Many thanks to Michelle, the author of this post (my thoughts on sexting to follow in a subsequent post later on this week). Hope all is well with you, my sweets!
Michelle is a former communications associate who transitioned into building her own freelance business. She enjoys fashion and staying on top of the latest trends. Sitting by the runway is one of her favorite activities in her free time.
Not so very long ago, it was believed that sexting was a modern scourge sweeping through our youth like mold through last month’s bread. We started conflating sex and texting around the same time as the rise of Snapchat. Parents were horrified at the notion that their unspoiled little angels were sharing dirty pictures of themselves, ruining their chances for decent employment and entry into the Pearly Gates.
But as with many adult fears, the truth turned out to be somewhat different than expected. Were some kids showing their unblemished wears to hormone-drenched peers? Sure. That is neither new nor scandalous. If anything the scandal was in the mountain childless adults were making out of this molehill of a practice. Microsoft even showed a teen sexting at a party to promote the coolness of its ill-fated Kin. Now that was embarrassing, and creepy.
But titillating communications between love interests have been around for as long as there have been means of communication. High megapixel camera-laden smartphones with a persistent connection to the Internet just make it a lot easier to stay in the moment. People have less time to question their behavior before engaging in it. And there are indeed, a few questions worth asking. Here are a few tips to keep it fun and safe:
Make sure it is going to the right person
Have you ever sent an innocent message to the wrong recipient? You may not even realize it when it happens because the recipient will probably not bother to reply, rightly figuring that you just made a simple, one-off mistake.
What about those not-so-innocent messages? Based on this sexting infographic, 8% of women and twice as many men have accidentally sent sexts to family members. Potentially worse is the number of people who have sent sexts to a partner that was meant for someone else. Five percent of women and 10% of men have done this. Double check that recipient line, then check it again before sending it on its way.
Too Much, Too Soon
Good sexting is a bit of an art form. It is the modern equivalent of the Dance of the Seven Veils. It is less about nudity and obscenity as it is about maintaining and enhancing sexual tension to keep things interesting and spicy. Like a game of strip poker, the reveal should be drawn out as long as sanity allows.
Ruining the reveal is not the only problem with moving too fast. When online dating, as with offline affairs, you have to be sure of the other person. There is only so much certainty you can have about someone you only recently met. Sexting is an awkward way to discover your partner’s conservative leanings.
Instead, you will want to start nice and slow. Try a bit of flirtatious texting; just enough so that the flirtation cannot be mistaken for something else. Give your partner a fair chance to respond in kind. If he declines to do so, you have your answer. If he does respond, see if it is in kind, or if he raises the ante. By incremental steps, you can test the rules of the game. In this way, a good time can be had by all.
For His Eyes Only
Unless you live in an Internet-free cave, you have already heard about the theft and exposure of exposed Hollywood stars. While early reports indicated that the photos came from all platforms including Android, Apple is the only company that rates a headline. They are also the only company who started an investigation of the matter and released preliminary results. All of the other potentially indicated companies seem happy to stay in the shadows while Apple acts as industry sword catcher.
Don’t worry, Apple can take it. They possibly even deserve some of the blame. No system is perfect. How dare they put celebrity photos at risk!
The point is, if celebrity photos are at risk on one of the more secure messaging networks in the business, how secure are your sext messages? To be clear, it was not a breach of iCloud or iMessage, but a concerted password attack on a select few. The chances of your salacious sendings winding up on display are almost as close to zero as they were a week ago. If paranoia is keeping you prim and proper, that is a real shame.
The one thing you really want to know about sexting is, should you try it with your partner. The answer, absolutely! Nothing ventured, nothing gained.