Even when you enthusiastically consent to sex, there is still the lingering possibility that you might feel none too pleased with your choice in the cold light of day. But hookup regret is not the same as changing your mind mid-session — which is always grounds to stop immediately — it's just the sinking feeling hours, days or even months after that your choice of sexual partner(s) was a bit lamentable.
Whether the person you engaged with sexually turned out to be a raging jerk or just someone you later found morally/physically/emotionally or sexually repulsive, there are ways to deal with your feelings in a manner that isn't slut-shamey and that don't make you feel worse about yourself.
As I've said many times: bad sex is like bad pizza — there may be a better slice out there, but you won't know until you take a bite. So pat yourself on the back for at least attempting to satisfy your hunger, despite how queasy you may feel post-meal. Most of us experience a twinge (or deluge) of regret post-indulgence, and here are five sex-positive ways to deal with it.
1. Don't Slut-Shame Yourself
If you engaged in casual, consensual sex and later regretted it, judging yourself isn't going to make you feel better. It's over, so time to move on. If you wouldn't slut-shame someone else, then why do it to yourself?
2. Find The Silver Lining
Instead of regret, try to find one new thing you learned about yourself through the experience. Do you now know not to hook up with friends of your brother? Or maybe that doing it with people still in college feels creepy? There's gotta be something useful you can glean from the situation, however small.
3. Realize Your Sex Life Does Not Define You
The patriarchy wants you to think your worth is based upon how many people you have or haven't slept with, but that's actually total B.S. What you do (or don't do) in the bedroom, backseat, public restroom or wherever does absolutely NOT define who you are a person or your individual worth.
4. Have A Sense Of Humor About It
Almost every tale of hookup regret makes a funny story. I once had a guy play me "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" on a flute before we f*cked, and I'll be telling that bit until the day I die — particularly how bad the sex was following my serenade.
5. Educate Yourself About The Physical And Emotional Repercussions Of Hookups
One of the best ways to avoid hookup regret is educating yourself about the ways casual sex can impact you both physically and emotionally. Dr. Zhana Vrangalova is a leading researcher in the field; her writings on the subject are worth checking out, particularly if your goal is to maintain a healthy sex life, with minimal to no hookup regret.
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