Do you have social media? Have you ever flirted through them? Then surely you have practiced sexting in some way! (or you have “a friend” who has done it). Whether you have or not, sexting has its basic rules that you should know, especially if you already practice it (or plan to do so).
Why? Well, like any sexual practice, it involves a series of responsibilities, but also, since it is a virtual practice, it also implies risks. Therefore, sexting has pros and cons, and in this article, we want you to master the practice like a pro to make it a safe and satisfying experience for all parties involved. Are you in?
What is sexting?
Sexting involves the exchange, between two people, of personal sexual content such as text messages, photos or videos via virtual means, from any device with internet access. This content can be recorded and later sent, or shown live. Therefore, depending on the specific medium or the people who engage in sexting, we can mention different options for sharing sexual content.
Where can I do sexting?
As we mentioned earlier, any device with internet access can be used for sexting, although the most popular methods are:
- Messaging apps: exchanging text messages and photos through WhatsApp or Messenger, etc.
- Social media: through direct messages, photos, and videos on platforms like Instagram or Twitter, among others.
- Video calls: another option that some couples resort to is showing explicit content in real-time, such as FaceTime or WhatsApp and Instagram video calls.
- Dating apps: more and more dating apps include the option to share photos in the moment. Some of these apps are Bumble or Grindr.
- Email: it’s not the most popular option by far, but some people use this medium to share messages and sexually suggestive images.
Some of these platforms protect sensitive content from being shared with third parties by deleting the material after a few seconds of viewing or preventing screenshots from being taken.
Furthermore, these platforms increasingly include more options for protecting sensitive content and have specific policies regarding the inappropriate use of explicit images. However, the fact that it involves sexual material makes it particularly sensitive and has both advantages and disadvantages.
When we think of sexting, the first thing that may come to mind is a long-distance relationship. Indeed, this practice provides a different and stimulating way to explore sexuality and maintain passion in these types of relationships where direct contact is much more limited.
But we don’t have to think exclusively of couples who are hundreds or thousands of kilometers away. For many people, sexting facilitates a sense of comfort and security in their sexuality by expressing their desires and fantasies with the anonymity and intimacy that the internet provides.
For others, sexting can also be a way to have intimacy without physically being present. There is even the possibility of using it as a means to foster trust and communication in a relationship. The benefits and opportunities it offers are almost endless! But we cannot overlook the limitations.
First and foremost, sexting can endanger people’s privacy and security if images or messages are shared without their consent. This is the case with video calls, which can often be recorded and shared online.
Although there are platforms that seek to eradicate the problems associated with the distribution of non-consensual erotic content, this does not prevent a person from recording another person’s screen and disseminating it to third parties. Therefore, even in the best of scenarios, it is advisable to be cautious whenever sexting is practiced.
In addition, sexting has an addictive component and can lead us to risky behaviors. It is difficult to be aware of the extent or impact that sharing this type of content can have because, to be honest, we do not usually think about the worst-case scenarios. However, the repercussions of uploading explicit content to the internet range from the most insignificant to the most serious, depending on the context and different circumstances.
In this sense, we have to mention that sexting can create legal problems if it involves minors or if explicit content is shared without the consent of all parties involved. And in the case of the victim, this can lead to possible bullying, extortion (such as manipulating or controlling the partner through threats to share their images), changes in relationships with friends and family, etc. Therefore, how can you enjoy this practice in a satisfactory, consensual, and respectful way?
The 5 keys for a good use of sexting
Although some of them may seem obvious, it is necessary to continue addressing them because, on occasions, imprudence or even crimes can be committed due to lack of knowledge. So, to be an expert in the good use of sexting:
- Make sure you have the consent of your partner (or interlocutor) before sharing any kind of intimate content.
- Establish clear boundaries, express them and respect those of the other person.
- Use secure and reliable messaging apps that protect your privacy.
- Do not share images or videos that show your face or any other characteristic that could identify you, such as tattoos, scars, birthmarks…
- If you are not comfortable with sexting, communicate it and explore other ways to maintain intimacy in your relationship.
How to start the conversation
It is important to highlight that consent is essential in both in-person sexual relationships and sexting. It is necessary that both or all parties agree and feel comfortable with what is being shared. The fact that it is an online practice does not mean that consent takes a back seat, as any type of virtual pressure or manipulation can have serious consequences.
To start, you can initiate the conversation with a compliment about their image or some subtle comment in which you refer to the desire you feel towards him or her. In the case of social networks, where photos can be shared through stories, it is easy to show sexual interest in someone by reacting to their posts with emojis.
If this desire is mutual, you can move on to ask what they are doing at the moment and use that as a way to continue with a more risqué conversation. For example, if they are watching a movie, you can ask if they would like to watch it with you instead of watching it alone.
If you have a more established relationship, propose a sexual fantasy or scenario that you would like to explore together. Share a sexually stimulating memory that you have had with that person in the past and refer to what you would like to do now.
Based on this foundation, there are some phrases with which we can invite someone to initiate a sexting conversation. For example:
- Would you like us to share intimate photos? Is there anything specific you would like to try?
- Do you want me to describe what I want to do to you?
- Are you home alone right now?
- I’ve been thinking about you since I woke up.
- Have you ever had a fantasy in which I am the protagonist?
- What do you think if we get a little more provocative?
- Would you like me to show you what I’m wearing under my clothes right now?
As you can imagine, there are countless contexts and circumstances to consider: it depends on the people, the moment, the status of their relationship, the application or platform from which they are doing it, etc. Therefore, all the ideas we have given you are general keys that can serve you in (almost) all scenarios. But in the end, you are the one who has to regulate the conversation. So, after all, do you feel ready to try sexting?
Author: Andrés Suro (Sexual Coach at MYHIXEL)
Psychologist specialized in the social area and expert in sexology applied to education.
Remember you can book a private consultation with me at MYHIXEL CLINIC. Book your appointment here.
Do you have any questions about our online consultation service? Contact us through our WhatsApp Business +34 643 84 91 23