After sex regret

Having sex can be a great part of life, but it can also make you feel super awkward, weird and uncomfortable. For some, post-sex regrets are almost as common as sex itself, so we put together a list to help you understand why it might be happening and what to do about it.

wooden dolls sleeping in bed
Oh boy. It’s happened again. I’m walking home, trying to piece together last night – and I appear to have misplaced my underwear. And dignity.

Sound familiar? We’ve all been there; left swimming in an ocean of regret after making a decision that seemed like such a fun idea at the time. How were you supposed to know that doing the deed in a port-a-loo was going to end badly, right? There are loads of different post-sex regrets, but we’ve narrowed the list down to the five most common and awkward examples to remind you that making questionable decisions is part of being human,  it’s not the end of the world, and there are ways you can stop yourself from making the same mistake again. 

Regret number one: What was their name again?

Ah yes, the famous boozy One Night Stand with what’s-her-face/what’s-his-face. One-off flings are some people’s bread and butter, but for others they’re a stupid mistake, which turn into memories of awkward fish sex that will remain seared on the brain for what feels like the rest of time. If you know already that one night stands aren’t really your cup of tea, get a mate to keep an eye on you on nights out to make sure you don’t end up going down that path. It’s also a good idea to limit your booze so you’re less likely to make decisions you’ll later regret.  

Regret number two: Where were the fireworks?

So, you had boring sex? Welcome to the club. Unfortunately, there is a common myth making the rounds that sex is going to be hot and steamy and the best thing that’s ever happened to you every single time. The truth is, it can take time to feel comfortable and secure with the sexual part of you. Not to mention the fact that getting to know what someone else likes in bed isn’t going to happen over night, so to speak. Give it time, lower your sexpectations and go into it just ready to have a bit of fun.

Regret number three: I am a big pile of guilt after I have sex. 

Everyone has their own opinion about what sex is all about; is it with a partner or with a random? In private or in public? Does oral sex count as sex? At the end of the day, you’re the only one who can set your own boundaries about what you’re okay with. Safe and consensual sex can be an exciting part of life, but it needs to be something that you’re totally comfortable with. If you’re feeling uneasy about something, jot down some of the possible reasons why, or have a chat to someone you trust about it. Check out more info to decide if you’re ready to have sex. 

Regret number four: I had sex with someone I don’t even like.

We’ve all got needs. Sometimes the mood strikes where you just feel the urge to jump into the sheets with someone – anyone. This is all well and good, so long as you’re both on the same page about it. Be upfront about what you’re feeling (or not feeling) and make sure everyone is comfortable about it before getting freaky. Alternatively, if you think you might be having sex to deal with something else that’s going on in your life, have a chat to someone that you trust about it, like a friend or counsellor. Also, check out how to build better coping strategies.

Regret number five: We didn’t practice safe sex. 

Safe sex is the sexiest kind of sex there is. Getting swept up in the moment isn’t an excuse for not using contraception – make sure you’ve got the facts, choose a form of contraception that works for you, and make sure it’s all organised in advance. Hooray – now let’s all give ourselves a clap for not getting the clap. If you’re worried about your sexual health, make an appointment at a sexual health clinic just to be safe. 

Last reviewed: 29 September, 2015
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