Most adults have sent sexy texts or racy photos to a partner, according to a new survey, and experts say it can help you tap into your desires and steam things up IRL - if you follow these sexting ground rules.
For most of us, our phones have become extensions of ourselves. We use them to connect with the people we care about, to eat and to track our every footstep.
So it makes sense that because our phones are integral to even the most mundane of tasks, of course, they are also a big part of where we live our romantic lives. Here are some tips on doing it right.
Establish ground rules
Before you hit send on that naked selfie or text an eggplant emoji to your partner, establish consent by having a conversation during which you both enthusiastically agree you’re into it. As with everything sexual, consent is key, and it's good to decide on some ground rules you're comfortable with.
If your partner only wants sexy text messages then send them those. If a partner is not comfortable sending nude self images, don't pressure them to send them. Then, negotiate rules of access. Is it okay to save messages? Is it okay to save photos/videos? Is is not okay? Set those guidelines and stick to them.
For many couples, the key to making sexting feel natural is to start with messages that are subtle. The first few sexts you exchange don’t even need to be sexy. Start by sending your partner words of appreciation. Then, depending on how it’s going, escalate from there.
Sexting can be a potent form of foreplay - think of it as a way to gradually build sexual tension. You can have long foreplay throughout the day. For example, someone says, "I’m thinking about you." And then you start to be more explicit: "Remember last night when you kissed me on my neck? I really liked that."So you build it the way you would build a sexy conversation. You don’t jump straight to the action. Many times you don’t even get to the action. You just get home and get it on.
It depends on your comfort level of course but consider using sexting as a way to suggest something that you haven't experienced yet and would love to try. Or use it as a tactic to tap into what really turns you on. With women, in particular, it helps you find what you find arousing. It helps you get to know this whole other aspect of yourself. And then you can share it with a partner. You’re actually kind of educating them on what you find hot.
Sexting with your partner should be fun and relaxed, not something rigid and formal. People put a lot of pressure on themselves with sex, and it becomes this really serious thing.
Sexting can be as playful as you want it to be. Be creative; there are tons of emojis and GIFs that can be used as innuendos. Invent your own secret sexting language. It really is just another way to flirt.
If it's not working for you, say so
In the beginning, it might take a while to get into a good sexting rhythm - it might even feel uncomfortable at first. And that’s okay. A little discomfort is actually good because it means you’re doing something new.
But if you or your partner aren’t enjoying the exchanges, agree to give it a rest. Test the waters a little bit. Don’t be pushy. It’s important to say to your partner, ‘I really want you to tell me if something doesn’t work for you - I don’t want you to suck it up.’
Sexting, at its best, is about paying attention. It’s a conversation. Even when you're conversing in erotic produce.