Easy to do but hard to do safely.
Cybersex involves the use of digital and virtual technologies for sexual activities. This can involve a wide variety of behaviors ranging from viewing internet pornography to using sex robots and even webcam sex over platforms like Skype and Zoom.
Sexting is a form of cybersex that involves sending sexually explicit or suggestive messages to another person. This can be in the form of images, text, emojis, or video that is shared and is sexual in nature.
There are several things one should be aware of before engaging in sexting. One should consider who(m) they are thinking of sexting to make sure they can be trusted with the content and that they have consented to receiving sexually explicit messages. This is important because one of the biggest potential dangers of sexting is that the content can be shared with people who didn’t consent to seeing it. This sharing could be between friends or even uploaded to the internet as in the case of revenge porn. And if the content makes it to the internet, it is extremely hard to get it removed, even if it was posted without your consent.
In the case of minors, the danger of sexting also involves potential child pornography charges, even if both participants are under the age of 18. Currently, Pennsylvania consent laws are not applicable to sexting, meaning that it is illegal for anyone under 18 to engage in it.
Sexting can provide a way for individuals to stay connected and find intimacy when they are unable to physically be together. It can also provide a space for partners to share their fantasies and sexual interests they may be nervous about discussing in person. Additionally, sexting can provide the same benefits of physical sex including pleasure, intimacy with a partner, fostering a deeper connection, etc. without the risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) or unplanned pregnancy.
Do it Safe(r)
Sexting gets a bad reputation but before you engage in it, you need to have information so you can make an informed choice. When we’re talking about any form of sex, sexting included, we need to provide individuals with all the information needed to make truly informed choices about the behaviors they decide to engage in. There may be no such thing as ‘safe’ sex but there are steps that can be taken to reduce one’s risk and protect against negative outcomes.
First, make sure to get consent and communicate things like boundaries and comfort levels around sexting. Next, determine which platform is the right choice for you and your partner(s)’ needs around privacy. There are specific messaging applications, such as KIK and WhatsApp, that provide encryption to ensure the privacy of their users. Once you begin sexting, make sure you are always respecting your partner’s boundaries and consider the timing and privacy of when and where you are sexting.
No matter what forms of sex you enjoy (or don’t), make sure you know the risks and how to protect yourself physically, psychologically, and emotionally.
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