What to Know About Sexting
Over the past 20 years, since the development of new technology such as smartphones, sexy electronic messages have become a popular form of sensual expression in many relationships.
However, while sending and receiving intimate thoughts and private photos can be a lot of fun at the time and under the right circumstances, it can also lead to problems if precautions aren't taken.
Sexting is the term for sending text messages or other electronic communications with sexual content, whether that's words, pictures or videos. Between consenting adults, sexting is a way to excite the other from a distance.
And, for the most part, this is all good, clean fun, especially if you don't have time for a steamy phone call and you're too far apart to meet. A 30-second text message full of sexy suggestions might be all that's needed to keep the flames burning.
Of course, sexting can be a double-edged sword. Accidentally sending a sext meant for your partner to your boss or coworker isn't just an embarrassing miscommunication, you could be defending a sexual harassment case in the workplace.
It's a legal matter
There are laws regarding any type of communication of a sexual nature. The responsible first step is to make sure your actions comply with state and federal laws.
Here is a quick checklist of questions to consider before you hit the Send button:
- Are you of legal age to be considered an adult?
- Are the people you'll be sexting considered to be adults?
- Do you own the device you are sexting from?
- Can other people get access to or see messages on your device?
- Do you know the person(s) you are sexting? And have they given you permission to send this kind of message to them?
Perhaps the most important question you should ask yourself is: Are you prepared to deal with the consequences if the content of your messages ever becomes public?
First rule of sexting
When you're sexting, you cannot send messages that are unwanted, inappropriate, illegal or involve people outside of your consenting group.
This means you have to be hyper-aware of who you're sexting and what they consider acceptable to receive from you. Talk with your partner, set limits and discuss expectations so you'll always be comfortable with incoming messages.
Something to bear in mind, though, is that once something is sent, it's sent. If you send someone a picture or a video, you no longer have control over that content. Of course, it can be enjoyed in the moment, deleted and that's it. On the other hand, the content can be easily stored, passed around or posted online for the world to see.
Above all else, consent is required before you start sexting with someone. You should not, under any circumstances, begin sexting anyone who has not given you permission to do so or you stand the risk of serious legal consequences for yourself and damaging emotional consequences for the recipient.
How to practice safe sexting
If you think sexting could be a fun way to spice up your sex life, try sending your partner sexy one-liners or tell them what you want to do with them right this minute. Set a scenario they can dream about until you're next together and can participate for real.
If you want to send pictures and videos, find out what your partner finds arousing. Get dressed up or dressed down so you feel confident and sexy. Include pictures of suggestive items, such as lingerie or sex toys. You don't have to undress to be sexy: Everyone has their own style, and remember, expressing the real you is good for your sexual health.
The best way to find out what your partner likes is to simply ask. People are usually willing to tell you if you ask and will try new ideas as long as they feel comfortable and safe. You want sexting to be a good experience for both you and your partner, so don't go too far out of their comfort zone until they are ready to go there with you.