You’re a man, and you’ve got needs. Luckily, your needs aren’t so selfish: Everyone has them — though they’re on a sliding scale, from positive reinforcement to straight-up freaky-naughty stuff.
If you’re playing the online dating game, you will encounter potential matches who fall everywhere along this spectrum, and your chemistry with each person will be a unique blend of your respective needs. However, the digital dating revolution has evolved the rules of courtship, and at some point in these “relationships” — even the ones that start out politely — things will escalate to freaky-naughty texting tango. Sexting is part of the chase these days, and it’s important to know how to approach the game from various angles on this dating spectrum.
Once you’ve sexted, you can’t unsext, you can’t be sending a guy sexy pictures of yourself, then rein in the entire thing and be like ‘How’s the weather?’ You can’t go back to a completely innocent convo, ever.
Before you venture into this point of no return, review this list of sexting do’s and don’ts so that your needs — and his — are all understood, and wanted.
Do: State Your End Goal
Be intentional: This person should know if your motive is a hookup or harmless dirty exchange, or if you’re still interested in dating after everything’s said and done. We all know that one’s interest can be lost as soon as things climax, so be upfront: The point at which you start sexting is a great place to state your end goal. This way, nobody gets hurt, and hopefully, both parties are still on board for fun — in person, or just via text.
To that point, once you’ve established expectations, here are guidelines for each end goal:
Potential Boyfriend: “Say anything along the lines of how incredibly sexy and beautiful and amazing they are, how you can’t believe whatever they sent you is all yours, that you can’t wait to see them again and pleasure them until their eyes cross.”
Potential Hookup: “If it’s truly just a hookup, the dirtier the sext words and responses, the better. Make him or her feel like they’re going to be the best you’ve ever had, and vice versa.”
If you’ve gone on a few dates and are just spicing things up: “Don’t say much besides the sweet stuff — i.e. wanting to kiss them again or make out. A subtle allusion to how you can’t wait to get further with them could also work given the situation, but tread lightly!”
Don’t: Give Up On The Person If Met With Resistance
Sexting isn’t for everyone. And if your partner is hesitant about sexting, then it doesn’t mean he or she is any less interested in you; it just means that they don’t get the same rise out of the digital flirtation. After all, the most important thing is your in-person chemistry, so that’s where your real judgments should be made. Think of it this way: Some people are verbal during sex, and others aren’t. Among those “others” are many people who are baffled by any vocal aggression.
If your partner is typically turned off by sexting, then ask him to lead the way when it comes to sexty time. Tell him it’s OK that they he isn’t comfortable with it — you were simply inquiring, and no feelings are hurt — but that the proverbial door is always open should they change their mind. Hopefully they’ll surprise you, if only because they know you like it. If so, marry this person immediately.”
Do: Consider How You’ll Meet
Some guys may want to wait longer to start sexting — like, after a few dates, and maybe even after you’ve had sex. If you met on a hookup app, then it’s probably fair game to start sexting right away. However, some guys on these apps still want to be “courted” first, even with a little get-to-know-you small talk. Sexting can be just as vulnerable as actual sex, so suss it out; is his profile photo buttoned up, and is he asking you about your job? Take it slower. Does he describe himself as a gentleman or a freak in the sheets? Then sext away; the door is open.
Don’t: Sext On The Dating Site/App Itself (With One Exception)
Don’t send a sext via anything but your own personal text messages. Maybe that’s bit strange, but if you haven’t graduated past messaging within a dating site or social media app, then you certainly shouldn’t be sending or receiving full-on sexts unless you’re just a dirty bird. You can flirt, but save the filthy stuff for non-app communication.
There’s one exception, though (and no, it’s not Snapchat, unless you can both agree to avoid taking any screenshots). Certain apps — like Grindr — are green lights for a zero-to-sexty rapport. It’s not uncommon to be sexting multiple people at once in these apps, but be aware that you’re not building any mutual trust with anyone, which is a big part of sexting — and sex.
Do: Learn Your Partner’s Comfort Level
You know how we all have different definitions of “hooking up”? For some people, it’s as harmless as making out, but for others the term is used to describe intercourse. You should assume the same with sexting — your intensity may not match your partner’s.
Let’s pretend your partner is on board for a little naughty texting. Don’t jump in with a nude photo and expect one in return. It’s perfectly OK to ask your partner about his level of comfort. However, hopefully you can play off his cues, too, because the spontaneity has its own stimulating value.
If they’re being extra flirtatious or making more innuendos than usual, then that’s usually a pretty good sign that they’re feeling it. But in general, don’t be afraid to just talk to them about their thoughts on sexting. If he has your ego and best interests in mind, then this shouldn’t be an embarrassing topic to bring up. Just open the floor for the conversation.”
Don’t: Send Pictures Of Your Junk
PLEASE GOD. Nobody legitimately wants a picture of your penis. I’m sorry, I know it hurts. Penises are pretty. They’re even prettier to see in person, if it’s someone you care for and are attracted to. But in a picture? Just…no.
One exception to the dick-pic rule, though: Posing naked in the mirror never hurt nobody. We’ll take that if the rest of your body and face are included in that picture.
Do: Compliment And Encourage
Sexting is an incredibly vulnerable act. And anybody who starts sexting should respect this. I’ve had guys who have barely reacted — wet rags, tell you what — and others who lose their shit. Everyone is going to respond differently. At the end of the day, it’s just pictures and words. Nothing beats the real thing, so don’t expect amazing responses every single time. Just keep a high level of respect for your partner when textual stimulation occurs by sticking with encouraging compliments, like ‘OMG you’re so fucking hot,’ ‘holy shit I want to be inside you(r bed),’ ‘mmm you’re fucking killing me right now.’ Use these general expressions of ‘YES!’”
Don’t: Let Undesirable Reactions Deflate Your Ego
Everyone communicates differently via texts, and many a good relationship has suffered because of misunderstandings.
One of the biggest risks of sexting is what it does or doesn’t do for your confidence. If you don’t get the response you want and it gets awkward, you might question everything. Again, just be sure you’re engaging in sexting with someone you trust, and keep communication open. If they react differently than you expected, hopefully they’ll justify it politely, with no real blow to your ego. And never be afraid to straight up ask your partner how they feel about the sexting experience after the dust has settled. See what he liked, what was weird, what was exciting, and so forth. Debriefing the sext exchange will only make your communication stronger.”
Do: Revisit These Sexts For Your Own Pleasure
Aside from Snapchat screenshots (bad etiquette, bro), anyone sending you sultry photos or nasty one-liners should fully expect that you will keep the receipts. Many people use sexting as source material for masturbation — and that’s perfectly healthy! But follow the previous rule: These sexts are for your eyes only, even after the relationship folds. In fact… especially after the relationship folds.
Don’t: Show His Photos To Your Friends
This is where sexting gets tricky. You’re leaving a trail, whether you trust the person or not. (Snapchat does archive all your photos, by the way.) It’s one thing for his friends to see the naughty things you say, but it’s a complete violation to show their intimate, private photos to your pals. It would be humiliating for this person to eventually learn that his photos have been passed around, with no control over where they end up. This person trusts you; don’t challenge their judgment by being a selfish idiot.