Let’s pour one out for all the single people that have made it through the first year of dating during the pandemic. While some people decided to take the risk and go out on socially-distanced dates, others began exploring virtual relationships. URL dating can come with many saucy benefits but also novel experiences. For example, how does one go about sexting someone you’re dating, but have never met in person? If the answer doesn’t feel intuitive, you’re surely not alone.
I spoke to Danielle Simpson-Baker, a certified sex educator, to get the 101 on how to explore sexting in a virtual relationship, whether you just matched with someone new on a dating app or you’ve been dating online all year but still haven’t connected IRL.
Sexting Consent & Boundaries
Even if the sex is virtual, gaining active consent from your partner to do anything sexual is mandatory, which means frequently checking in. Simpson-Baker recommends opening up a sexting session by being honest about what you want. Texting your date messages like, “I’m really into XYZ, what about you?” can open them up to the idea of describing sexual acts while still allowing them to express their comfort level with speaking explicitly over text. And under no circumstances should you send any NSFW pictures without the go-ahead. That means no unsolicited d*ck or vagina pics!
That said, it’s also important to set boundaries with your partner. Just because you may be down to sext doesn’t give you free rein to send anything and everything. Everyone has different expectations around sexting, and consenting to one thing (like describing what turns you on) doesn’t mean consenting to everything (like describing explicit acts). Do you want to keep your sexting strictly message-based? Are you comfortable sending nudes? Do you want to receive videos? A discussion before you get started will make your intentions clear.
And while you can never guarantee that a partner won’t share your messages, Simpson-Baker says that if the expectation is that they’ll stay between you, you should make that explicit. “Make it clear that whatever you’re sending them is for their eyes only, and if they can’t adhere to that, don’t sext them,” she says.
What To Sext
Now, let’s get down to it: What the heck do you even say when you’re sexting someone you’ve never met before? That all depends on your comfort level, Simpson-Baker says. If you’re sent explicit messages and nudes to partners in the past and consider yourself an experienced sexter, try to match your partner’s vibe. Simpson-Baker suggests asking what they’re into, then meeting them where they’re at.
“I tend to be more graphic with my partners, but some don’t sext as much as I do, and it can be awkward.” Let your SO set the pace, and then follow their lead.
If you’re brand new to sexting or more apprehensive, Simpson-Baker recommends starting by describing what you like in the bedroom. “Then come up with language about how to talk to someone about it,” she says.
If that all feels like a lot, don’t worry. Simpson-Baker says that sexting takes practice, especially with a new partner. She suggests saying what you want to text out loud before you press send. “It’s better to text something that you would say to a person, so it’s authentic,” she says.
How To Sext Nudes
Once you decide that you’re comfortable taking nudes, practice is the name of the game. Discover which angles make you feel sexiest and take advantage of them: a close-up shot of your body, a birds-eye view picture, a zoom-out. Once you find your favorite angle, milk it for all its worth.
Finding the best lighting can be key as well — strategically experiment with natural lighting vs. shadows to create the perfect aesthetic for your nudes. If you’re into lingerie, you can try slipping some on, getting in front of the mirror, and practicing those poses. You won’t know what poses work for you until you start experimenting with them, so try poking a hip out to the side or taking a photo of your behind from behind. Then try acknowledging how sexy you are out loud! Your self-confidence will come through in the picture — you might even turn yourself on.
One last note: Simpson-Baker does not recommend taking nudes with your face, distinctive tattoos, or body marks in them. In the event that your photos are shared without your consent, you’ll want to minimize as much risk as possible.
The Safest Apps To Sext On
When you text or iMessage someone, your message can live forever on their phone. Apps like Snapchat can allow you to send photos that disappear after a short period, and you can see when someone screenshots or saves your message or picture. However, there are privacy concerns: A Motherboard report found that Snapchat may be able to access user data.
Signal, a free, privacy-focused text and voice app, is a great alternative. The app uses advanced end-to-end encryption to make sure that every message you send remains private. WhatsApp and Wickr also feature end-to-end encryption.
Remember: If you save your nudes to your iPhone photos, they can be unintentionally uploaded to the Cloud, which means anyone with your password can have access to them (that’s how celebrities like Jennifer Lawrence get their nude photos leaked). Consider using an app that’s password-protected, like Private Photo Vault. Additionally, My Secret Folder can disguise your nudes as something more innocuous, like a utility folder.
One extra security measure? Watermarking your nudes with the name of the person you’re sending them to. That way, if they ever get out, you’ll know exactly who the culprit is, and you can alert the authorities.
Danielle Simpson-Baker, sex educator