Lady Friday On How To Sext Without Feeling Like A Fool
19th OF July 2012
With nearly half the adult population reporting that they've sent a sext at least once in their lives, Lady Friday has the guide to doing it properly - without making an embarrassment of yourself.
Sexting Guide 101
A recent study showed that as many as one in four teens in the Western world had sent an explicit photograph to somebody - either over the internet or via phone. And as many as 50% have send a saucy text message.
Clearly, sexting is on the rise. The days of long, detailed James Joyce-esque epistles of arousal left in a letter-box aren't yet numbered, but increasingly people are resorting to quick, easy technology to communicate their desires.
However, many women report feeling 'foolish' or self-conscious while trying to initiate or carry on a steamy conversation via text. RESCU has the tips and tricks to put you in charge.
Text is better than pictures.
A picture may tell a thousand words, but it also has far more potential for embarrassment or misuse further down the line. Even if you're completely tongue-tied, think very carefully before sending a naked picture into the ether.
If you must - either you really trust the recipient or find the idea brilliantly sensual - take steps for your own protection. Obscure all identifying marks, including your face, birthmarks or piercings, and make the environment of the picture as non-identifiable as possible.
If it's not definitively you, it can't be used against you.
A note: just because you've been sent a picture doesn't mean you're required to reciprocate, unless you asked for the picture in the first place under the condition that you'd send one back. If it pops into your inbox, it doesn't automatically require you to disrobe - and if they expect it, they're being rude.
Also, if you're sending it via email and want the potential to change your mind, Gmail has an 'undo send' setting in its Labs function which allows you a 5-10 second window after pressing 'send' to retrieve the offending picture.
Pick your timing.
Women's magazines often say you should 'surprise' a partner in the middle of a busy day with a steamy message.
This is all well and good, but if they happen to be in a stressful situation where they're the centre of attention (meeting, lecture, important lunch) or one which will shortly require them to have their clothes off (doctor's appointment, physical), they might not appreciate it.
There are few more frustrating or embarrassing things than initiating a hot conversation and being politely told that they can't really respond as they're about to present the sales figures to 200 people.
If you're able, try to be aware of their schedule. If they interrupt yours, don't send back something snappy - just let them down gently, tell them the reason you can't respond at the moment, and turn off your phone.
Good times? When you're both gearing up to see one another; when you've been apart for a long time; when you know they're winding down after a stressful period.
Text-speak is for children.
You are an adult. You've gone past high-school age and can write in fluent sentences. Using abbreviations is acceptable if you're texting a friend in a rush, but for seduction, it's a no-no.
The exception is if you and your interlocutor are genuinely aroused by the use of 'l8r' and 'omg'. If that's what gets you off, feel free. Beyond that, take vocabulary into your own hands.
A common trick for excellent sexting is the use of very specific details. Either you can enter into a fantasy space where you're in bed together at that very moment - 'I do xyz' - or you can project into the future, with 'When I see you next I'll do abc'.
In these contexts, you have to use the proper vocabulary - using synonyms like 'lady garden' might make you both collapse in heaps of laughter - and it's a good idea to get inventive with your descriptions. Use a thesaurus if necessary, but make the verbs vivid. You want to have fun, not be bored.
Don't be afraid of profanity and directness.
Texting is preferable, studies show, because it feels faintly detached - people can assume a persona they might feel embarrassed about in real life. So take advantage of this shielding and use the opportunity to be brave.
Now, if you've never really felt comfortable with it, is the time to test whether you like talking dirty - using four-letter words - commanding, asking to be commanded, and generally being explicit. What you show in the bedroom by signs and mute discussions, you can outright ask for over text.
Possibly you can cushion it by adding coy hints ('There's something I've always wanted to ask' or a similar phrase), but now is your chance to say, straight out, 'I want you to _______'.
Your partner is also experiencing that freedom, so be prepared for slightly more shocking requests or displays than normal. They might not translate into real life, but respect their feelings and desires - no responding 'Ewww, that's disgusting' unless they've sent you something truly horrifying or illegal.
Deal with mishaps like an adult.
All gone horribly wrong? This can feel awful - but at least you're safe behind a screen, rather than facing them awkwardly.
If you've sent something which misfired or had no response, don't immediately assume that's the end of everything. Leave a respectable period of time - perhaps a day - and then send an apology if you think you've made them uncomfortable or crossed a boundary. If it's not worth an apology, simply touch base to check what's going on in their head.
Initiated and been shot down? Either go quiet and let the awkwardness pass with dignity, or send a short, funny apology without letting it get too serious.
Been sent something you're really not comfortable with? This is tricky. If it's completely unwarranted and unwanted, it's harassment and it might be time to involve the police. If they've just said something shocking which has derailed your train of thought, deal with it diplomatically.
'I never realised you were into that', 'I guess I've never really been curious about trying that', 'That crosses some of my no-go zones, sorry' - easy, without drama or fuss, but clear.
If it turns into something pressuring or insulting which makes you feel bad, you have every right to turn off the phone or computer and walk away from the conversation.
Apparently 53% of women send a sexy message once in a while - so use these tips and relax. Oh, and if you're intent on clearing evidence, delete everything from your device immediately after receiving it.
Image: Beyonce, possibly after receiving a sext she did not agree with.
Lady Friday xx
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