The dos and don'ts of sexting

Sexually explicit text messages – not just for politicians and Disney starlets! Here’s how to do it right.

The dos and don'ts of sexting

DO: indulge in fantasy.

The safety of texting, without face to face communication, means you and your partner will feel more comfortable opening up about hidden desires. If his takes you off guard, try not to laugh about it or show that you’re not keen.

“Don't always take what is said literally. This is about fantasy so don't stress if he says something that you wouldn't normally do in person,” advises Sexologist and Relationship Expert Dr Nikki Goldstein.

Gently deflect or reply with an ambiguous smiley face. Unless it’s something super creepy and disturbing, in which case you should probably reassess the relationship.

DON’T: show your face in any of the photos.

People break up (we know you guys are totally soul mates, but s**t happens). Sometimes it’s amicable, sometimes it’s not. If it’s not, we’re sure you’d prefer not to have your spiteful ex posting nudes of you all over Facebook. No face/head in the shot = plausible deniability.

DO: be subtle rather than all up in his business.

If he’s obviously fishing for a dirty response, don’t give it to him. Think ‘naughty, but innocent’ not ‘professional dominatrix’.

“Use feeling words - I feel, I think, I want…” advises Goldstein.

DON’T: sext under the influence.

“Never say anything you wouldn’t feel comfortable with someone else reading,” says Goldstein.

“Because guys love to share, even if you’ve explicitly asked them not to.”

A couple of flirty exchanges when you’ve got your buzz on is fine, but when you’re struggling to read what he actually wants to do to you because you’ve had four too many tequila shots? It’s a dicey game.

DO: use Snapchat for sending sultry shots.

“Embrace a safer opportunity to be cheeky and flirty!” says Goldstein.

The app lets you send photos to other users which disappear up to 10 seconds after they’ve opened them. There’s an option to screen shot, but if they do, you’ll receive a notification. Much less risky business.

DON’T: engage in sexting if you’ve never actually had sex IRL.

There’s a difference between textual flirtation and cyber-sexting. If you’ve never actually seen each other naked in person, you’ve got no idea what the other is into, what their weaknesses are and what will turn them off faster than you can type “__ my _”.

DO: use it as a way to keep your relationship’s burner at a constant low heat.

When you’re in a trusting relationship, provocative texts are the perfect way to remind your partner of an private moment you both enjoyed, or build sexual tension when you’re apart (which makes the time you’re together even racier!)

Goldstein says, “Leave room for response. Phrasing like ‘How do you feel about that?’ or ‘What would you like to do?’ keeps the banter going.”

DON’T: send an explicit pic out of nowhere.

“Be careful to take the lead from the person you are sexting and not take it a level that might be considered inappropriate,” Goldstein suggests.

We get it. They do it in the movies, and it’s a little awkward at first but then the recipient is really into it and they have awesome sex and live happily ever after. This is not the movies, and random shots of your privates are a terrifying thing for someone to open while they’re standing on a crowded bus heading home after work. If his response implies he’s good to go, he’s probably not a keeper.