6 Tips for Sexting Up Your Marriage
In Defense of Digital Foreplay
It's easy to see how sending racy text messages can heat up a sex life, but not everyone takes advantage of the turn-on: Married couples do sext, but not nearly as much as younger lovebirds, according to a new study in
Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking
. (That's too bad, seeing as recent research from Drexel University has shown Sexting May Help You Have Better Sex in Real Life.)
The issue: Marrieds may view sexting as something people do when they're insecure in their relationships, the researchers venture. And this couldn't be further from the truth, says clinical sexologist Gloria Brame, Ph.D. Engaging in the exhilaration can do wonders for your post-nuptial nookie. "Sexting with strangers is primarily a masturbatory aid—the other person isn't known, so you fill in the picture with your own fantasies," says Brame. "In marriage, it's a continuation of an intimate relationship that stimulates bonding chemicals in your brain, and makes sex hotter sex when you have it."
Think of sexting as a private love game—a constant tease that keeps you intrigued and engaged with true love, she suggests. So how do you go about playing? Follow these six steps.
Embrace the Silliness
Trying a new form of foreplay is just like trying a new workout—you always feel a little silly navigating something for the first time. When you've been with someone for a long time, it's natural to feel that a sext is contrived. But think about how he'll view it. "Men tend to enjoy more explicit sexual references and don't find it embarrassing, so the more you just decide to own your choice to be flirty and trust your husband's response, the more fun you both can have with it," says Jenn Gunsaullus, Ph.D., a sociologist and intimacy counselor in San Diego, CA. Plus, that unfamiliar feeling that may be making you hesitate is actually what makes it such great foreplay: The element of surprise and newness can be sexually exciting, she adds.
Fess Up to the Obvious
Every relationship goes through dry spells, but sending flirty messages may be a great way to help pull you both out of it. State the obvious, suggests Gunsaullus: Express that you know it's been a little while since you've been intimate—but that you want to make it up to him later that night. But don't tease him unless you plan to deliver, warns Brame, otherwise the fun game turns into a vehicle for disappointment and frustration. If you are only in the mood once or twice a month, wait until a day or two before to start the teasing, Brame suggests. (Find out the 5 Sexting Tips Every Woman Needs to Know.)
Time It Right
You're adults, which means you likely have jobs, kids, and endless other responsibilities tying up both of your schedules—and sexy texts don't always have a place in that world. So plan ahead: Ask him to let you know when he's alone at his desk before you sit send—so you know his co-worker isn't looking over his shoulder, Brame suggests. At home, have him keep his phone on his lap and sext from across the dinner table, she adds. Try this: Once forks are scraping plates, send your hubby a text that says you have a special dessert for him after the kids go to sleep.
Use Your Words
The study in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking also found that when married couples do sext, they're turning each other on with their words instead of naked photos. "The mind is our main sex organ, and choosing the right flirty words to seduce your partner can make them feel very desired," Gunsaullus explains.
Start small: Compliment him on how handsome or sexy he looked that morning, she suggests. Next try reminiscing about a night of hot sex you had years ago on your favorite vacation, and say how you want to recreate that. When you're ready, write about what sexual act you want to do with him or to him when he gets home from work. Or, as Brame puts it, if you're comfortable doing so, you can't go wrong complimenting a man on his penis.
Build Tension—Not Pressure
Remember, sexting is best used as a form of foreplay. You want him to feel aroused, not stressed over how to match your explicitness or what to say back. Offer questions that are easy for him to respond to or give him room to carry the conversation in the direction he wants. Brame suggests, "Would you hold me like that again?" or "You know, I loved when we did X. Could we try that again?"
Send Racy Photos—But Not Necessarily of Yourself
Pictures speak a thousand words, but a lot of us have difficulty deeming a selfie sexy enough to pass along. And it might not even be worth it—only 12 percent of married couples in the Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking study sent nude or nearly-nude photos, and doing so actually fostered greater ambivalence among both men and women. Instead, try another sexy strategy: "Take a photo of a piece of lingerie or other sexy garment that turns him on, and tell him you'll wear it that night," Brame suggests. Men are big on visual stimulation, she says, so a photo of anything from the boudoir—what you'll wear, a toy you both love (need suggestions? Here's 7 to Supercharge Your Sex Life), or even the bed romantically arranged—will stoke his imagination.