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Sexting, like texting, gets a bad rap. It’s blamed for everything from being cheap and easy to pretty much bringing down Western civilization (or at least the fine art of Western communication). While I will happily castigate texting for all its various faults, it’s foolish to throw the baby out with the bathwater. The medium may be the message, but the medium can also be an art form in the hands of the right artist.

Sexting can be crude, clumsy, and inappropriate. It can be the equivalent of the most mundane internet pornography: a quick and easy way to stimulate and arouse. However, sexting can also be a delightfully playful way to tease and provoke, to build anticipation or exchange fantasies in a venue that may be safer and more permissive than face to face.

I haven’t had a lot of good sexting experiences. A good sexter must know when to reveal and when to conceal, just how forward is good forward and when too forward is bad forward. It’s all, like good storytelling, in the art of build-up and anticipation, intrigue and playfulness.

Don’t make the mistake of so many others and think that cutting to the big reveal is the way to raise the stakes. In fact, cutting to the big reveal may be the way to eliminate any stakes at all. Instead, when embarking on your own sexting adventures, put some effort into imagination and manipulation, be, like with all good things, clever and creative.

I had one guy, about a year ago, who might have been the best sexter I’d ever experienced. I still think about him (and our exchanges) to this day. If only more were like him.

After all, the climax is nothing without the anticipation.