Anyone with a long sexual history has more than likely experienced pangs of sexual regret. You know—that gnawing feeling of having done something wrong in bed and waking up with an immediate face palm. For some people, the feelings of sexual regret are easily resolved and they move on. But there are plenty people who let the shame of sexual regret haunt them forever.
Sexual Regret Defined
A recent study conducted by UCLA examined common forms of sexual regret between men and women. The interesting thing about sexual regret is men and women experience it differently. Women mostly regret their sexual actions. Whereas men regret their sexual inactions.
TOP Men’s Sexual Regret
- Not being more sexually adventurous
- Did not experiment enough
- Too shy to engage in sex
TOP Women’s Sexual Regret
- Unsafe sex
- Sex that made them feel dirty
- Cheating on partner
Romantic remorse varies from person to person. Whether it was an action or inaction, past sexual regret has the potential for impacting your sexual present and future. And because we are all creatures of habit, we love holding on to guilt and shame which then prevents us from experiencing and exploring new and exciting sexual adventures. But really, there’s no benefit to holding onto any sexual regret.
Here are ways you can heal sexual regret and let go of romantic remorse.
Forgive and Forget
We all have lapses in judgment and make mistakes, whether it’s hooking up the wrong person or saying “just stick it in my ass.” You can move past sexual regret with forgiveness and stop beating yourself up all the time.
Talk About It
Silence can be deadly, especially when it comes to our past sexual experiences. No matter your sexual regret, find someone you can trust and talk about it. Express the emotions you are feeling and allow yourself to be vulnerable. You’ll notice afterward a sense of feeling lighter and brighter.
Own Up to It
So, you let your penis or vagina overrule all logical thought processes and decided to forge ahead. Unless you have a wand which magically erases past sexual experiences, you’re basically stuck with the “what’s done is done” motto. And that’s okay! The bottom line is whatever the situation, give yourself a freakin’ break! Own it, and love yourself anyway. You can’t go back and rewrite your history.
Everything’s a Lesson
Hindsight is 20/20 and everything looks better from that perspective. I recommend taking an objective view of whatever happened and using it as a learning opportunity. You can learn a lot just by looking at your sexual regret as a teachable moment. Who knows it may end up being an important lesson too.
Journal Your Heart Out
Writing is one of the best ways of expressing yourself. A journal does not talk back nor does it judge. Taking a pen to paper can help you focus the attention on the experience. Write about how the specific sexual regret makes you feel. Go into as much detail as possible and don’t mince words. Just knowing your feelings are safely guarded on paper is enough to heal the past.
Don’t Believe The Hype
Our minds are great at playing tricks on us. In fact, memories of past sexual experiences evolve over time and can end up being much bigger or smaller than imagined. For instance, you may believe you aren’t sexually attractive enough. Examine where that belief originated from and deconstruct it. Where did you get that information? Is the information accurate? You don’t have to believe in anything other than yourself.
Don’t Should on Yourself
We are all guilty of playing the shoulda, woulda, coulda game. I shoulda let him have anal sex with me, or I coulda picked the cuter guy. Playing the shame-game over and over again does not benefit your sex life. So the next time you start saying “I shoulda, ” just remember we are all human and shit happens—even during sex.