By: Jennifer McGuire
Sexting sort of makes sense in this day and age, I guess. It’s the seedier poor cousin of online dating. You meet a guy online. You email increasingly personal information back and forth (which I would also advise against, but never mind). After a dozen or so ‘conversations’ it’s make or break time. Either you go out or chicken out. Meaning, either you can man-up, meet him for dinner or coffee or even go bungee jumping if that’s what you’re into. Or you can chicken out and just start texting. Which leads to naughty texting (you know ‘U R crzy hot’ or ‘2 sexy 4 me : ).
Which in turn leads to sexting. Now I am all for sexual independence. A modern girl needs to make choices that feel right for her, and all that jazz. But here is the problem with sexting – is it a choice? Or is it hiding? Another way to avoid contact, but still feel as though you’re getting a little attention. Men – God love ‘em all – are looking to skip all the bases and round home without even showing up for a game.
I had a guy send me a sexy email once. It was alright, I guess. Actually – no, it wasn’t. It was weird. I was sitting down with a glass of wine, watching Mad Men and moisturizing my feet. When out of the blue comes this raunchy email about what said fella would like to do with me. And I’m like, Are you out of your mind? I have to read this and I don’t get so much as a night out first? No dinner? No drinks? I’m not even wearing a good outfit. I’m just in my old pyjamas with peachy-smelling moisturizer on my feet.
Which is the problem with sexting – you can’t read the room. We’ve stopped worrying about what sort of reception our attentions might incite. We’re skipping past the seduction. Its like skipping all of the starter romance books like the Sweet Valley High series and heading right into hard core porn. When you’re twelve.
Recently a friend of mine was indulging in this mild flirtation with a man. The flirting lead to sexting. The sexting lead to a cell phone snapshot of his man parts. I don’t know what was worse – getting a snapshot of some dude’s penis while she was folding laundry…or the fact that she wasn’t bothered by it. Until I collapsed in convulsions. She didn’t think she deserved any better, and she was wrong.
I think it’s time we all remind ourselves we deserve more. We deserve to be seduced. We deserve a sweet first kiss, then a slow second kiss. To cross and uncross our legs at dinner, to smile and flip our hair and wear artful eye makeup to look coy. To feel our heart skip a beat, our cheeks flush, our skin warm.
Men deserve it too, and I bet they miss it whether they would admit it or not. We humans are physical creatures. We are meant to be tactile.
We aren’t meant to be hunched over our blackberries on our lunch breaks, exchanging misspelled sexts with men we barely even know.
Rise up, my friends! Light up the dark! Dust off your date night clothes and take a chance, time to go old school.
Jennifer McGuire lives in Ontario, Canada. Her recently released collection of essays, ‘Halfway To Happy’ (Glenmalure Publications) is based on her popular humour column of the same name, which appears in daily newspapers throughout Canada. She has also written for the Canadian parenting magazine ‘Canadian Family’, but has secretly been desperate to write for the American public (don’t tell her Canadian friends). Her short fiction has appeared in ‘Room’ magazine and the anthology ‘Every Second Thursday’. She spends her time with her four sons who she adores, her dog who she tolerates and her friends of whom she generally expects far too much.