A new kind of foreplay for the social media age

Reporter: Stephanie Cooper

Back in the day it was phone sex and cyber sex. Now, the two have combined to create “sexting”. The very word disturbs people. Maybe if it was called “makelovexting” it wouldn’t be as frowned upon.
Sexting can’t be found in the dictionary, but it is infamous in today’s popular culture. It is exactly what it sounds like, sexy texting, such as dirty come-ons and flirting. However, sexting also involves sending nude pictures through cell phones. There are a couple of speculations about sexting in the media such as legal issues concerning child pornography and statutory rape. In Canada, no severe cases of sexting have surfaced as a legal problem, however in the USA, it’s a completely different story. The Press Enterprise, a local newspaper in Southern California reported on a sexting case where a 23-year-old man sent a sext of his genitals to a 17-year-old girl. The father of the girl then lured the man into his house and assaulted him before calling the police to deal with the legal issues of child pornography.
Sexting is more common with teenagers because of the social atmosphere that occurs in a secondary school. I think the problem with sexting is that no matter what, if it is seen as taboo, people will be more inclined to participate in it. Also, I don’t see sexting as an issue unless it involves an underage person. Because sending nude photos can be seen the same way as giving alcohol or cigarettes to a minor, there are legal consequences to those actions.
Between two consulting adults, sexting can have its pros and cons. Sexting can be great for couples in a long distance relationship, it is silent and discrete enough that you can flirt and entice each other until your next play date. Another pro is that couples can test the waters with their partner and flirt to see what kind of things their partner likes and doesn’t like without damaging the relationship. Sexting is just another way of opening up to someone. It should be used maturely and with partners that are trustworthy.
There are also a couple of cons that come with sexting. When you send a text it is open to anyone, much like the Internet. Nothing can be deleted once it is created in the technological world and there will always be a record somewhere of the sexts someone sends. Another problem would be someone taking that sext and showing it to other people. Phones can get lost and those nude photos or naughty texts are free to hit the Internet, or worse be televised for the entire world to see.
Sexting is meant to be flirty and fun, but consequences can land you with regrets and reputation being ruined. As with anything concerning sex, use your own discretion and sext responsibly.