Sex with an ex: the pros and pros

EX-SEX has a bad name. Understandably, because it’s the equivalent of swigging leftover wine from the recycling bin, but irresistible for the same reason. 

After all, in our internet age, what is an ex but a Deliveroo app of the groin? Delivering the familiar and disgusting pleasure you crave on a zero-hours contract? These are the pluses to banging the person you’re no longer banging:

PRO: You’re guaranteed to get lucky

He knows why you’ve texted. You know why you’ve texted. The modern requirement to spend a meal discussing prestige TV is waived, because you know already you don’t get on. It’s sex or nothing.

PRO: It’ll give you closure

Boom. Done. Now you definitely don’t have to sleep with him again until the next time you develop an alcohol-insisted need for closure.

PRO: It might fuck up their new relationship

Whether she’s dating, exclusive or merely considering the options, inserting your dick through the spokes of her happiness bike will mess it up. Whether you want to get back together or not that’s a bonus.

PRO: It makes it harder to move on

Which is great because you don’t want to move on. Your resentment towards your ex fuels your petty, spiteful life. If you don’t hook up again every so often she’ll disappear from your life and then what will you have to be pissed off about?

PRO: It’s easy and predictable

None of that ‘oh fuck, he’s sucking my toes’ awkwardness of a new hook-up. You can go in relaxed knowing it’ll be brief oral, a couple of positions, perhaps a quick spank for the road and you’re done.

PRO: You can get your stuff back

Remembered a few things you’re missing? Your photography books, his hoodie that looked good on you, the make-up you left in the bathroom after the previous regrettable hook-up? For the price of a few minutes’ dick-riding you can reclaim the lot, like a slutty bailiff.

PRO: You want them back

‘If you shag your ex, you’ll end up back with them.’ So what? At least the sex provides an excuse, rather that admitting you’re too emotionally vulnerable to date other people and his cheating actually suited you both.

PRO: You feel like shit without them

You may as well feel like shit with her and enjoy an orgasm while you’re at it.

PRO: It’ll give you something to talk to your mates about

It’s always Lucy who brings all the drama, isn’t it? Well, now you’ve gone down on your ex-boyfriend in the cinema, because Babylon wasn’t all that, you’ve got a story for fucking once.

PRO: Everybody does it

What makes you think you’re so special? Think if the whole of humanity jumped off a cliff you wouldn’t jump too? Of course you would. This is no exception.

PRO: It’s something to do on a dull, cold Wednesday

There’s nothing going on and it’s giving you lockdown vibes. Calling a former girlfriend who’s as bored as you are horny at least passes an evening.

PRO: It’s sex

Regretting sex is a luxury. No man says on his deathbed ‘I should never have had sex with my crazy ex all those times.’ And if it’s not as good as you remember, that means no more nights crying over how you’ll never have boobs like that in your face again.

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Pulp Fiction: is it only the best film ever if you're from the 1990s?

THE non-linear timeline and sheer coolness of Pulp Fiction inspired Generation X to become lightweight film pseuds who never got round to Truffaut or Tarkovsky. Is it even any good? 

Things happen out of order

Like your mother’s anecdotes, the events in Pulp Fiction flash back and forward in time, following characters and abandoning them, concluding where they begin. And like that your mother’s anecdotes, if it was all in the correct sequence it’d be a preposterous set of non-events.

The quotable dialogue

The ‘You know what they call a quarter-pounder with cheese in Paris?’ exchange is funny, because you don’t expect hitmen to be having a borderline-moronic chat about fast food. It’s less funny now, after a million pop-culture obsessed assassins in a million shit films.

Rapidly diminishing returns

If there’s one trick Tarantino has nailed, it’s subverting expectations. It’s never what you think: When Mia is stabbed with a hypodermic – she sits up! When a gun is emptied at Jules and Vincent at point-blank range – it misses! When Marvin gets shot in the face – you’re just sitting there going ‘Mmm, well, that was a bit unexpected’.

The unfortunate events of the pawn shop

Male rape, scary gimp, racist guy, pipe-hittin’ n-words; memorable filmic nastiness that makes Scum look like The Railway Children, but it’s hard to divine any deeper meaning. Still, there’s a happy ending: a man will be tortured to death.

Everything is ‘iconic’

Mia’s and Vincent’s dance? Iconic. Jules’s Bad Mother Fucker wallet? Iconic. Walken’s watch monologue? Iconic. Everything’s so bloody iconic you start to wish a character would just drive somewhere without cracking wise about Godzilla or whatever.

The glowing briefcase

Tarantino’s clever-clever take on a MacGuffin? Pseuds bring up numerous fan theories too, eg. it’s Marcellus’s soul. So now the film’s supernatural as well? It would be great if Tim Roth opened it and said ‘wow, fairy lights’.

What’s the point of all this?

Take away Tarantino’s pulp sensibilities and box of tricks and there’s not much left. What’s the film telling you? Crime doesn’t pay, except for Butch? Accept the blessings of the Lord when murdering for money? Always check drugs you find in a stranger’s jacket before snorting a fat line? Useful lessons.