What is sex regret?
Sex regret is when you regret having consensual sex with an individual (or a group) for various reasons:
It was unprotected
I slept with an ex
The sex wasn’t great
They want a relationship and I don’t
I don’t like one night stands
Sex regret is not sexual assault
Sex regret is simply sex you did not enjoy for some reason
Sexual assault should be reported to the authorities and investigated so you can get the help and support that you need
Is sex regret after a one night stand normal?
A vast majority of women regret having sex that doesn’t lead to a relationship
In a 2010 study, female freshman at a US university regretted hookup sex twice as much than romantic sex
In a separate 2012 study surveying both male and female university students, 78% of women regretted one night stands versus 72% of men
In this study, the men’s regrets were more closely tied to physical attributes, and the women’s regrets were more tied to emotional attributes
However, in cases where the quality of sex was reported as being high, there was almost no regret
Drug and alcohol use, as well as poor-quality sex, were tied to regret for both men and women surveyed
In an additional, larger scope study, it was determined that women are more likely to regret casual hookups as opposed to men, who regret not having casual hookups.
61% report minimal regret
23% report no regret
13% report some regret
3% report many regrets
Many of the studies point to both men and women having more regret over being sexually satisfied
The fact that one night stands tend to have more regrets than romantic sex should not come as a surprise
Romantic partners tend to know how to please one another and they have moved past the initial awkwardness
One night stands come with a plethora of unknowns:
Bad, awful, terrible sex
The more you hook up, the more likely you are to have sex with someone who you regret hooking up with the morning after
Human activities come with that sort of regret, and when we seek and crave novelty we invite regret as we discover that the experiences that we desired and sought after do not always meet up with our expectations
That being said, hooking up is not shameful nor should it be discouraged if done ethically (within relationship terms, etc…)
We discuss Hookup App Etiquette in an earlier episode here: https://www.feralattraction.com/podcasts/fa031
A good resource to see and learn more about other people’s casual sex experiences is http://casualsexproject.com/
How to move past sex regret
Decide whether or not if this is a person you’ll see again
If this is the case you might put the sex up to experience and learn from it rather than judge yourself harshly
If this is a person you’ll see again
Remember it is your choice who you have relationships with, and sex does not a relationship make. Be firm and up front about your feelings
If this is a friend, coworker, or casual acquaintance, and you decide you do not want to repeat the experience, explain that clearly so there is no misinterpretation
Take care of yourself
Showering can help you shake off feelings of grossness and it can relax you and calm some anxiety you might be feeling
It’s okay to cry, but it’s not best when you linger. Mistakes and regrets can frame excellent teaching/learning moments, but if you linger for too long it can cause you to beat yourself up which is not healthy at all
Don’t feel you need to talk to anyone/everyone about your experience. Share as you see fit, not as you think you should be expected to
If you are concerned about STIs, schedule a visit to your local clinic, GP, or Planned Parenthood to get a screening
On the fictiophilia question from last week:
I realize that what I wrote could have easily been misconstrued, so that's on me. Though it might seem like I am trying to fix her problem, I am not. I'm letting her deal with it on her own, I know to do that much. As for it being a lie, we met online when she was reaching out to people for help with her fictophillia (frustrated with lack of sleep and slipping grades). Knowing it wouldn't be a good idea to get too involved, I gave her the equivalent of a pat on the back and we became friends. It was foolish of me to fall in love with her when I knew it could not be. Also, it was maybe just wishful thinking on my part when I said we could be happy together, when I knew full well there was no real way of telling.
Knowing this, I will take your advice and move on.
Subject: Cheated on
Question / Message / Feedback: So I just discovered that my boyfriend of 5 years has been cheating on me, or I should say cheating WITH me because I appear to be the 3rd of at least 4 others he calls his bf. I've never been tricked for so long in my life I don't know what, when, or why. He doesn't know I know yet and I don't even know how to confront this.
Next week’s topic: Lifestyling
Ms. Hyde Plug
I'm participating in a "Streak for Tigers" around London Zoo on the 10th of August. If you'd like to know how to support me running around the zoo naked and fundraising to protect tigers in the wild, then you can find details @HanacondaSparks on Twitter.
My fundraising page is: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/hanaconda
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