Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

Technology has become a driving force in our everyday lives so it’s no surprise that we can now use it to spice up our sex lives, too. Do you have a new crush who you want to move things along with? Send a sext! Have you been hooking up with a guy but it’s getting stale? Send a sext! Have a long-distance boyfriend who you can’t see very often? Send a sext! The best part about sexting is that it’s fun for everyone, no matter what your relationship status is… that is, of course, as long as you do it right! We’ve all heard the horror stories of sexting gone wrong, so Her Campus is here to give you the scoop on how to have safe sext!
Rule #1: Have Anonymous Sext

Okay, okay so the title of this rule may go against everything you’ve ever been told about sex, but trust me this is the best way to keep sexting safe. If you are going to send pictures of yourself, keep them anonymous! “I like to send ‘slightly naked’ photos of myself to my boyfriend,” says Megan*. “Usually, it’s just a little cleavage or my butt barely peeking out from under one of his sweatshirts. It’s enough to get him excited without making me nervous about anyone accidentally seeing them.” A good rule of thumb to follow is this: if anyone close to you ended up seeing the picture, would they instantly know it was you? If a stranger saw it on the internet, would they recognize you if they saw you in person? If the answer is yes to either of these questions, then you’re not being anonymous enough! Remember, no pictures of your face; identifying features such as a mole, piece of jewelry, tattoo, piece of clothing, etc.; and no captions with the picture that mention anything personal!
Rule #2: Keep it PG-13

While sexting by definition is R-rated, there are ways to keep it PG-13. There are plenty of sexts to send that don’t cross the line: partially nude photos, artfully done pictures of parts of your body (artfully = strategically hiding your naughty bits!), flirtatious texts about your relationship (whatever that may be), and maybe even plans to meet up later without specific details, just implied intimacy. Sexting should be fun, but it can definitely damage your reputation if the guy decides he wants to show his friends. So that means no completely nude photos of yourself, no raunchy texts back and forth, and no promises about what you’re going to do to him later. If it’s something you would never want anyone else to see, not even a good friend, then you probably shouldn’t send it!
Rule #3: No Drunken Sexting

Alcohol has a tendency to impair your judgment in a major way – surprise, right? So although you knowthe cutie in your calculus class would love to receive a naughty text from you – and I’m sure he would – it’s probably not the best idea at 2 in the morning after a few too many vodka-tonics. Your best bet is to save the text you were planning to send as a draft, and then revisit it in the morning to decide if you’d still like to send it. Odds are you won’t still want to, but if you do then go for it… as long as it abides by our other rules!

Rule #4: It Should Be Mutual

It always seems to be the girl’s responsibility to turn a guy on, and that’s not fair! If you’re the one taking all of the risks with sexting without receiving anything in return, speak up or just stop giving it up. While it’s always nice to have a guy drooling over you, make sure that he’s not taking advantage of you by making him reciprocate. “My boyfriend used to just have me send pictures of myself, but he would never send anything back,” says Amy*. “I started to feel like a toy to him so I stopped doing it. Once he realized that it wasn’t fun for me anymore, he started to flirt back by sending sexts about how turned on he was, which led to more conversation.” You can flirtatiously let him know that he’s not being fair by saying “Aw, it’s no fair I never get anything from you…” or “Ok, now it’s your turn!” He will get the hint and if not, then stop sexting – he will find a way to get it started again.
Rule #5: Have Consensual Sext

Your reasons for sexting should always be your own, which means never let a guy pressure you into doing something you aren’t comfortable with, even if it’s not ‘sex’ as it’s typically defined. Sexting is just as intimate as the real thing so if you aren’t willing to send photos, talk dirty, or even just flirt via text, then don’t! There is absolutely nothing wrong with waiting to be intimate in person. Technology can be intimidating, and it’s your prerogative to sext or not to sext. If a guy is pressuring you for a sext, let him know in a cute way that it’s not going to happen by saying something like, “I’d rather talk about this in person…” or “Maybe we can make that happen later tonight.” If he still tries to push you, then make it a little more clear: “I don’t feel comfortable sexting – I prefer physical contact ;)” He’ll get the hint, but it won’t push him away.
So now that you have our rules for sexting, you’re probably wondering how to apply them. We’ve put together a few ways to safe sext whether you’re a beginner or advanced – there’s something for everyone!

  • Send photos that imply something more, such as a photo of your unmade bed or a picture of your lingerie drawer
  • The ‘…’ is your best friend: If you add dot dot dot to the end of any sentence, it makes it sound flirty no matter what. For example, “I can’t wait to see you later…”
  • If you want to get a guy excited, start by complimenting him on something he did the last time you two hooked up. You can make this as tame or as naughty as you want. For example, “I can’t believe what an amazing kisser you are…” or “Last night was so amazing”
  • Take Megan’s advice and send ‘slightly naked photos’, such as a picture of your cleavage, your butt in a pair of jeans, your legs in high heels, etc.

The true key to safe sexting is to stay within your comfort zone. Trust your instincts – if you aren’t sure you can trust him with a photo of yourself, then don’t send one. If you aren’t sure how he will respond to a sext from you, then the two of you probably aren’t at that level yet. Sexting, just like physical sex, will always be the best if you feel safe, comfortable, and protected. Have fun!

* = Name Has Been Changed

Allie Duncan is a senior, class of 2013, in the School of Journalism at the University of Missouri. She is specializing in Strategic Communication within the Journalism department, while also pursuing a Textile and Apparel Management minor. In addition to writing for Her Campus, Allie is a member of Kappa Delta sorority - Epsilon Iota chapter, the Publicity Director for Her Campus Mizzou, a Campus Representative/Intern for Akira Chicago, a Contributing Writer for Chicago-Scene magazine and a member of the Society of Professional Journalists. She spent the 2012 summer as an intern at Tory Burch, and the 2011 summer as an intern at Vogue magazine. A Chicago native, Allie enjoys shopping, watching reality television, cupcakes, expensive shoes and reading magazines. She hopes to eventually land a job in fashion public relations while living in New York City, Los Angeles, or Chicago.