Sexting is a craze that has swept the nation. In the last 10 years it has increasingly gained mention in popular culture, so at this point, it doesn’t even surprise me anymore when yet another celebrity has been caught with leaked pictures on the Internet or when I end up knowing what my favorite male singer’s private parts look like. Even political figures have been caught sexting. Conceptually, it’s not a new thing. I’m pretty sure the second cell phones acquired the ability to send photo messages, a new avenue was created for expressing sexual desires and to give us the chance to be a bit too straightforward. Sexting is just phone sex through your fingers. However, it may be my prudish ways that don’t allow me to fully understand why sexting has become all the rage.
I am a firm believer that the media plays a big role in what becomes acceptable behavior in popular culture. I remember there was an episode of the popular teen-angst drama Degrassi, where one of the characters sent her boyfriend a picture of her topless, or something of that nature. Of course in classic teenage-drama fashion, somehow the next day everyone in school got the same picture. She was embarrassed and humiliated because everyone had a picture of her lady bits on their cell phones. Even then, watching this episode, I had no sympathy for the troubled character. I thought to myself, if you didn’t want anyone to see it, why would you even text the picture?
People should know that once something leaves your phone, the possibility of it getting into the wrong hands is very high. Expect anything you say or send through a message to be viewed by at least one more person. I have seen dozens of semi-nude photos on my friend’s phones. I know some men who have collections on their mobile devices that rival adult films. So know that picture you sent to your boyfriend could somehow get seen by all of his friends, people on the block, and his co-workers. What was meant to be private and intimate is now public and humiliating.
Celebrities are chronic sexters. The Internet is bombarded with naked pictures of celebrities taken from their phone or laptop. It was after Jennifer from Basketball Wives nudes leaked that I was no longer fazed by naked celebrities. Being a celebrity, you have more eyes on you than the average person, which to me would give more reason not to not send your c***hie through the mail. But you know what they say, common sense isn’t always common.
With all that possible embarrassment, you would think folks would be more shy with their mobile devices. But I guess not.
A friend and I had a conversation about sexting one night and I realized that I was in the minority. Apparently, everyone does it. Women do it to excite and entice men. Men do it to give women an image of their package. I remember receiving a sext from a man who I met less than five hours before. He had no qualms about sending me, a complete stranger, a picture of himself in all his glory. The caption even read: “Just to give you something to look at.” Uh…thirsty much?
I also understand that sexting can be used to spice up a relationship. When things get dry I guess it’s nice to surprise your significant other with some eye candy when they’re out in the most random of places, or when they’re at home alone. But the guy you have been talking to for one week does not need to see your goodies. Almost all of the guys that I have met always ask me to send them a picture within the first five messages sent back and forth. Sexting is damn near now customary.
I don’t know about you, but I’m too much of a chicken to send any revealing photos of myself through the phone. If I want to do or say something I would much rather do it in person. Call me old-fashioned, but I would rather keep my sexual escapades in closed quarters. I do understand that since sexting has become so prevalent it may be difficult to avoid those kind of situations though. For example, whenever I decline on sending a picture, the follow-up text always asks why. To even ask me why just shows two things: this guy clearly isn’t worth my time since he’s badgering me about why I would want to keep my goods to myself so early on; but also, it shows that most people have no problem with exchanging flirtatious pictures back and forth. Maybe I need to stop being an old maid and open up my mind to the idea of sexting. Maybe I am missing some key element that everyone else seems to get. Or maybe, just maybe, I’m the sane one and people should take a lesson from popular culture and be careful what they send through the phone.
What do you think, is sexting your thing?
Rachel Louissaint is a blogger and a graduate student. Check out her blog at Ebonymaiden.com. Follow her at @Ebony_Maiden.
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