Level Up Your Sexting Skills With These Expert Tips

A little textual dirty talk can be an exciting way to have some casual fun, participate in touch-free foreplay, explore fantasies, or even infuse playfulness and develop intimacy in a relationship. But good sexting goes far beyond a cliché "R U up" text message at 3 a.m. If you're looking to spice up your text life in a way that works for you, this ultimate guide to sexting will definitely come in handy. From creating healthy boundaries and establishing consent to a few one-liners to spark the fire, these sexting tips are sure to get things started.

5 Hot Sexting Tips

Whether you're initiating sexting with a current partner or someone new, keeping it both fun and respectful is key. "Good sexting takes everyone to engage in a way that makes them feel safe and excited," says Gigi Engle, ACS, 3Fun's sex and relationship expert and educator. "We all have preferences, and our sexual experiences are entirely unique." While there's no one-size-fits-all approach to pleasure, there are a few universal rules to keep in mind before you hit send.

1. Always Get Consent First

Before you heat things up, always ask permission. "Being straightforward is the best way to handle consent," Engle explains. "You can say something like, 'Hey, this conversation seems to be getting a little steamy. Would you be interested in sexting? If not, no worries.' Something along those lines is great because it invites the other person to join in while not breaking the rhythm of the conversation."

Chances are, their response (or lack thereof) can clue you in to their interest level. Regardless, wait for a clear go-ahead before continuing. You can play off your agreed-upon verbiage in the future to clue one another into the fact you may be in the mood for a texting tête-à-tête.

You should never feel pressured — or pressure your partner — to respond to sexual messages, regardless of previously established consent. Be respectful in your communication, and know the word "no" can always be considered a complete sentence. "Enthusiastic consent is key, no matter what form of sexy time you're having," Engle says.

2. Establish Boundaries

You and your partner are both free to decide what feels safe and comfortable when it comes to sexting. Are pictures, videos, voice notes acceptable, or do you prefer to stick to words only? "Be sure to ask if your partner is open to otherwise-taboo words like 'slut,' 'bitch,' 'whore,' etc.," Engle advises. "It's perfectly OK to make some words or phrases out of bounds."

Keep time and place in mind, as not everyone appreciates a NSFW text popping up when they're working. Discuss your individual boundaries together so you can proceed respectfully, and consider establishing a safe word or emoji if things get uncomfortable. Rather than ghosting, dropping a shark emoji may be all you need to pause and redirect the conversation into safer waters.

3. State Your Intentions

What transpires on phone screens does not always translate to what will happen between the sheets. Sexting can be used in a multitude of ways, from passing time to foreplay in itself. Make sure your partner doesn't feel pressured to bring your exchange to life or act upon it immediately. "Be sure you and your partner are clear about what you're looking for out of this experience," Engle says. "If your convo is all about a teasing lead-up to a heated encounter in person, remember to reestablish physical boundaries when you're finally face to face."

4. Get the Fire Going

Now that consent is received and boundaries are established, how does one turn up the temperature? The first text doesn't have to be daunting. Play off your generic consenting messages. Send them a simple "I can't stop thinking about how you make me feel when you [insert action]." If you or your partner asks where you are or what you're wearing, this is a perfect opportunity to get creative! "Remember that sexting can be silly or awkward. Always make sure you both show a lot of respect and empathy for each other so no one's feelings get hurt," Engle says.

Write out your text, and check it twice before sending. Whether you're sending a suggestive snap or a naughty text, always double-check the recipient field before pressing send!

5. Ask If Nudes Are OK

Racy photos, while exciting, can be a tricky trade to navigate. Learn what your partner likes — and consents to — and always err on the side of caution before going full-frontal. "Start with words and see how the conversation flows," Engle advises. "If you want to take it to the next level, you can always ask for a nude or ask if you can send one. If the person isn't receptive, don't get defensive. It isn't for everyone."

While some may enjoy a classic dick pic, others are more turned off by a close-up of genitalia. Some may prefer softer, flirty pictures with lingerie, or suggestive poses sans full reveal. Whatever you prefer, check with your partner first before sending a nude photo or video. Most importantly, make sure you have well-established trust with the individual first and a respectful understanding of privacy (and legality) surrounding the share.

"Be aware that if you send someone a nude, you cannot take it back," Engle says. "People are not always the best intentioned, so taking precautions can help safeguard you from unwanted situations in which your nudes are shared."

Once you've both consented to an image exchange, mind your angles. If you prefer some privacy, crop your face or use clever body positioning to mask total identification — keep in mind that identifiable features such as tattoos may be difficult to conceal. Be sure to hide racy photos in a hidden album on your phone so they don't make a surprise appearance when you're flipping through vacation memories. Alternatively, you can use an app to store and password protect your images for even more discretion. Apps like Snapchat with disappearing-image options can also be a safer bet if you want to avoid anyone storing away your image.

How to Start Sexting

Looking for inspiration but don't know where to begin? We've got a few one-liners to get the party started. Remember to establish consent before diving in, and set clear intentions. Keep it simple — just copy and paste.

  • I can't sleep. I keep dreaming of what I want you to do to me.
  • I'm about to get in the shower. What should I think about while I'm in there?
  • I can't stop thinking about the way your touch makes me feel.
  • Tell me your wildest fantasy.
  • Oh the things I'd do if you were next to me right now . . .
  • Last night was amazing. Can you describe to me your favorite part?
  • If you could do anything to me, what would it be?