultant Psychiatrist believes that such interactions often lead to guilt trips and says, "Getting into a parallel relationship, howsoever much we know the other, has to be done discretely. One needs to be ready to face the after-effects including losing a stable relationship, involvement of children, social stigma and the loss of self worth and esteem."

Remember the 3R's
According to Dr Prakash Kothari, sexologist and founder and Advisor of World Association for Sexology, however, there should be no boundaries in sex and love. The three Rs should involve right to indulge in sex with whomever, whenever and wherever, responsibilities towards all kinds of consequences including unwanted pregnancy and respect for self, the partner and the relationship.
Dr Kothari says that the success rate of this kind of relationships depends on the mindset of the people involved. Although he agrees that sexual interaction with an old partner is easier and more comfortable since you are used to each other's responses and preferences, he advises people to go for it if only it relaxes them.
"In our country, this affects emotional and mental health of both men and women resulting in anxiety, depression and so on. Also most of the times men give love to get sex while women give sex to get love," says Kothari while stressing that reactions after such an encounter is not
gender- specific.

The Sex With Ex rulebook
*u00a0Ask yourself why you want to be in such a position.
* Stick to the decision of a break up and that means keeping the distance
* Accept that you cannot be the comfort giver and helper to the other any longer
* It is the responsibility of both to now get their needs both psychological and physical met elsewhere and you
u00a0u00a0 can say 'no' to requests for any of these without any guilt
* Refer them to a counsellor or other friends if they are too distraught or missing you too much but avoid the
u00a0u00a0 temptation to be the healer
* Do recognise that sex is a higher level of intimacy and will have different consequences than having a chat
u00a0u00a0 and so cannot be equated with the same level of casualness in expressing friendship
* Don't continue to frequently chat with your ex on intimate personal topics
* Do not succumb to emotional blackmail
* Don't get intimate with an ex unless you have sorted out what their intention is and what yours is
* Do not get clingy with your ex. If you find yourself doing so, stop right there and re-evaluate the situation

These celebs did it too.

An audio clip was released where Mel Gibson was heard demanding oral sex from Oksana Grigorieva, his
ex-girlfriend and mother of his eight year-old daughter. He even abused her and threatened to burn her house if she refused.

Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgen, the famous duo from the hit series High School Musical broke up in December 2010 on mutual consent after a torrid affair of two years. But onlookers at Eden Night club recently spotted the two all over each other.

Tara Reid, the America actress got engaged to entrepreneur Michael Axtmann in 2010. But within months she called off the engagement. However, months later Reid was seen sitting on the lap of her ex as they enjoyed drinks together.

The ex files: To sleep or not?
"Such a relationship would only be physical and lead to nothing. If a relationship did not give you what you were looking for, look ahead and find what you wanted instead of looking back. Get a life as there are plenty more fish in the sea."
Palash Sen, lead vocalist and founder of Euphoria

"History is a comforting thing as no one knows you better than your ex-partner. But if such a relationship tires you down, it is not an option."
Priyanka Bose, actress

"Having sex with your ex is fine till you are not emotionally attached with them. It definitely affects the mental and emotional health of both the parties for a while. Some fall in love all over again and some just repent."
Ritwik Chakraborty Assistant Manager at a film marketing company

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