I’m as technology-dependent/savvy as the next 20-something. I have my smartphone with me at all times. I’ve spent ample amount of time on all the relevant social media sites that have sprung up over the last decade or so. I think social media can be incredibly useful and significant. I look up every place I go on Yelp. I mean, I even met my boyfriend online. Which is all to say, I generally embrace technology in every aspect of my life. And yet, I’m just not down with sexting.
I won’t pretend that I was always averse to sexting. During one really unfortunate lonely summer, I sent nudes to dudes on Craigslist. When my boyfriend and I first started dating, I used to send him nudes and explicit texts and emails. That all started to taper off once we became more serious and it was a given I’d be seeing him regularly. And, I totally just had a light bulb moment. My slight queasiness associated with sexting has little to do with my discomfort with cameras or a sudden burst of prudeness. It does, however, take me back to my desperate and insecure days. The ones where my sexuality wasn’t driven by pleasure or enjoyment, but rather by an unquenchable urge to prove that I was attractive. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with doing things out of a need to feel validated, I’m personally not comfortable when my behavior is solely driven by that. It makes me feel out of control, like I’m giving up pieces of my autonomy to other people for no valuable return. While I could probably work to disassociate sexting from the negativity, frankly, I think it’s fairly overrated.
I get the appeal for people in long-distance relationships when you need to create and maintain intimacy virtually. And sure, I get firing off the occasional naughty text or photo as a flirtatious measure, but I don’t think it’s a necessity for having a great sex life in 2013. If anything, I think constant sexting can actually have be somewhat detrimental. You can craft these immaculate texts that make you sound like the queen of Kama Sutra and pose for selfies that make you look more banging than Megan Fox in a GQ photoshoot, but sex in real life is a lot less contrived and potentially a lot more disappointing and awkward. Not to mention, leaving a sexual paper trail is pretty risky. You never know what the other person is keeping those texts and photos private, and there’s always that possibility of things going public that shouldn’t. Although in a post-Kim Kardashian world, that’s not always a bad thing…
Nevertheless, I think that there’s nothing wrong with refraining from sexting. It has become pretty normalized, and that’s cool, but you’re not failing as a sexually viable woman if the idea of taking photos of your boobs and sending them to the person you like is just not appealing. There are a billion other ways to flirt and express yourself, and none of them have to involve a phone or webcam.