A guide to sexting: the language to use to charm your lover

The time has come. They’re ready for it – ready to be undressed and caressed by your spelling, punctuation and grammar.

All you need to do is deliver.

But you’re literarily tongue-tied: thumbs fumbling and endless emoji-scrolling.

Sexting dates as far back as 2005, when it was first coined in an article in the Australian Sunday Telegraph Magazine. 

Nowadays, it’s a staple of 21st century relationships. In 2011, an American study of 744 college students revealed that 54 per cent of the sample had sexted.

And, with a variety of different media to choose from – like WhatsApp, iMessage, SMS, and Snapchat – it’s easier than ever to send explicit messages or images.

But, how can you be the Shakespeare of SMS? The Woolf of WhatsApp?

Read our guide to sexting below.

Related: Painkillers turned me gay, man says

Learn what they like in real life

Before graduating to mobile phones, make sure you know what your sexting partner actually likes in real life. Rebecca Dakin, a sex expert, who goes by the name “The Great British Sexpert” and author of 101 Sex Tips, says: “Use words that you know they like, and what turns them on, which you can find out in the bedroom.”

Rebecca Dakin, The Great British Sexpert (Rebecca Dakin)

Ask questions

Questions like “what else will you do to me?” can keep the conversation flowing if you’re stuck with what to say next – and also help you to learn more about your partner’s likes and dislikes.

Peter Saddington, a sex therapist and counsellor at Relate, a charity that provides sex and relationship advice, says: “Ask what your partner would like to do when you see them. This will help you to get to know what turns them on.

“It’s likely to encourage them to get creative and explore their own fantasies as well as helping them to learn what you enjoy.”

Share your fantasies

Divulging your sexual fantasies is another great way to heat up a conversation. “Talk about fantasies and give them something to think about,” says Dakin.

“When you know somebody is at work or whatever, send them a message saying what you want to do to them when you see them next.”

Use dirty verbs

Tina Horn, a sexpert, erotica author, and feminist pornographer, recommends using dirty verbs. In an article for Bustle, she says her top 10 are: come, cuddle, fuck, pound, suck, bang, spank, screw, bite, and slide.

Still, Dakin stresses that these words can change from person to person. “Some people really love the word fuck, and other people would be offended by it.”

….but make sure you use your own language, too

Related: Lawmaker investigated by FBI for sexting teen boy says ‘I’m not gay’

Of course there are buzz words (like the above) when it comes (…) to sexting – but it’s important to stick to your own writing style and keep things real, too.

“Don’t feel the need to use language that doesn’t feel like you, or to say things that don’t actually excite you,” says Saddington.

“Put things in your own words and share your real desires  – it will feel more authentic to your partner and you’ll probably enjoy it more too.”

Say their name

Tina Horn believes that the power of sexting is in the name.

She says: “When I say someone’s name while I’m coming, it’s because I’m so obsessed with her, so incredulous that we’re sharing something so mind-blowing, that I want to announce her name as if she has just won a prestigious award!”

Make sure they’re comfortable with it

Ensuring that your partner is happy with the way the conversation is going is extremely important when sexting.“Consent is vital,” says Saddington. “If it’s a new relationship or if you haven’t sexted before, check they’re comfortable with it.”

“Start slow, with something flirty and see how they respond. Check they’re enjoying it and stop if you sense they’re not.”

Let their mind wander

Sexting doesn’t always have to be explicit – keeping things vague can be an equally effective method for making your partner’s mind go wild.

“Always leave something to the imagination,” says Dakin. “Don’t necessarily make it so blatant, you know full vagina and boobs.” She adds: It’s all about creating excitement and anticipation.”


(Creative Commons)

Get the emojis out

As the saying goes: a picture is worth a thousand words. Using emojis can sometimes be the best way to convey your desires.

“They’re a light-hearted way of doing sexting, and make it a bit more fun,” says Dakin. “The great thing about emojis are you don’t have to say any words. You can put a whole thing in emojis about what you’d like to do, and you can really think about what emoji to use for each thing.”

She elaborates: “The old aubergine is the standard for willy. I tend to use the flower ones for vagina.”

Don’t forget the drops of rain, too, and – made infamous by that scene in Call Me By Your Name – there’s always the peach for butt cheeks.

(Creative Commons)

Don’t reveal too much – and don’t sext with strangers

Related: Russians troll media regulator by classifying their building as a closed-down gay bar on Google Maps

Always bear in mind that someone else – a colleague or relative – could read your messages. Even worse, they could be shared online. Sending photos is a great way to sext, but make sure you don’t make it too easy for other people to identify you.

Saddington says: “Discuss how you’ll avoid the messages getting into the wrong hands, or being seen by a family member and causing embarrassment.

“There are some apps that delete images and messages immediately, so this could be something to consider.”

Dakin recommends, when posting images, to keep your face out of the shot as well as any identifiable characteristics, like birthmarks, tattoos or piercings.

Also, don’t sext with strangers – your messages could be posted online and the recipient could be underage. As Dakin advises: “Only sext with somebody that you think you can trust.”