In a particularly arresting conversation thread on Google+, blogger and editor A.V. Flox opined that "sexting has a somewhat bad reputation which is entirely unfair. Sensual missives are a literary tradition and an art form. Now that mobile technology has made it easy for us to communicate instantly, now that smart phones allow for messages that go far beyond the 160-character limit, there are no boundaries to what we can experience in exploring our desires, our imaginations, and our lovers. Why not give it a whirl?"
She provides a link to her article Can Sexting Really Help You Spice Things Up?, in which she illustrates that sexting is not inherently harmful, any more than texting, talking on a cell phone, or reading a book. "None of these things, we know, is inherently bad, distracting or rude. It's our actions that give them context .... Sexting is not inherently inappropriate or shameful. In fact, it can be an excellent way to communicate with those with whom we're intimate."
She goes on to quote from passionate love letters penned by well-known writers, and to provide sensible, creative guidelines for sexting, including ~
~ You don't have to use bad words to sext. You don't even have to use graphic language to conjure sensuality.
~ Consider the audience. Never send a sext to someone who has not expressed the desire to receive this sort of communication from you.
~ Consider what you will say. Timing, creativity, and sensitivity to the desires and comfort level of the recipient all count.
"That's the thing about the timeless art of the erotic exchange ~ the medium doesn't matter. Text messaging is just one more tool with which we can express our adoration and desire. Why not put it to use?" To which I would only add, for your own privacy, consider the vulnerability of the medium (mobile phones). It is possible for your messages to be intercepted by others with less than honorable intent, or for a message to be sent to an unintended recipient by accident, or (heavens forfend) your recipient may forward your message to others. If you are confident in the security of your connection, fine. Otherwise, be careful about transmitting suggestive text or revealing photos that could end up on the front page of the NYTimes. Just ask Anthony Weiner.
Caveat notwithstanding, I agree with A.V. Flox that sexting is not inherently wrong, and in fact can add a dimension of suspenseful interest to a relationship. As with phone sex or cyber sex, sexting is simply a medium for expression. It will never replace the sublime pleasures of sharing sex in the flesh, but it can serve as an enjoyable supplement. Don't believe me? Check out 4 Things You Might Not Know About Sexting. While it needn't be everyone's cup of tea, it should not be frowned upon, either. To each his/her own.