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Relationships

How to Sext: Sexting Etiquette and Ideas

| 02/22/2022

sexting Illustration by Emma Olswing

Sexting is almost like a cell phone right of passage, naughty freedom that you and the privileged few in your contact list get to indulge in whenever, wherever . . . WiFi pending. While its availability would be considered a run-of-the-mill practice considering how often we check that latest notification and utilize emojis to share our lustful secrets, sexting is also a skill that can build tension, anticipation, and desire. 

The best way to start is not to rush into a blue or green bubbled novel of all delectable cravings you might feel for your partner/lover. Just like OG dirty talk, start slow with what you want and know: I want to put my ____ around your ____. Then let the conversation take off from there by using ellipsis (. . .) or breaks in the conversation to build suspense. Enjoy the tease . . . it will make the moment you’re together (or alone by yourself) that much more heated. 

We are sexual beings with access to the latest HD technology and lusty interest in showing off our hot bods

Take it even further by combining OG dirty talk with the voice memos on your phone. If your phone has access to sending voice notes, take turns sharing a fantasy or recounting a sexy memory. Imagine you’re on the train and a hot voice note plays in your earbuds while riding to your next stop. Dear goodness, that is hot. And with this option, you’re working on comfortability, demonstrating the language you like to use, discovering how the tone of voice or whispering can build trust as you explore power dynamics. 

Sending Nudes

Sending nudes is a part of the dirty talk umbrella because it is a tool to sexually connect with another person virtually. And while the safest way to not have a nude leaked is to not send one, that’s not realistic in many scenarios (similar to abstinence-only being the safest way not to get an STI . . . that’s just not practical). We are sexual beings with access to the latest HD technology and lusty interest in showing off our hot bods

Outside of the fact that social media has influenced the acceptability of sexually explicit imagery online, consider the number of nudes one would see walking into a museum right now. Even Queen Victoria purchased Franz Xaver Winterhalter’s nude-filled painting “Florinda” for Prince Albert for his 33rd birthday in 1852. However, as much as we’d like to simply trust the person we’re sexting with has our best interest in mind, there should be a baseline of safety before pressing send on that nude. 

Lean On Those Boundaries.

Boundaries are those invisible lines in the sand that protect our feeling, our bodies, and in this case, our limits when corresponding with a person that wants more than what we feel comfortable providing. It’s perfectly acceptable to say no, to voice that discomfort, to not immediately send those nudes — maturity can be found in those who accept and work with boundaries. If you’re being pressured with a Send pics or Come on . . . I want to see you, those are red flags to consider and potentially stop the course of communication. Sexting and nudes should be fun and a natural part of the conversation if both parties are interested and respectful. Demanding nudes is not only uncool, it takes the sexiness out of the play. 

Remove Identifying Features.

Even if you trust the person you’re sending nudes to, anyone’s device has the ability to be hacked! Cropping or blurring our tattoos, face, and even the background of the image could reduce the chance of identifying you. Also, if your phone can strip the location of the photo’s data, consider this before sending. 

Keep a Nudie Hidden Folder.

This is the folder on your phone that you have disabled Cloud backups where the photos remain strictly on your device. Google’s Locked Folder feature and Apple’s Hidden albums will come in handy when selecting which picture to send without fear that they will be added to a desktop or a public folder — or you can go for the extreme and remove Cloud backups to desktop altogether. Having a dedicated album to all your cropped, blurred, no-location identifying images can save a lot of time in the back and forth exchange. 

Send Via A Secure Messaging App.

Apps like Signal and Telegram allow for self-destructing messages and photos after a specific amount of time, giving the recipient a few seconds to ponder how glorious your body is through encrypted messaging. Again, this isn’t a fail-safe way to send nudes — once they’ve left your phone, it’s out of your hands who can see them. But with encrypted messaging apps the data can only be viewed and destroyed between the devices that sent and received them. 

Change The Conversation.

A lot of us sext, send nudes, and dirty talk in our own way. It’s a topic we often avoid talking about to avoid feeling personal or public shame because we engage. It’s important to address this palpable yearning to be involved but also to redirect the conversation when another person is amid a public nude-leak shaming. For example: Celebrity nudes being leaked to the public or a person’s sexy OnlyFans account being passed around the friend group. To continue the conversation with negative, shaming intentions continues the cycle of degradation that none of us will ever escape from — that often hits women and marginalized groups harder.

Instead, consider offering a different perspective: This could happen to anyone with a cell phone. We should judge. Or This is a violation of this person’s privacy and we should partake or insert ourselves into this crime. Nudity, sexuality, wanting to feel desired, and being turned on is not something to be ashamed of. Taking advantage of a person’s trust and putting them at risk of unwanted exposure earns a rightful seat in the worst parts of uncool hell. We need to do better with each other and move forward with sex positivity

Now, go forth! Allow yourself to work with what you know, what you like, and what you’re comfortable with. You are at the center of your divine pleasure, and the way we communicate should keep us top of mind. Happy sexting! 

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