According to the New York Times, Governor Jerry Brown signed a much-needed law making revenge porn illegal in California on October 1st. When laws like this are made, it's an indicator of just how many people have compromising photos in cyber space. It seems like everyone is sexting, taking naked photos or making sex videos — from politicians like Anthony Weiner to the guy you just met online.
Let's talk more about this guy: let's say you meet him on a dating site. He asks you to send him a few additional pictures. There are several shots of you on the dating site, but "what the heck", right? You send them. His next request is a little steamier. If you send him a more provacative text, it will border on sexting. So the question is this: should you or shouldn't you sext with this stranger?
Nude photos can be titillating and add a new level of excitement to your sexual interactions. But it might be wise to think first before you get started. You don't know where those photos or videos could end up or how it would impact your life. As a dating coach for women, I want to offer seven precautions to consider before sharing pictures of your most private parts.
1. Don't sext with men you don't know
Make this one of your dating rules — don't even think about sexting with a man you haven't met in person yet. What are the chances a new guy will think about anything but getting you in the sack when you play "I'll show you mine if you show me yours"? Hold off until you have gotten to know the guy better, and have been intimate to ensure a certain level of trust. It's just a smart way to go.
Most dating experts agree sexting is better when you are in a committed relationship and want to keep things exciting and building. You create anticipation for getting together and what might happen in the bedroom or elsewhere.
2. Don't write a letter
The point of texting is not to share long-winded, passionate or raunchy thoughts. Texting and sexting should be brief comments. Keep it short to make it easy for both parties to participate and enjoy. When you get a lengthy text, it can get tedious and lose the spontaneity that makes it so much fun.
3. Don't show anything identifiable
Unless you don't mind the risk of having sexually explicit photos with your face online, keep your sexts to small pieces of the puzzle. Even if you feel tempted or want to push outside your comfort zone, think twice. It could mean living through the humiliation of countless men feasting their eyes on you. Sext under the assumption that, at some point, everyone might know. This includes your family, your boss and your future boyfriend. Follow the same rule for that special tattoo or birthmark — anything that makes your parts clearly identifiable should be avoided.
4. Don't reveal everything
They say showing a little is much sexier than showing everything. Leave something to the imagination! Get creative with what you reveal and how you show it, rather than providing "the full monty". When parts peek out or little bits are revealed, it's a lot more enticing.
5. Don't drink and sext
Common sense tells you things can get out of hand when you're drinking. What may seem like a brilliant idea after a few glasses of wine could be your worst nightmare the next morning. Not only that, but imagine a texting accident where you mistakenly send photos to the wrong person. Stay off the sauce while sexting!
6. Don't ignore your intuition
If you have any second-thoughts or doubts about what you are doing, listen up! Your dating intuition is a powerful force and exists to keep you safe. Pay attention to any signals you get about a man and sexting and heed these warnings.
7. Don't keep evidence on your phone
While it might be tempting to keep those sexts around, it's better to delete them. If you lose your phone, you don't want the world to see what you've been up to; this is a private matter. Enjoy your sexts, but then clean them out so you have no worries later. And if you can, get your boyfriend to do the same for you.
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