Trading sexually explicit messages and photos electronically has become a standard ritual of modern courtship (and one of my favorite pastimes). I asked a group of ten men to tell me their pet peeves about digital foreplay, and one man summed it up best when he said, “Pet peeves? I’m just happy when it’s happening.” Women, on the other hand, have A LOT to say about what they love and what they HATE when it comes to textual intercourse. I surveyed 20 of my friends about what works and what fails. Names have been changed to protect these innocent flowers.


A quick Google search of “autocorrect sexting fails” reveals that nothing kills the mood faster than the greatest cock-blocker of all time: autocorrect. In the heat of the moment, “I want to duck you so hard,” although hilarious, explains why Millennials have fewer sexual partners (and perhaps more interest in waterfowl) than previous generations. Take the time to proofread before you hit send so you can avoid misunderstandings like this:

I wasn’t surprised when “good grammar” came at the top of every woman’s list. We are wordy motherfuckers, and when a man makes the effort to be descriptive it pays off in our panties. Stephanie mentioned that a big red flag for her is when a man uses shortcuts like “u,” and “cuz.” She said, “Take the time to spell out full words, and I know you will take the time in foreplay.” Or as Sarah eloquently said, “Wordplay is my foreplay.”

Nothing dries a woman faster than a grown-ass man using emojis and the overuse of “lol.” Stephanie put it best: “When there are too many emojis and not enough words, I’m like, ‘Are you 10-year-old girl?’”

Narcissism is never hot under any circumstances. “Don’t talk about yourself or talk about your dick,” Jerica said. “And don’t talk about how badly I will want your dick once I see it.” There is a thin line between hot and not. The minute you find yourself peddling your cock like a used car salesman, you’re losing us whether you know it or not.

This should go without saying, but no woman wants to feel like she’s an alternative to watching Season One of The Wire for the seventh time. Never EVER mention you’re hitting us up because you’re bored unless you want Biggest Jackass of the Week Award.


Here’s a little secret: nine out of ten times, the answer is NO. Women have a special file of hot stock photos. Sometimes we’ll be horny because we’re on our period, but we won’t feel pretty because we’re on our period. This is when stock photos are absolutely necessary. Don’t force us to lie to you unless you want to see the truth. YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH.

What I sent you:

What I actually look like:

Dick pics deserve their own column. They will get one. But for now, I’ll say this: unlike many women, I don’t hate dick pics. I think they’re hilarious, and if your cock is nice enough, a properly lit dick pic will definitely pique my interest. But most of you think much too highly of your dicks and scatter those things around like they’re Chinese take-out menus. ONLY SEND SOLICITED DICK PICS. Period.

All women don’t want to get married and have your babies. I know you think this is what we want to hear because we’ve been brainwashed by Disney movies, but it’s simply not true. Some of us just want the D. Nothing turns me off faster than when a man I’m casually sexting tells me he wants to crop-dust my ovaries with his seed. Don’t front like you’re capable of raising a child when you think I’m a baller for having things like “health insurance” and “a car.”

You know how you feel when your dog begs for food? That’s how we feel when men beg for nudies. Desperation of any kind is a huge turn-off. Even worse is passive-aggressively begging, “How are those nips doing today?” Gross. Also, creepy. Do your very best not to be creepy. This is something I can’t teach. Some people are just naturally creepy. Like Ted Cruz.

This is high on my list of pet peeves. Give a man nip, and he’ll ask for a butt. If I just sent you a detailed description of how I’m going to suck your cock along with photos of tits, ass and tits, and ass, DON’T ASK ME TO SHOW YOU HOW WET I AM OR WHAT MY ASSHOLE LOOKS LIKE, YOU FUCKING MORON. Be happy you got boobs and bum. Be excited about that. Your excitement might inspire me to break my rule and send the Holy Grail of Nudie Shots: the pussy. Nothing shuts me down faster than feeling like it’s never enough. Besides, I’m out of stock photos.

OH, YOU WON’T SEND A DICK PIC IF I WANT ONE? Fuck you. Stephanie said, “If a guy is too shy to take a pic of his junk and send it to me then he’s not worth my efforts and probably not worth sleeping with.” It’s just proper manners. If a woman is trusting you with her nudies, you should absolutely do the same. Reciprocity, baby. I have been conducting a scientific study for years. In my bedroom. And it’s a fact that if you don’t reciprocate in sext—you aren’t a real man who eats pussy.

I know how a man is in bed by how he sexts. One of my biggest pet peeves when sexting with a guy is when I’m doing all the work and he’s being lazy. I’m literally having to turn him on and turn myself on and pull his teeth to get him to say something other than “I’m going to fuck you so hard.” If he’s lazy during sexting, he’s probably lazy in bed.


If you’re in a relationship/married, I don’t want hear from your gf/wife. Now we can all pretend to be innocent little virgins who would never flirt with someone who’s married, or you can pretend to be a standup dude who would never request nudes outside his relationship, but we all know that’s a crock of shit. I’m not suggesting everyone does this. However, I am reminding everyone we are human, and we make mistakes in the extremely difficult pact that is monogamy. I realize this is an entire shit show of a topic that deserves 70 columns. For now, do your best to remain faithful and try not to be an asshole. But if you slip, cover your tracks for the sake of everyone involved.

My No. 1 biggest pet peeve is sending a man a hot pic and getting back, “Nice.” This is how I respond to, “Nice.”

As Mallory said, “Even worse is taking ages to reply in the midst of a hot and heavy sexting back and forth with no warning or explanation.” Dude, unless your mom called to tell you Gram-Gram died, you better not ghost in the middle of a hot sext session. Jerica echoes the same sentiment, “Don’t mute or crickets when you’re in the heat of the moment. If the idea is for you both to come at the end of this, take each other there. Be fair.”

Gratitude goes a long, long way to me feeling like I want you on my list of men to blast nudes to when the mood strikes (usually when I’m ovulating—IT’S SCIENCE PEOPLE.) Just say, “Thank you, Goddess.” It’s so simple.

Ashley said, “I hate when you write something super dirty, and it takes forever for him to reply, or the reply is not at all what you were aiming for. You were going for filthy, and it comes back vanilla.” Along these lines, one of the hottest parts of sexting for me is not knowing what a man is doing when he gets my sext. Did I just give you a boner while you were buying dog food? Are you now unable to get up from your desk at work? I hope so. I can kind of understand why men think unsolicited dick pics are acceptable, because when it comes to unsolicited nudies from women, guys are like 7/11—they’re open 24 hours a day.

If I’ve learned anything from writing about sex and dating, it’s that all human beings have a deep desire to feel special. Sexting gives men a chance to shine, to take their time and drag out the seduction. Sarah said she wants a man to “tell me how badly you want me and what great lengths you will go to attain what you want.” I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it a thousand times more—you cannot compliment us enough. We are strong, and we are conquering the world, and we love to be loved. Karen said, “Make it all about me. Worship me. Even via text. Be descriptive. When sexting, remove each layer of clothing with your texts like I’m reading a book. Each text should make me squirt my panties.”

And that, gents, is how to sext.

Bridget Phetasy is a writer and comic in Los Angeles. Twitter: @BridgetPhetasy.

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