Tips To Up Your LGBTQ+ Sexting Game
Sexting is something more and more people have gotten into in the last two years, in particular due to the global pandemic. While it seems to be more common than ever, it's still important to remember that not everyone thinks about and approaches sexting the same way. This is especially true of people in the LGBTQ+ community. Because gender expression and identity is so expansive today, being sensitive to the person's needs and experiences you are sexting with is vital.
Sexting in general can also be very intimidating and sometimes people find it hard to get into for a lot of reasons. “People often feel uncomfortable sexting due to privacy concerns and issues around vulnerability. Sexting can be a very intimate experience, which requires a level of vulnerability that some individuals aren’t comfortable with,” said therapist and relationship expert Jessica Phillips, MS, LPC of Mend Modern Therapy.
If you find yourself in that boat, don’t worry! Whether you are a sexting pro, new to it, or are trying to be better at it, there's a few things you can do to make the experience better for you and your partner. Here are 6 tips to help up your queer sexting game.
Consent is key
Before you send off that sexy message or pic you just snapped, it's important to take a minute and speak to your partner about it. Talking about consent in any sexual situation, sexting including, is extremely important.
"Consent matters in sexting just as it does with sex. If you don’t have consent to send a text, don’t. If you don’t have consent to share a sext with a friend or save it to your camera roll, don’t. Know what your boundaries are as well as those of the person you’re sexting with. If you’re unsure about something, ask about it instead of assuming," said Phillips.
Phillips notes that some of the biggest that come up with her LBGBQ+ clients when it comes to sexting is privacy and past experiences, “These clients have reported concern about their privacy and practice caution around confidentiality. They can’t be certain that their texts aren’t shared with others, and that worries them. Unfortunately, these worries stem from past experiences where their photos or messages have been shared with others without consent."
If you are unsure about how to bring it up, don't worry! You can simply ask:
* "How do you feel about sexting?"
* "Are you into sexting?"/"Have you ever sexted before?"
* "Can we sext?"
* "Would you maybe want to sext/send sexy photos sometime?"
* "Would it be OK if I sent you a sexy photo?"
Asking for consent is key and establishing trust and being on the same page as your partner is extremely important when it comes to sexting and sex in general. Being open and honest with your partner will help set the tone for your sexual experience with them and will make sexting that much more fun and exciting for everyone.
Once you have established consent it's also extremely important to establish boundaries with your partner. Knowing what you're OK and not OK with is important. That way you can have an open and honest conversation with your partner and learn more about them in the process.
“Knowing and asserting your boundaries around what you’re comfortable with. No one should ever feel pressured or coerced to share thoughts, feelings, words, or images if they’re not comfortable with it,” said Phillips.
Also remember it's important to ask and be respectful of what people's pronouns are and to also ask what they identify as. Don't assume someone's gender identity or expression. And when you are sexting with someone new this is especially important because you want them to feel respected and also that you are making an effort to get to know them.
From there you'll also want to talk about what you plan to do with any images, screenshots, voicenotes, and sexts. If you or your partner wants everything deleted after the conversation is over, respect their wishes. If they send you a pic and say you can keep it but it's only for you, respect what they are saying and don't share it. Think about how you want them to handle the things you are sending as well. If you are comfortable with them keeping it, say that. If not, that's ok too, just be clear about what your expectations are with what you are sharing and vice versa.
Don't rush into it
For some people, especially in the queer community, sexting may be hard for them to do or they may feel shy or embarrassed. If that's OK, don't rush it! Everyone has their own pace and it's best to go slow and see what happens, and sometimes you may just need a little extra help. Sexting is definitely something you don't want to feel pressured into. Phillips offered some advice if you feel this way:
* If you feel reluctant or too shy to sext, you may want to wait until you feel more comfortable with the person. It’s OK to take your time until you feel safe and comfortable.
* Go at your own pace, ask if it’s OK to rev things up if you want. And state it very clearly if you want to slow things down a notch.
* Many people are raised with messages of shame around sex. If you’re struggling with reconciling a desire for more sexual freedom with internalized shame messages from the past, sexting can be a way to start exploring your sexual side while you work through the underlying shame around sex.
* Finding a therapist with the right knowledge and experience in issues of shame and sexuality can help.
Once you have gotten your sexting bearings and have established your boundaries and gotten consent now the fun can begin! This can also be a little nerve-wrecking if you're in a newer relationship or are shy. Don't worry there are some simple things you can do to get the ball rolling.
Feeling sexy and confident are important and this will also carry over into sexting so remember to set the mood for yourself. Maybe that means pouring a glass of wine and putting on your favorite sexy music. Or using a certain toy. From there you can start to compose the perfect sext.
You can begin with things like:
* “Have you sexted before?"
* “What would you do if I was there right now?"
* “I can't stop thinking about you wearing that outfit from last week.”
* “I am wearing my favorite sexy outfit right now. Would it be OK if I sent a pic?"
You can then start to feel the situation out based on what they say. Hopefully that is the start of fun and new fun and sexy conversation where both of you end up wanting to do it again.
Be on the same page with your partner
One big thing to remember when you are sexting with someone is that you want to be on the same page as your partner when it comes to their mood and the way they are talking to you. This also means being perceptive and trying to connect with them through this medium. It is important to make an emotional connection too. Phillips notes to have an “emotional connection with someone before getting sexual. It may be off-putting to jump straight into sexting without first establishing an emotional connection.”
Once that emotional connection is established, if that is what your partner needs, try to meet them where they are, especially in how they are texting you. Using similar phrasing or the same words your partner is using can help make them feel more comfortable and also make them feel like you are making an effort with what they are into sexually. You also want to make sure when you are sexting that it's a good time to do so. Maybe they had a bad day or are at a work function and even if you are feeling horny, they may not be able to respond right away or be up for it. That's why seeing if they are up for it when you are is important.
It can be as simple as saying:
* “I can't stop thinking about you. Is this a good time to send something a little sexy?”
* “I am feeling a little excited right now. What about you?”
* “How's your day? ;)
These texts can help you feel out the situation and also let you know if it's a good or bad time for your partner.
Sometimes sexting is just sexting
While those naughty texts can really get you going, it's also important to remember that sometimes that's all it is. Maybe you live in different states, or your partner is ready to take the next step physically, or they are in the middle of work and like the distraction. Whatever the reason may be, sometimes what we say via text may not end up being what we do IRL. And that's OK. If you find yourself in that situation try to have some perspective and see it for what it is.