5 Ways Sexting Can Be Sexually Empowering
You can learn so much about what turns you on.
Sending your first sext can be nerve-wracking, especially if you aren’t used to expressing your desires in such a bold way. But whether you’re sending a hot photo to a new hookup or telling your long-term partner what you want in bed, sexting can be an empowering way to build confidence in your sexuality. It can help you discover your fantasies, improve your self-image, and spice up your sex life IRL. Plus, it’s just plain fun.
“Sexting provides many ways to empower yourself sexually,” says Moushumi Ghose, MFT, sex therapist and founder of Los Angeles Sex Therapy. In a culture where sexuality isn’t talked about enough — only 18 U.S. states require medically accurate sex education in schools — it’s freeing to learn exactly how to ask for what you want. “Shame around sexuality is built into our society,” Ghose says, and “any communication that we might have around sexuality addresses some of that shame.” That’s where the art of the sext comes in.
You don’t have to be an expert at dirty talk to learn to love sexting. “Some people are going to be very comfortable with sexting because they've either done some of the work or they appreciate the taboo nature of sexting,” Ghose explains. If your partner falls in this camp and you don’t, try not to fret… you can still learn if you want to! While you’re warming up to the idea, remember this: People wouldn't be sexting if it wasn't for a good reason. Sexting is great and can actually be super empowering. Here are five reasons why.
1. Sexting Provides A Safe Space To Talk About Sex
If you and your partner haven’t talked much about your sexual preferences yet, sexting can be a great way to ease into this without the potential awkwardness of bringing it up in person. “It provides a form of communication around sexuality, which is quite often something that many folks struggle with,” Ghose says. “It also puts you in the driver’s seat as to how you want to portray yourself sexually, so you can be in charge of your sexuality.”
Like role-playing, sexting gives you the freedom to try on different roles. You can dive right into the action if you want, or you can linger in the foreplay, telling each other step-by-step what you want and where you want it.
Sexting is an amazing distraction that allows you to let your imagination run wild no matter where you are. And when a little bit of boredom can devolve into endless scrolling, creativity can go a long way. Who needs TikTok when you can have a sexy text convo wherever and whenever you want?
2. Sexting Can Turn You On
When you're sexting, you have no idea how the person who is receiving your messages is actually reacting. (Although you should always ask for consent before engaging in sexy talk with them.) That's kind of amazing because it means you can totally focus on yourself and what helps you feel good.
“When we sext with our partners, we typically sext something that is arousing to us, or that we feel will be arousing to our partner,” Ghose explains. “Tapping into whether or not this is also arousing for ourselves is a great way to understand what we like and what our preferences are when it comes to intimacy and sexuality.”
While masturbation obviously is all about yourself, sexting is different from getting off alone because you're not doing all of the driving, at least not entirely. There's someone else experiencing this intimate act, which is extremely hot to think about. And that means that you are connected to them, even if it's through your phone screens instead of skin-to-skin.
If you’re planning on seeing the person in real life later on, sexting can help build up sexual tension. “Sexting allows couples to engage in foreplay while they are away from each other,” Ghose says. That means that when you meet up in person, you'll both be chomping at the bit to get naked. All that anticipation will definitely pay off.
3. You Can Learn More About What Your Partner Likes
Just like sexting helps teach you about your own fantasies and desires, it can also teach you a lot about your partner. “Sexting is a great way to learn about our partners' preferences,” Ghose says. “Their responses are cues to their sexual appetite, their style of sexual and intimate communication, and their comfort with talking about sex and foreplay.” You may find that they’re willing to get a lot more open with you about what turns them on.
Plus, it’s cool to realize you can get off with another person without even seeing or touching them. It's not a person's physical form that you connect to, but instead, it’s all the sexy things they’re saying that (hopefully) shows they know what turns you on.
If you’re sexting with someone you’ve never actually met (or even seen IRL), it can be empowering to realize that your attraction to them is on a human level, regardless of what societal heteronormative rules have been put into place. Age, race, weight, and other traits of physical appearance go out the window when you’re sexting, along with sex and gender. It’s all about your connection to this person and their brain (which is, after all, the body’s biggest sex organ).
4. When You're Sexting, You Can Explore Risk-Free
Sexting allows you to test the boundaries of what you and your partner are into in the bedroom. There's a limited risk of hurting anyone or violating their boundaries, as long as you ask for consent along the way.
Sexting gives you time to express what is and isn't tantalizing to you. You can get a feel for the idea of something before arriving at the actual, physical sensation. It's like testing the waters before diving right in. “Check out some websites on how to talk dirty, maybe read some erotica, and get really in touch with what is arousing for you and how you want to communicate that,” Ghose suggests. Then, once you’ve created a safe space with your partner, get creative and don’t take yourself too seriously.
Obviously, it's important to distinguish what you are willing to try in fantasy and what you're willing to get into IRL. But if you let your imagination roam, you might just come to realize that you are kinkier than you allowed yourself to be before. And if you were too embarrassed to voice your kinks in person, then text messages might be the perfect medium to express them
5. Sexting Helps You Learn To Let Go & Be Confident
Though it may feel awkward at first, sexting is actually a pretty low-stakes activity. It’s relatively easy to get out of, and you don't have to devote your entire day to it. It's even easier if you are casually sexting someone you have yet to meet.
Ghose explains that sexting can help you see yourself as a powerful sexual being, confident in your body and your desires. “There's a lot of shame around body parts, breast size, how genitals look, and around sexy and dirty talk in our culture, so people can feel very awkward when it comes to any number of those things,” Ghose says. “Sexting is one way to break down some of these barriers.” Snap a hot photo of yourself and see how it turns your partner on. Send a filthy text and get excited for their reaction.
If it feels weird at first, that’s OK. “Expecting yourself to be perfect [at sexting] right out of the gate is a tall order,” Ghose says. “Sex is awkward, hence sexting can also be awkward. Just try to have fun with it and of course, get consent first.”
And hey, if things don’t go perfectly that first time? Well, you can always finish on your own.
Moushumi Ghose, MFT, sex therapist and founder of Los Angeles Sex Therapy
Sex and HIV Education. Guttmacher Institute. (2021, June 4). https://www.guttmacher.org/state-policy/explore/sex-and-hiv-education