When Jani, whose name has been changed to protect her anonymity, sent her first sext, she had no idea what kind of downward spiral she would fall into.
Jani started sexting one day when she was “bored in class.” After breaking up with her long-term boyfriend, knowing that “you’re a fantasy they can’t have” gave her a much-needed self-esteem boost.
The experiment has led her to change her lifestyle and patterns of communication, as she attempts to increase her sexting frequency while maintaining discretion.
She usually uses BlackBerry Messenger, she said, because it’s “faster” and “there’s no evidence.”
For a young woman with a sext dependency, the filthy communiqués are no longer relegated to the bedroom. “Sometimes I sext while I’m at the grocery store … I’ll say I’m naked on my bed, but I’m out shopping,” she said. She knows it’s misleading, but she just can’t stop herself.
And part of her wonders if, perhaps, the deceit goes both ways. “Are guys actually masturbating,” she says, “or are they just playing Halo and enjoying the ego boost?”
Sexting became such an obsession for Jani that she would sext and write messages to her mother at the same time. “It’s really dangerous,” she said.
Friends and supporters had hoped that she’d rock bottom when a friend caught her sending a picture to a lover. But now, Jani is only more discreet. She says she’s careful to delete her messages and photos. “Make sure it’s not traceable, especially if you’re in a relationship,” she said.
“Never send pictures of your face,” she adds. “You don’t want that shit goin’ all over the Internet.”
But Jani, who describes herself as “addicted,” doesn’t think that sexting has become a problem for her or her family. In fact, she thinks it’s “empowering.”
“You have the power to turn someone on with just your words,” Jani said. In the world of sexy mobile messaging, she can escape to “a place to act out your fantasies.”
“It’s fun and it’s shameless,” she said. Jani insists that sexting is an opportunity for shyer folks to start expressing what they want sexually. “People don’t talk about it in person,” she said, “so talking about it at all is a good step.”
Any advice for would-be sexters looking for empowerment?
“Don’t send pictures of yourself over email. They’re easier to circulate.”
Toth’s attempts at jovial hilarity, clearly, are a bit awkward. So if you’d like to write satire or humour pieces for the Gazette, we have a new opening. Email pitches to firstname.lastname@example.org with subject line “Satire.”