The exchange of seductive messages can inject some flirty fun or much needed passion into a romance, but you have to do it right.
Sex blogger and comedian Carmen Ali shares her top tips with Lumity on creating tantalising texts.
How would you best describe sexting?
“Sexting is the modern practice of using the written word to talk about sex provocatively, usually on WhatsApp or Messenger, but any texting app or social media will do.
“Sexting can be done for two reasons – to build tension in between meeting up, or to provide stimulation at the time (or both).
“I personally don’t like to waste my time doing it just for the sake of it with anyone I don’t have any interest in, or they are not making an effort to actually meet.”
What are the most common mistakes people make when they sext?
– “Selfish sexting – making it all about what you want instead of also asking what the other person is into or would like.”
– “Going too graphic too soon. Sexting needs foreplay too.”
– “Too many emojis – a couple here and then can be good to set tone and be cheeky, but there’s a point where it just becomes overkill and makes you sound really immature. And when you say something quite blatantly sexual and then put a winky face. That doesn’t even make sense. Winky face is for innuendo when you’re hinting at something sexy. Use it sparingly.”
– “Unsolicited nude pics before meeting / before becoming intimate with someone, or pushing for sexting before meeting.”
– “My other pet hate is including anything too clinical like penis or vagina. I don’t like weird names for things like ‘pleasure cave’ or ‘garden’, ‘panties’ (just, no).”
– “I can’t bear bad grammar. There’s not many things that turn me off quicker than someone getting ‘your’ and ‘you’re’ mixed up. But I know that some people really aren’t bothered by this sort of thing.”
People might be too embarrassed to initiate a sexting conversation. How can they get over those ‘first time nerves’? Also how can they subtly discover if the person they want to sext is into it too?
“Drink a lot of wine first,” Carmen jokes. “But seriously, start slowly, maybe say something like ‘I was thinking about you and it turned me on’, if they want you to continue, they might ask ‘what were you thinking?’
“If this doesn’t work, you might have to be more explicit. I’m quite blunt, so am a massive fan of straightforwardness. You could always just write: ‘I’d really like to try sexting, what do you think?’”
Sexting can spice up a relationship but can it do the opposite too?
“Like anything, if you do it too much, it can become tiresome. You don’t want to oversext to the point where when you see each other, there is nothing left to say or do. There’s a sweet spot. You’ll find it by experimenting with it.”
Should you stick to dialect you might feel comfortable saying in the bedroom or is sexting a chance to say what you really want but are too embarrassed to say in person?
“I absolutely think sexting can be a time to bring up anything you feel a bit shy to say in person,” says Carmen. “But be prepared for that person to ask you about the thing in person too.
“I think sexting can warm you up to being more comfortable talking dirty, but don’t feel like you have to go too crazy. It’s probably a good idea to type the way that you would speak in real life – you don’t want a situation where you are wildly sexual on text but then you turn up and it feels like you are two different people.”
Is sexting a good way to suss out if you’re sexually compatible with someone before you get to the bedroom?
“I think it can be. A guy I was talking to from OkCupid read one of my blog posts and then told me he would also be up for what I had been writing about. This opened up a general discussion about what were were both into, so that was good to know that we were both kinky in a similar way before meeting.
“He was also good at discussing what we were into sexually just to work out compatibility without ever pushing me to talk in a way I wasn’t comfortable with. He understood that just because we discussed sex, it wasn’t a given that we would have sex if we didn’t click in person, which I think not everyone is good at, and this can result in a situation where it feels like they are being too pushy.”
Is there anything you absolutely MUST do when sexting?
“Be yourself, and be honest about what you are into.”
What can sexting do for a woman’s confidence?
“It can give you practice for talking dirty in real life, and give you the confidence to set boundaries and articulate when you are not comfortable with something.
“It can also improve your confidence having someone else tell you how much they want you, how attractive they find you, and all the things they want to try with you. And putting on some sexy underwear and taking some photos of yourself can be a real confidence boost – whether you choose to share the photos or not.”
Talking of photos, should they be left off the sexting menu?
“Totally up to you. Depends if you trust the other person, and feel comfortable with it.
“Last word…Just because other people are sexting, doesn’t mean you have to. Just like ham and pineapple pizza, sexting is not for everyone. Some people just find it too awkward or weird, and that’s fine too. Sexting is only fun if both people are up for it.”
“Happy Sexting and Happy Valentine’s Day!”
Carmen Ali will be co-hosting a Sexting workshop with Joana Nastari from FYPM Show on Tuesday 12th February at Soho House for members. For more info please contact the venue directly.
If you found this article interesting you might also like to read why sex can be better after 50 and dating apps for the over 50s or if you’ve lost your mojo find out why your sex drive has taken a dive.