Assess the situation and know your audience. Usually, it doesn’t take much more than a few pre-sext texts (or pre-sexts) to gauge whether or not someone is interested in doing the cyber-dirty with you. Take the time to figure that out before you lead with something raunchy and uncalled-for. AKA don’t just start throwing dick pics at people left and right if they didn’t ask.
Real-life dating is obviously the best way to get to know somebody long-term, especially if you’re looking for any kind of serious, in-person relationship
Be respectful: Privacy is sacred. The internet has the scary ability to make fleeting moments very permanent. If someone asks you to keep something to yourself, you’d better do it. While sexting can be light and fun, it also requires a serious level of trust. If you betray that trust, you’re ruining it for everybody.
Sexting vs. dating in real life
And real sex will always be better than sexting. *However,* sexting is an alternative that may help you out in ways you didn’t even think about.
Convenience: Whether you plan on actually wining and dining your date or just meeting to hook up, it always requires some extra effort. For those with super hectic schedules or those who just don’t have room in their life (for whatever reason) for a steady in-person relationship, sexting is practically a saving grace. After all, your sex drive doesn’t go away just because you’re busy. Sexting allows you to take care of your sexual needs without putting yourself out.
Freedom: As is the case with most behind-the-screen activities, with sexting, you can let go of your inhibitions a bit and feel more comfortable exploring your sexual side knowing there’s a certain barrier between you and the other person. You can experiment with language and ideas that maybe you wouldn’t feel completely comfortable exploring in person.
Safety: We’ve touched on the reasons why sexting might not be completely safe in terms of privacy, but to its credit, sexting offers an element of safety that in-person meetings don’t. Sexting allows you to interact with both people you know and total strangers without putting yourself in dangerous or unwanted physical situations. Your experience should always be what you want it to be, and with sexting, if it’s not going in the direction you want, it’s just a matter of closing an app.
Exploring trust and intimacy: Getting comfortable with another person in close quarters doesn’t always come naturally for everyone – but opting for sexting gives way to a new level of exploration in terms of intimacy and trust. You don’t ever have to meet the person behind the screen if you don’t want to, but being able to practice feeling vulnerable without any strings attached can be a great lesson in being more open.
Fun: Let’s be honest for a second here. A night of sexting is always going to be a lot more fun than endlessly swiping right on a dating app and starting the same conversation over and over. Having the option of opening an app on your phone and engaging in a little virtual foreplay offers instant gratification and (almost) guaranteed pleasure.
Privacy features: What happens in a sexting app doesn’t always stay in a sexting app; there are no guarantees that your conversations or selfies won’t wind up a screenshot on someone’s phone. That said, certain apps do delete photos and conversations after a certain amount of time if you’re hoping to try to help lessen the chances of something getting leaked.
Safety: If you’re looking for a night of no-strings-attached fun online, it doesn’t really matter all too much if the person on the other end of your conversation has been verified – but if you do want to ensure you’re not being catfished or chatting with a bot, consider an app that links social media or verifies users.