I once tried to turn up the heat with a guy I was dating. He was on a two week-long trip to Europe, and I wanted to stay on his radar. Several saucy (let’s just say there was lingerie involved) texts later, he replied: “Um. I don’t think this is the best time to do this. I’m in a museum.” Not to be deterred, I coyly texted back, “What’s wrong with that? Aren’t museums filled with statues and paintings of naked women to get you in the mood?”
His reply came almost immediately. “No. I’m in a war museum.”
Total buzzkill. And it was at this moment that I picked up an important life lesson – always ask your partner where they are and what they’re doing, before unleashing a sext.
Unfortunate timing aside, sexting is a great way for me to communicate with a partner. After all, it’s an ego boost, a reminder that I can get him hot under the collar without even being physically present, and that we’ve got great sexual chemistry. Who wouldn’t want this kind of affirmation? Plus, It’s also useful if you aren’t able to see your man as often as you would like, or if you want a fun way to open up a conversation about your sex life.
And I’m not alone. A global survey done by the Indiana University Kinsey Institute and health app Clue found that 67 percent of 140,000 people have sexted. That’s a big jump from just 21 per cent five years ago. But that’s hardly surprising, considering the proximity of our phones. “It’s the quickest way to satisfy an urge,” says Dawn*. Miss your partner, or maybe you’re in the mood to flirt? Instant cyber intimacy is just a Whatsapp text, FaceTime, or Snapchat away.
So it’s pretty obvious why we sext. But leveling up your sexting game is less about sending snaps of yourself in lingerie or asking for a d**k pic, and more about the banter building up to the main event. “Pictures and GIFs are boring,” says Diane*. “I get the biggest kick out of it when the guy is witty.” I could totally get on board with that. I recall midway through texting an ex once, I playfully suggested testing out his bedsprings out of concern for his safety. He cottoned on quickly, and replied, “You’re right. I might be in grave danger. What services do you offer, or do I get to dictate the testing process?” Now that’s a turn-on. And of course, I couldn’t wait to see him.
Sexting doesn’t always have to be a planned event. Even a mundane task can be an opportunity, if you know how to make the most of it. Like Jill*, who was doing laundry when her man texted to ask what she was up to. When he realised she was loading the washing machine, he turned this everyday chore into a fantasy. “I’ve always wanted to have sex on top of the washing machine,” he texted. “I can imagine the vibrations turning you on.” She went along with it, texting back, “If we get caught I’ll say I was helping you get a stain off your shirts.” When you throw in a little imagination in your sexts, there’s no limit to the cyber fantasies you can conjure.
But words don’t tickle everyone’s pickle. The key is to suss out what your partner is into. No point sending eggplant emojis if he finds that juvenile rather than titillating. If you’re newly partnered up, it’s always a trial and error situation. An easy, but classy way to get into sexting, is to think of something that triggers an emotion for both of you, rather than generic “Tell me what you’re wearing” clichés. Use pet names, talk about something he did that turned you on, or get him to tell you how much he liked that lacy bra you wore last week.
But as for me, I’ve figured out my modus operandi. I know what I like (naughty wordplay) and I know what he likes (wordplay and pictures). I’m not quite as keen on the pics, so I try to make up for it by being more descriptive in what I want him to do and how it feels. Sometimes, it’s all about meeting each other halfway, isn’t it?
Sext safely – because getting busted is a surefire way to kill the mood
1. Ask yourself if you trust your partner with your body – especially in an age when everything can be screen-grabbed. If the jury’s still out on that, you may want to keep any visuals on the down low.
2. Understand that pictures, even deleted, will be immortalised in the dark hole known as the Internet. So keep your face out of view if you want to err on the side of caution.
3. Don’t engage in multiple text conversations when you’re mid-sext. Not only is it a distraction, but you might slip up, and send a text to someone you really shouldn’t be talking dirty with.
4. Don’t send pictures without giving him a heads up during office hours. Two words: Web Whatsapp. You don’t want to treat his desk buddy to enlarged pictures of yourself on his computer screen.
*Names have been changed.
This story was first published in the June 2018 issue of Her World magazine.