One-night stand regret? Of course, but only when the sex is awful

Abha Shah
·3-min read
<p>Women are more likely to regret a one-night stand than men, according to new research </p> (Shutterstock/fizkes)

Women are more likely to regret a one-night stand than men, according to new research


“So, er… very nice to meet you, anyway,” Carl* muttered with the same lips that had been busy between my legs a mere 20 minutes earlier. I laughed - a sharp, incredulous “ha!” - as he shuffled awkwardly on the step, before slowly closing the front door.

I’m not a serial one night-stander, but I’ve notched up a few encounters in my time, and this one stands out sharply. It started, as it often does, in the boozy haze of a pub. Then, a few Wetherspoons’ specials and playful smooches later, I was back at his messy flat, both of us way too sloshed to do much more than paw at each other before passing out.

I was ready to do a runner at daybreak, but was persuaded to give it one more go before the walk of shame. I really wish I hadn’t.

New data from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology suggests that men and women feel regret differently after a wild night swinging from the chandeliers, with only 20 per cent of men feeling bad compared to 35 per cent of women. Why? Arguably women have more to worry about; catching an STD or the risk of an unwanted pregnancy.

I just can’t bear the thought of screaming into someone’s genitalia again

But maybe it’s because, like me, the quality of the sex just didn’t match the excitement of the initial chase. How could it? For most, sex with a stranger is like giving a new driver the keys to a showroom-fresh Ferrari. Without intimate knowledge of which pedals to push and how to correctly maneuver to the finishing line, most Romeos will stall at the first hurdle.

Their passion is straightforward, ours tends to be more winding, and when you may not see your playmate past the morning, it may not feel as important to check they’re getting their kicks too. This was certainly the case with Carl at least.

He trundled away fast and furious, performing hairpin turns and showboat spins until he reached a position colloquially known as a 69, ignoring my shuffles across the sheets to get back to eye-to-eye level. He persisted until I had no option left but to shout, a little louder than intended, “No, I don’t want to do that!” squarely into his crown jewels.

Brakes on, quick reverse. He suddenly seemed to remember there was another person in bed with him, but only briefly.

The thing is, I don’t regret my regret. It’s pretty useful actually, and Carlgate has stopped me from diving in quite so freely after a few G&Ts since. Not because I’m repressing my sexual liberty or think casual sex is wrong, but because I just can’t bear the thought of screaming into someone’s genitalia again.

Still, with June 21 looming, and spirits running high in every sense of the word, I can’t promise a bottle of wine or two won’t persuade me to give a spontaneous night of passion another spin. See you at the bar.

*Name has been changed to protect the reckless.

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