One of the best and worst things about modern technology is instant gratification. Bored? Scroll through Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook. Hungry? Order takeout. Horny and alone? Sext your partner or friend with benefits!
That said, instant sexual gratification is not without its problems. While porn and sex toys are pretty chill, sexting is one of those things that can contribute to our modern anxiety. We already have an unhealthy relationship with our phones, and while in that digital fantasy space, it can be hard to remember there are real-life consequences to our behavior. In what’s known as the online disinhibition effect, most people will behave in ways they wouldn’t in face-to-face interactions, with far less inhibition. That can lead to stress, especially when there are naked pics in the mix.
But fear not—sexting is supposed to be fun (and sexy, duh) and there are definitely some things you can do to be safe, relax and get in the mood. Read on for a couple tips on how to sext responsibly...
Do enjoy it.
A good nude is the gift that keeps on giving. Obviously, sexting is hot in the moment and great masturbation material, but if your partner agrees that you can save the images, you can always look at them later for a quick pick-me-up. It can be just as sexy as the first time you saw their photos, and you can text your partner that you’re looking at them or thinking about them.
It can also be really fun and freeing to see your naked body in pictures. (You sexy thing, you!) Taking nudes, whether for yourself or someone else, is an amazing way to get in touch with your body and love it for what it is.
Don’t do it without asking.
Some people will be thrilled by an unexpected dick pic...and others, well, not so much. While it’s super common to engage in digital sexual relationships with friends and partners, remember that some of the same rules apply as in real life. If you wouldn’t pull your pants down in front of them randomly, why would you send a picture of your junk without asking?
It doesn't need to be lame or ruin the mood. You can work the question into an already-flirty text exchange, and if they say yes, then you can go ahead and get ready for your close-up.
Do try some fun, dirty language.
One of the best things about sexting is that you can type out things that might sound downright silly coming out of your mouth. Try some words and phrases that you might not say IRL, and know that it won’t be awkward, just hot.
Tell the other person what you want them to do to you (or vice versa), how you’ve been thinking of them all day, what you’ve been fantasizing about, whatever you want! If you don’t feel comfortable using dirty words for body parts, like ‘pussy’, 'tits' or ‘cock’, that’s OK—you don’t need to go X-rated to be erotic!
Don’t send nudes to just anyone.
There’s nothing wrong with casual sex, but sexting is not the same thing. Especially if it’s a casual hookup, how do you know that you can trust them? If you don’t know someone very well, it might not be a good idea to send them photos or videos that they can save. Revenge porn is very unfortunately a thing.
Of course, there are apps that make sending nudes a little safer, but a good rule of thumb is to send to people you've known for a while and think you can trust. If you're still wary, you can try to hide any identifying details. It can be difficult if you have a lot of tattoos, or a prominent birthmark, but blocking out your face is an easy, added layer of security.
Do keep it to yourself.
A recent study by the Kinsey Institute showed that more than 20% of people who sext share those messages and pictures with two or three of their friends. (Who does that?!) While it can be tempting to show your friends exactly how hot your partner is, remember that these messages are private, and sharing pictures of someone else's naked body without permission is a violation of their consent.
Do brush up on your technology.
Both iCloud Photo Library and Google Photos automatically back up all your photos, including any nudes you take. Cloud storage lives outside of your phone, so if you aren’t comfortable with the idea that your nudes are being synced and stored elsewhere, turn off this feature.
There are secure, encrypted messaging apps, but remember you can screencap in Snapchat, and WhatsApp automatically saves received photos to the camera roll. In addition, Apple rolled out a new feature with iOS 11, screen recording, that allows the person on the other end to record a video of what they’re seeing on their screen. So our point above about trust is really extra important!