6 Reasons You Should Be Sexting Your Partner (Plus, How to Get Started If You Feel Awkward)

Yes, Even Long-Term Relationships Can Benefit

sexting-rules: Woman laughing after reading saucy text
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Perhaps the horniest by-product of the iPhone launch 15 years ago, sextingthe act of sending sexually explicit photographs, videoclips or text messages to someone, typically via a mobile phone—is here to stay. Back in 2015, a Drexel University study of 870 people between 18 and 82 revealed that 8 out of 10 of them had sexted in the past year. And that was even before the forced isolation of the pandemic, when keeping intimates at arm’s length became more prevalent than ever. It’s safe to assume that the concentration of hot-fingered screen tappers didn’t slow down during that time.

But is sexing good or bad, healthy or unhealthy, fun or just a way to get photos of someone’s junk delivered to your phone when you least expect it? We asked sex experts for their take, and learned that not only is sexting, when kept within consensual boundaries, a healthy pastime, but it can also be a fun way to enliven a new or established relationship with a lover. So, if sexting is not a natural love language, we included some tips for how to sext while having a good time with it—here’s why the experts says sexting is good.

Meet the Experts

  • Eva Gallagher is resident dating expert at Plenty of Fish, a dating site that seeks to make meeting people fun through a “choose your own adventure” interface that might include live streaming, playing a dating game or direct message. Instead of a photo-first approach, the site takes a conversational approach and is free to sign up and create a profile.
  • Natasha Marie Narkiewicz is head of communications at MysteryVibe, a company that seeks to improve sexual intimacy through research-backed sexual devices. Developing products based on the medical premise that sexual health issues are caused by blood flow problems, vibratory stimulation is deployed for wearable and usable devices for all genders.

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6 Reasons to Get Sexting

1. Sexting Increases Communication

Duh, after all you’re communicating with one another. But slow your roll—we’re talking on a deeper level. “Sexting is often a great way to talk about topics or bring up sexual fantasies and desires that you may not feel comfortable doing in person,” says Gallagher. “You have the anonymity of the screen, and if you need a moment to process your partner’s response, you have that space instead of having to do it in real-time.”

“Plenty of Fish coined the term ‘consexting’—discussing boundaries and receiving consent before sexting,” says Gallagher. “If you and your partner are new to sexting, it’s important to have an open, candid conversation beforehand to cover boundaries, preferences, concerns and any other relevant topics.”  This shared understanding and agreement is a great foundation for relaxed enjoyment in the short term and increased intimacy down the road, if things go that way.

3. It Boosts Self-Confidence

That’s according to 68 percent of 7,546 people in a Plenty of Fish poll from April 2023. Which, if you think about it, what’s not to feel good about anticipating the next time you see someone who sent you a spicy text about what you’re going to do when you see each other next?

4. Sexting Provides a Dopamine Hit

Quick thrill alert, per Narkiewicz: “It increases dopamine to see your partner’s name pop up on your phone screen, and then to see the exciting thing they said.” Dopamine is the feel-good hormone and associating it with our partner is a way to strengthen our bond with them.

5. It Encourages Ownership Over Your Own Sexuality

Maybe using all the words feels awkward to you? Welcome to the club. “Some people have a harder time finding their style and voice when it comes to ‘dirty talk’,” says Narkiewicz. “Seeing the words spelled out in front of them can allow time for reflection and refinement of their individual style and confidence at a safe distance and at a slower pace.”

6. It Can Spice Up Your Usual Routine

“If you find yourself slipping into a rut with your partner, sexting, when done with consent, can offer an exciting means to break routine,” says Gallagher. And she’s not just talking about a quick thrill—“it’s a dynamic tool to foster comfort, deepen emotional and physical connections and ultimately enhance overall relationship satisfaction.”

How to Get Started

Make sure the person you want to sext with is a willing participant. There’s nothing more awkward than starting to sext and quickly realizing the other person is wildly uncomfortable and unwilling on the other end.

There are sexy ways to broach the topic and ask for sexting consent. Narkiewicz suggests starting with these questions.

  • “How do you feel about sexting?”

This is a straightforward approach which cuts through the ambiguity. 

  • “I want to play a sexy text game with you, are you interested?”

Then follow this with a slyly winking emoji. This is a bit more playful, but still respectful and letting the other participant know what’s on your mind. 

 Prompts to Get Things Going (Digitally)

Then, once your partner is on board, try these:

  • “Tell about a fantasy you have”

You can keep this casual and inquisitive at first, and once they divulge a fantasy, ask more questions about it, or ask them to describe the fantasy scenario in detail. Make sure you get involved and don’t just leave all the sexting to your partner, after all, a good sext session is about reciprocation. 

  • Send a Provocative Voice Memo

Just hearing the tone of your voice communicates tons of desire—just keep it short and sweet, and don’t expect a voice memo back…you’re just setting the tone here.

  • Send a Sexy Photo of Yourself

A visual stimulus works wonders—plus, you can really work your angles here.

If Things Still Feel Awkward…

Narkiewicz suggests using parentheticals to stay in the sexy mood while getting clarification and asking for feedback. Here’s an example:

“I can’t stop thinking about how sexy you'd look on the bed, slowly peeling your clothes off and looking at me the whole time.” (Are you into the idea of a striptease for me? If not, I have plenty of other fantasies with you)

Overall, keep your sense of humor and patience as well as lust up front when sexting, and remember practice makes perfect. According to Kettle of Fish, 41 percent of single women consider sexting an important aspect of a romantic partnership, so have fun.

dana dickey

Senior Editor

Dana Dickey is a PureWow Senior Editor, and during more than a decade in digital media, she has scoped out and tested top products and services across the lifestyle space...