I'm in my early 20s and when I first got to college, as someone who didn't have many dates before that, indulged in many one-night stands and also, on several occasions, paid for sex. I bitterly regret doing the latter, because I know it's a mixed thing morality wise, many of the women are forced into it and it's also illegal. I wasn't aware of these things until I'd stopped. I couldn't believe I did something that in many ways is a horrible thing for women. I did treat the women with respect and it was consensual. I'm worried because I know that many women don't like the idea of a man hiring an escort because it can be degrading or whatever, but these things never crossed my mind. I keep telling myself I'm human, and being human, you make mistakes but I can't shake these bad decisions. My promiscuity is in the past and I really want to have relationships in the future, but did I already blow my shot? Do I even have to share this? I wouldn't judge a woman over her sexual past but I don't know if any future partners would feel the same.
You are neither the first nor the last college kid who went a little overboard with the newfound freedom of adulthood. The fact that you now recognize the downside to your past behavior is actually pretty darned self-aware…a lot of people never reach that kind of awareness. There are only two ways that your behavior could impact your future relationships: 1) if you were unsafe and ended up with a sexually transmitted infection as a result, and 2) if you can’t find a way to forgive yourself for your actions.
Starting wit the first issue: one of the risks of sexual promiscuity is the spread of sexual transmitted infections (STI). If you pick something up along the way, there could be health related issues for you and, of course, it could affect future sexual relationships. Does that mean you can’t have a relationship? Of course not! But I would suggest an STI screening with your local doctor or public health clinic so that you will know for sure whether there is anything to worry about. This is one way to take responsibility for your past behavior.
Second, let’s talk about your emotional well-being. You’re carrying around a lot of guilt and while it’s good that you’re thinking carefully about the implications of your actions, you’re going to have to find a way to forgive yourself. I knew a lot of people in college who were heavy into drugs and alcohol. There was a lot of rampant and unsafe sex going on. You’re not alone and you’re not a bad person for having had a lot of casual sex. But you may not have realized at the time how this behavior was going to affect you emotionally in the long-term. That’s the problem with sex. It feels great but it carries a lot of emotional weight for both men and women. And now that you understand that, you can make more informed decisions for yourself moving forward.
You are not obligated to share the details of your sexual experiences with anyone. It’s yours. It’s private. But please make sure you’d not hiding it. Know what I mean? If you’re keeping it a secret because you’re ashamed of it, then maybe it’s time to talk with a counselor about it.
Moving forward…Make sure that you know you have a clean bill of health so that you don’t put your partners at risk. And then move on with your life. Be respectful. Have fulfilling relationships. Have amazing, consensual sex. You’re human. Learn from your mistakes and embrace your life.
Don't be shy! Say what's on your mind and get a good dose of perspective in return.