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January 14, 2020
Breakups are hard, emotional, stressful, and can be a whole lot to deal with. People cope with breakups differently, and one way is considering sleeping with an ex because it can provide closure. But does having sex with an ex (or soon to be ex) help you get closure, or is it your subconscious playing tricks on you? Often, what can seem like a romantic or sentimental idea at the time can blow up in your face in ways you didn't anticipate. We spoke with a group of both men and women (separately) to see if it's a good idea or a bad idea to have closure sex.
Casual sex is a great place to start as it's synonymous with breakup sex. Realistically, we should rethink the term casual sex. If you stop for a moment to think and process what sex does to the body and mind, form a physiological standpoint, there's no way sex can be considered casual.
The fact the oxytocin a.k.a the "Love Hormone" is present during sex should be enough to prove the point. But, recent studies have found that oxytocin is tied to more than just sex or the intensity of orgasms. It's also present during new love.
Researchers found that couples in the early stages of romance had significantly higher levels of oxytocin than their unattached counterparts. This was true for same-sex couples, male or female. That's right; the love hormone is present in both males (to move along sperm) and females (to trigger labour and release breastmilk).
Oxytocin is present during sex, so if you want it or not, the love hormone will be present with both relationship or casual sex. Seems like walking a tightrope.
But people are different, and as far as we know, most people enjoy sex. So, what do you do when you're with someone, and you know it's not going anywhere, or the relationship is toxic, but the sex is good. You can fool yourself into thinking closure sex will bring things to an end. That one last time! But it's likely going to complicate things rather than resolve it. Closure means bringing something to an end. An end is a termination. Sex is an act that brings you as physically close to someone as possible, how is that going to facilitate closure?
It's hard to let go of the perks that come with a relationship, foremost sex. But if you quit your job at a company, you don't get to keep the company car or any other fringe benefits for that matter.
If you're thinking about it as petty revenge to show him/her what they will be missing out on, you're missing the mark. The majority of the men we spoke with told us they're just happy to get a last round of sex. The women said they didn't feel like they got their revenge in the end and that it didn't change anything.
If you're reading this and thinking "well I still want to do it", you're a grown-up, go for it. But here are a few things to ask yourself before you engage in closure sex.
This is a good question to ask because we often don't realise we have a pattern until we're forced to take an introspective look at ourselves. Are you engaging in breakup sex because that's what you've always done? If so, how has that worked out for you in the past?
If you can reflect on those times and honestly say they were beautiful experiences that buried the hatchet and brought you clarity, then good for you and maybe consider writing a book.
But from our discussions with both men and women on the topic, the general consensus was that it either confused one or the other involved or just prolonged the inevitable. Which, in most cases, led to an ugly ending once their paths finally split. All which could have been avoided if closure sex never happened.
When you take an honest look at your motives, it often reveals a lot. Is it because the sex is that good? Can it be that you don't want to go into a dry spell without getting some, one last time? Do you think it will change your mind about your soon-to-be-ex? The key is to ask yourself beforehand. Knowing your why will make it clear if you should or should not.
What will you get out of closure sex, besides a good dose of oxytocin (which is a pretty low bar)? Nothing for the relationship because that's over, right? Will this do anything for your overall mental health and well-being?
It might sound cliche, but your body is a gift, and so is your personality, your mind, your energy and your time. If your partner is not going to benefit from all the things you have to offer, then they shouldn't get any more of you.
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