Positive Aspects You Might Not Expect
Sexting and the use of sexting apps have hit an all-time high. When text messaging first became a thing, it was quickly taken over by the ability to send “dirty” messages.
Then the emojis happened, and there were symbols being added to the messages. Soon thereafter, came the photos and the video messages, taking sexting to a whole new level of naked pictures. Then there were the photo apps, particularly Snapchat, which once again, revolutionized the way we interact.
For those who might not know, Snapchat is an app that sends photos to a friend for a set amount of time and then supposedly disappears. It was an app created to send free naked pictures with minimal risk. But of course, when Snapchat sexting, there is always a risk of being naked on the Internet.
We are pretty certain that everyone knows the negative risks of leaked photos so instead of discussing all of the negative aspects of sexting, we’re actually going to discuss why sending sexts can be a positive thing, and not just for the receiver.
1. Express Sexual Freedom through Sexting
When you’re choosing to send pictures of yourself, you are choosing to embrace your sexuality, in whichever way you choose to represent it. You can be an exhibitionist with full frontal nudity, or you can give subtle hints of yourself through creativity. Your sexuality and the way you want to represent it are totally up to you.
Sexting is also a great way to venture into your kinks or open communication with a partner. Sometimes bringing up certain topics face-to-face can be intimidating, so why not send a text demanding to be tied up and assess the reaction from behind the screen. If you become comfortable expressing yourself through sexting conversations, then you might just become more comfortable expressing your desires in person.
2. Reclaiming the gaze
The best part of sexting conversations is that you are totally in control. Often selfies (whether nude or not) can be seen as vain. Instead, they should be seen as self-love and acceptance.
– that takes a lot of effort. Often in media and mainstream pornography, there is an overbearing male gaze but selfies combat this idea. They are a way to reclaim this gaze and bring it back to women. Women get to represent themselves the way they believe is right for them. Not everyone will want the same, but that is the beauty of it.
3. Fighting the shame
Tina Horn (writer, activist) asks an excellent question: “If everyone is naked on the Internet, then is no one naked on the internet?” The more people are reclaiming their bodies and representing their own sexuality, the less other people will shame them. Each time someone learns that their friends or celebrities are sexting, whether or not it is via text or image, it eats away at the stigma associated with the act.
Boundaries between what is shameful and what is empowering are blurred. Essentially, the more people consensually talking about or sending pictures of nudity, the more accepted it would be. If you believe that selfies and sexting are important, then make sure to stand up for microaggressions and discrimination. Even if you aren’t participating, make sure not to add to the hate.
Of course, we aren’t all there just yet. There are unfortunately still risks to sending private messages with naughty text or nudity. There are ways to be safe about it, which we won’t describe here. Something you might not realize is that there are also ethical ways of receiving these private messages. If you want to receive selfies or be privy to someone’s exhibitionism, then you need to respect them. Don’t share them with a buddy, don’t upload them online, and don’t shame them. It is a violation of privacy and trust, and just not proper sexting etiquette.
The takeaway message: as much as society wants to demonize sexuality, they can’t control our freedom of expression through sexting. As long as you’re consenting and legally allowed, then you should totally consider sending a message or two to someone you trust. It might surprise you, you might find it totally empowering.
Please note that this article was inspired by Tina Horn’s lecture at Woodhull Sexual Freedom Summit 2016.