A Guide to Sexting

As part of our Sexual Health and Guidance (SHAG) week, Deputy Print Editor Daniella Clarke provides her tips on how to be successful sexter.

As a bisexual girl who was in a three year relationship, who has done long distance,
and is a chronic flirt, I like to think of myself as something of a sexting connoisseur.
I’ve sexted everywhere from my kitchen to Gatwick airport. But I’ve spoken to people
in the past, particularly female friends, who are hesitant to try it, due to fear of
rejection or not knowing what to say. Sexting, however, is remarkably easy to master
and addictive once you get started. I’d even make the case that it can be just as
good as actual sex. It’s all about the teasing, the build-up, the anticipation. It’s
knowing someone wants you but can’t have you.

It’s also the perfect format to lay out some ground rules and preferences with
someone you’ve just started dating. You can talk about what you like and don’t like,
what you want to try, and run any kinks by them. And while you’re sending messages
and pictures back and forth, you can get to know your own body through
masturbation. Try out sex toys if that’s your jam, or just take the opportunity to make
yourself feel as good as possible. Here’s my beginner’s guide to sexting:

Getting Started- If sexting is something you and your partner haven’t done before, initiating can be
the scariest part. But as long as you ease into it and are respectful of your partner,
nothing can go wrong. First, make sure they’re available and it’s an appropriate time.
You probably want to avoid sending them a NSFW text if they’re in a seminar or at
their grandparents’ house for Sunday lunch. You can start out by sending a flirty
message. Drop them the classic question, “What would you do if I was there?”. Or
you could reminisce on a previous encounter: “I’ve been thinking about when you __
and it’s really turning me on.”

Tell a story- Now that you’ve established you’re both into it, the dirty talk can commence. There’s
no right or wrong way to do this, but it might be a good idea to start out slow. Tell
them how much you miss their body and the way they touch you. Then take some
creative liberty and talk about fantasies you have. This could be anything from
positions you want to try to elaborate role-playing scenarios. Or, if you want them to
take the lead, ask them to tell you everything they want to do to you. Having some
questions like this in mind beforehand will help the conversation go more seamlessly.
Practice makes everything easier, so don’t worry if you feel awkward or don’t know
what to say at first. Remember that when you’re messaging someone, you have all
the power. You decide exactly how far you want to go, how much you want to give
them, and you can tease them as much as you like. Be adaptive to the mood and go
with whatever feels right at the time.

Send Pics- Consider adding a visual element to the fun. If you feel comfortable, ask the other
person if they want to see your body, or tell them you miss seeing theirs. Consent is
very important in this situation. Only send pictures if you really want to and you trust
the person, and don’t send someone unsolicited pics. If you get the go-ahead, it can
be an exciting event. I love the process of putting on some lingerie (or taking it off),
playing some music, and orchestrating a risqué photoshoot. My advice is to take
some ahead of time, so you have a library of pictures to draw on if a spontaneous
sexting frenzy occurs. I like to incorporate videos as well and to try out different
angles and outfits to keep it fresh.

Reminders- Just like with any other sexual activity, take precautions. Only say and do things you
feel entirely comfortable with. Don’t be afraid to kill the mood; just because your
partner is into something doesn’t mean you have to go along with it. Try to be open
and honest, and set your boundaries. Even though messaging online might seem
harmless, remember that sex, even cyber sex, is real. As long as you’re prepared.

— Daniella Clarke

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