Do you regret losing your virginity?

It's normal to have mixed feelings after losing your virginity. If you regret losing your virginity, you should know that it’s pretty common to feel that way and it doesn’t have to define you or your sex life forever. The reality of having sex for the first time is often nothing like the fantasy, but sex tends to get better with time. Read on as we examine a few of the main reasons why people tend to regret losing their virginity and some helpful ideas for moving beyond them.

A young man is looking at his phone. He regrets losing his virginity.

Disclaimer: We’re gonna be using the term ‘losing your virginity’ throughout this article as this is what having sex for the first time is commonly referred to. However, it’s important to note that the concept of ‘virginity’ and even having something to ‘lose’ in the first place is fairly outdated and doesn’t align with our values. 

Don’t let your feelings after losing your virginity ruin your self worth

Losing your virginity is a massive deal and it more often than not can be a major disappointment. But don’t let a bad first experience damage your self-worth and put you off sex for life. You’re certainly not the first person to feel this way and you will not be the last. It does get better. Honest.

If you regret losing your virginity because the sex was terrible

Sex was built up to be an intense, pleasurable experience. Instead it was awkward, clumsy, and maybe a little bit painful, so now you’re wondering:

a) if you did it wrong, and

b) what the hell all the fuss is about?

Kate Monro, an author who spent years researching virginity, says you shouldn’t let a bad first time put you off. “Don’t expect fireworks,” she says. “Like any other skill, sex is something you get better at over time. Don’t use your virginity as a barometer of how good your sex life is going to be.”

Think about what may have made the sex so depressingly un-earth moving. Were you comfortable enough with your partner? Was there enough foreplay? Did you really feel ready? Learn from the experience, and if you feel you want to, try again (and again) and see if you can improve things.

If you were treated like crap/ignored after losing your virginity

Ouch. This will sting. You may feel really hurt by this and you might still have feelings the person, which sucks. You may be even considering sleeping with them again to mend things. Unfortunately, this is one of those awkward situations where the only positive outcome is you learn some valuable lessons.

“People behave really badly around sex,” says agony aunt, Anita Naik. “Even if you trust the person they can still let you down. But beating yourself up will get you nowhere. Learn from it and make sure you know exactly where you stand with the next person you sleep with.”

If people are spreading rumours about you

Sex is a complicated activity involving organs that tend to misbehave. Whether you come quickly, have massive balls, hairy nipples or pull odd faces when you orgasm – all this is normal. Yet it’s humiliating and deeply upsetting if your sex partner broadcasts your personal details to the entire school/college/internet/universe. How do you live down the rumours?

“You just have to ignore them and put it down to experience,” Anita says. “As with most rumours, it will be about someone else next week and will blow over.”

People will quickly forget about the rumours, but your emotional scars may take longer to heal. Again, you can only learn from the situation. Bodies come in all shapes and sizes, you’re not a freak, and you can rest assured what you think is a terrible deformity is probably pretty common.

If you’ve realised you weren’t ready for sex

You thought you were, or maybe you knew you weren’t but did it anyway to please somebody. Either way, you slept with someone before you were ‘ready’ and now you’re scared you have to do it again.

Firstly, don’t succumb to pressure to have more sex a second time. Sex isn’t a merry-go-round ride you’re not allowed off once you’ve hopped on. Be honest with your partner and explain you may need more time. If you don’t feel comfortable having this conversation then you’re probably not ready to have sex with them.

It’s also worth looking back to understand what put you off having sex again. Was it painful? Maybe you need more foreplay. Did your partner not make you feel loved enough afterwards? Discuss what they can do to make you feel more secure.

Sure, it’s a shame your virginity loss had to be a tough life lesson instead of a pleasurable experience. But remember it’s called a ‘first’ time for a reason. Sex is a massive learning process and losing your virginity is only the starting block to a life of enjoyable shags – as and when you’re ready for them.

Further support

The Mix have tonnes of resources on virginity and sex. Head over to our virginity hub here to learn more. You could also share your thoughts and feelings on our discussion boards, where you’ll find plenty of people with their own stories about how they regret losing their virginity.

Next Steps

  • Brook provides free sexual health and wellbeing services for young people in the UK. Brook's services include local clinics and online digital sex and relationships tool.
  • Chat about this subject on our Discussion Boards.



By Nishika Melwani

Updated on 27-Jun-2022