The Pros and Cons of Sexting

siren sexting image by notions capital

Shortform freestyle erotica can be a beautiful tool used for connection and exploration of sexuality. It can be used to disconnect, as well. 

 —

Before I delve into this, I must admit that I just got out of a four hour long sexting session with a woman that I recently met. We live three hours apart. We met a couple of weekends ago during the first session of a weekend long workshop. We didn’t really see each other much after that first session, but we connected via Facebook and have been chatting on and off ever since. In the waning moments of sleep before I woke up this morning, I had a wonderfully, explicitly sexual dream where she was involved. So I sent her a message that said, “This may be wildly inappropriate, but I had a dream about you that was wildly inappropriate.” Her response was, “Tell me more.”

So now, I’d like to take a look at the pros and cons of sexting.

Cons

1. If you send pictures or videos, and I don’t, they are liable to wind up on the internet or your friend’s friends’ phones. If you are not emotionally and psychologically prepared to show your goods to the world, don’t send pictures of your goods to anyone. This is the argument of abstinence only sex ed. The  only fool-proof way to prevent pictures of your ass from being pasted all over the internet is to not send pictures of your ass to anyone.

2. Sexually explicit text messages, videos, or photos could be considered sexual harassment. This is a situation that no one wants to be in. Get consent before you start in about how badly you want to get down with someone.

3. Aren’t we already addicted enough to our electronic gadgets? I know I am. I’m at a stop light. I play with my phone. I’m waiting in line to pay for gas. I play with my phone. I’m waiting for the food I ordered. I play with my phone. I met a cute girl. We are texting back and forth. She says something dirty. I CAN’T PUT DOWN MY PHONE. As if my insecure need for constant connection wasn’t enough to drive me to continuously play with my phone, now we add in the additional draw of sexual desire. I’m going to marry my phone.

4. Some people use sexting as a way to cheat or as an ersatz intimacy. Sexting with someone else is cheating if you are in a committed, monogamous relationship. Certainly, the boundaries that are set for a relationship vary from relationship to relationship and sometimes day to day. My point is this; if you are sexting someone that is outside of your relationship and you have not cleared that sexting relationship with your monogamously or polyamorously committed partner(s), you’re cheating. Maybe that’s just like my opinion, man, but I see things as very black and white here. If you want to be in a relationship with someone, whether it is monogamous or polyamorous, there is a certain level of openness and honesty that has to come with that relationship. If you are sexting behind someone’s back, it is cheating.

5. In my experience, one person tends to drive. I guess this happens with sex, too. So maybe this isn’t strictly a con of sexting. Maybe the driver’s seat will tend to switch back and forth between partners like it tends to do with sex.

 ♦◊♦

Pros

1. You get off or you help someone else get off or both. This is really a no-brainer. It’s like sex, but without touching someone else. It’s mutual masturbation. It’s fun. Go with it if you are free to do so.

2. It’s a great way to connect if you’re involved in a long distance sort of a situation. So maybe the person you are connected to is far away (see my situation above). Maybe you both want to enjoy some intimate, sexual times together. Maybe hopping on a plane or driving hours to get to one another isn’t currently in the cards. We have electronic devices that can send our innermost thoughts to other people now. We can use them to our advantage.

3. If it is difficult for you to open up about what it is you want, maybe it is easier through the relative anonymity of the internet or text messaging.. I know that for me, being able to hide behind a computer screen sometimes makes it easier to say something that I might be a little bit afraid to say. In being able to say something while chatting via the internet, I have found the courage to be able to say things face to face. This has the possibility to backfire, though. So I have made a rule, if I say it in type, I have to be willing to say it live. So maybe that thing that is just a little bit kinky (okay, a lot kinky) that I’m curious about gets hinted at when I’m in the midst of some freestyle erotica and then when I finally do get to have a face to face, I can ask if that’s an option.

4. Playing off of number 3, maybe it is a realm where fantasies can be played out together while still keeping them in the realm of fantasy. Maybe the realm of erotica is a great way to test the waters. So maybe that thing comes out and you both get to experience the energy and emotions behind it. And maybe it just makes you feel dirty, not the good dirty, either. That seems like a situation where you can grow and learn together. Maybe it opens up a conversation about why that didn’t feel great to one or both parties involved. Maybe that conversation leads to the discovery of something else that  excites one or both parties.

5. It makes it very easy to stop and go. Today was a very interesting session for me because I was the one doing most of the writing. So it was my fantasy, my perspective, my words, my rhythm. There were a few times where she would interject with, “Oh, my, I like that” or  “Not really my cup of tea.” So even though I was sort of driving the bus, so to speak, I got instant feedback from my partner about what was good for her and what wasn’t. I could then respond to her needs through the flow of the story I was writing. It became co-created, like all good sex is, rather than me simply telling her about the myriad sexy activities that I would like to share with her.

6. One person can drive. This is both a pro and a con. We can use erotica to explore more dominant or submissive sides or ourselves. It seems that this would be a very safe way for someone who is typically in control to give that power away without being threatened. The dom becomes the sub? The sub becomes the dom? Now everyone is a switch?

Longform (or shortform, I guess) freestyle erotica can be a beautiful tool used for connection and exploration of sexuality. It seems that it could be used as a way to disconnect, as well. So, as with any manifestation of sexuality, I think we have to walk into these situations mindfully. We have to be able to discern what’s best for us in any given situation. And maybe my answer is different today than it will be tomorrow. Maybe my answer is different depending on who I am with.

What’s your answer in this moment? Do you practice long or shortform freestyle erotica? Do you think it’s the devil? Have you been burned by it? Has it made your relationship better? Leave a comment. Let’s have a conversation.

image: notions capital / flickr

Premium Membership, The Good Men Project

About Richard Krzyzanowski

Rich Krzyzanowski teaches yoga and acrobatics in and around Chicago when he isn't sending erotic messages. He has heard that home is where the heart is and that anywhere he lays his head is home, but he is still currently looking for it. You can find Rich at https://www.facebook.com/rich.krzyzanowski or http://www.naturalevo.com/.

Comments

  1. Joanna Schroeder says:

    That lead photo is awesome!!

    For those of us who have not been single or dating since the advent of text messages (ahem), this is fascinating! I can totally see the pros and cons here. It’s cool that you laid it out like this, Richard. Good to be forthright and direct.

    Also, YAY for the fact that you emphasized consent when it comes to sexting. PLEASE, everyone, never sext people whom you don’t have consent from.

    • Rich Krzyzanowski says:

      Hi Joanna,

      Thanks for your thoughts. Consent is super important. Thanks for noticing. Also, it is totally okay to sext someone with whom you have a committed relationship. It’s fun and you might even learn something about one another!

      Rich

  2. Valter Viglietti says:

    ” I’m going to marry my phone.”
    LOL!!! :lol:

    Thanks Richard, at last someone talking about sexting in a rational manner, balancing pros and cons, without hype nor hysteria.
    Like anything else, sexting is a tool: it’s neutral in itself. Good or bad, it depends on the way it’s used.

    • Rich Krzyzanowski says:

      Hi Valter,

      Thanks for reading. I agree. Sexting is nothing more or less than a tool that you can keep in your sexual toolbox and for good or evil as you see fit! :P

      Rich

  3. I’ve done my share of sexting. Many of them with women I had not yet met in person. I’ve learned it can take the wonderful unknown out of the eventual date. I then feel awkward if I’m not attracted to her in person. Plus, a guy better be able to back of his adjectives. Also, it is difficult to type and….well, do other things. And, if I involve Siri, I swear her voice gets prudish.

    • Rich Krzyzanowski says:

      Hi Michael,

      I can see how sexting might take some of the mystery out of dating. I tend to save it for people that I havemet and have felt attracted to in some way. LOL about Siri! I don’t have an iPhone so I can’t comment on that.

      Rich

  4. Thanks for a well thought out piece. I use sexting to keep the embers of anticipation glowing. It’s a fun tool to bring to a consensual relationship. Emphasis on the sensual! I agree that it is a way to put yourself out there in a manner you wouldn’t usually that for me has me push my own boundaries which allows me to grow.

    • Rich Krzyzanowski says:

      Hi Brian,

      Thanks for your kind words. I really like the imagery of “embers of anticipation glowing.” I may steal (er, borrow) that! I’m just curious; how long have you been in a relationship? Has sexting always been a part of that relationship?

      It’s great to hear that you have used sexting as a way to grow.

      Rich

  5. My own thoughts on the topic were exposed there: http://bit.ly/1d7fIS5

    Did you steal my title ? LOL :)

    • Rich Krzyzanowski says:

      Hi Francois,

      Thanks for sharing. The title was chosen by my editor. So you will have to direct your questions regarding how she came up with it to her!

      Rich

  6. Um, first of all, let me just say that I love these words strung together at the beginning of this article: “Shortform freestyle erotica” — cute!

    And as for this, ” I’m going to marry my phone.” — Ah, there is no truer love. :)

    • Rich Krzyzanowski says:

      Hi Erica,

      To me, the shortform of freestyle erotica would be the text sent to titilate. It is the quick little note sent to a lover in the middle of the day that tries to catch them slightly off guard and maybe get them blushing in the middle of a business meeting. The longform requires a bit more time and some privacy! :P Also, the longform is much more easeful when typing on a computer than it is on a phone.

      As far as my phone goes, I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with it. On one hand, I love the perceived connection I have with the ones I love and the world around me. On the other hand, I hate the perceived connection I have with the ones I love and the world around me. My phone lets me be present with someone who may be quite distant. It also draws my presence away from the resent moment of my life. So maybe it’s a ocmplicated case of escapism.

      Rich

  7. I think “sexting” is great for established couples that are trying to stay connected during a busy day or our far away from each other. But I get turned off when men I am begining to see make it all about sex, or jump into the sex, whether it’s face to face or through technology. And unfortunetly, it’s been my experience that men are not as self-controlled or are too free with their sexual desires too soon. I want a guy to want to get to know me before we bring the intimacy of sex that far into the equation. Flirting is great. Blatent sex so early on? It would be like a girl talking about marriage and babies on the first date. Unattractive .

    • Rich Krzyzanowski says:

      Hi Erin,

      I can definitely see where you are coming from. I am definitely looking for intimacy before sex. And for what it’s worth, I prefer intimacy to sex (I’m not saying I have anything against sex. I love it. I just love intimacy more.). Intimacy means a lot of different things to me, so the decision making process is different with every partner that I choose.

      As far as your experience with men goes, maybe you just haven’t met the right guy, yet. For me, there isn’t really a mandatory waiting period or anything like that. If it feels right and there is connection and openness and intimacy right off the bat, then it makes sense to take the next step and bring physical intimacy into it. And physical intimacy doesn’t neccesarily have to mean sex. Maybe it is just a massage or a kiss or a light touch on the hand or a cuddle session. Like I said before, the boundaries are different for each partner.

      Rich

      • I might not have met the right guy yet. But I haven’t met “bad” guys either. I respect men that do not let sex control them or let sex be the only identifying element in a relationship. Unfortunetly, I see a lot of men that let sex control them. They are not “bad” guys. They are men that have not learned how to control their sexuality or have not learned the power they have in their own sexuality.

        I also don’t agree with any mandatory waiting period. However, to me, the reason so many relationships fizzle out, is because people don’t allow the time to build a strong foundation. They don’t enjoy the process enough. They want to get to the finish line (in this case, sex) before really establishing true intimacy. True intimacy takes time in my opinion.

        I don’t see a lot of men that truly want to take the time and commitment to build a solid foundation before jumping into sex. Although I do see a lot of men that want to wait along time before establishing a true relationship or even get married to partners they’ve been with for several years.

        But I do like your idea of what physical intimacy can mean. However, again, in my experience, even with some kissing, I have found that men usually take that as an invitation to sex. It would be great to be able to build intimacy with these other ways of touching if I didn’t always feel like i was being a “tease” for not going all the way because from my experience, men are very quick to push for sex “right away”.

        • Rich Krzyzanowski says:

          Erin,

          It seems to me that setting a boundary right from the get-go would serve you well. I’ve had women who I have dated straight up say, “No sex yet.” That to me is better than not knowing. If I know that sex isn’t an option, it actually sort releases some os the tension. Men, like women, get nervouse about having sex with new partners. Questions of whether or not we are attracted to a person and whether or not we want to have sex with a person or if we just want to be friends with a person are rarely answered in one or two dates. To me, setting that boundary is a great way to let things develop naturally. Maybe sex becomes an option, maybe it doesn’t. The timeframe for making that decision is different for every person and for every person with whom they spend time.

          Rich

          • Rich, I already told you about my experience and how even when i said I was not ready for sex, when we were making out, they still took it as an invitation for sex. Or even when we weren’t making out, pushed for sex. Not sure how much clear I can be. It seems that I am always suppose to be teh “gate keeper” to sex because a lot of men do not want the responsibility of controling themselves.

Speak Your Mind

*