Sex & Relationships

What’s BDSM Sexting & How Do I Do It?

From discussing consent to sending kinky pictures.

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"I'm keeping that p*ssy on restrictions until the weekend — you ask first, understand?" This is a text message Alex, 31, recently received from her Daddy, her Dominant partner role in a BDSM relationship. If reading that got you all worked up, allow me to introduce you to the basics of engaging in BDSM sexting.

If you haven’t yet explored BDSM in person, but it’s on your radar, texting is a great place to start. “BDSM sexting can be [a great way to] practice dirty talk, provide new ways to experience pleasure, a safer way to test drive a fantasy before diving into it in person, or indulging curiosity,” sex educator and trained Dominatrix Nadège Collot tells Bustle. BDSM sexting can be practiced for many reasons: foreplay (read: virtual sex), spicing up a monotonous sex life, turning on your partner from a distance, establishing power dynamics, or building anticipation between dates. The sky's the limit — until someone drops their Safe Word.

BDSM & Sexting Scenes

There are so many ways to explore BDSM sexting, from suggestive visual content and voice memo requests to text commands or punishments. “The key is to communicate beforehand and establish a script, often called a ‘scene’ in BDSM, that you both can act out via sext,” says Collot. This initial conversation is important in order to establish rules and informed consent by all parties (more details on that later on).

“My partner will text me very explicit, specific instructions on what he wants me to do,” Tatyannah, 25, tells Bustle. “I may get one that says ‘stop what you’re doing immediately and put on red lingerie. In 10 minutes, I want you to send me a picture of yourself lying on your back and showing off your body, so I have something to masturbate to by the time I get home from work.’”

In every BDSM relationship, there’s a unique power dynamic. Whereas a Dominant plays a more caretaker, authoritative, or leadership role, the Submissive, or Sub, is more obedient and willingly submits their control to the Dom. All folks involved in a Dom/Sub partnership assume power and authority, no matter their role.

Finn, 29, tells Bustle that really painting a picture can allow their imagination to run wild and get super vivid, and “using pet names/honorifics (‘kitten,’ ‘Mistress,’ ‘Daddy,’ ‘Mx’) to establish those power roles can heighten the feel of these texts. Teasing and leaving them wanting more can also be hot — just use sparingly, as the fun of sexting is, well, the conversation.”

Whatever scene you engage in, experts recommend being true to your authentic self. “People put a lot of pressure on themselves when coming up with a ‘sexy’ message,” Alex says. “I focus on being honest and direct versus making up something I think someone wants to hear.”

Pain & Pleasure In Sexting

Pleasure is subjective, so it’s ultimately up to you and your partner to agree upon which sexting scene feels right at the time. “A fun way to incorporate kinky pleasure into sexting is to tickle your erogenous zones for a specific amount of time,” Collot says. “Perhaps your Dominant orders you to video yourself playing with your feet for a full minute straight. You get to experience an erotic self-massage while your partner watches you moan and squirm in delight.”

Or if you’ve ever fantasized about being a “brat,” “slut,” or “bad girl,” she suggests misbehaving. “Once you’ve established what ‘misbehaving’ is, surprise your Dominant throughout the week with a photo, video, or audio clip” — maybe by saying naughty words or eating something off-limits. Enter: punishments (mutually agreed upon by all parties). According to Collot, these can be voice memo orders for the Submissive to prove they’ve followed via video or a mutual masturbation sesh where the sub needs to ask permission to orgasm when you’re on the brink of climax.”

Reminder: Even though there may be (consensual) “pain” involved, BDSM sexting is still supposed to be pleasurable! If it’s not, stop what you’re doing and communicate with your partner about how to proceed (if at all). The goal is to enjoy the process while figuring out what works best for everyone involved.

Voice Notes & Video Attachments

Exploring visual and audio content during sexting can help to heat things up more than words can express. “I’m usually turned on by auditory stimuli, so I love hearing my partner moan and grunt via video or voice memo of him pleasuring himself,” says Tatyannah.

According to Collot, sending and receiving videos or voice memos with orders and praise can also be a turn-on. “Start with a video of the Dominant ordering their Submissive to get into a position," Collot says. "Then the Submissive can provide proof that they did what they were told, allowing the Dominant to follow up with a video or voice memo saying ‘that’s my [pet name].’”

Finn enjoys sharing videos from bubble baths with quick flashes of nudity and a wink. Other days, they send their partner the following orders: “I'll be back in an hour. Put on your harness and pick out a dildo. I want to suck your d*ck when I get home.”

Sexting Boundaries & Consent

Similar to engaging in sex IRL, BDSM sexting requires following a set of safety guidelines and precautions. “Keep in mind that sexting is an evolving form of sexual communication,” notes Collot, who recommends sharing wants, needs, expectations, and preferred “kink etiquette” with each other before you begin. “You’ll likely learn about your boundaries as [you go], so it's good to establish some context ahead of time.”

Gaining active consent is key for any and all sexual experiences. This means regularly checking in with your partner to gauge enthusiastic consent while sexting. A good rule of thumb: If it’s not a “hell yes,” then consider it a “hell no.”

Say it with me: no unsolicited nudes! Finn suggests using discreet emojis to communicate, like ❓ for “can I sext you?” or 🙅 for “pause — something happened where I need to stop.” Alex, on the other hand, prefers to discuss intentions directly. Her go-to line? "I can't wait for tonight! My body is already excited. Can I show you?"

Additionally, establish Safe Words, which Collot defines as “signals to pause and check-in during an intimate, kinky, and/or sexual setting.” You’d typically use them to communicate discomfort with something that’s been said or the direction the scene is going and the desire to stop. A lot of folks lean into the green-yellow-red spectrum (green = continue, yellow = check-in, red = stop). “I prefer these as they’re universal, clear, and hard to forget,” says Alex. You can also agree to use fruit names or other non-sexual words, like pineapple, lightbulb, or bicycle.

Lastly, Collot says you always have the power to disengage or revoke consent at any time. “If at any point you feel like a line has been crossed and continues to be ignored, you have every right to stop sexting and consider if you want to keep speaking to this person,” she says. BDSM may involve dominance, submission, pain, and pleasure, but solid communication, consent, and respect lie at the root of all healthy relationships — virtual and IRL.

Experts:

Nadège Collot, sex educator and trained Dominatrix