Sexting can offer a fun tool to spice up both casual and committed relationships. Before you take things to the next level, consider how to keep yourself safe.
So, What IS Sexting?
While some may define sexting as digitally sharing explicit and/or nude photos and videos, many folks consider sending any message of a sexual nature to be sexting. Even without nudes hurtling through cyberspace, a sexy text exchange can have all the power of a picture ?— and carry the same embarrassment risk.
Written communication is a great way to both engage in some fun, harmless flirting and take things to the next level. Since many IRL relationships often start off on our phones these days, it follows that flirting over text and full-blown sexting has become an integral part of our sex lives.
The Pros and Cons of Sexting
Sexting can be an easy way to engage in the excitement of sex without the risks of actual physical sex. Still, sexting does come with its own dangers. Not to turn this into a high school health-class presentation, but sexting does have its good and bad sides. It's important to consider both aspects before you hit send on that sultry fantasy you just typed out for your SO (or the person you met on your dating app last night).
- Pro: Staying connected when you're apart. Sexting can keep sexual desire and communication strong in some relationships. Especially for folks in long-distance relationships, sexting is a flirty way to keep things spicy even when you can't get together physically. Sexting is also a great way to connect with someone you can't see often.
- Pro: Introducing fantasies in a safer context. Sexting offers another path to intimacy. Maybe you have a sexual fantasy and you want to test the waters before bringing things up in the literal bedroom. You can use sexting to gauge your partner's reaction, all within the relative safety of your phone.
- Con: Possibility of sharing without your consent. If you're sexting with someone who turns out not to be trustworthy, there's a huge potential for misuse. There are jerks out there, and they do take images and videos meant to be private, intimate interactions and publish them as revenge porn.
- Con: Vulnerable to hacking or accidental views. Even if your sexting partner doesn't intentionally betray your trust, your messages could be intercepted ?— either on your partner's side or your side. This can be as dramatic as an account getting hacked, or as innocent as someone accidentally catching sight of a notification when that naughty message comes through. Seen by the wrong person (like, cringe, your boss), sexts can have some serious unintended consequences.
Is Your Partner Trustworthy?
It's impossible to completely avoid the dangers of sexting. Accounts get hacked. Your mom may pick up your phone at the Exact. Wrong. Time. Things happen, and if you do decide to sext, you have to be okay with some degree of risk. (Pro-tip: If you don't mind sending sexy pics without your face in full view, you'll have an added layer of protection in the event your photos ever are shared without your consent.)
Sexting with someone you can really, truly trust is also so important. Whether you're casually sexting with a new boo or you're in a long-term, committed relationship, think about your level of trust. A Psychic Advisor can help you determine if your partner is trustworthy and coming to the sext exchange with good intentions.
Safe Sexting Strategies
Ready to spice things up and send those flirty texts for him or her? Keep some tips in mind to keep things sultry while still playing it safe, both in terms of safeguarding your images and maintaining a healthy mindset:
- Prioritize consent. First things first. Enthusiastic permission is essential for sexting, even if you're had IRL physical sex with the person in question. If you've ever received an unsolicited shot of someone's genitals, you know that sexting done wrong can make you feel violated or even threatened. You should keep practicing consent throughout the exchange, checking in regularly to make sure everyone is still on the same page before taking things to the next level. Simple phrases like "Do you want more?" can be both respectful and very hot.
- Ease in. Establish some ground rules, then slowly start the sexting sesh. You can try letting your partner know what about them turns you on, then elaborate as consent is established. Not sure what to say? Let them know what you'll do when you meet up, or reminisce about something you've already done together.
- Consider when you're sexting. Texting "WYD?" in the middle of the night can come off as offensive, depending on your relationship dynamics. But you'll also want to be aware of when you're sending that saucy text during the day. If your sext recipient is living with their parents or in the middle of a big meeting, your message can cause some serious problems. Sext when your partner has privacy, and again, ask for consent, both to respect your partner and to avoid uncomfortable situations thanks to a poorly timed sext.
- Be mindful of what you send. It's ultimately your choice about what you send, and if someone shares images of you without your permission, it's never your fault. That said, you can protect yourself by framing photos or videos so you don't include identifiable features in what you send. This can give you more peace of mind, especially in new relationships when you don't know the other person that well.
- Pay attention to settings. You can adjust settings on your devices for an added layer of protection. Think about un-syncing your phone from iCloud or iPhoto, and consider safely storing or even erasing photos after you send them. You can also adjust your text message settings to turn off "preview messages" so the phone displays only the texter's name, not the text or photo they've sent.
If you need some personalized advice about how to navigate sexting with your partner, an intuitive Psychic can help. Talk to a Psychic at PathForward today!