Sexting can be a healthy and fun part of any relationship, be it friends with benefits or serious lovers, but there’s absolutely some ground rules it’s important we all keep in mind.
Try to think of sexting as similar to in person physical affection. “Most folks who date women know that suddenly grabbing a boob in the middle of a conversation is not the best way to turn her on,” said Margot Schulman, author of Choose Love: A Simple Path to Healthy, Joyful Relationships.
And most folks who date men would not go from general get-to-know-you chit chat straight into a story about that wild seven way orgy they had back in college. “Take things one step at a time and pay attention to the other person’s interest and responsiveness level,” said Schulman.
For instance, if you write a text to someone saying “I’m thinking of kissing your beautiful, sexy lips.” and they respond with “Ha! I have the worst garlic breath right now!” That would be a sign to not continue down the sexy path. You could bring the incident up in conversation afterwards to get more information about their interest in sexting.
“Just as in all areas of relationships the best practice is to be present with yourself and present with your partner – pay attention to what feels pleasurable, fun and sexy to you in a sexting situation and pay attention to the signals your partner is giving out as well,” said Schulman.
Some clear bite size rules:
- Think of sexting like you would any other sexual situation. “It’s meant to be pleasurable and fun for you and the other person!” said Schulman.
- Go in step-by-step. Gauge interest. “Don’t dive into the deep end of the pool right off the bat,” said Schulman.
- Pay attention to your pleasure first of all. What turns you on? What could your partner write that would get you feeling the tingles?
- Have a conversation (or a few) with your partner about sexting – what do they like? What do you like?
- Remember with texting that you never know what situation the other person is in when they receive your text! “They might be in the bathroom or talking with their mom. Do not take it personally if you do not get the response you were hoping for,” said Schulman.
- “Do your best to resist making up stories about what your partner meant by a particular text,” said Schulman. Always ask your partner what he/she meant when you read something that upset you.
- Sexting isn’t just about sending photos.
- But if you are sending photos, take them in the moment–just for your partner. “Don’t send the selfies you already have up on Instagram, because that isn’t special,” said Russo.
- It is all about making your partner feel special, and word choice is very important here. “Compliments go a long way. But make them personalized. Don’t be basic. Guys, please, don’t start off with sending the **** pics,” said Russo.
- Test the waters with some flirty chat first. “Trust me, a woman doesn’t want to open to that text in the middle of a workday–if you are just a random guy who hasn’t even turned her on yet,” said Russo.
- Be playful. Use nicknames, make jokes, try out different strings of emojis. “If your partner is receptive to something you say, take it further. Mirror him or her,” said Russo. If the person you are sexting seems disengaged and is responding back in one word, take the hint that they aren’t interested.