What is sexting? Well, you've heard of texting, so, it's basically texting but instead of saying, "Just got to the gym," or, "Pick up milk on your way home," individuals exchange sexier messages. Sometimes, there's even visuals (my personal favorite).
Sexting isn't limited to committed partnerships. It's a great way to spice up any #LOVE relationship, but it can also be used as a way to "try out" virtual sex with someone you may be interested in having actual sex with BEFORE exchanging VD test results. I mean, what if they're total prudes and you're into more hardcore play??? Or, what if you enjoy oral sex but he really doesn't enjoy giving it? Yikes! Frightening.
One of the hardest things to figure out when dating is whether or not a person you like is someone you actually LIKE. And although it may be tempting to ask about things like recovery time and the size and shape of...well, you know, that's not really the *best* way to approach new relationships. Although, it would make things much easier if it were....
It can be super-fun to have a healthy exchange of sexy, flirty texts with someone you're really attracted to but there are basic rules you'll want to adhere to or that super-fun can turn super-flat in a hurry:
First, make sure, like with real sex, that it's consensual. Your potential sext partner is not a computer screen. Or, avatar in a video game. There's a real human being putting themselves out there. If the conversation is headed to Naughty Town, that's your cue. If not, don't push it. Be patient. If he or she is into you, and you're both grown ups, the subject of sex is bound to creep in there.
Secondly, don't jump into what can be translated as aggressive sexts until you're both comfortable. What do I mean by aggressive sexts? Anything involving whips, chains, butt plugs, handcuffs, hair-pulling, etc. That's usually for advanced relationships, or anyone addicted to porn. Just kidding! Gotcha. You don't have to be a porn addict to enjoy the kinkier aspects of live sex, but kicking off a sext-session with a cum facial may be off-putting to your sext-partner. Unless it's her idea, then, have at it (lucky bastard)!
What's that? You want to hear about the visuals??? So you do like porn! ;)
Whether you're a regular on Pornhub or not, visuals are stimulating to both men and women. The one caveat is to make sure that whatever body part you're picturing, keep any personal identifiers out. Bad news for those of you with tattoos. Be aware of your surroundings and crop out anything that shouldn't be included, like, your face for example. Remember, less is always more when it comes to sext-pics. If you're a dude, don't just shoot from the hip down. Try showing off those pecks and abs, too. And ladies, take a page out of Nikki Minaj's Twitter-book and use your hair and hands to camouflage your lady-parts. Even strippers don't bare all. Well, some do, but not until the private lap-dance.
But what if I don't want to take sext-pics? Then don't! You're on a phone, iPad or tablet. No one can physically pressure you. Just say no. Use the excuse that you may run for public office one day. Or, simply say, "I'm not comfortable with that." Sexting without pics is just as fun--not as naughty--but just as fun.
Finally, even though it's a conversation that includes intimate details of potentially live sex, it's still a conversation, and conversation etiquette applies. Most especially because you are sharing intimate details with one another. Just like when you have sex in person, it pays to be polite. Acknowledge that you had fun, whether you did or you didn't. But you will. Trust me. And say you look forward to doing it again, even if you were entering your receipts into Quicken while typing:
"Oh yeah, right there, baby...that feels good." Wait, I spent $227 at Target! How is that even possible??? "Mmmmhmmm, I want you. Just. Like. That."
Kidding aside (because there's no way you're not into actual sexting when it's happening), don't forget to say, "Goodbye," at the end of your conversation. Unlike texting, where short abrupt messages have become acceptable, even commonplace, take the time to say "Good night." And if real life has intruded, making, "Good night," impossible, be sure to send a brief text the next day, just so your sext partner doesn't feel completely used. Especially if you hope to turn sexting into real, live sex at some future point. I mean, it should be the reason you're doing it in the first place. You don't need to take the risk of sexting just to jerk off. You can surf internet porn for free...no harm, no foul.
Now, here's where sexting gets tricky: The Morning After. What do you do? You didn't have real sex, so is a phone call still necessary??? This is dependent on the relationship. Maybe not a phone call, but if it's a person you have interest in dating, yes, go ahead and send a brief text of appreciation, encouraging your sext partner to get in touch (basic: "Had fun last night. Talk soon!" Or, humorous: "Shall I leave the $100-bill on your dresser??? Just kidding. Would love to do it again!"). This opens the door for not just another sext-session if that floats your boat, but to maybe take your sexting into real life, meeting for coffee or lunch, dinner, a movie...you get the idea.
It might feel a little awkward after you've shared intimate details to talk about the mundane over coffee. Welcome to what I call, "The Talk of Shame." Everyone feels a little weird after typing out something like, "I want your _ _ _ _ in my _ _ _ _," but it was mutual, and you both said equally intimate things so there's nothing to be embarrassed about or ashamed of. Of course, after a good sext session, the coffee date may consist of grabbing your coffees to go and heading to the nearest king-sized bed. There's nothing wrong with that in an adult relationship. Sex is healthy. And so is sexting. Welcome to the 21st century!
But what happens when your morning-after text gets no response? Sorry to say, you just got played. Yes, you were used. Don't speak, text, tweet, email, InMail, or otherwise talk to that person again. Ever.
The one-word response? Not much better. But it doesn't have to mean anything negative. Although, think about it, if you had a good time sexting someone, you'd want to do it again, right? Maybe even work your way to the real thing? Being mono-syllabic might have a certain caveman appeal on some level but most of us prefer a response more akin to this: "Thanks. I had fun, too." Add in, "Talk soon," ONLY if you intend on doing so.
And, what if you get the ever-popular emoticon in response to your morning-after text?
A winky-face is like getting a wink in real life. Non-committal, yes, but it sends a sexy signal about your shared sexting secret. You could translate it as a brush off, but a guy or girl who wants to brush you off will likely ignore your text altogether. A smiley face is about the same, though if you're responding after a really good sext session, winky is the way to go. It doesn't close the door completely to a future sext-session, but it does communicate that though you had fun, there may or may not be a next time. And that could be for a variety of reasons. Again, this is relationship-dependent. If you have a casual friendship or working relationship, and may see each other in the future, it's more likely a nice way of saying, "Until next time," without having to actually type out the words. Which brings me to my next point:
Never sext with anyone you don't trust. Ask your sext partner to delete your texts and any pictures after your sextploits are over. You should do the same on your end. It's like wearing a condom or using birth control. Be responsible!!! Sexting may seem more like a video game than real life, but there is a real somebody with a real life on the other side of the screen. And far too many phones get lost in subways, left in train stations, restaurants, the post office...protect yourself and your sext partner: DELETE EVERYTHING!
My last piece of advice on sexting is to guard your heart well. Just because it's itty-bitty words on an even tinier screen does not mean you can't be seduced. Or, begin to feel similar emotions as if you'd had real sex. After all, if you're doing it right, you should be visualizing whatever is being sexted. Even though it's just a bunch of words, it's enough to evoke a physical reaction (hopefully!). How far behind do you think your emotions will be??? So if this is just a casual thing, it may not be for long. There's only so many times you can talk about sex that way before it becomes actual sex.
Sext-sessions can make for great fantasy-material. Instead of you making up what you'd like to happen in your own head, you have a real person feeding you images from theirs. Which is pretty kick ass, like a partner in crime. Win-win! But, take heed, it will be hard not to think about those same images later. Try not to let yourself get too carried away. Sexting is fun but it's not real sex and it's not a real relationship. It can lead to real sex and a real relationship, but until it does, remember that it's more like reading Fifty Shades of Grey, or new in 2014, one of my very, very naughty novels. But instead of plugging in Ana or Christian, it's you and another living, breathing human being. You can't be with a fictional character, so there's no danger of falling for them. But a real person? Yeah, it can happen.
Once you've gotten these simple rules down, have FUN!!! And yes, that would be "fun" with a capital "F." ;)