It’s important to communicate about sex. That’s a point we’ve reported on time and time again. We depend on that exchange to navigate around a lot of critical things like consent, climax, and desire. Typically, these conversations take place in person. And that’s probably a good approach, especially when it comes to the heavy stuff. Of course, most of us aren’t afforded the luxury of having a sit-down with our partner whenever we please. You know, because of things like work. And life.
Fortunately, it’s 2018, and while we may look back at this time with ambivalence, and maybe a little bit of angst, we will be reminded of a certain something that helped keep us close at heart, even when miles apart. Yeah, our cell phones. Because if you can’t talk to your partner in the flesh, you can at least shoot them a text. Or maybe, a sext.
But be warned: navigating around the weird world of textual flirtation isn’t always as simple as it may seem. There is an unspoken protocol in place, and if you fail to abide by its standards, you risk ruining the mood for everyone involved. Which is why, with the help of a few sexting experts, we put together a friendly guide to sexual etiquette. Because no one needs to type their way out of good sex.
Get The Timing Right
Just as you need your partner to be “in the mood” before initiating sex, you need them to be on board before you send off a sext. “Sometimes in long-term relationships, especially when there are kids involved, we can be so exhausted at the end of the day we just want to put on our sweats and relax and watch TV,” says Dr. Sarah Hunter Murray, a relationship therapist and author of the blog Myths of Desire. “Sexts sent during the day can give your partner a heads up that you’ve got sex on the brain and help you both start to get in a sexual headspace.”
Seriously, Timing Is Important
“Women need a lot of foreplay and sexting is great for that,” says Xanet Pailet, a sex educator and author of Living an Orgasmic Life. According to Pailet, the longer the sextual exchange lasts, the more tension will build. And that can lead to an incredibly steamy encounter once you find yourselves alone in the flesh. “If you think you want to have sex on Friday night, start a whole sexting series on Monday,” Pailet suggests. “Send something every day to your partner, ramping up the messages day by day.” In that way, says Pailet, they’ll be more than ready for sex when the day finally arrives.
Try Not To Overdo It
“Unless you’re both into role-play, keep it simple,” says relationship expert Carmel Jones. “This isn’t a sex story. People are generally imaginative. You don’t need to spell it all out for them. They can fill in the blanks themselves.” When it comes to matters of love and sext, sometimes less is more. Leave the long-form narrative for the professionals.
Mind the Details
Remember, you’re not in this alone. Sexting is a team sport, and it’s important that you both stick to the play. “Pay attention to the person’s reply,” says Jones. “If you’re ever unsure, just ask ‘Do you like that?’ or ‘Does that turn you on?’ It’ll give you a better idea of how to continue the sexting conversation without derailing.”
Don’t Say Things You Don’t Mean
General rule: if you don’t want it done in person, don’t say it over a text. “Don’t get ahead of yourself,” says Bethany Ricciardi, the sex and relationship expert over at TooTimid. “If you’d never want to have a finger up your butt, don’t start asking for it through dirty texts. You’ll really confuse your partner and put them in an uncomfortable situation down the road if they try to act out any of the sexual requests you texted. Be sexy and fun, but be true to yourself and sexual desires.”
Be Careful With Texting Pictures
There is no way to entertain an honest conversation about sexting without talking about dick pics. They’re a popular point of contention. There are some who are for, and some who are against. The only way to know if your partner wants a pic is to ask. If she’s not into that particular point of focus, there are plenty of other things to send over. And if she is, well, it never hurts to pepper in a little creativity.
“There’s a number of ways to send a teasing dick pic so don’t be afraid to try different positions and angles,” says Ricciardi. “Take a picture of your lap and tell her you want her sitting right there. If you put context with the photo it really helps and makes it a lot sexier.”