What Is The Allure Of Sexting?
If nothing else, long-distance relationships a few decades ago surely died because of one thing; lack of sex. I mean how in the world is it possible to have sex if your partner is miles away? Well, now you can have sex if your partner is even a room away and you don’t feel like walking a few steps. Virtual sex is not a new phenomenon. The rise of digital mediums gave birth to the impossible; ability to have long-distance sex.
Sexting is a combination of two very obvious words: sex and texting. It made possible for the couples to have sex even if they had no internet facility available to make a video call. It is the most convenient and cheaper way to enjoy non-physical sex. The allure of sexting may be because of its simplest nature as it does not require even laying off clothes. It is very safe like any other virtual way to have sex.
Sexting means sending text messages to arouse your partner. It was limited to written words before the arrival of smartphones. Sexting is more than just explicit words these days. Sexually arousing images, pictures, and videos can also be sent via phones and other digital devices and they all come under sexting.
How a Sexting Addiction is Unhealthy?
If you have not tried it you won’t believe that sexting can be very addictive. When I say that it can be as dangerous as any other kind of addiction, it would not be an exaggeration. Sexting can be an addiction itself or a symptom of addiction to sex; in both cases, it is not healthy. When we say that addiction to sexting can be dangerous or unhealthy it is because it can lead to events that can have serious consequences.
No matter how simple and harmless it may sound, present-day sexting can be utterly dangerous if it turns into an addiction. An addict does not worry about the consequences and do whatever it takes to satisfy his needs. The same goes for a sexting addict as he would only seek pleasure at whatever the cost it may come.
Addiction to something means obsessive thoughts and compulsive actions about whatever the person is addicted to. Addictions can ruin relationships, careers, and families. Sexting addiction means obsessive thoughts about sending or receiving sexually explicit content. A sexting addict does not care who the images belong to, these can be his/her own photos (mostly naked) or these can be someone else’s photos. Where sending nude photos may not be a crime in itself but if you are sending someone else’s photos without them even knowing about it, it is a crime and can get you in trouble. Sending naked photos of children comes under child pornography and that too is a serious crime. Even if these photos or videos belong to you, these images or clips can be used against you for blackmailing. So when we say addiction to sexting is unhealthy, we mean that being an addict you won’t consider the consequences of addictive sexting.
15 Tips and Tricks to Stop Being So Addicted to Sexting
Excess of everything is bad even sexting. Where sexting in itself can be a problem, the main problem is believed to be an obsession with pornography or addiction to cybersex can be the main reason. Pathological infidelity can also lead to addictive sexting. If you are sexting your spouse or sex partner and the content belongs to either one of you, sexting can be quite satisfying but in case you are sexting someone while you are in a committed relationship, it can result in a breakup. Like any other kind of addiction, sexting is progressive and it can take you to a point of no return. Here are 15 tips and tricks for everyone who is being addicted to sexting and wants to break free.
1. Think About the Consequences
Who thinks about the consequences while you are having fun? But you have to while sexting. You may think it is ok to send your nude pictures to your boyfriend but what if he is a sexual predator or a blackmailer? No matter how alluring it may sound but sexting can be extremely dangerous and if you start thinking about the consequences, you might be able to stop being so addicted.
2. Seek Help
If you are reading this, it means you know your problem and need help. Talking to a friend, mentor, family member or professional can be very beneficial.
3. Delete Relevant Material
If you are addicted to sexting you must have truckloads of sexually explicit data in form of images and video clips in your digital devices including phones and computers. If you want to get rid of this addiction, you need to get rid of any sexual material that you downloaded, collected or received. It will be difficult at first but this can lead you to a sexting free life.
4. Get Rid of Sexting Related Contacts
If your habit of sexting has taken the form of addiction, you might have a bunch of people in your contact list to curb your hunger for sexting at any given time. To stop being a sexting addict you need to delete all those contacts that can incite you to send a sext one more time.
5. Delete Apps and Websites
There are several online websites and apps that allow you to send sexts while staying anonymous. It encourages people with lower self-esteem and distorted body images to create a fantasy world where they can send or receive pictures without revealing their identity. Addiction to sexting can be reduced by simply deleting such apps from your mobile devices and avoiding such websites for good.
6. Engage in Something New and Productive
You surely had a life before you got into sexting addiction. Pick it where you left it. Start something that engaged you in the past or something new. People have found prayer beads to be beneficial when they are trying to quit smoking. Try playing a mobile game instead; they are equally addictive though but not as harmful.
7. Stop Calling it Love
If you think you are addicted to sexting and it is all because you love your partner, you need to think again. Addiction to sexting cannot be called love and should not be. As soon as you realize that you are sexting just because you need to, you should stop right away and re-consider the difference between unconditional love and pathological addiction to have text-sex. The realization will help identify the real problem and ways to solve it.
8. Find Ways for Safer Sexting
An addiction to something doesn’t see harms and benefits. If you have realized that your habit of sexting was taking a form of addiction and nothing bothered you much, you should try and find safe ways to have text-sex. These ways can include: not showing your or anyone’s face in the sext, don’t drink and sext, delete EXIF metadata from your photos ( a bit technical but you can Google it), don’t sext while you are at college/uni campus or office, and sext over a secured device. You will see that the addiction will visibly reduce if you limit yourself to these ways.
9. Join a support group
Although it is difficult to share your weaknesses with others but if you want to get rid of sexting addiction, you need to join a support group. Talking to people can actually help as you get to learn real-life stories and experiences. Tried and tested ways of reducing addiction to sexting by other people may work for you as well.
10. Avoid Drugs and Alcohol
In some cases, sexting addiction is triggered by drugs or extensive consumption of alcohol. Cutting down on these two can help reduce compulsive sexting.
11. Stay Focused
Once you have realized that sexting in your case is a problem that needs a solution, you must stay focused. Try anything and everything that you possibly can to get rid of this unhealthy behavior. Never losing focus is the key to success.
12. Have more Physical Sex
Although it may not be possible in most cases, if you want to get rid of sexting, you should have more physical sex. You can start by trying once a week and then increasing the frequency to maybe once daily and see if it makes any difference.
13. Stay Away from Places that Trigger Addiction
There are places where you either feel safe, comfortable or more excited can trigger addiction. Staying away from places with red flags can help control the impulse to share a sext.
14. Set a Timer
Mobile phones and tabs are the most readily available gadgets and putting them down or away can be a major struggle. If you have decided to stop being addicted to sexting; set a timer. Once the times up, put down your mobile phone and do something that can engage you for a minimum of 30 to 60 minutes. Activities like watching a movie, going out for a walk, meeting friends or family can help stay away from the mobile phone for the set time.
15. Write a mission statement
Write for yourself a very precise mission statement stating the purpose and results you are expecting. Keep reminding yourself throughout the day that your addiction is a problem and you will find a solution for it. Make it a personal commitment and stick to it.
What to do if it re-triggers?
Like any other kind of addiction, you can go into relapse once you start getting withdrawal symptoms of sexting addiction. It is difficult to break free from sexting addiction and once you have successfully done that there are chances that it re-triggers. Here is what you can do if your sexting addiction is coming back:
- Keep reminding yourself of the undesired rather dangerous consequences of sexting.
- Stay away from places, people, and situations that can trigger the addiction.
- Create a guideline of dos and don’ts of sexting and stick to it
- Make friends who have healthier lifestyles
- Engage in activities that keep you away from obsessive thoughts to exchange sexts.
Sexting can be highly addictive in nature. Anything with a possible addictive element should be adopted keeping in mind the consequences. If your casual sexual texts have turned into obsessions and all you can think of is sending or receiving nudes, it is time to step back and set certain boundaries. The sooner you set rules for yourself and start following those rules the better it is for you in the long run. Sexting is good, addiction is not, keep that in mind.