The way we communicate has changed. This change affects our day to day and affects all areas of our lives. And, of course, our intimate and erotic sphere has also been affected by these changes. It is in this context that phenomena such as sexting have appeared .
The new forms of communication have facilitated a type of instantaneous and barrier-free interaction. As we said, in this framework , sexting encompasses a whole set of communicative elements through ICTs . Let’s dig a little deeper into this concept and discuss the myths of sexting .
What is sexting ?
The word sexting results from the fusion of the English words sex and texting (text messaging). Sexting is considered a whole series of practices that consist of sending erotic content through electronic devices, such as smartphones, tablets or computers . These practices include all kinds of formats: photographs, gifs, videos, texts, audios…
There are therefore innumerable ways to carry out this practice. However, it is important to clarify that sexting is an activity that occurs within a relationship between two or more people.
Therefore, everything that is considered sexting must be consented and must be done freely if you decide to do so. That is to say, when a person chooses to send content of an intimate nature to another, they do not have to do it because they feel pressured, but because they feel like doing it .
When one reflects on these types of practices, it is common for them to be considered dangerous. In some areas, they even try to prohibit or prevent it. But the truth is that sexting is not, per se, something bad or something good, but rather it is a way of communicating . More than being something good or bad, we can say that it has drawbacks, but also advantages.
If we talk about drawbacks, it is curious that the main drawback of these practices is that they have no limits. In other words, the drawbacks have more to do with the use than with what sexting itself entails . Our electronic devices allow us to send all kinds of content and we have to be the ones who set the limits.
What are the repercussions of not setting limits or not using sexting well ? Pressure or blackmail can be produced to send erotic content without the person wanting to do so. Or, that the person receiving the content, without permission from the sender, can share it with more people . And we can even find episodes as unpleasant as when a person shares intimate content about her ex-partner, after a breakup, as revenge.
However, these drawbacks greatly feed the myths of sexting and, in general, the conception that one has of these practices. Sexting , as a way of communicating, has important advantages. These are practically the same ones that the new forms of communication give us; immediacy, accessibility and the elimination of geographical barriers . If your partner is on the other side of the world, you can continue to maintain the flame of passion through erotic games on your mobile.
We know that these types of relationships are not going to replace skin-to-skin relationships , but they are going to contribute to our desire and longing for the other person being maintained, despite the distance. Therefore, sexting covers needs that could not be covered before. In addition, from our mobile devices we can carry out this type of interaction in the way that makes us feel more comfortable.
Given its meaning, advantages and disadvantages, we are able to list a series of myths or popular beliefs about sexting :
- Sexting is dangerous . It is neither nor is it not. What can be dangerous, as we mentioned, is its misuse.
- Sexting is cold and impersonal . Sending erotic content through electronic devices does not have to replace erotic relationships in which there is physical contact. Rather, they have other functions; they suppose a type of interaction by themselves, not comparable to others. Therefore, sexting does not have to be cold or impersonal.
- Sexting is promiscuous . These practices are used by people in all kinds of situations. What’s more, they are often used by conventional couples who have no other way of expressing and satisfying their erotic needs.
- Sexting always ends badly . It doesn’t have to if it’s used well. In fact, more and more Sexology professionals are working on this issue with boys and girls in sex education classes.
How to practice sexting safely
Sexting myths are widespread. To put an end to these myths, it is necessary to offer alternatives for the practice of safe sexting . If you want to practice sexting without risks, the main thing is to choose the person with whom you practice it well .
Trust, as in conventional erotic relationships, determines how comfortable and free we are going to feel. In addition, if we practice sexting with a trusted person, we can be more sure that we are doing this practice of our own free will and not by imposition , which is another of the recommendations when carrying out these practices.
If we focus on the content, we can minimize the risk in a very simple way. We must act in such a way that if, for whatever reason, the content we send falls into the wrong hands, we cannot be identified or identified . For example, if we send a photo in which we show our body or part of it, this photo can be sent with the same intention and the same effect without being recognized, either by covering the face or by cropping the photo.
If you choose to send intimate content, make sure that other distinctive signs of you are not recognized , such as piercings, tattoos or accessories that you usually wear very frequently. It is also recommended that the context in which you send these photos is neutral (that there is no family photo in the background, or a very distinctive poster that people know you have, for example). Try to periodically delete the intimate photos that have been saved on your device , because you never know who will be able to access it.
We live in a hyperconnected society. When we send a photo through our phone, we automatically lose control over it, either by choosing platforms or applications that do not guarantee security and privacy, or by the lack of responsibility of those who receive the content .
If we focus on prohibiting or vetoing these practices to the adolescent population, they will be able to carry them out equally, and also at risk. For this reason, it is preferable to give the option that whoever wants to do it can practice sexting safely.