Sexting can be hot. Whether you’re doing it with a Tinder match you may not ever meet or a long-term partner you can’t wait to reunite with, telling and showing someone how much you want them and what you’d do to them comes with its own unique thrills and pleasures—and risks (like your sexts getting leaked).
Fortunately for most of us non-celebrities, our dirty texts and sultry nudes probably won’t make tabloid headlines or get turned into viral memes (no matter how cringe they are). But that doesn’t mean we should be reckless about sexting. If there’s one thing we can learn from the long history of celebrity sexting snafus, it’s that there are simply better ways to do it than the text equivalent of waving your dick around.
Let’s get some obvious but necessary disclaimers out of the way: Consent is non-negotiable, even if it’s “just” sexting. You shouldn’t sext others if you’re in a committed relationship. And never sext minors.
Now, here are some ways to send some hot texts without burning yourself.
Sext people you trust
Sext people who are clearly attracted to you and are happy to reciprocate your dirty messages. Sexting won’t be as fun if whoever’s at the other end of the line doesn’t sext back anyway.
But it’s not enough that the other person wants to do it—you should also trust that they won’t hold your sexts against you if the opportunity ever presents itself. The hard truth is that sexting often comes with receipts (and one study found that some people won’t ever delete their ex’s nudes) so make sure it’s in both of your best interests.
Sext while sober
Being drunk or high can often lead to making rash decisions your sober self will regret (like sexting your ex). Not to mention incoherent or even illegible text messages and unflattering photos.
Sext sober. That’ll keep your mind and messages sharp.
But if for whatever reason you decide to sext when you’re under the influence, at least don’t be too far gone. Make sure it’s still you sexting, not the substance.
Use expiring messages to sext
Sometimes sexts are so good you want to read them over and over again like your own personal romance novel, but other times you just wish they never happened.
Luckily, messaging apps like Telegram and Instagram have the option for disappearing or expiring messages. This lets you have all the in-the-moment fun of sexting without the looming, permanent proof that you did it.
To be clear: This is not to encourage sexting when you’re not supposed to in the first place. It’s just for when you want to be extra safe about what happens to your messages or nudes.
Be careful with sexting photos and videos
Most people know to not send nudes with their face in them to people they don’t absolutely trust, but others forget that our faces aren’t our only identifying features.
Look out for any visible tattoos or even things in your background that give away your identity. If you need to, crop or blur things out.
Beyond that, though, remember that taking nudes should be fun, too.
Maintain some elegance and eloquence in your sexts
Skip the multiple exclamation points, all-caps messages, hieroglyphic-esque emoji sequences, and onomatopoeia. Sexting is an exercise in communication. Whatever you say should make the person imagine exactly what you mean—so use your words, but make them clear and concise.
Messages like “I just got out of the shower” provide a clear image and invite the person you’re sexting to make the next move, so to speak. Something like “I love when you talk like that” lets the person know they’re on the right track, too. And in case they ever decide to screenshot, this shows they were complicit. If you’re out of ideas, you can always ask something as simple as “What’s your fantasy?” to keep the conversation going.
Check in after sexting
When all is said and done, sexting can leave people in a vulnerable state. Should I have done that? Was everything I said OK? Will I ever hear from that person again?
That’s why it’s good to check in with the person you sexted after you finish sexting. Sure, the moment is done when the moment is done, but it doesn’t hurt to send a quick “That was fun” message the day after.
Think of it like the morning-after pillow talk and breakfast of sexting.
Keep sexts to yourself
Finally, keep sexts to yourself.
You wouldn’t secretly record yourself actually having sex and then send the files to other people. Whoever you sexted was sexting you, not your group chat. Respect that.
Follow Romano Santos on Instagram.