Good nudes are an artform. Soft natural lighting. Flattering angles. Creating the illusion that your butt cheeks always look this perfectly spherical rather than after 19 tries and various shortlists in multiple positions. My personal rule of thumb for a good nude is this: Does the image turn you on? If it does, you should probably just smash send (presuming you know this person and they’re up for it, obviously).
Voice notes though – that’s a little trickier. People don’t usually get turned on by their own voice (in fact, studies have shown that most of us are horrified by how high-pitched and expressive we really sound), which can make it hard to send something that doesn’t make us want to shrivel up. Voice notes (like sexting or phone sex) also require actual imagination and words, which isn’t always as easy as a flash of tit and some beads of sweat emojis.
Dirty voice notes aren’t going to be for everyone. But if you’re into sexting, they can be really fun. Sex educator and sexologist Gigi Engle – who also runs classes on sexting – says that voice notes can be especially hot because they incorporate senses other than sight. “All of our senses are involved in sexual arousal,” she says, “so it’s a whole different experience hearing somebody saying something dirty to you over the phone. It’s titillating and naughty.”
If you’ve never sent a voice note to your partner or FWB before, Gigi says you should ask them if they’d be into it first – not just for clear consent reasons, but because it might be an awkward time if they’re out and about. “If you have an established relationship and you both know that’s okay then that’s one thing,” she says, “but the problem with voice notes is that if you’re at an office and your phone’s not on silent and you play the voice note [out loud], the whole office might hear.”
Okay, so you’ve established consent – now what? You don’t have to immediately start narrating your own porno or going full throttle fantasy mode. You can start off subtle. “You don’t have to go straight into ‘I’m thinking about your hard cock,’” Gigi says. “The easiest way to go for it is to be like ‘I’m thinking about you naked, you’re so sexy, I can’t wait to see you later’ stuff like that. It doesn’t have to be super raunchy, it can be quite mild and still be very hot.”
Another tip from Gigi is that, if you’re finding it hard to come up with what to say, it can be helpful to describe a real-life sexual experience. “If this is someone you've had sex with before, it can be helpful to describe the last time you had sex. You can be like, ‘It was so hot last night when we drank champagne and then had really intense anal sex. I’m still thinking about it.’ And that way you’re just describing something, rather than coming up with something filthy from your imagination.”
Tasha Reign, an LA-based pornstar, sex columnist and producer, also knows a thing or two about talking dirty. She says that when it comes to sending voice notes, the key is authenticity and not overthinking it. Maybe get used to sending regular voice notes first, she says, “Then get yourself in a space of sexiness. Make sure you’re alone and then just go for it. What I love about voice notes is that you can just be whoever you want to be [and] as dirty as you want to be.”
Like Gigi, Tasha underlines consent as the key to making sure a voice note hits the mark. “Do not send unsolicited sexy voice notes to random people that you don’t know or haven’t been sexual with,” she says. “Do express yourself with someone whom you trust and have consent from. Be authentic and have fun. Get out of your head… Like, what naughty things do you say in real life? Incorporate those in voice notes so you feel comfortable because it’s familiar.”
When it comes to the actual voice part of the voice note, Gigi says it can be fun to lower your voice a touch – everyone loves a husky voice. “I think practicing with speaking in a lower octave – using a ‘sexy voice’ – can be good,” she says. “It might feel a little silly, but sexting can be silly – that’s part of why it’s fun. And really not taking yourself so seriously. This is a sexy foreplay to foreplay… it should be fun and hot. It doesn’t need to be cringey or embarrassing.”
Basically, there is no big secret to sending sexy voice notes. Just make sure they’re into it, you’re into it and the rest will… come. And like Tasha said, don’t get too in your head about it. Send what feels right, in the same way you’d send a sext. Be subtle. Or be slutty. Or be subtle then slutty. Whatever you like. “Be sure to send a warning and then go for it!” says Tasha. “Let your freak flag fly.”