There’s nothing quite like unlocking your phone to read that “You up?” text from the one you want. The rush of pressing send on that risky pic you’ve had saved in the “for my eyes only” folder on Snapchat. Maybe for you, it’s feeling that intimate connection with a long distance lover. When you trust someone, sexting can be exciting — the foreplay before foreplay. It can be a huge turn-on imagining what your partner wants to do to your body, and there’s no denying it feels super rewarding getting them hot, too. BUT, as with any sexual activity you’re considering, you’ve gotta weigh the pro’s and con’s and make the best decision for YOU.
The act of sexting might feel like that much more of a thrill because of all of the times you were warned about it. Maybe you dismiss the people with concerns as being old school, like your parents, relatives and teachers. They hardly understand smartphones and modern dating, and have only heard the sexting horror stories. And maybe you’re right, but some of those cautious tales are worth listening to, and worth learning from.
You have some big factors to consider when sexting: the person receiving your texts, the patriarchy, and – HELLOO – the law!
Trust should be the first thing on your mind when debating whether to hit send or delete the draft. How much you trust someone is something only you can calculate. It’s important to ask yourself how well you know the person, if you can predict whether or not they’ll share whatever you send, and what course of action you’d take if they did.
People have lost jobs (wrongfully) over exposed nude photos; so do your thing, but understand the potential dangers, and always keep your face out of the photo just in case. There are also apps like Privates and Confide available on the App Store which allow you to message people while blocking their ability to screenshot. And remember, if you do hit send, there’s always a chance (though maybe small) of your pic getting out there, and there’s no real way to get it back.
The law can be your biggest worry as well as your best friend when it comes to sexting. 46 states and two territories have “revenge” porn laws (AKA non-consensual porn laws) protecting people from images distributed of them without their consent. Click here to see if your state has them. You can even go through the US government to copyright your nudes if you’d like; that way, if your private photos are ever spread against your will, you can sue for up to $150,000. You can register to copyright a group of pictures here.
Be aware of the possession and distribution of pornography laws in your state. If you are under 18 years old, you should not be engaging in explicit messaging (period!). As a reminder, the age of consent is irrelevant for Federal anti-child porn laws. Don’t go there.
But it’s Rewarding!
So you’ve weighed some of the cons, found a partner you trust, searched up your state laws, and you’re ready to get digitally-down-and-dirty. On the days when you don’t feel like you’re baddest self, you haven’t washed your hair in too long, your skin is breaking out, and you feel bloated, it’s amazing to look down at your text messages and be reminded that you’re wanted. Of course, being the self-sufficient woman you are, you don’t need validation from anyone besides yourself, but it only makes sense that you’d feel sexier reading about how someone wants to have sex with you.
It can be even more amazing to take moments to appreciate your body through the lens of your phone camera. Hence, some of the motivation behind the recent #bodyposi movement on social media. Not just body-positive influencers, but women of every size and walk of life have been posting body appreciation posts, wearing less and showing more. Whether you’re thin or thicc (with two c’s), tall or short, most of us are told there’s something wrong with our shape. Odds are, you spend a good portion of your day scrolling and are bombarded with face-tuned pictures of Instagram models. Think about the impact that looking at that same device to see photos of your real, beautiful self has on your self esteem.
Whether you decide to send the photos, post them to your socials, or keep them hidden in your camera roll, try taking some sexy photos for yourself, or maybe even booking a boudoir photoshoot ;). If you’re taking them for another, remind yourself how damn gorgeous you look! Snapping nearly-naked pics can also be an excuse to purchase some new sexy adornments, and a quick run to the lingerie boutique will certainly ramp up how seductive you look and feel.
And nothing makes you feel as good on the inside as an orgasm does. Sexting has been scientifically linked to higher rates of sexual satisfaction. Makes sense, right? Not only does this kind of openness and vulnerability make you feel closer to someone, it also enhances your sex life by heightening anticipation.
Being a “babe with the power,” you know that your choices are YOURS to make, and we want you to make them safely. We’ve given you ways to minimize risks and want to see you live your best life! So go ahead if you want to and are safe about it. Light a candle, turn on the R&B, find some good lighting, and take off a few layers.
About the Author
A sophomore at New York University currently studying Gender and Sexuality Studies, Tara Jones (@tara.michaela on Instagram) hopes to get her Masters in Human Sexuality and go into either sex therapy or sex education. She wants to bring attention to how injustice manifests in sexual interactions and the orgasm gap. In Tara’s free time, she runs a small business designing and creating swimwear (@bytaraj on Instagram).