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Ask Mbongomuffin: Is Sexting Safe?

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We’ve all lost or had a phone stolen before, right? When that recently happened to me one of my first thoughts were concerning my private messages and pictures. I’m not the world’s best sexter but when it does occur, it is plentiful. However, it is well-known that it can be completely botched up. This can happen within the act of sexting or it can happen after, when our privacy is violated. It can be an extremely tricky. So let’s tackle those two things: how does one go about doing it without sacrificing their privacy?

Sexting is a form of foreplay – something that can be a complete hit or miss. A lot of people believe they’re bad at sexting, and more often than not those who truly believe that they’re great at it aren’t. Ever had someone send you messages that are meant to steam things up but instead turn you off completely?

The key to sexting is being aware of your desires and matching those with your partner by offering previews in order to tease and tantalise, using past memories to compliment them as well as affirming their responses. My personal favourite part of sexting is introducing new areas of discovery by sharing my fantasies and exploring the possibilities of your sex life. It can get awkward if you aren’t used to it but using words you usually use, speaking like yourself and having the ability to read the room by adjusting your levels of dirty. You don’t want to seem too meek but you also don’t want to scare someone away.

Another favourite thing of mine is to take pictures of myself. At times I send these to my partner at the most unexpected times, especially when we haven’t seen each other in a while. A visual tantaliser. Taking these pictures is a fun way of getting to know my own body and appreciate it. When I feel good about my body and am able to trust someone else with that? That’s intimacy to me.

Trust is an important thing when it comes to sharing these pictures. Trust means safety. If you don’t feel comfortable enough with another person, sharing your private pictures with them is definitely not a good idea. This is the first key in sexting safely.

The second step in being safe is dependant on that trust. You then need to determine whether or not you would send other people pictures with your face in it. Anyone can send a nude and if it does get into the wrong hands, there won’t be much to link it to you. Do you have any notable body modifications? If you have a well-known piercing or tattoo, make sure they aren’t in the picture. Check your surroundings and ensure, once again, that there is nothing familiar there. If any of these things are in the picture, it’s a good idea to establish an agreement with your partner if they’ll be keeping or deleting the images once you’ve shared them.

Deleting images from your own device is also something that you should consider. Does your phone save pictures on the internal storage or external storage? Be aware of whether your device automatically uploads your images to cloud storage. If you want to be completely safe, delete them afterwards. Don’t sext from any work-related devices! I’m sure you wouldn’t want your colleagues to know about your private life that intimately.

This may all seems like paranoia, but who wants something as fun and enthralling as sexting to keep your sex life satisfying being ruined by breached privacy. Keep your private matters with your partners safe and sexting should be an amazing experience, each time. Happy sexting!

Tshegofatso Senne writes about sex and relationships for Matilda’s, and about sex, life, feminism and much else at mbongomuffin.com. Send us your questions, and she’ll give you her no-nonsense advice.