Whether it’s “I wish they were hotter,” “If only I got laid before I had my gut,” or “I should have peed after,” everybody has a few drops in their sex regret bucket. A study recently released by the University of Texas found that men most often regret a small number of sex partners, whereas women regret sleeping with the wrong guy. It turns out, sex regret is an important part of the human reproductive process. It’s evolution, man.
“For men throughout evolutionary history, every missed opportunity to have sex with a new partner is potentially a missed reproduce opportunity,” explained Martie Haselton, a UCLA social psychology professor who worked on the regret study. And for women, bedding a dud spoils her chances of finding a prime, ideal father for her kids. That “woops” could have a name and a college tuition.
Topping the list of specific sex regrets for men was being too shy to approach new women and not sewing their wild oats (with all accompanying adventurous sex positions) while they were young and single. The ladies felt most contrite about cheating, losing their virginity to a deadbeat, and having sex too soon in relationships.
That shame-filled morning after flinch is practically programmed into us. And at least evolutionarily, screwing an ugly partner has more costs for a woman than a man. If only we knew how to work that into a first date conversation.
Image via Veer.