Sexting: you need to know that to talk dirty

Erotic messages from your partner make you want, but they are also risky. How to write a sexy text and deal with mishaps. Plus: the best tips for safer sexting

What is sexting? And how secret is that really?

Sexting – a word creation from sex and texting – describes the sending of erotic messages and photos, for example via smartphone. Obviously, this exchange of intimacies often does not remain private. Because just under a quarter of people who receive sexually explicit messages have friends read them, according to a US study by University of Indiana. Accordingly, more than three other people see the explicit content on average. However, 73 percent of those surveyed are very uncomfortable. The good news for men: women don’t share sexual messages with others as often as men. Overall, couples send more pictures and sexual messages back and forth than singles, younger ones sex more than older ones, the researchers found. Over 5000 men and women from the USA were used for the study.

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What are the consequences of sexting?

Obviously, the greatest risk of sexting is not embarrassing yourself in front of the actual recipient, but in front of her friends. « For some, sexting leads to more intimacy and satisfaction. For others, erotic messages may lead to less self-confidence or a bad reputation, » says Justin Garcia, head of the study. In addition, there is not serious news. « Many make false promises within messages. If these actions are not carried out in real life, the other person is disappointed. This is also called offline shock, » says Michael Sztenc, a qualified psychologist, couple and sex therapist in Saarbrücken.

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Every 4th person shares sexting messages

Antonio Guillem /

Erotic messages from your partner don’t always stay private

What’s the point of sending sexy messages?

« To avoid losing sexual attraction as a couple, you can keep the tingling with dirty talk, » explains expert Sztenc. « Sexting has a very clear flirtation character, couples can show their desire and lust for each other, » he adds. That can also be risky. The consequences are sometimes unpredictable and this is exactly what makes many couples so attractive. For those whose sex lives have fallen asleep a bit, savory news can work wonders. « Send yourself erotic messages or pictures from work. When you come home in the evening, you have a lot more to look forward to, » advises the expert. It doesn’t always have to be sex, by the way. The virtual foreplay can sometimes be even hotter than the act itself. Be creative.

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How to phrase the best sexy text

Desire generally consists of attraction and the associated hurdles, explains Sztenc. Overcoming these hurdles is what makes the game so exciting. The experts know that the more forbidden something is, the more attractive it is. There is no silver bullet for the perfect formulation of erotic news. That is also not the point of sexting. « Some like dirty talk – and some don’t. Part of the game is to find out what the other person likes, » said the expert. The majority of women do not like to be taken by surprise. Try to show emotion and describe certain situations graphically as if they were about to happen. That will undoubtedly turn them on.

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When sexting, limits can sometimes be exceeded

Dean Drobot /

When sexting, limits can sometimes be exceeded

This is how you iron out mistakes

The interesting thing about sexting is that it is a safe space. You just dare to do it more than in real life. This is precisely why small mistakes sometimes happen that have to be ironed out again. To avoid embarrassment, start small with sexy innuendos like, ‘What would you do if I were with you?’ And work your way slowly forward. If a message from you was too violent, you may have to row back. « Courage to make mistakes », appeals Michael Sztenc. « Limits can sometimes be exceeded in order to test them out. Apologize if you notice that they are not reacting as you hoped, » says the expert.

Conclusion: bridge embarrassments

Sexting is a definite means of flirtation. It can spice up the relationship and sex life immensely. But remember: in the worst case scenario, your messages that you have sent to your loved one will be passed on. In such a situation the first thing to do is to keep calm. « Stand by it and try to just forget about it, » says the sex therapist. By the way, men in our society are more likely to forgive « dirty talk » than women, the expert knows.

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