Sexting is a fun way to sexually connect virtually, but for a lot of people, it’s also a daunting task. There’s a lot of societal pressure to be “good” at sexting whether or not you’ve tried it before. Fortunately, the tips below will help make sexting a little bit easier and less stressful. 

1. Be Genuine

It’s important to remember that there is no way to be objectively “good” at sexting. Whether or not a sexting encounter goes well depends entirely on context—things like whether or not you have sexual interests in common with your sexting partner, timing, mood, mutual effort, and more. The easiest way to make sexting as good as possible is, to be honest with your partner and yourself about what you want out of it. If you can articulate what you want, you just might get it.

Before you get started, ask yourself some questions. Do you want a casual experience? Do you want this to blossom into a longer-term habit? Do you want company? Do you want to find the very farthest borders of your boundaries? If you know what you’re looking for, you have a much better chance of eventually finding it. 

2. Don’t Imitate

There are so many articles about how to tell whether or not a woman is faking an orgasm. The search for one clear way to tell the difference between fake and real has made it clear how men feel about faked orgasms: they don’t like it, and they want the real thing. This is how most people feel about any sexual activity. So, if you plan to go on the Internet and copy and paste some arbitrary sexual texts and have a great time, chances are low that it’s going to be exciting for either of you. 

If you’re a little nervous, it’s okay to start out using a phrase you heard somewhere else. Many people are insecure about asking for what they want sexually—and if you feel that way, you probably have some empathy for the women who fake orgasms. But the important thing is to find a way to break out of your comfort zone and take a risk. You can use phrases and acts you’ve seen as a jumping-off point but try to grow from there. If you’re funny, be funny. If you’re clever, be clever. And if you’re awkward, chances are you can use that to make your partner feel comfortable. The better you get at sexual self-awareness, understanding what you like, and asking for it, the easier time you’ll have with any sexual obstacles. 

3. Learn About What They Want

Once you know what you want, find out what your partner wants. You should get consent—meaning your partner has indicated interest and comfort with the idea— before you get started. But after that, pay close attention to their reactions. If they seem to prefer audio more than pictures, start recording your voice. If they like to role-play, find out if you do, too. The more that sexting feels like mutual exploration, the more fun you can have. 

4. Be Safe Out There

Just because someone is attractive doesn’t mean that they are also trustworthy. It’s always a good idea to ensure any pictures or videos you send are somewhat anonymous. You don’t need to go to the trouble of wearing a disguise, but depending on the nature of your relationship with your sexting partner, you may want to keep your face and identify tattoos or birthmarks out of the images. 

Next, if you found your sexting partner on the Internet, you’ll need to exercise caution. Some sites don’t verify the ages of their users, which means you could be talking to someone underage. Other sites don’t have excellent security protocols that will ensure your private information stays private. So, find a site that keeps your identity safe and excludes minors from using it. Now you’re ready for safe and sensual sexting!