Sex is often likened to riding a bicycle, in that you supposedly never forget how to do it. As someone who rode a bicycle right into a brick wall just a year or two ago, I call shenanigans. Luckily, re-learning how to sext is easier than riding a bicycle, and it’s probably just as good for your cardiovascular health if you’re doing it right.
That’s right. I said re-learning how to sext.
Why? Because I’ve lived with my partner for almost our entire relationship, so sexting consisted of quick messages like, “Wanna bone later?” and the affirmative eggplant emoji response. There are no sexters so efficient as economists.
But when I posed a challenge to Dr. M-D — that we give sexting a shot during his week-long trip abroad — he was in.
Before diving in, I decided to consult an expert (as one does). I turned to two folks who are known for some pretty sexy word-smithery: Kate Sloan and Tina Horn. Until now, I’d heard great things about Horn’s book, Sexting, but I hadn’t picked it up myself. I reasoned that with so little sexting in my life, why would I need a full-blown manual on it?
Little did I know what I was missing.
At just over a hundred pages, Sexting is both engaging and short enough that you can easily plop down and read it in an afternoon. Horn goes over the basics of dirty talk, how to use online pages and applications, how to use the available technology in safe & sexy ways, and the anatomy of a hot dirty selfie.
Prior to sitting down with Sexting (the book), my two main qualms with sexting (the verb) were, 1) Done wrong, it reminds me of the kind of roleplay that proliferated on forums frequented by misfit teens (and those who wanted to bed them) in the early aughts, and 2) If dirty talk doesn’t come naturally, sexting can feel a little stilted. But, for science, I put my fears aside.
Because I have all the subtlety of a sledgehammer, I asked my partner earlier in the day if he’d be in a place later where we could have a little sextual fun. As soon as he’d checked into his hotel and sent me a picture of the impressively luxurious digs, it was game time: “Are you gonna jerk off in that fancy-ass hotel for me?”
It was at this point that a fun idea occurred to me: I could get him off, and then get myself off later, using our conversation as fodder. (I didn’t say it was an original or particularly creative idea, only a fun one.)
Since we were essentially sexting novices, I decided to consider it a challenge: Could I get him off with words and ideas? See, I’m all about the mind games. I love control. What I really love is knowing that I have control over someone that I find attractive, and wielding that control in a way that pleases me.
One thing that really stood out to me from Sexting was Horn’s assertion that some of the simplest dirty talk could be the hottest, starting with simple narration. Describing what is happening, and particularly how it feels, or how it makes you feel, is one of the easiest ways to start talking dirty. Since I’m a nerd, this took an interesting turn when it was applied to our sexting:
I like it when you fuck me like that. I even figured out why: It’s ’cause your dick is perfect for hitting my A-spot.
…which turned into a mini lesson on the A-spot. Nothing like an anatomy lesson while someone’s got their dick out, am I right?
Now, I want to respect my partner’s privacy — he’s not a sex blogger, after all — so suffice to say, good times were had by all. While I won’t be sharing the specifics of our encounters, I can tell you some of my favorite tricks that I picked up from both Sexting and, well, sexting.
You don’t have to play it like phone sex… but you can.
It doesn’t necessarily have to start with something like, What would we be doing if I were there right now?
I actually found it much more natural to describe things that we’ve actually done in short, succinct sentences. I love it when you (verb) [grab my hips, pull my hair, etc.] is a solid stand-by.
I want to feel your (noun) on/in my (adjective) (noun).
Your (adjective) (noun) makes me so (adjective).
Remember that this is a collaborative effort. Unless you want this to be a one-sided exercise, both of you will need to contribute. Here, you can learn something from improv: The simple concept of “yes, and”. In a recent episode of The Dildorks — one of my favorite podcasts — Kate and Bex discussed how “yes, and” works so well for sex and dirty talk. And guess what? It applies to sexting, too!
Your ass in those white panties gets me so hard. I want to spank you til you cry.
If that sounds like a good time to you, then employ a little “yes, and”!
Mm, I’d love that. Will you hit me with my favorite paddle? Or only if I’m a very good girl?
Once you get going, keep it short & sweet.
It’s only practical, after all. If you or your partner only has one free hand, you’re not gonna be able to type the world’s next great erotic novel. Sticking with short messages that contain super-hot words or imagery is the ticket.
For this, you want to know what turns your partner on. Is it your belly? The way your ass bruises when they grab it? The face they make when they’re so close, don’t stop? Push their buttons. This is also a great time to employ emoji.
Peach, eggplant, heart eyes, squirt, am I right?
When it comes to pictures, mind your angles, the lighting, and the audience.
I have received and sent some beautiful nudes in my time, and they all have three things in common: They were well-composed, well-lit, and the receiver actually wanted them.
Composition can be tricky, but that’s what your front-facing camera is for. It’s fine if you have to take 20 snaps to get that perfect shot; your partner doesn’t need to know. They’ll only see the best one! If you’re struggling to get all of something in the frame — like perhaps your amazing curvaceous ass or a suggestive pic of your favourite sex toy — then a selfie-stick or a mini GorillaPod and Apple earbuds will be your best friend. (Tip: If you use your earbuds to trigger the shutter, you can often get a clearer image from a smidge farther away, even without any other fancy equipment.) When taking a cock shot, remember to keep it interesting. An erection that remains tucked inside some decent, tight underwear can be ten times hotter than a shot that leaves nothing to the imagination. And, of course, be mindful of your face, birth marks, and distinctive tattoos.
Lighting is another thing that can make or break any photo, not least of which a sexy selfie. Natural light through sheer curtains usually looks beautifully soft. You can also play with light and shadows to get a fun, artistic take on the usual fare. I recommend avoiding the flash at all costs.
Finally, no unsolicited nudes. And be sure that you’re not putting the receiver in the awkward position of having to hide your photo or risk their job (or some other important aspect of their life).
And if you’re sexting with someone for the first time…
It should be a no-brainer, but of course, make sure they’re in a place where they feel comfortable sexting (be it their physical surroundings, your relationship to them, their mental space, etc.). You should never just drop a sext on someone.
Once you’ve got the green light, go with what you already know about this person, and start slow. Zero to sixty might be fun for established partners, but in most contexts, your partner is going to be confused if you two were discussing something completely mundane and then BAM! a sext.
Something like, Do you want to know what I’d love to do with you right now? is a great start because it’s pretty tame and it allows your partner to gracefully bow out if they have something they need to be doing or if they’re just not in the mood.