Sexting can be a wonderful thing. It’s intimate, it’s exciting, and for long-distance couples, it can be an especially great reminder of what your partner, ahem, looks like. But it can be a real minefield, too. Spurned exes have the power to go public. Snapchats can be screengrabbed and shared. Messages can be awkward and misinterpreted. It’s messy and weird and there’s no universal system explaining how it should be done. But that doesn’t mean you should bow out of the game. The bottom line is that sending intimate and sexy texts can be a great way to connect with your loved one, but it’s also an activity that takes skill, practice, and a little bit of patience. Below, we present a few tips for doing it right.
1. Be yourself
Just because you’re sending a new style of communication to your partner doesn’t mean you have to transform into a whole new person. You don’t need to sound like a porn star (unless you are a porn star, in which case go for it); if you’re close enough with this person to be sexting them in the first place, they should already be on board with who you are. Try to be yourself. A good basic rule is to sext only things you would also say in person.
2. Keep photographs face-free
Don’t want your naked pics to end up all over the internet? Keep your face out of them. This will protect your identity in the event of a bad breakup, and it’s also a sexy maneuver in its own right: A few artistic shots of unidentified unmentionables will keep your partner guessing in ways a full-length photo definitely does not. For the sextually inhibited among us, this can also be a good way to infuse an inherently risque practice with a little bit of modesty.
3. Wait until you’re comfortable with your partner before getting sexy over text
Everyone operates on a different emotional wavelength, especially when it comes to sex and relationships. So unless you’re prepared for your plans to backfire, don’t put yourself out there with a bunch of sexy texts until you know what your S.O. is into. After all, a surefire way to facilitate the demise of a nascent dating situation is to creep one party out by prematurely sending them X-rated content. Sure, some people might get a thrill out of that behavior, but everyone’s different, and you can’t know for sure how your actions will be received until you’re really comfortable with your partner. The safest bet is to wait until that point before going too wild with the sexting.
4. No drunk sexting
Drunk sexting is a dangerous and foolhardy endeavor. First of all, it exponentially raises the chance that you’ll accidentally send your message to the wrong person. It also opens you up to embarrassment in an already vulnerable moment. What seems sexy four drinks in does not necessarily translate when you’re sober. And drunk texting can be humiliating enough even when it’s a platonic affair; add scantily-clad selfies and sweet nothings, and the opportunities for embarrassment are limitless.
5. Be kind to your partner
Above all, kindness is key when it comes to sending NSFW messages with your partner. Like with everything relating to sex and relationships, beginnings and first times can be messy and awkward. That’s part of what makes them great. Be the first to laugh off any possible blunders and make it clear that you guys are in this together. This will make both of you feel more comfortable, and more willing to take risks, and thus much more likely to achieve greatness in the complicated art of sexting.
6. Use a safe, secure channel
We’ve talked about this before, but it’s worth repeating. If you’re going to send messages you don’t want the whole world to see, exercise caution. Use an encrypted app — Couple and
WhatsApp are two examples — that will keep the content of your message secure. Cell phone messages usually are not encrypted, although there are apps you can get aimed at keeping them private, and if you’re using Twitter, make sure the DM you think you’re sending is truly a DM and not a Tweet. Using SnapChat has its risks, too: The images can be screengrabbed for posterity, which means they too can end up on the internet. The bottom line? Have fun but be careful, and make sure you trust the person you’re sending any X-rated messages.
Good luck, and let us know about any additional tips you may have in the comments section.