To Sext or Not to Sext? Sexting, Safety, and Consent

By: Maya Hesham

This is an apology to the younger version of me: to her body, scarred because of her unreasonable indecisiveness and confusion; to her mind, for always struggling because of what society thinks is right and wrong; and finally to her as a whole person, life turned to a non-wish-granting factory when it came to her.

*14-year-old Maya just entered the chat*

14-year-old Maya just made a Twitter account, three months later she had a guy slide into her dms for the first time ever. 3 hours later, he told her I’m hot, there was this girl I was sexting then she fell asleep, leaving me with a boner. Maya was too fascinated then by the idea that a guy was talking to her so openly about something she thought was so unethical, that she didn’t realize what she was getting herself into by agreeing to do this with him. She got her first unsolicited dick pic that night – he told her it was normal, and that she was being fucking delirious. She knew nothing about sexting or hormones or anything, so she thought she’d get out of her comfort zone and try something new. She didn’t know that she was still too young, and that that asshole is just pressuring her for his own pleasure.

User 1: “oh I wonder what those lips would feel like around my dick.”

User 2: “I’m going to make you cum so hard.”

User 1: “I love how wet and responsive you are”

User 2: “my back is arched just thinking about you”

*14-year-old Maya just left the chat*

Enough with the nakad dose – ugh ikr! Did you cringe? I kinda did too, but that’s what sexts look like. Sexting, by definition, is the act/art of sending sexually explicit materials through mobile phones. The word is derived from the combination of two terms sex and texting. Before I delve into this “scandal, I’m really sorry if this turns into one hell of an emotional vomit-imbued article.

Sext safely, and it’s more than pleasant. Sext unsafely, it’s fucking precarious – and it’s not pretty trust me. If you haven’t read it yet, there’s an article by K about sexting tips and how to be safe while doing it. First of all, I really hope this does not turn into one of my feminist rants (tw ppl wya hehe). The fact that our stigmatic society has double standards for everything, is nothing new, and sexting is definitely not one to be excluded. If a man knows how to sext, he’s a fucking god, apply that to a woman, she’s slut-shamed. It’s almost like the concept of praising men for beings sexually active and shaming them when they’re getting married and are still virgins – reverse that for women. 14-year-old me was absolutely clueless about what sexting was and didn’t yet know that a forced “yes” had nothing to do with consent. If the demented community was even a tiny bit more open to talking about sex and didn’t just deny its existence and strip women their basic rights to pleasure, maybe my first time to sext would have gone somehow differently. 

Okay so moving on, unexpectedly, dirty talk may actually have many pros that none of us consider, as we’re still looking at it as immoral and haram.

Apart from the fun that was involved – you get off, or help someone get off, or both – sexting actually helped me feel empowered and sexy in my own skin. I’m a very insecure person, especially when it comes to my body – for that I thank the bogus beauty and sexiness standards created by the porn industry – so I’m not really ashamed to admit that I liked it when someone complimented my curves – even if it was in a sexual context. About that, please spare me your gasps of awe and “that’s just sick, get help” comments.

Although you might think that sexting is the very wrong way to be friends with someone, it actually made it much easier for me to get intimate – not sexually – with new people, because both of us shared our innermost thoughts, which built a lot of trust between us.

Nevertheless, this might actually be a dichotomy; the intimacy could be false and the trust could be delusional. So like for example, I once tried talking to one person afterwards about something non-sexual, and I was completely disappointed, there was no connection, no chemistry, nothing of whatsoever that made me feel like that was the same person I just confided in a few minutes ago.

However, as much as sexting helped me get closer to some people, when I tried it out with a few of my friends, we couldn’t return back to what we were before, so we started talking less, because it was very awkward, and eventually we stopped talking.
To be completely honest though, there are some possible downsides that I was too young to reflect on.

I sexted unsafely and got fucked – ironic HAHA. Besides the fact that the person I did it with was in no way to be trusted – but I was too dumb to register that – I didn’t think that revenge porn occurred in real life, and that alone was a fucking catastrophe that I won’t even try talking about – to every victim out there, it’s not your fault, love.

A very existential question now, is sexting considered cheating? One time there was this guy trying to flirt with me, but lines got a little blurry when he told me he was in a relationship, because I wasn’t really willing to have a digital affair.

I really think that the bad reputation formed on sexting is rather overdramatic, despite that, it’s also very important to weigh your pros and cons before you take this step.

Maya, x

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