“Sexting” is a retarded, sensationalist, armchair psychology/media-created buzzword made up to scare the kind of gullible and easily excitable, pearl-clutching middle aged parents who still think that “rainbow parties” were (or are) an actual thing that all the morally bankrupt kids these days participate in. If you need an example, look no further than the Tyra Banks show, whose notoriously megalomaniacal host is always first in line to publicly slut-shame anyone she can. According to Wikipedia, “sexting” is the act of sending sexually explicit text messages or photos electronically via cellphones. Predictably, the idea of “sexting” as a nation-wide epidemic has gotten way, way out of hand…even to the point where it’s considered a fucking FELONY in some states, for kids under 18.
OK, so yeah, it would suck to be a highschooler, have texted your boyfriend a picture of your boobs, or whatever, and then after you break up, realize that boobie picture originally meant for your boyfriend’s eyes only, is all over the school, due to the ease with which multimedia images are spread about nowadays. Like, ok, this sucks for you, but, what the hell is so wrong with a teen girl expressing her sexuality as long as it’s done as an honest response to the way she feels (as opposed to being intimidated into it by others)? I feel like if there’s any real “problem” here, it’s that it lends itself to judgemental assholes on the outside looking in showing their true colors, making girls and by extension, women feel bad about being sexual (read more about this here).
So what was the point of this long-winded rant, you ask? How does “sexting” affect me, the broke-ass, urban-dwelling twenty-to-thirty-something? I say, damn the man, because “sexting”, when used wisely, can be a fairly economically sound source of fun. Here are some things to keep in mind, however:
1. Be sure that whomever you are texting, whether it involves photos or not, is fairly trustworthy. I mean, I get that it can be part of the fun to be dirty texting with someone new, but make sure that person isn’t an exploitative asshole. So, get to know them at least a little bit (1-2 dates might be a good “yardstick”) before you start “unleashing the girls” to our modern day celluloid, as it were. I mean, shit happens, and you can never be too sure, etc., etc., but just proceed with caution and always keep in mind the worst case scenario. However…
2. Don’t be afraid to be “too” uninhibited if you initially feel comfortable enough to do so. Sometimes, girls and women have a knee-jerk tendency to be a little coy and adhere to archaic social conventions that can arbitrarily dictate what a “lady” is. I say fuck that shit, and if you want to, well, fuck HIS/HER shit, sometimes, it’s necessary to be explicit. It can even unleash a new and different sexy side to you that you never really knew was there, thereby adding complexity to your overall character as a human being. And who doesn’t want to build some character?
3. If you have unlimited text messaging on your phone, it can be a wiser use of your phone time, especially if you’re like me and absolutely loathe talking on the phone for any more than 10 minutes. However…
4. Though it can be fun to have dirty conversations via text, or more efficiently determine where/when your next sexual encounter will take place, this shouldn’t take the place of a frank conversation. Frequently, texting and IM’ing, because it’s a bit harder to communicate tone, can be misenterpreted. If you have something a bit more heavy to discuss, texting is not the place for it. It implies a lack of appropriate concern for the other person, and it’s nearly impossible to have a rich discussion about anything this way. For example, I was recently baited into a conversation via text by a dude about the nature of our specific relationship to one another. I mentioned boundaries being an issue, and that I would need to have a larger conversation about this in order to, as best I could, accurately capture the nuances of what this person was asking me. How on earth is it a) an appropriate thing to text me something like: “Wat boundaries?”, and b) possible for me to even respond to that?
5. If you’re on the go, or you’re away from your sex buddy or significant other, dirty texting can be a hot and efficient way of letting them know you’re thinking of them, and anticipating sexual activity when you meet again. I’ve say it before, and I’ll say it again, there is nothing wrong with expressing your desire for sex. Pretty much ever. Though, it can really be distracting at work, especially if all of your brain’s blood suddenly rushes to your genitals. But for those of you who have shitty jobs, it just proves that a monkey with a typewriter could do just as well, and you probably need to quit and find a more fulfilling job anyway. Two birds with one sexy stone!