Chances are high you've been on either the sending or receiving end of a sext. Although ridiculously commonplace (seriously, if you have zero experience in this realm, educate yourself), there are a lot of nuanced rules to sexting, the most important and basic of which may be to make completely certain the sext goes to someone who actually wants to receive it. Most commonly, this is a romantic or sexual companion. However, more and more platonic lady-friends are swapping steamy photos via text. It's called frexting and before you start clutching your pearls, take a moment to hear me out. Because frexting is absolutely a thing you and your friends should be doing on the regular.
Basically, frexting is what it sounds like: Sending sexts to your friends. And not your "friends", aka, "people who you are friends with but whom you also do sex with"—I mean your actual, non-sex partner friends. So instead of lobbing that cleavage shot perhaps previously meant to entice your romantic partner or a new sexy conquest, you shoot the same image to a totally platonic pal. This is typically associated as behavior between lady friends (because, of all the damaging messages we're made to internalize from a young age, self-homophobia and fear of displays of intimacy with our friends are mostly reserved for dudes. We DO have to deal with the Male Gaze sexualizing our friendships with other women, but hey, you can't win 'em all. At least we aren't so paranoid about looking "gay" that we can't have fun with a little harmless frexting. That said, I'd be very interested to hear similar stories from dude people.)
Anyway, the whole frexting phenomenon—unlike sexting—is wholly very positive, way safer, and actually bond-strengthening. It presents you, whether you're the frexter or frext receiver, with a really non-dangerous platform to intercept or allocate affirmation and love. It could be gauging an outside opinion about some lingerie you ordered online (guilty) or a jokey butt shot (also...guilty) or showing off a hot new yoga pose you nailed (I wish)—but one thing with frexting always applies: it isn't meant as a segway to get laid by either party. It circles back to the true adage that women don't dress up for dudes—it's more for other women, and for ourselves. Here's why you and your friends should start frexting STAT:
It's a quick confidence boost
If you send a cheeky side-boob photo to a trusted friend, she's more apt to respond in some supportive and possibly sassy way. To me, that's leaps more valuable than some guy texting back a typo-laden, expletive reply. Conversely, it feels good to know you've got girlfriends in your life who trust you with such sensitive, precious images as them posing in an apron and nothing else. (Listen, my friends are into baking. You might not get it which is fine.)
You can elicit candid reactions
No matter how good-natured a partner might intend a comment, if it smacks of anything remotely negative or otherwise not in full support, it stings. As such, it's probably best to avoid any sort of interactions like this. But with a pal whom you are not trying to bang, any assessment is defanged. Therefore, you can get the real scoop on how that teddy looks from the dressing room pic you sent your BFF. Someone you want to have sex with saying "LOL you look like a turtle in that pose" feels gross and unpleasant, but the exact same comment from a friend is a goddamn riot. She's right! You DO look like a turtle and that. is. amazing.
It will definitely be treasured
The worst thing is when you send someone a sext and THEY DON'T EVEN REPLY AT ALL. When there isn't an emotional, spiritual relationship already in place (and sometimes, even when there is), why would they bother with y'know, decency? Or even recognition? Sending a racy photo and getting no response does is a legit burn. However, your friends care too much to ignore your hot bod and will respond all, "GIRL. YOU ARE ::fire emojis::" And guess what? It's true. You are fire emojis. Sometimes you need someone to tell you that.
It's a way more secure than sexting
Apparently close to 60 percent of people who send or receive sexts save them on their phone. Although those who frext might also be guilty of this, it's way safer to assume that your friends don't save your racy snaps for future collateral. Frexting is one method for scratching a specific itch that's far less likely to present one danger inherent in sexting: sharing. Frexts are meant for the receiver only and that fact is worth heaps more than those saucy exchanges in sexting. If a gal pal shoots over a bathroom mirror selfie in a low-necked robe, she knows no eyes other than my own will scope it. That is a highly comforting fact, TBH—both ways.
There are no ulterior motives
Sexts can be like a weird, unspoken language between two people. Who knows what you're actually communicating or agreeing to when partaking in such a confusing channel? But frexts are always transparent and clear—and have no strings attached.
It can make friends seem less far away
After college, like so many others, my friends and I scattered across the whole globe. Exchanging scandalous images—or even just sexually-charged smirks—help close the geographical, physical gap. Like, remember your closest female roommate? That was like frexting in real life.
It facilitates a greater closeness
Sending a half-naked or equally steamy pic of yourself to a bud is definitely effective in bringing y'all closer together. It's a surefire way to illustrate serious trust. And guess what? That's huge and completely vital.
What's better than sharing a life-affirming giggle with your girlfriends? Honestly? Nothing.
Images: Columbia Pictures; Giphy (8)