Sexting is a skill. A finely crafted skill that requires practice and sometimes very careful consideration. Getting someone wetter than an otter’s pocket with a single text is equivalent to a 3.8 in the diving olympics (skilled af, in other words). But have no fear! Your sexting fairy godmothers are here and we’re going to guide you towards a midnight thumb tap that leads to a toe-curling finish. Do we love you or what?
If you prefer listening rather than reading, we have an audio guided session on the app all about sexting.
Get consent first
Before continuing, this is a given for all of the following advice. You must first ask for consent. “Do you fancy talking a little dirty?” is a nice, clean opener – and if they say “no”, don’t send them a dick pic/nude/”but I’m hooornyyyyy”. Just respect it and move on. Unsolicited dirty texts can be really unpleasant, especially if they pop up whilst you’re flicking through holiday snaps on your phone with your boss at that exact moment.
Don’t try and be Shakespeare
None of this “your sunflower seed”* nonsense. It’s a vulva, a pussy, a clit, your lips. Of course, if you’re uncomfortable with saying these words, try and find a repertoire that you and your fleet fingered friend can stick with. Boat ones can work: “there’s a stiff breeze”, “I’ll pull into the dock”, something about “seaman”…. on second thought, maybe not.
*real experience from the Emjoy team
But keep it classy
“You’re a filthy animal” really can go one of two ways – instant blocking or a response in the vein of “yes I am, do you like it?”. The vital thing here is that you need to discern what the vibe is between the two of you. Don’t start off with the hard, crass stuff. Know your audience. Ask questions. “Are you naughty or nice?”, “Do you like it soft, dirty or hard?” or a good old-fashioned “I’m hard/horny/wet/erotically charged” always lends itself to a response that helps you gauge the situation.
Just because you sext it, doesn’t mean you really want to do it
You shouldn’t feel worried that because in your sexting fantasy they’ve turned up at your office and banged you in front of the whole team that that means they’ll think they have to do it in real life. And in the same vein, don’t assume that because they like something while sexting that they’ll like it in real life. Just because they’re using words in a sext, doesn’t mean they will necessarily like them in bed, for example “slut” or “pussy”. Sexting can be one of two things – a kind of talking-each-other-through what you’re actually doing (“my hand is here, thinking about you is making me feel this way” etc. etc.) or it can be a fantasy that you’re running through together (“You’re licking my mermaid tail and I’m watching the octopus devour it’s own mother” y’know, whatever). Either way, remember that what happens in the sext, stays in the sext, unless explicitly stated otherwise.
Use it as foreplay
Sexting is an excellent way to add a spark to an otherwise floundering sexual relationship. Rather than waiting for them to spontaneously grab you in the midst of a Netflix marathon or resigning yourself to the same routine, sexting can add a build up until the moment you can ravish each other IRL. Think of it as one long session of foreplay until you get to touch each other.
For the love of God, puns are not sexy.
“Did you get my junk mail?” Yes and that is exactly where it is going, in the trash, with a pun like that. Try harder.
Never send a nude without consent
This doesn’t just go for dick pics, drowning in them as we may be. When you’ve consented, nudes are hot, they’re fun, they can be nearly as good as the real thing. When it’s not been requested, it actually feels quite violating. Just don’t do it, ‘kay?
Safeguard your sexts
There are multiple apps nowadays that allow you to send texts that are automatically deleted or encrypted. You can use Telegram or Snapchat, plus apps that store your nudey pics in a separate folder. Also remember to turn off push notifications to avoid awkward sexts popping in unseemly situations, like when you’re showing Grandma your baby pics. We have a whole blog about safely sending nudes.
Nudes. It seems like only a few years ago that we were experiencing near-constant leaks of celebrity nudes. How were the people whose privacy was so carefully guarded being hacked by journalists to out their saucy late night snaps? We’re here to give you some advice on how to keep your nudes safe before, during and after sending them.
Don’t use Facebook Messenger
Unless you don’t mind these photos being permanently stored – even after you “delete” them. Instead use timed message services like snapchat private messaging or messaging services like Telegram, Wire or Signal. WhatsApp is technically encrypted but we would be less inclined to trust it. With Telegram and Wire you are notified if someone takes a screenshot of your conversation or image, which is the same as with snapchat – and the only way to save your nudes through these platforms would be through screenshots as the image isn’t sent as a download like on Whatsapp.
Take it one step further…
And use a new email address, created on Proton Mail, to set up a messaging account with one of these messenger services. This way if any of your nudes do escape they can’t be traced back to your name.
Don’t have your face in the picture
Of course, if you have tattoos or other things that could easily identify you, it’s less helpful not to include your face. But if you are really worried or you have a tendency to send nudes on the regs, it might be worth considering.
Turn off Location services when you take the photos
Seems a little paranoid, but when you take a photo and your location services are on, the photos are encrypted with your location information – and so it can be traced back to your IP address (which is like the fingerprint of your phone).
Turn off automatic uploads
If you have an iPhone and use the cloud, whenever you take a picture your phone will automatically upload it to your cloud. This means that if any of your accounts linked to your cloud get hacked, someone has access to all of your photos – including your nudes. Choose to only upload selected photos to iCloud or better yet, don’t use iCloud at all and instead invest in an external hard-drive, on which you can store everything without fear of it being hacked as they are not connected to the internet.
Use a password manager
LastPass or OnePassword help you to manage complex passwords for everything you use – rather than having the same password for all of your accounts. This makes it much harder to hack you – you would be surprised just how many people have the same password for their facebook as they do for their bank.
Use private browsing online
Incognito mode is only more private because it doesn’t visually save your history when you browse – but this doesn’t mean that Google or other search engines don’t store information about what you search. Try using Tor instead for encrypted, private use.
Use an app to store your nudes
Apps like Photo Vault let you store your nudes in the app and removes them automatically from your photos feed on your phone, so you can scroll in front of others without fear of a saucy picture popping up unexpectedly.
If a nude of you is shared without your permission or ends up online, you have rights
Visit Cyber Civil Rights Initiative for more information on how to address this if it happens.
Getting freaky in the sheets is different for everyone. But one thing is for sure – we are all constantly bombarded with the idea that we aren’t doing it enough. But what if that pressure is coming from inside the relationship? What if getting in sync just isn’t happening?
It’s pretty normal to have mismatched libidos when you have a long-term partner or partners – and, despite what you may hear, it’s not as simple as “women aren’t as horny as men”. That concept is actually quite damaging and dangerous – it pressures men to be hypersexual and shames women for the same thing. Sometimes, we can be perfectly happy with the amount of sex we’re having, but we feel an outside pressure that we should be doing it more, because that’s what “healthy” or “happy” couples do.
There’s a big difference between how much sex you actually want, how much sex you’re having, and how much sex you’d like to be having. It might be that you don’t get aroused very often, but that you want to be having more sex. There are lots of reasons why having frequent sex is good for you and for your relationship – it releases endorphins and chemicals that build a bond between you and your partner; it is a natural stress reliever, pain killer, mood enhancer and anxiety buster; it helps you sleep better; it can be good exercise; and it’s fun. But we need to encourage the idea that the amount of sex that you should be having is the amount of sex you want to be having. We’re not here to tell you how many times a week or month or year is “best” for you or “normal” because everyone is different. Plus, there are plenty of things that affect your libido that you have no control over: medication, menopause, pregnancy, alcohol, stress, age and hormones all have effects on your sex drive.
If there is an issue of mismatched libidos in your relationship, there are lots of things to look at. First of all – are you both enjoying sex to the fullest extent possible? When you do have sex, do you have an orgasm? Does it last as long as you want it to? The better the sex is that you have, the more you’re going to want to do it more. So maybe, if one person in the relationship is wanting more sex than the other, it might be because they’re enjoying it more, or their needs are being met more frequently.
Have you tried experimenting? Or do you always have sex in the same way? Adding experimentation, games and exploration into your sex life could open up avenues to worlds of pleasure you never knew you could experience. It might also transpire that the kind of things that you enjoy doing might not be “full” sex, i.e. you might really enjoy sexting, or mutual masturbation, or a little light BDSM or some foot play. We are obsessed with a heteronormative idea that sex, no matter which genders are involved, has to involve some kind of penetration to “be” sex, but that’s nonsense. Sex is whatever you want it to be.
Are you having sex or sexual relationships at the same time of day? Maybe after work is just never going to be a good time for you because you’re tired or you have other things you’d rather be doing. Or maybe you schedule date nights or holidays and then the pressure that you should be having sex kills the vibe of actually wanting to have sex.
Does your partner constantly ask for it and you find yourself saying no? Or are you always asking for it, and then being rejected, and feeling miserable about being turned down? Try and understand how this situation makes you feel. Unwanted? Pressured? Guilty? Maybe you can try doing sensual things together that aren’t a lead up to sex. Find a way to be intimate with each other, without the pressure of having to have sex. Take a bath or shower together, and explicitly state that it isn’t a way to get in each others pants but rather to find intimacy and closeness. Chances are you both know that there is a mismatch in your libidos – and approaching the subject can feel difficult. Communication really is key here though.
If you’ve really noticed a drop in your libido, or your partner has, there are lots of things you can do to raise it again. We have a whole section on our app that is designed specifically for this – with habit builders, practical exercises, theory and science, all in audio files that you can listen to on your commute or at home. Boosting your libido is not as simple as taking a pill, even though some may like to sell this as a miracle cure. Studies show that actually, these pills are only slightly more effective than a placebo.
But finally, if you are happy with the amount of sex you are having, you should never have sex because you feel like you should. This can lead to resentment, and if you’re forcing yourself to have sex, most likely it isn’t going to be that fun or pleasureable.
Setting boundaries. Sounds more like a step in therapy than sexual foreplay, right? But setting boundaries is not only healthy – it’s hot. Have you ever had a conversation about what you want, don’t want and what your boundaries are before you have sex with someone? It’s not just for kinky people…. Boundaries can range from “I don’t like anything near my butt” to “You can spank me until I cry but I will never, ever call you Daddy” or “When I’m about to come please call me a dirty little chimney sweep”. Whatever floats your boat! So, where to start?
Setting boundaries is super, super hot
Think of it like foreplay. Before you start rutting*, you talk about what you’re going to do to each other. If you set boundaries at this point, it lets you both relax, because you both know what the other likes and wants. Of course, boundaries can change, and people can change their minds – so don’t think of this as like, signing a contract before you get jiggy with it**. Think of it more like handing each other a roadmap to the Holy Orgasm Grail. Amen, sister.
*an English slang word for having sex that we recently discovered and find it so silly and yet hilarious we can’t stop using it.
** we will continue to find ridiculous ways to describe having sex because it makes us laugh, so buckle up.
People of all genders have boundaries
It’s time we once and for all debunked the myth that guys are always up for sex and that they want to do everything, and that women have to “give in” or “appease” men. Heterosexual relationships are like a minefield of egos and politeness. Public Service Announcement: Men have boundaries too. In fact, all people of all genders have boundaries – so make sure you are both comfortable moving forward. It might be the first time anyone has ever asked you or them what their boundaries are – and what a beautiful moment you will share when you both feel your emotional and physical needs are being taken care of.
Keep checking in
Consent doesn’t just happen before you have sex. The definition of consensual sex is “enthusiastic” and “continual”. Phrases like “do you like this, or this?”, “do you want to keep going?” and “are you feeling good?” are all great. Yes, people can change their minds during sex – anyone, of any gender, can change their mind and want to stop, or be triggered by something, or lose their erection. Try not to take it as a blow to the ego – but setting boundaries beforehand can help ensure that everyone has the most fun they possibly can.
Have a safe word
This doesn’t just apply to heavy BDSM sessions. Imagine this: you’re trying being blindfolded for the first time. It’s a little nerve wracking because you can’t see what they’re doing. You can use words here that let your partner know, without breaking out of the vibe, that something they’re doing is good, or you’re not sure about, or is something you really don’t want. You can use words like green, orange and red; or come up with something more fun, like “hufflepuff”. No-one likes a Hufflepuff.
Don’t cross your boundaries to make them happy…
Just because everyone seems to be doing something, doesn’t mean you have to. If they are constantly asking you for something you don’t particularly like, you don’t have to “give in”. If you don’t like anal sex, don’t do it. If you don’t want to have a threesome, don’t do it. Doing something just because you think it will make them happy, or even worse, thinking you’re going to get something in return, isn’t healthy. Sex is about everyone’s pleasure. It’s not about exchanging favors, if those favors make you uncomfortable.
… but be ready to push yours
Only if you want to, of course. Threesomes can be really great after all, so if there are things you’re curious about but not ready for yet, you can put them in the metaphorical maybe list for future reading. There are lots of things that you won’t know you like until you try – like sharing a fantasy, or using a sex toy together, or trying some role-play. Being a little bit adventurous doesn’t have to be scary. If you’ve set your boundaries, you have more freedom to safely explore.
Don’t make it feel like a test
You don’t need to sit opposite each other with notepads and a Monica Gellar-esque military precision to boundary setting. Try opening the conversation with something like “Can we talk about our boundaries first? There are some things I really like and some I don’t. And I really want to make you feel good, so maybe you could tell me what you like and don’t like too.”
Self-respect is ho-diggidy-ot
Sitting opposite a partner and telling them what you will and won’t tolerate (in much kinder terms) is hot. You being powerful and empowered is hot. And if they don’t like it when you set your boundaries… they’re probably a bit of a tosser. Thank u, next!
It might take some coaching
Maybe they aren’t ready to talk that openly about their boundaries. If that’s the case, you can try talking about it while you’re having sex – things like “how would you feel if I did this?” or “would you like it if I did such-and-such?”. In the midst of being aroused, we tend to relax a little, and feel less shy about saying what we like. DON’T try anything without their consent though – because that is just. Not. Cool. And don’t ever pressure anyone into trying anything because you think they’ll like it. In reality, no two people are the same when it comes to having their marbles cracked*.
Don’t let it slide if they cross your boundaries
It’s not okay. Ever. It’s about respect – is your pleasure and happiness as important as theirs? If it is, they will respect your boundaries and find ways that you can make each other have mind-blowing, leg shaking orgasms. If they deliberately cross a boundary, tell ‘em Boy*, Bye.
*translation of Boy: any human who crosses your boundaries. Or alien. You never know…
BDSM is not an excuse to cross boundaries
Master4U may say they are an experienced Dominant and that degrading you “is how BDSM works” but they could just as easily be talking shit, pretending to be your Christian Grey fantasy while actually just being a selfish lover. BDSM is all about boundary setting and consent conversations. Before engaging in ANY form of BDSM you need to have a long and serious conversation about what you want and don’t want. It’s especially important to have a safe word, or signal if your mouth is gagged. But that’s for a whole other post…
There are few subjects that elicit such strong reactions as those related to pornography. The stigmatisation of sex workers and sex work in general permeates through our society, a society that consumes more porn than anything else. And it’s not just men. Some statistics say that up to a third of women watch porn regularly – and those are just the women willing to admit it. Porn, as pervasive as it is in our culture, is ironically one of the last taboos. We watch it – but we don’t ever want to talk about it.
There is a growing movement in adult cinema – that of ethical, female-produced, arthouse and feminist filmmaking. Films made with passion, intimacy, creativity and care. Films that represent female sexuality in the way we as women experience it, and not just as a male fantasy. Films that don’t centre on stereotypes, on racism, homophobia, or heteronormative ideas of beauty. Not all porn is made equal – just like any industry, there’s good stuff and bad stuff.
But why should you care? Well, visual stimulation is important for your sex drive. If you’ve found yourself feeling less horny than normal, or you struggle to get aroused, watching adult cinema that features real pleasure, desire and consent can be a delicious and very enjoyable solution. We’ve rounded up five projects that provide unusual work – representative, intersectional, feminist and queer – so that everyone can find something they like.
For more information from trusted sources on sex work, feminist porn and why we should pay for our porn, you can check out the links at the end of the article.
(Parker Marx & Lupa Vaux in Idolotry – image courtesy of Four Chambers Vimeo)
A Four Chambered Heart
Vex Ashley makes (in my opinion) the best adult cinema in the world. Creative, imaginative, arousing for both your body and your mind, A Four Chambered Heart (or Four Chambers) features all films that are written, produced, directed, edited and distributed by Vex herself. You can sign up to her patreon to get access, and watch the more vanilla trailers for the films on her Vimeo (which are breathtaking in their own right).
(Stoya in Hysterical Literature)
This series isn’t so new, but it never gets old. 20 women are asked to read aloud from their favourite book as, unseen under the table, their partner brings them to orgasm. All you can see are their expressions, but watching them attempt to concentrate and keep reading whilst the pleasure builds is unforgettable.
Watch here <
(Anne DeWinter and Bishop Black in Second Date by Artichoke Films)
Blue Artichoke Films
Blue Artichoke films dedicate themselves to portraying sex and sexuality in a real, emotional way. The best part about their films is how real everything feels, from the shy giggles, to struggling with more complex positions, it always feels like an experience that is close to something you’ve had in real life – which makes it all the more arousing. Award-winning, unmissable erotic cinema.
(Image courtesy of Aorta Films, from the film “W/hole”)
Queer, intersectional, inclusive, sex-positive and all-round brilliant, Aorta Films is a site where you can find people with all kinds of genders, sexualities, bodies, desires and experiences. Beautifully shot, you can see how much these performers really like each other – so much so that it feels almost voyeurisitc!
(Kali Sudhra & Jean Jumel in Spit It Up by Adriana Eskenazi. Image courtesy of Erika Lust Films)
Turning your sexual confessions into a reality for over a decade, Erika Lust, the Swedish indie adult filmmaker, has been making waves across the world with her XConfessions series. Making award-winning short films with high production values and beautiful performers and settings, XConfessions is by far the most popular indie adult cinema platform in the world. Lust also produces films by Guest Directors all over the globe, all of which are available on the site, including work from Bruce LaBruce, Poppy Sanchez and Sadie Lune.
So, do any catch your eye? Can you recommend some other feminist, empowering, ethical adult cinema? Leave us a comment below! And most importantly, emjoy…
Extra reading for sex nerds:
Who Gets to be Sexy? – The New York Times
Why paying for porn makes you a better feminist – Cosmopolitan
Can there be good porn? – Stoya for the The New York Times
The future of female-led porn – Dazed