You’ve probably seen all of the media coverage about sexting and its potential pitfalls, but experts say there are ways to sext appropriately while promoting intimacy in a relationship. Use these quick tips for sexting responsibly.
Sexting can effectively enhance arousal and stimulate “play” in your relationship, but just like any form of sex, failing to set ground rules can lead to disaster. Not only can intimate texts be misconstrued and lead to hurt feelings, they also can be instantly forwarded to hundreds (if not thousands!) of other people. Best-selling author and “America’s Behavior Expert” Scot Ferrell explains this concept further: “You need to remember that every word you have ever written to someone can be released or exposed to the world within seconds. If you can accept those consequences, sexting can be a vital part of exploration and the ability to share fantasies on an intimate level.”
Rules for safe sexting
- Sext only with people you actually know. While this may seem like a no-brainer, online dating has created a whole new world of sexual intimacy without physical knowledge, and sexting individuals with whom you’ve never had physical contact can be a very dicey game.
- Talk with your partner beforehand to make sure that he’s comfortable with sexting and that he understands that intimate texts are not to be shared with third parties. This helps clarify sext ethics within your relationship.
- Make choices about when and where sexting is appropriate. You don’t want to start a racy conversation in a setting where third parties could read your texts over your shoulder.
- Set boundaries with your partner regarding sexual content you’re willing to put out into the digital world. He needs to know that you won’t be sending him nude photos or detailed sexual requests if you’re not comfortable with that.
tips for fun & safe sexting
When starting a sexual conversation by text, keep the tone mysterious and full of insinuation. Flirting and relationship expert Rachel DeAlto says, “Keep texts simple, and let the imagination take over. Allude to a night you shared or a night you want to share. The purpose of sexting is to evoke desire.”
View sexting as a form of foreplay. You can tease, hint and flirt with your partner to get the juices flowing, all without being overtly sexual. It’s almost like a burlesque dance: All the elements of sex are there, but the goods remain undercover. This also gives you the opportunity to think creatively and use your personal experiences, nicknames and inside jokes as a form of communication. Ultimately, using this type of couple-speak can enhance the bond you share.
Finally, sexting should be a conversation between two people, not a one-sided play-by-play, emphasizes Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D., psychotherapist and author of Money, Sex and Kids: Stop Fighting about the Three Things That Can Ruin Your Marriage. Ask for responses from your partner after you make a statement, and wait for a response. This can help sexting feel more like the real thing. With practice, it can even help enhance your sexual relationship.