Being the social media addict I am, I thought I was in-the-know about what goes on in the world—that is, until my friend delivered this line over lunch: Can you believe how many people our age are sexting?

Um, what?

Having been safely married for the past two decades, I’m obviously out of touch. Well, my fingers are, anyway. They only discovered Twitter a couple of years ago. But let’s just hope my man is out of touch, too, and stays that way after he tunes in here. How did I not know this was a thing? Time to dive into the action.

I started asking around and it didn’t take long to learn that many of my 40-something peers think nothing of using their phones as sex toys. Shocker.

Take my friend Peter. He’s a clean cut divorced doctor I always imagined spends his evenings in a sports jacket escorting eligible ladies to the ballet. Nope. Turns out that when he and Deanna split, he was anxious about hitting the singles scene because he could hardly remember hitting on women, let alone how to do it. At 43, after 11 years of marriage, he considered himself far past the hill and woefully behind in dating practice.

SPEAK UP: Is Sexting the New Flirting?Not so much. As soon as he hit the market, his smartphone began buzzing. First, it was friendly hellos and dinner invites from moms he’d met at his son’s soccer games or around town, and not all of them single (surprise!). Then BAM!

Nine times out of 10, within three sentences, the texting would turn sexual. Women would type, ‘I’m going commando’ or ‘I’m wearing my sexy boots’, and then pictures would follow—boots, boobs, thighs and more.

With very little prompting, many women shed more than just their inhibitions.

Midday, during work, they would click photos under skirts, beneath desks, and even send audio of themselves climaxing. It was unbelievable.

Before long, Peter found he was using his iPhone less as a phone and more as a sex toy. He was attached to it, tucking it in his pocket when he saw patients, hiding it from his kids at home, and it’s a smart move.

Sexting is not just for teens anymore, according to a new study by the software firm McAfee. Its Love, Relationships, and Technology report exposes some pretty racy stats. Get this. More than than half of adults are into sexting and in the U.S. alone, one in three copped to filming sexual content on their mobile devices.

My friend Marcy, who’s 47, can’t believe I’m so slow to the game. She says everyone is doing it, doing it, doing it and that it’s actually good common sense to squeeze in a little sexting foreplay before dating. According to her, the world is online now and so is dating. People like to window shop. Besides, she says, since men are so visual, sending a photo is a great way to flirt. Duh.

I spoke to Glenn, too. Sexting makes you bolder, he says. Behind a screen you’ll do and say things you’d never do or say to a person’s face. When he split from his wife five years ago, he admits he was shocked by how aggressive women get by text, but he got used to this new reality fast.

I type ‘What are you wearing?’ or ‘What’s your body like?’—questions I’d never ask outright. Women don’t even have to answer. They just click a button to send a naked shot. It’s that easy.

Fun, safe? Maybe, but there are risks. Just ask Toronto sex expert Cory Silverberg. He says acting on impulse can get you in big trouble. Case in point: In the McAfee survey, 16 per cent of of adults say they’ve committed the ultimate sexting error: firing off a sext to the wrong person. Oops.

There are other burning questions I can’t help but ask: Are all these sexters locking their phones with passwords? Are they hiding those passwords? Don’t they know you can screenshot a Snapchat?

Of those surveyed by McAfee, 69 per cent say they do secure their smartphone with a passcode. But since almost half of them still share their passwords or use the same one across multiple devices, those sexts may not be safe in the privacy of their phones for long. Plus, because texting feels so intimate, it’s easy to forget your name is attached. Once it’s out there, it’s out there, a la Anthony Weiner. And here’s a twist: You can never be completely sure who’s texting you back.

Peter says he was like a teen boy at first, playing games on his phone. He’d show sexts to his friends at a bar and let them take turns getting women to strip and click. I say Ugh (or maybe even Ugh, karma since, hey, sending your naked self out into the ether is risky behaviour) but my friend Jill doesn’t. She had no qualms sending hundreds of nudie shots to her boyfriend Russ over the course of their 3-year relationship, and six months after their breakup, those pix were a hot commodity.

Jill just shrugs at my mortified face. Who cares? I’m an adult and I’m proud of my body.

So does that mean you’ll risk it going viral? Wonder what Jennifer Lawrence would say.

 

What do you think? SEXTING: IS IT FLIRTING WITH DANGER OR JUST GOOD, CLEAN FLIRTING?

About the author

Randi Chapnik Myers

Randi Chapnik Myers is Co-Founder and Content Editor of BrazenWoman.com, the only lifestyle site by women 35+ for women 35+. A journalist, blogger, editor and marketer, she specializes in custom content creation for publications, companies, brands and authors at RCMContent.com. Proud to call herself a social media addict, Randi is never far from a screen—even when she's out hunting for designer bargains.

  • I advocate texting with sexy thoughts, flirty hints and more as a way of building desire between two people. I see some dangers though in sending nudie shots to people unless you already know them and have some trust. Peter’s example–showing them to friends–is exactly why women need to be a bit more intentional. Personally I’m not a big fan of getting nude photos unless I’ve specifically asked for them (just wrote an article on that one!), but as you say things are changing!

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