I Tried Frexting (Friend Sexting) And Stuff Got Weird Real Fast

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woman texting on bed

When the term "frexting" started making its rounds a few weeks ago, I did what I usually do when I hear a new (and albeit stupid-sounding) made-up word: I groaned. Frexting? Really? 

As a woman whose brain is constantly in the gutter, I immediately assumed it was somehow sex-related, as in, perhaps frenulum texting. Although there are more than a few frenulum on the body, I figured it must have been the ones on the penis or vagina. Based on the word, it made total sense.

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Much to my disappointment, frexting has nothing to do with the frenulum.

If you put together the words "friendship" and "texting," you get "frexting." Frexting is, as Alana Levinson wrote for Medium, a sexy photo you send to a friend as "an act of bonding and empowerment." It's sexting with a friendly twist.

You're sharing intimate photos with your friends without the two cents of some guy and because they're your friend, you're getting the positive feedback you need — feedback that, according to Adulting, "includes replying with positive emojis, including but not limited to the little fire, a cat with hearts for eyes and clapping." (Personally, I prefer the high-five emoji, but I digress.)

With this new knowledge in my back pocket, I quickly glanced through my phone and confirmed I had frexted (yes, I think we're making that a word, too) without realizing it. Or, rather, I'd been on the receiving end of a frext from my friend Mattie, who had sent me a sexy photo of himself that he was about to put on Grindr, a gay hook-up app.

I didn't respond with any sort of emoji, but I did give him the positive feedback he needed: "You look so hot." Not having sent a frext myself, I decided it was time to see what all the buzz was about.

Of all my female friends, I decided my friend Amelia would be the ideal choice. Being that she’s the Editor-in-Chief over at The Frisky, writes about sex regularly, and is one of the most sexually open-minded women I know, she'd be perfect for my experiment.

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I texted her a sexy photo of my boobs in the hopes of getting some input on whether or not they were ready for topless sunbathing in Spain, where she and I will be in less than a month.

Basically, I asked her if they looked good:

While she may not have replied with emojis, she was supportive — and that was the point.  She also compared my boobs to clouds, which was also the point in some way. Then my frexting days came to an end.

I realize that frexting addresses two major components: human sexuality and the need for a confidence boost.

Being that we're all sexual beings who, of course, have hang-ups with our bodies — because that's completely normal — it feels good to have a friend throw some support our way over a specific body part we may not be totally comfortable with.

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While I totally get that the exchanging of photos between friends is done in a "safe zone", away from the prying eyes of men who might only see us as sexual objects or pass judgment based on their unrealistic ideas of what a woman should look like, it didn't feel comfortable for me.

I also don't think Amelia wants me to hit her up with more sexy frexts, because at some point — things will just get weird.

Do I advocate frexting? Hell yeah. I advocate anything that involves embracing our sexuality and results in a body-positive outcome. However, I don't think it's for everyone and some friendships probably can't handle it. 

Had I frexted someone else, the outcome may not have been the same. It would've been, well, awkward. But if you and your friend can benefit from frexting, then strip down and get to it.

If not, then just text your friend the lyrics to the Golden Girls theme and they'll still know you think they're the bee's knees.

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Amanda Chatel is a regular contributor to Bustle and Glamour, with bylines at Harper's Bazaar, The Atlantic, Forbes, Livingly, Mic, The Bolde, Huffington Post, and others