The former England striker, who scored 146 goals over seven years with the Gunners, said he put off losing his virginity out of fear.
Wright says he “didn’t get a lot of love” as a child, leaving him feeling “very insecure”.
And the 55-year-old says he makes up for it now, hugging and kissing his children “to the point where it’s embarrassing”.
Sharp-shooting Wright always had a certain swagger on the football field, and became a £2.5million club-record signing for reigning league champions Arsenal in 1991 after bagging 90 goals for Crystal
He became the Gunners’ all-time leading goalscorer, although he was later surpassed by fellow club legend Thierry Henry with 228.
Wright, who won 33 caps with England, has since carved a career as a larger-than-life pundit and TV presenter.
A father-of-eight, he married wife Nancy in 2011 and says he now knows “what love is”.
But as a teenager his confidence in romantic stakes didn’t match his prowess on the football pitch.
Ian Wright and wife Nancy attend a London Fan Screening of the Paramount Pictures film “Zoolander No. 2″
“I was very insecure during my teenage and adolescent years. I lost my virginity very late,” Wright said on the Fortunately with Fi And Jane podcast .
“I was very scared of that situation, it was literally just after my 18th birthday. I closed myself off.
“I’ve learned how to love. I didn’t get a lot of love when I was younger.
“I hug all the time now, to the point where it’s embarrassing. I kiss my sons. I want to do it for myself.
“It’s what I would have wanted.”
“I knew I needed counselling when I was older to deal with aggression and the anger, I was lucky. My wife is full of love and her family is too.”
Two of Wright’s sons, Shaun-Wright Phillips and Bradley Wright-Phillips, followed him into professional football, both having played for Manchester City and New York Red Bulls among other clubs.