I'm not sure I agree with the idea behind the question but you can do what you want. We can always learn from our mistakes. In any case, there's SVXY and the opposite UVXY. If you wanted to short, why don't you go long UVXY? Or, actually that would be financial suicide because of the built-in cantango (or whatever the name is again). The only time I'd bother considering going long volatility is if they start talking about Greece every day. In reality, for the next few months, every dip may be temporary. (That's until Spain decides to finally exit the Euro, and even then the drop may be another Lehman temporary crisis.) You can always watch Spain 10 Year bond yields to see if markets are panicking. Right now they are not.