I have recently discovered just how ubiquitous sexting is. I was out with friends recently and the question came up — ‘how many have sent naked photos of them selves or explicitly sexy messages?’ For both questions, all hands and the table shot up.
Personally, I was surprised. I knew sexting was a thing. But like surfing or kite boarding, I thought it was a bit of a niche. Apparently not.
But what followed the initial question was a fascinating discussion on some of the group rules for sexting. So.. here is the collective wisdom from our last night, booze fuelled discussion – it actually is pretty reasonable stuff:
- The two types of sexting. Some/many/most people these days have sexting as a component of a physical/in-person relationship. But there are other sexting relationships, where sexting is the extent of the relationship – you only know one another online and you just enjoy the sexy back and forth. Both are great.
- Rule number one .. and everyone agreed to this immediately — Remember that the person on the other end of the sexting is a real person. Even if you don’t know the person in ‘real life’, you need to remember that they are a human being worthy of consideration and respect. One of the women at the table – a pretty prolific sexy texter – said she was surprised at how often the guys she sexted with immediately objectified and degraded her. “I’m not a 1-900 number she said’. Act like that and you get an immediate block.
- If you’re female, you get to make all the rules. This is an offshoot of #1 but more. There are so, so many more men who want a sexy sexting relationship, that if you are a female who is into it, you’re a golden unicorn wrapped in fairy dust. So, last setters, never forget how special you are.
- Remember that everything you send endures. This is obvious. What you send digitally – text or photos – can live on the internet forever. Make you you really trust anyone you send provocative texts or photos to. And, out of respect, you should ask whether the expectation is that everything is permanently deleted post-sext session. And, don’t be a douche… if you say you will delete the conversation, delete it.
- Be smart with photos. This is obvious too. Only send provocative photos to someone you really really trust. And make sure you understand the type of photos the photos the other person wants. Especially if you’re a guy, a lot of women don’t like dick pick… and a lot do. But this who dislike them tend to dislike them a lot.
- Consider the ethics of the whole thing – especially when you have a primary relationship and you are sexting with someone who is not your primary romantic partner. People vary tremendously in ‘what they consider sexting to be’. My wife, for example, sees it as a very innocent pass-time, akin to watching porn. Others would consider it a form of cheating. You should know in which camp you and your partner consider sexting.
Its a brave new(ish) world there out on the internet. There’s lots of sexy fun to be had but also some pitfalls. Sext fun and intelligently.