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N Touch
Thursday 22 February 2018

Messaging for Consenting Adults

Sexting. So, this term is probably outdated, though I haven’t heard of an updated version. I first heard it years ago, and it was added for the first time in Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary in August 2012. It is a portmanteau of sex and texting, and it’s used to describe a sexual text message – a sext.

Obviously, sexting is one way of heightening an impending sexual interlude, or keeping partners connected and intimate while they are apart. This works well of course when sent at an appropriate time and to the right cell phone, and it has been advised that sexting be specifically reserved for mature adults in a committed relationship.

Most likely mature adults are more likely to better handle the backlash if an explicit photo of themselves or text message gets exposed or leaked.

Nevertheless, as a responsible sex educator, who recognises that this way to engage in ‘naughty communications’ is practiced by many people, committed or not, and as one who also recognises that this activity is not going to stop anytime soon, I have researched some suggested ‘DOs’ and ‘DON’Ts’ about using your mobile phone to send sexy text messages or photographs.

Before I go to those, however, I MUST stress the following: While civil and internet laws have been slow to catch up with what’s happening with technology in the 21st century, and especially so in our developing nation, sexting that involves those who are underage can lead to child pornography charges, or sexual harassment of a minor, so keep all sexts between consenting adults.

Some countries have revenge porn laws that prevent the publication of sexual images without consent of the person/s in the image. While there are many possible legal avenues for prosecution of people who knowingly breach the confidence of those sending sexual messages, in practice, sexually explicit images can be widely circulated without the consent of the originator.

(Side bar: I’m curious … Whatever happened to regular phone sex – don’t people do this anymore? At least with phone sex, there is less possibility of finding oneself in a compromised situation.)

Olivia Baniuszewicz co-author (along with Debra Goldstein) of Flirtexting: How to Text Your Way into His Heart, offers these rules for sending successful sexy messages to your spouse or partner: Stick to these guidelines and you are less likely to find yourself embarrassed or compromised.

Onika Henry is a Sex Educator and Sex Coach who consults and designs presentations, workshops, training and psycho-educational counselling, to address sexual health concerns. She can be contacted at 381-3049 or email onikahenry@gmail.com


DO sext your partner if you are naturally shy or find it challenging to verbalise what you like sexually. This is one way of making it easier.
Explore the casual environment of a text to reveal your sexual fantasies.

DO sext to keep in touch. If you away or travel often for business, keep the spark alive and remain intimate with your significant other when you’re apart. When you’re about to go to sleep and you miss your partner, text that you’re all alone in bed and ask for a suggestion for something to do. He or she will gladly take it from there.

DO send a sext to your significant other while you are out to dinner with friends. There’s a certain thrill and sexual excitement about exchanging sexy and covert messages in public.

DO remember that less is more. There are ways to be suggestive, and sensual without revealing all. It’s sexier to not take it all off for a camera phone. Instead, send sensual, suggestive photo texts. For example, you might take a picture of your bed and write “Room for two” or take a picture of your lips and text “They miss you.”


Here are Baniuszewicz’s cautions about texting:

DON’T sext if you just met someone. If you just started dating a new person, or you don’t or can’t completely trust someone, don’t send a sext. You’re taking the risk of having your photo leaked or forwarded, of turning off the person on the receiving end, or having the photo get into the wrong hands.

DON’T ever include your face in a naked photo text. This protects you from embarrassment if the photo ends up being seen by someone other than the intended receiver.

DON’T take sexting requests too seriously and don’t allow yourself to be bullied or coerced into sending them. It’s fine to have a little fun teasing your partner. If he or she’s begging for you to send a picture of yourself, take a picture of your lingerie catalog or some other sexy magazine picture and write “Not mine, but I’m still thinking of you.”

DON’T forget to delete any sexts or photos after viewing them. This is especially important if there are any children in your home who might get a hold of your phone (children are more tech-savvy than you think!)


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