Why men & women have different sexual regrets

Man with his head buried in his hands while a woman sitting in bed in the background gives a thumbs down sign

In a utopian world none of us would regret our informed consensual sexual encounters. But as much as I hate to admit it, there are differences between men and women's sexuality and research shows that sexual regret is one of these areas. 

I used to think that these differences were all caused by socialisation and that they would all change over time. However, the reality is that yes, societal expectations shape a lot of how we act and things are changing, slowly, but hormones and evolution play a role too. Society is at least beginning to be more accepting of the fact that there are many individual differences.  We now know that gender is not as binary as was once thought. But for the sake of today's discussion, you will have to accept that the research papers available are mainly dealing with cis-gendered and heterosexual relationships and as such I will confine my observations and commentary to the same. 

I and these papers are also not talking about the other outliers, many of whom form part of the sex-positive community. You already know that we are not necessarily like the majority of people. I know, I sometimes forget too, and it is only when I am expounding on the need to normalise diverse labia to realise the rest of the room is silent, and my mother in law's face is bright pink that I have overstepped the boundaries of "polite conversation' once again. At least I don't get called boring by the cousins.

My point is if you are reading this article and saying "Rubbish, I do not have regrets about any of the casual sex I have' or 'What tosh as if I would ever regret passing up an opportunity for casual sex with someone I had no respect or liking for' then you are an outlier.

Most women's biggest regret sexually is casual sex.

Most men's biggest regret is passing up the opportunity for casual sex.

However, women are still having casual sex. So my theory is that the regret comes the next day because the sex was a bit shit or the guy acts like a big shit. 

One of the papers refers to the fact that because it is a one night stand that the men are less likely to make an effort so while it is sexually gratifying for them, it may not be for the woman. So while he is getting off, he might not make sure that the woman does and therefore she would regret the sex. Another thought is that men who are quick to take up one night stands and never do repeat performances may never get any feedback and then not learn anything new.

So if no one is regretting having sex with you, maybe you really are an excellent root.

One thing that used to shit me in the land of the one night stand is that even if you were both okay with it being just that, a one night stand, men would still do a panicked runner and never be heard from again. If the sex was good, if you enjoyed yourself, why not say thank you?

And one of the studies found just that, women were disappointed when there was no text, just to acknowledge what happened, they want a thank you or some validation that they were liked and were more than just an alternative to a wank. It doesn't mean they want a relationship, just not to feel like a crusty sock in the laundry you still make your mum do. 

It doesn't have to mean wanting to see someone again, but a polite thank you for last night would help make those women who are maybe slipping into regret feel less regretful if they felt appreciated. Christ, you say thank you to the assistant who sells you your doughnut could you manage a quick thank you text to someone you stuck your dick in? Seriously don't be so panicked that if you say thank you, she is going to expect a wedding and children from you. You really aren't so amazing in the sack that she is now in love and willing to give up her job and make you the purpose of her life from now on.

And as for the men regretting action you didn't take, I have some questions. Are you sure? Are you perhaps imagining that you had a chance? And if you were too busy/tired/drunk, why not take a rain check? If she was interested once why would she not be interested another time? Although be aware women are more likely to agree to one night stands at certain times of the month. So maybe make sure it is the next night.

So my theory is that if everyone was clear about their intentions, made sure the other person had a great time while fucking and then were polite the next day there would be a lot less regret in the world.

As for me, my only sexual regrets ever came from continuing to sleep with any of my exes when I really shouldn't have.

25 comments

  • Freespirit252

    Freespirit252

    More than a month ago

    Ok thanks for the article. If we are living in a world of equality, why not the woman send a thank you text? Sometimes extending to another what we would like for ourselves is the way to create a better world. And feel better. I am not invalidating feeling unappreciated or whatever the feelings come up. But it's just a thought - maybe he wasn't feeling appreciated either. And he gets a nice text and feels good, and more likely than not, also appreciates her, and says so. And both come away with a good memory

    Reply
  • Razzy99

    Razzy99

    More than a month ago

    As a female that does casual encounters, i agree. Its the poor sex that puts me off, the lack of effort or self serving attitude. I'm here for a good time as well, why not meet my needs as well as yours and we will both be happy. I am not a replacement for a blow up doll! I wanted a casual encounter as i don't want a man permanently in my life as i have a good life, so a little consideration is all i ask ( and good sex)!

    • WildeNoir

      WildeNoir

      More than a month ago

      Exactly!
      Contrary to popular belief, bad sex is not better than no sex. I'd rather take matters in my own hands.

    Reply
  • Firelady2016

    Firelady2016

    More than a month ago

    Ohh, dear Regrets!! I now hate Saturday nights, & wish I had stayed home from the Club on that fateful Thursday.
    But now I know, we both live with it: Regret. Xxxx K

    Reply
  • 2444funtimes

    2444funtimes

    More than a month ago

    My only regret is not trusting my gut instinct.

    Reply
  • Photos in private gallery

    ispywithmy

    More than a month ago

    I think the only regret I have is more ladies don’t just instantly block me, as in on initial communication. Would simplify things for me greatly.

    Some very good and I think almost common sense points made in this article. If it’s a partner, friend, fuck buddy or a once off, a little bit of mutual respect isn’t much to ask.
    When I use meet someone (For the first time) in a social setting, almost every time it never ended with a chance of a second meeting, but it was even more annoying when you got a message several months later for another catch up.

    Reply
  • SeafordTrans76

    SeafordTrans76

    More than a month ago

    Another fab ,well written and insightful blog,thank you sincerely xoxo

    Reply
  • Danielthrust

    Danielthrust

    More than a month ago

    I fall in love with every woman I’m intimate with ... you are all beautiful and should be cared for exactly how you wish to be .. You are interesting and I can’t know you in one night..
    Communication is the key..

    Reply
  • estravan

    estravan

    More than a month ago

    Yes I agree entirely with the blog although Men have one night stand regret too sometimes and for the exact reason given. No text message the next day after you send a thank you or they do a runner as soon as you've done your job. I am certainly not a selfish lover and actually find it more arousing if my partner is aroused so for me it's all about her. I know my body and know that woman take a slow burn. Yes if mutually agreed then always gratitude and compliments for that partner follow. I see it as a privilege that a woman wants to go to bed with me so she is always treated with the utmost respect. Maybe I'm a dinosaur.

    • 2444funtimes

      Account Closed

      More than a month ago

      Wish all men thought the same as you.

    • estravan

      Account Closed

      More than a month ago

      Thanks you. I'm sure there are many men like me :)

    Reply
  • MissPriss51

    MissPriss51

    More than a month ago

    Thank you for this insight...

    Reply
  • Kabooom.

    Kabooom.

    More than a month ago

    When younger I've had a few regrets.... I think maybe most of us have.

    Reply
  • Zamboon

    Zamboon

    More than a month ago

    If a lady is willing to share her body - even if it’s only for her pleasure then I’m always pretty damn grateful and I tell her she is beautiful and wonderful and thank her - ( I think any woman who takes off her clothes is beautiful) - unfortunately most men don’t know how to react and how to behave so that’s a shame...
    One trick I’ve learnt is if I’m in doubt as to the ladies interest and intentions I overplay the grateful part and send quite a few texts and calls - that way they know I’m interested if they ever feel the need for a one nighter again the other is that it turns some ladies off as then I appear too needy ....

    Reply
  • Meldah

    Meldah

    More than a month ago

    Quite happy to do the regret-free casual sex thing, but if a guy doesn't make the effort to get me off (it's not that hard to do, even with fingers or tongue), then it's highly unlikely I will agree to seconds. Especially if I've spent 2hrs cleaning my house prior to hosting and also making an effort to dress down. And even if I've had a great time, but don't get a follow-up thanks/ touch base, then messaging me again 6mths after the fact probably wont lead to another hook-up either. Basic courtesy doesn't take that much effort. My apologies also for double standards, as I don't follow my post-coital courtesy rule, as don't want to be seen as the desperate woman.

    • Photos in private gallery

      holdencoodore

      More than a month ago

      So your saying U want to have sex while your cleaning your house naked

    • Pearl686852

      Pearl686852

      More than a month ago

      Great sharing Meldah...yes, nice you make the effort

    Reply
  • Photos in private gallery

    notthatdark

    More than a month ago

    Personally I am not into one night stands as such but have had only 2 when drunk.. I am a male .. Tho there is nothing I find more arousing than hearing of a lady who enjoys the one night stand game.. Almost driving me ecstatic when a partner like to chat on this subject .. Sort of conflicting interests possibly

    Reply
  • Photos in private gallery

    xxGirlxx

    More than a month ago

    This article is total bull

    • AMM.Editor

      AMM.Editor

      More than a month ago

      Of course you're entitled to your opinion but Emma has a Bachelor of Psychology and she researches her articles thoroughly. Below are the references she provided for this article:

      Abraham, C., & Sheeran, P. (2003). Acting on intentions: The role of anticipated regret. British Journal of social psychology, 42(4), 495-511.

      Campbell, A. (2008). The morning after the night before. Human Nature, 19(2), 157-173.

      Fisher, M. L., Worth, K., Garcia, J. R., & Meredith, T. (2012). Feelings of regret following uncommitted sexual encounters in Canadian university students. Culture, Health & Sexuality, 14(1), 45-57.

      Galperin, A., Haselton, M. G., Frederick, D. A., Poore, J., Von Hippel, W., Buss, D. M., & Gonzaga, G. C. (2013). Sexual regret: Evidence for evolved sex differences. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 42(7), 1145-1161.

      Grello, C. M., Welsh, D. P., & Harper, M. S. (2006). No strings attached: The nature of casual sex in college students. Journal of sex research, 43(3), 255-267.

      Kennair, L. E. O., Bendixen, M., & Buss, D. M. (2016). Sexual regret: Tests of competing explanations of sex differences. Evolutionary Psychology, 14(4), 1474704916682903.

    Reply
  • Safeinourhands

    Safeinourhands

    More than a month ago

    Nice manners work no matter what!

    • DDdelite

      Account Closed

      More than a month ago

      Thank you. Yes simple please and thank you aren't that hard.

    Reply
  • Adel58

    Adel58

    More than a month ago

    Respect is the thing

    Reply
  • triXXXi66

    triXXXi66

    More than a month ago

    I certainly know that i regretted one night stands in my youth. They indeed can make you feel used and worthless.
    Now with this swinging adventure, that is why we insist on building a rapport and having good communication with any prospective players. We are worthy of knowing more about and sharing more than just our sexual organs.

    Reply
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