When you look back at past relationships and flings, do you feel nostalgic? Regretful? Indifferent? According to a new study from the University of Texas and University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), the answer to that question could be tied to your gender.
Reuters recently reported on the study, which indicates that men generally wish they had slept with more partners, while women tend to have one or two liaisons they would rather take back. In addition, male respondents were more likely to regret not being more assertive, while females noted that they felt they'd moved too fast in certain sexual relationships.
UCLA social psychology professor Martie Haselton cited evolutionary biology as a potential explanation for this divide in attitudes.
"For men throughout evolutionary history, every missed opportunity to have sex with a new partner is potentially a missed reproduce opportunity — a costly loss from an evolutionary perspective. The consequences of casual sex [are] so much higher for women than for men, and this is likely to have shaped emotional reactions to sexual liaisons even today," Haselton told Reuters.
Though these findings shed an interesting light on how men and women approach and reflect on sexual intimacy, there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to how you express desire and physical affection. Whether you see past entanglements as a mistake or a growing experience, most encounters can help you come to better understand your wants and needs. Perhaps you can't stand the thought of the recent ex, for example, but he happened to introduce you to a water based lubricant that left you truly satisfied!