If you’re looking for a quick way to get turned on or let your partner know it’s going d-o-w-n tonight, nothing gets the job done quite like sexting. It’s easy, it’s free (assuming you’re still on your family plan—thanks dad!), and it’s v hot no matter what type(s) of sex you’re into. The problem is that sexting doesn’t exactly come naturally to everyone. So if you’re trying to figure out how to get your partner to sext you when all your XXX messages fall flat, you’ve come to the right place.
Whether you prefer to keep up a stream of scorching texts throughout the day or you’d rather sit down for a steamy sesh, there are plenty of reasons why sexting is so hot. “It’s a form of foreplay that gets people excited to see each other,” explains intimacy coach Maureen Pollack, president of Lovability. “And guess what? It’s part of some people’s love languages too.” If you’re a “words of affirmation” type, odds are sending and receiving sexts make you feel good. Like…really good.
But hi, before you start thinking something’s “wrong” with your non-sexting partner or that they’re not that into you because they’re not picking up what you’re putting down, don’t panic. Certified sexologist and tantra practitioner Tyomi Morgan says some folks simply aren’t as, ahem, verbose when it comes to texting in general, let alone when those texts are of an ~erotic~ nature. “Sexting requires confidence in sexual communication. Resistance usually shows up where confidence lacks,” Morgan explains. “For people who don’t have much practice with erotic vocabulary and are more reserved in how they communicate via telephone or mobile devices, sexting can seem like a chore.”
Obvi you don’t want sexting to feel like a task item on your S.O.’s to-do list. But figuring out *how* to get your partner engaged is tricky if they don’t seem into the idea. Whether they never take the hint when the texts start getting steamy, they take forever to respond, or they’re just straight up bad at it, all hope is not lost. If you’re super into sexy messages but your partner isn’t exactly a sexting master, here’s how best to proceed.
First, what counts as sexting?
Before you can start implementing some *chef’s kiss* sexting tips with your S.O., it’s a good idea to clarify what sexting actually is. Typically, it takes place on a phone or mobile device (sometimes even a computer if you’re using iMessage or Insta DMs), and it can involve anything from photos and nude pics to words and emojis. In fact, Morgan says even sultry voice memos can fall under the “sexting” umbrella if that’s more your style.
And while sexting usually happens via text (I mean, hi, sex + text), there are also specific apps made for sexting with features like disappearing photos and screenshot alerts. Beyond that, plenty of people use social media to send sexy DMs—you’ll just want to be extra careful that you don’t share your carefully crafted erotic messages to your story.
Whichever method you choose, Pollack says the first and most important component of sexting is consent. Your partner could be in a meeting or public place, and a sext popping up on their phone is like a scene from a bad romantic comedy. Beyond that, they simply might be unavailable, with friends, or just not in the mood to sext. That’s why you should always get the green light before starting any sexy convos and agree on what to do with the resulting pics/messages prior to clicking send.
And FYI, if/when everyone’s on the same page, Morgan says sexting can actually be really healthy for your relationship. “It makes it easier to communicate wants, needs, and desires. […] Sexting also makes talking about sex fun and less serious, especially when using emojis to represent a mood, a sex act, or body parts.”
How to get actually get your partner to sext you:
One of the best ways to get a sexting convo started is to simply text your partner to say you’re in the mood and you want them to join in. Spell it out for them! That way, you’re being super clear and asking for consent at the same time.
“Asking is a way of establishing consent, and consent is sexy in itself,” Morgan explains. But don’t worry—you don’t have to awkwardly send a message like “Do you want to sext? Check yes or no.” Think: something a little more flirty, but still obvious enough for anyone to understand.
If you’re stuck on a good convo starter, Morgan suggests something like:
Using a combination of words and emojis keeps things light and playful while still getting your point across (which is essential if your S.O. often misses the memo). “XXX, #NSFW, the eggplant emoji, and the smiling purple devil emoji are universal symbols that signify sexual engagement,” Morgan says. “The word ‘sex’ never has to be used in sexting for one to realize that sexting is taking place and not a normal conversation.” However, keep in mind not every partner will get it if you jut send them emojis, so the more obvious you can be for your specific partner, the better.
If the problem is that your partner clams up or doesn’t know what to say, try acting as their sexting guide. Take control of the conversation, asking direct instead of open-ended questions. It’s easier to answer something when the pressure of the entire conservation isn’t hanging on whatever you say next, so throw them a lifeline by guiding the scene, and when they do something you find sexy, tell them! Gush about the photo they sent or explain how hot their comment made you. Pollack says the more you compliment what they’re doing correctly, the more confident they’ll become at sexting in general. So go on, give their ego a lil boost.
Naturally, folks who excel at communication—like those who have an easy time coming up with clever retorts or cute messages—usually enjoy sexting more than others since they’re, understandably, good at it. If your partner isn’t as versed in the art of message creation, Morgan says it might explain their lack of enthusiasm. As with any new skill, it takes practice, guidance, and plenty of positive reinforcement to master.
This is why communication is the key to introducing sexting into the relationship. Letting your partner know why you’re interested in the act could help them understand how important it is to you, and finding out what they feel comfortable with can help make your bond stronger. Perhaps they like receiving photos from you but never know what to say back, or maybe they don’t feel dominant or sexy over text. A simple chat could help you come up with a solution that makes you both happy, hot, and bothered.
Just a few must-know sexting tips:
Since getting your partner to become fluent in sexy texting might take a bit of trial and error, Pollack suggests starting out small—like with pickup lines and flirty emojis—and building up from there. If they have a hard time articulating their feelings/desires with words, encourage them to use photos, gifs, or memes instead.
Ultimately, using the sexting sesh as a shared learning experience can help your partner get used to the concept and feel more comfortable. “Ask for feedback, ask questions, and make requests to see certain things,” suggests Morgan. Since the main point of sexting is to have fun, you can’t really do it wrong as long as everyone involved is into it. But if after all that your significant other still isn’t game, don’t keep trying to force it. Have an open mind when listening to their hesitations regarding sexting and try to think of alternatives together.
“Your relationship isn’t doomed if your partner isn’t into something that you are,” Pollack says. “One person’s pleasure does not override someone else’s boundaries.” Instead of shaming your S.O. or trying to pressure them, Morgan suggests finding another activity that makes you both feel fulfilled instead. Utilizing sexy apps, having phone sex, or watching porn might simultaneously scratch that sexting itch, no emojis necessary.
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