I was recently talking with a friend of mine and I was asking her if she “sexts” with her partner. “Sexting,” or texting sexually explicit content with your partner(s), has always been a way for individuals to elicit arousal and explore new territory with others in a safe and controlled manner. My friend was taken aback and she told me that they stopped dirty texting a few months into their relationship because they thought that sexting was only something that happened at the beginning of a relationship. She now feels uncomfortable doing it because the relationship with her partner has changed and it is not something either of them thinks about anymore. This is common for most people when they enter an exclusive, monogamous relationship and less so for those individuals who identify as polyam or open. So why do people stop? Well, novelty can fade and for some people when they become more vulnerable and connected to someone else, the mystery and fantasy can fall by the wayside. But I am here to tell you that sexting is a fun and easy way to enhance intimacy and bring a spark back into your relationship(s). Below are a few of my tips when it comes to mastering this art form.
First things first, consent.
Consent is key when it comes to engaging in any form of sexual activity, whether it be in person or virtual. As someone who has been on the other end of receiving unwanted dick pics, it can be very jarring and sometimes feel like a violation (BECAUSE IT IS!). Always confirm consent from the person before sending sexually explicit language or pictures. This can be as simple as stating that you want to take the relationship to "a new, erotic level" or you want to begin reigniting this part of the relationship. Once it is attained and you feel like this is a person you can trust, you are ready to go!
Knowing what your partner likes
Once both or all of you are on board, now we can begin! If you are at the beginning of a relationship, this is a fun time to explore what these individuals like and fantasize about. From role-playing, to D/s, to sending images, test the waters and allow the others to help you along the way. If you have been in a relationship for a longer time and know what turns your partner on, surprise them with it! Remember, there is nothing sexier than listening to your partner when it comes to intimacy.
Trying some games
From “Yes/No/Maybe” to “Never Have I Ever,” there are many different ways to engage in sexting outside of stating sexually explicit things to each other. In my opinion, the more unique you can be, the better! Novelty is one of the sexiest things about intimacy. If you are able to modify everyday games and conversations and turn them into ones that are sexually charged, the skies the limit!
Have you ever read erotic literature? If so, you know why this is fun! Weaving a story for your partner, whether true or not, engages our fantasy world and allows us to share an experience with one another. Whether you are creating an erotic story where you “stay late after class to talk with the professor” or you share your deepest erotic secret, sexting allows you a safe and fun way of doing it.
What better way to enhance intimacy with someone than to tease them about the future and what is to come?
There is nothing sexier than authenticity. When we sext, this can be a vulnerable act and one that leads to a deeper and more emotional connection. You want to make sure that you are being true to yourself when engaging and not jumping too far out of your comfort zone. While sexting can take many forms, we want to make sure there is still a piece of us in the roles we play.
If sexting is not for you, then don’t worry! I want to remind you that this is only one way of enhancing intimacy with your partner(s). But if you are like me and enjoy the flirtation, anticipation, and activating your erotic energy virtually, then make sure you jot down these tips above, and don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions!
Cleveland Sex Therapy is owned by Matt Lachman, a licensed mental health therapist who specializes in working with individuals, couples, and polyam individuals on their concerns relating to sexuality, intimacy, and overall sexual health. The goal of Cleveland Sex Therapy is to promote inclusivity and nurture sex positivity. For more information, feel free to contact him at Matt@ClevelandSexTherapy.com