My feet were on the table and my legs were spread on the couch.
I pressed "send" and, like many horny young men, felt the chill on my skin and the tingling of anticipation inside my belly.
My eyes searched the living room. It was around midnight. Nearly everything was dark, and my pants were balled on the floor near the couch.
"This was too easy," I thought.
Just pull my penis out from beneath my boxers and snap! Instant arousal.
She finally wrote back.
"Omg. Is that ... ?"
Was that good?
Did she like it?
Where's the smile? The wink? The tongue?
Why didn't she send a photo of her tits?
I mean, she sent me a photo of her bra, but not her tits? Come on.
Should I make it harder? Did I do this right?
Maybe she doesn't really want me.
As the minutes passed, the emotions blended and then faded, until the only one that remained was the worst one of all: shame.
I felt like a dick (literally) for sending a woman a picture of my dick.
That was the last time I sexted, more than five years ago.
Since then, I've had a few relationships and then met my wife. For me, it feels great not to sext.
It's given me a new understanding of respect.
See, I'm a classic early Millennial who discovered his sexuality during the age of phone sex.
While I was in high school, I had an ongoing phone sex relationship with a friend of a friend. I'd call her at 12:30 am on a Saturday, but hang up quickly because there was no way my parents were paying for a two-hour phone call at 12:30 am.
Her parents were chill, so she called back and, pretty quickly, we would get started on our phone sex conversations.
Of course, being high school students, this phone sex was pretty primitive and in retrospect, completely hilarious.
There were plenty of grunts and whiny moans. There was no shame.
I was in high school. I had a willing partner. Totally cool.
But like other Millennials, I learned the rights and wrongs of sexual initiation through trial and error.
In college, I tried way too hard to be Preston Meyers, playing the shy-but-smart role as I left disgusting notes on coeds' dry-erase boards.
I didn't get any hints when I was sitting far, far away from a young woman on her dorm room bed.
Of course, I overplayed by hand on AOL Instant Messenger and Myspace.
Soon, I started sending nudes to a longtime girlfriend. That felt fun, liberating and sexy.
She lived far away from me. We needed that release.
But I blurred the lines as I grew into my 20s.
I'd meet women and, within maybe a few days of friendly conversation, I'd send suggestive photos of myself over email and text. The woman in question might respond with a half measure: a cleavage shot or a towel.
But in every case, I went too far.
These women didn't ask for the photos. I just kept going in.
The last sext went to a woman I met at a party. We made out, went our separate ways and then started texting each other. It was all harmless.
She seemed to want a friend, and her texts clearly indicated this. But I refused to see that.
Instead, like with all those other women, I saw an object I could win over.
I saw something to conquer. I saw a test of manhood.
So, I sent my manhood.
It didn't work out.
"Omg. Is that ... ?"
It wasn't good. She didn't like it.
Finally, after years of living by my dick, I realized those photos and sexts weren't going to an object I needed to conquer.
There was a person on the other side: a woman who demanded my respect, but never received it because I thought I came first.
Basically, I wasn't respecting women.
This is painfully obvious now, but I'm thankful I felt that shame.
While I still all-too-often let my own priorities control my daily decisions, not thinking about how this may affect the people I love -- especially my wife -- I am now more aware that I should stop, think about my decisions and make a better choice.
Sexting isn't wrong.
Sometimes, it's a great release, like with the ex who lived far away. Sometimes, it's just fun.
But be careful when sexting, because you only fully know yourself and nobody else.
Know what you want to send and don't want to send, and consider it all before hitting the send button.
If you're doubting yourself, questioning yourself or worried before sending a sext, you should stop, breathe and maybe chill for a while.
We all want instant happiness and, in some cases, instant arousal. But life is a marathon. No need to go all in on the first mile.
Most importantly, know the other person or people getting the sext.
Do you trust them? Do they trust you? Do you respect them?
One wayward sext doesn't mean you don't respect women or men.
But at some point, check yourself and think about how others may interpret what you're doing. You may think nudity is no problem, but play it safe so it won't come back to you.
Take it from someone who learned by trial and error. We're presently the sum of all the little moments that came before.
If you make the conscious decision out of respect and trust, you're going to feel a whole lot better. Hopefully, you'll get treated well too.