Does anyone else miss the cringey text abbreviations and slang used when texting first became a thing?
We may have come a long way from the days of “Hey QT I want 2 C U l8r” but we had the right idea. Texting is an effective and convenient way to keep in touch. Better yet, it’s a great way to keep the spark going with people you’re romantically or sexually interested in – that’s when it turns from texting to what we in the *biz* call sexting.
What is sexting?
Sexting can be anything you want it to be, but generally, it is a way to flirt and share your desires via text message.
According to psychologist and sex and intimacy coach Lori Beth Bisbey:
People sext for a few reasons: some just for a bit of amusement – it is a fantasy activity – you can weave a story with a virtual stranger via text talking all about the sex you want to have with that person – and you can present yourself however you like. Some sext with people that they are in relationships with because it is fun – it can bring the excitement of sex to the middle of the day or the middle of the night. Sometimes people sext when they are in long-distance relationships as this is a method of foreplay/sex.
If that sounds like something you want to try for the first time, or you have already tried sexting and want to step up your game, read on for the best sexting tips!
1. Make sure it’s consensual
First and foremost: CONSENT! Sexting is a sexual activity. Just like you need consent before kissing someone or having sex, so too should you have consent to begin sending messages that are sexual in nature. Besides being a serious non-negotiable, everything is hotter when all participants are enthusiastic. Make sure the person you’re going to start a sexting conversation with is an enthusiastic participant before sending anything. Once you’re sure, have your fun!
2. Be honest with your partner about nerves
Any sexy activity is best when everyone is comfortable and excited. If you feel anxious or weird or awkward about sexting in any way, be open with your partner and discuss what you both need to feel the most comfortable. Don’t feel bad if you need extra time or assurance; you are being vulnerable with someone! Go at your own pace and listen to your gut if you don’t feel like they are a partner you can trust.
3. Practice safe sext
While you don’t need to be in a committed relationship to sext somebody, before you send anything, ask yourself if you can trust this person with these words, photos or videos. It’s never your fault as the sender if the receiver exploits them for malicious purposes (or if they are accidentally exposed). However, taking a few extra precautions, if you choose, may make you feel safer about sexting:
- Avoid showing your face in photos.
- Keep a passcode on your phone and encourage your partner to do the same
- Use an app that offers special security measures just for sexting (Cosmopolitan has a list of favorites that offer various levels of security)
- Don’t do it when you’re on pubic WiFi that could be insecure or work WiFi that may be monitored (😳)
- Delete those steamy selfies after they’ve *served their purpose* and ask your partner to do the same
Bottom line: Never do anything you’re uncomfortable with or feel unsafe about. Sexting is more fun when you feel confident and secure.
Which brings us to the more fun aspects of sexting…
4. Use sexting as foreplay
People often think of foreplay only as physical things that occur when you’re in the bedroom about to have sex. However, foreplay can be anything that gets you feeling hot leading up to sex, and sexting definitely falls into that category. Sexting is great anytime, but try sexting before a date, before your partner gets home or before a phone or video date to get the juices flowing. Having a sexting conversation builds sexual tension and could lead to better sex.
As our brilliant resident sexologist Jess O’Reilly explains, “Sexting helps to cultivate anticipation which can intensify the physical pleasure once (if) you eventually meet up in person. Building anticipation is key to heightened pleasure and research suggests that dopamine levels (a chemical associated with pleasure and reward) are actually higher while awaiting the reward that upon receipt of the reward itself.”
Great things come to those who wait, as they say, and let’s be honest: sexual tension is the BEST.
5. Start with questions
Yes, we just called sexting a type of foreplay. But consider questions the foreplay to the foreplay.
The benefit of questions is twofold. If you’re dealing with a partner who needs help coming out of their shell, asking them questions can help move the conversation along and take the pressure off of them to come up with things to say off the cuff.
If you’re on the shyer side when it comes to sexting, consider questions your *emotional lube* to help you have a smooth start. You don’t need to jump into declaring all the things you want to do with someone or what you want them to do with you (although that is always a sexy text to get). Ease into it by posing questions to your partner. A few sexting ideas to get the dirty talk flowing:
What are you wearing? (A classic!)
What would you do if we were together right now?
Do you remember that one time you and I ___?
What’s your favorite thing I do in bed?
Would you rather ____ or ____?
Either way, don’t be a sexting partner that keeps asking questions and makes the other person do all the work. Be an equal participant! Use the questions to kick things off but then be prepared to jump in.
6. Don’t skimp on the details
Once you’re in the groove, get into it! If you’re sexting only with words and not pics and videos, aid their imaginations by being descriptive. It doesn’t mean you need to type out novels, but give them something to work with. On the flip side, if they aren’t giving enough details, don’t be afraid to ask for more.
Bisbery advises, “If you want to be really good, you need to spend time on your writing – choose descriptive words, – take into account your partner’s reactions and build on these. Tell a story – engage as many senses as you can.”
And on that note…
7. Use all the senses!
You have more options available to you than just describing things via text. Get visual or auditory! That could be a steamy selfie or some auditory stimulation.
Dr. Jess advises “You can use words, GIFs, emojis, voice notes, photos and videos to pique your partner’s interest.” A few of her favorite tactics for a sexy text:
- Text them sound clips of sex or sexy sounds. Bijoux Indiscrets has a library of sex sounds if you are not comfortable making your own.
- Record an audio clip of yourself masturbating (e.g. in the shower to muffle your sounds) and send them the file. Better yet, tell them all about it and make them wait for it
- Send a voice note telling them what you want.
With modern technology, there’s no limit to the ways you can turn one another on!
8. White lies are A-OK
Are you going to tell your partner you’re wearing the sexiest outfit (or nothing at all) and laying in certain positions? Yes. Might you be in a giant t-shirt with your retainers in and cleaning your kitchen? Also yes.
Don’t feel bad about telling little white lies to keep the fantasy going; Part of the fun of sexting is mutually exploring different parts of your sexuality and new scenarios (real or not!). It’s the thought that counts.
9. Don’t think sexting is only for long-distance couples
A good sexting session IS great to keep long-distance couples connected, however, don’t think that it can’t be fun or beneficial with partners you may see frequently.
Stacey Sherell, LMFT, says, “Sexting is another form of sexual expression and can lead to a deeper connection when you are able to develop sexual intimacy outside of the bedroom. It also allows for each partner as individuals to express themselves in ways that maybe they aren’t comfortable yet doing face to face, but will eventually lead to a closer in-person sex life.”
So, whether you’re across the country or across the table, give sexting a try!
10. Use it as a “teaching moment”
It’s often difficult when you’re having sex with someone to speak up when you want them to do something more, less, or differently. Being vocal about our preferences and needs in bed should always be something we do or work on doing more. Consider sexting your perfect segue to discuss what you like and make those desires the main part of the fantasies you share.
When you see them next, hopefully, they will remember what you described and try it. If not, bring those fantasies to life! Do some sexy reminiscing; Remind them of your favorite moments of dirty talk and ask them to try it with you. Either way, it’s a win-win!
Time to get sextually active
Now you have all the best tools in your sexting toolbelt! Whether you’re new to the game or a seasoned pro, using these tips will help you level up your sext life and add variety to your relationships.