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Sexting Advice From an Expert

Sexting? 7 Things You Must Know Before You Hit Send

Should you really be sexting a naked picture to that cute stranger? A dating coach from YourTango shares what to consider before it's too late.

If you're thinking about sexting with a new guy, think again.

According to The New York Times, Governor Jerry Brown signed a much-needed law, making revenge porn illegal in California on Oct. 1. When laws like this are made, it's an indicator of just how many people have compromising photos in cyberspace. It seems like everyone is sexting, taking naked photos, or making sex videos — from politicians like Anthony Weiner to the guy you just met online.

Let's talk more about this guy: let's say you meet him on a dating site. He asks you to send him a few additional pictures. There are several shots of you on the dating site, but what the heck, right? You send them. His next request is a little steamier. If you send him a more provocative text, it will border on sexting. So the question is this: should you or shouldn't you sext with this stranger?

Nude photos can be titillating and add a new level of excitement to your sexual interactions. But it might be wise to think first before you get started. You don't know where those photos or videos could end up or how it would impact your life. As a dating coach for women, I want to offer seven precautions to consider before sharing pictures of your most private parts.

1. Don't sext with men you don't know
Make this one of your dating rules — don't even think about sexting with a man you haven't met in person yet. What are the chances a new guy will think about anything but getting you in the sack when you play "I'll show you mine, if you show me yours"? Hold off until you have gotten to know the guy better and have been intimate to ensure a certain level of trust. It's just a smart way to go.

Most dating experts agree sexting is better when you are in a committed relationship and want to keep things exciting and building. You create anticipation for getting together and what might happen in the bedroom or elsewhere.

2. Don't write a letter
The point of texting is not to share long-winded, passionate, or raunchy thoughts. Texting and sexting should be brief comments. Keep it short to make it easy for both parties to participate and enjoy. When you get a lengthy text, it can get tedious and lose the spontaneity that makes it so much fun.

3. Don't show anything identifiable
Unless you don't mind the risk of having sexually explicit photos with your face online, keep your sexts to small pieces of the puzzle. Even if you feel tempted or want to push outside your comfort zone, think twice. It could mean living through the humiliation of countless men feasting their eyes on you. Sext under the assumption that, at some point, everyone might know. This includes your family, your boss, and your future boyfriend. Follow the same rule for that special tattoo or birthmark — anything that makes your parts clearly identifiable should be avoided.

For more precautions, head to YourTango: Sexting? Seven Things You Must Know Before You Hit Send

— Ronnie Ann Ryan

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