Sex with an ex is a really bad idea. Whoever came up with the concept of “breakup sex” was either a pathetic masochist or just lazy. Breakup sex isn’t just “one more for the road.” It’s being given a delicious cupcake, then having it slapped out of your mouth. Breakup sex is a fluffy, comfy pillow for you to rest your head on while your neck is in the guillotine. I don’t think you understand me.
Let me rephrase: breakup sex is like getting viciously mugged, then running after the assailant because he forgot to take your watch. I imagine vampires always have breakup sex, because sex with a vampire is always melancholy, awkward, and then there are the tears of blood.
Breaking up is a process that is best served cold, like vengeance or canapés. And having one final, post-heartbreak romp just muddies a procedure that should be brief and brutal. I learned a lot about breaking up from watching the romantic epic “Titanic.” Once that legendary ocean liner started sinking into the drink, there were three choices: get off the boat, stay on the boat, or pause to listen to the string quartet play on the deck while all hell breaks loose.
The healthiest way to break up is to abandon ship as quickly as possible. But some people can’t let go, and end up going down with the ship. And then there are those people who stopped to enjoy the pleasant musical distraction. Get off the damn boat. Don’t dawdle. And don’t bang it out with someone who went all Deepwater Horizon on your heart. If you did the dumping, remember that pity is just cruelty with a Cheshire Cat’s smile. Nobody benefits emotionally from a climactic naked swan song. It’s a lame tango of wounded ego and vain lust. And in my experience, breakup sex isn’t even that great. It’s like eating leftovers or being haunted by The Ghost of Porking Past.
But I’m militant about breakup protocol, especially since I have hung on to relationships like one of those stuffed animals with suction cup paws that hang off the insides of car windows. Much like amputation, swift chops are preferable to tiny snips.
Scientists claim that time isn’t linear, that humans just perceive it that way, that the past, the present, and the future all happen at the same time. Which means, right now, I’m sitting on a dorm bed kissing my first girlfriend. I’m also watching another girlfriend unwrap the Greatest Christmas Gift Any Boyfriend Has Ever Purchased. And I’m begging yet another girlfriend for one more chance, my outreached fingers shaking with regret. All of those moments, and so many more, hang in my heart like crystals dangling off a grand chandelier. The past doesn’t end. The past is abandoned. I find it impossible to reverse engineer the alchemy of my past relationships. I can’t turn gold back into lead. An ex will always be an ex — someone more than friend and different from a lover. I hope they are all happy, that they know I’m sorry for being a jackass and that I forgive them for spit-roasting my heart.
When I break up, it’s over. Get off the boat. Every minute spent naked with an ex is a minute you could be naked with someone who isn’t a reminder of spectacular failure. If you need to get laid, masturbate. Masturbation is evolution’s way of apologizing for entropy. Been done wrong? Chug protein slurry. Jog like you’re being chased by demon swine. Get your gorgeous on. The best revenge is forgetting that you once craved revenge. Horny? Get laid using the time-honored, old-fashioned formula: booze plus eye contact minus drooling desperation divided by a party equal sex.
“But John, what if I still love my ex?” Well, it’s a gamble, but the best way to ensure makeup sex is first eschewing breakup sex.
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