How Being A Writer Made Me Loads Better At Sexting
The Debrief: Pace is crucial, and never use the present tense
Sexting: the awkward domain of the preteen. I have vivid memories of my thirteen-year-old self, sat at the back of the school bus, attempting to broker for a dick pic. It’s probably a testament to the state of sex education in schools that I thought a photo of the crease between my upper arm and forearm would pass for something so much more explicit.
Back then there was always a budding EL James in every friendship group; the prematurely slutty one we all wanted to be; the one who was consulted to ghost write all our sext messages.
I, sadly, was not that girl.
Thankfully though, when we became old enough to delete our Hotmail addresses with “_69” at the end, it didn’t really matter that my sexting was less sexy than reading the instruction manual for hand blender. The fumbling complexities of real sex had come along, meaning everyone could stop labouring over the right synonym for vagina.
Recently though, my friends and I have found ourselves having something of a sexting renaissance. It’s surely a product of our mid-twenties: when it’s too cold to have real sex because we can’t afford the heating, or because we’ve finally had the taste and good sense to find someone we fancy so much they make us feel thirteen again.
To my surprise, this time around I’ve found myself a slightly better sexter. It might be because I now have actual sexual experiences to speak of, but it could also be because I painfully stare at words all day. It turns out that sexting for fun and writing for a living really isn’t that different. To prove it, here are some transferable tips for the two:
Pick your medium
We’ve all been there, when you don’t get a sext back and you’re left hanging from a branch on the cringe tree. This is why Whatsapp is so great: they know that you can see whether or not they’ve read your message, which sounds confusing but basically means the person you're messaging have to reply right away or they’re a massive prick. Email is a pretty underrated sexting medium too, because chances are the person is so bored–out–of–their–mind at work when they’re looking at their inbox, a sexy email will be the highlight of their day/working week/life.
Avoid what your English teacher would have called 'fluffy language'
Nothing screams 'erotic novels' like an unnecessary sprinkling of adjectives, avoid these unless you want to start sounding like you’re penning the next Mills and Boon or 50 Shades. Basically, the words: 'pulsating,' 'throbbing' and 'quivering' are gross and should never be used ever.
It's really not necessary to 'set the scene'
People are always letting their imaginations run away with them. It's quaint, but not ideal for turning someone on. Don't draw inspiration from any elaborate scenario you’ve seen in bad porn. Like cinema, some things that happen in porn are acceptable because they’re not real (no one saw Interstellar and wore a space suit to work). Fantasy settings like castles, beaches and dogging spots are taking it a bit far. Likewise role-play is obvs fine in person because tongue in cheek translates IRL, but can get a little confused written down.
Pace is crucial
I was always taught that, when writing, it’s good practice to alternate between long sentences and short sentences. This prevents monotony, keeps your writing punchy and maintains your reader’s interest. Likewise, if you reply quickly and then stop while you go and pee/ take the rubbish out, you're going to leave someone wanting more, which can only be a good thing.
Don't use the present tense
'I’m reaching into your pants right now and grabbing your...' Nope. You’re on the night bus home and you’re a bit tipsy after your work Christmas drinks. I guess writing is about tricking people into thinking that what you’re telling them is real, and the present tense is not going to do that (unless of course you’re putting your hands down your own pants, the exception). Sext about last night or what you’ll do tonight. After all, you’re not actually together, and if you are, this is no time to be on your iPhone.
Ok, ok, so there's been a lot of debate about whether sexting images to one another should be criminalized for under eighteens, but this is your sexting comeback – you’re in your twenties – go wild! Just remember to crop your face out of the shot, obviously, and make sure you look hot. Because if this person fancies you enough to want to proverbially fuck you through your iPhone during their morning commute, they’re going to get tipsy enough to show your naked selfie to your friends down the pub, and they’re going to do the same.
Don’t rely on clichés
They exist for a reason: they're easy to draw upon and unanimously understood. But you’re never going to be a maverick if you rely on what’s gone before you. Break the mould! You don't need to go down the road of 'I want to skin you and turn you into a lamp like in Silence of the Lambs so I can forever sleep next to you,' but telling your boyfriend you want to bend him over like a little bitch could – maybe - work.
Think about the pay off
When you're writing, you're apparently meant to give your reader something to takeaway. You know what the pay off is here – it’s what your reader wants. The power of sexting is that you can totally pretend you’re naked in bed when you’re actually in your gym clothes at Morissons, and there's really nothing wrong with having an orgasm in the frozen food aisle.
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