‘Sexting’ it up
Hello! I’m back (not that I really left, but it seems like it’s been a while since I wrote a column)! Once again, thank you very much for your participation in the sex survey. I hope you enjoyed reading the results.
Over a month ago I found an article online at the Calgary Herald website.
Basically, one in five U.S. teens have had “tech sex.” Tech sex is defined as sending ‘racy’ images via e-mail or text message. I didn’t think teens should be doing this as many admitted to sharing the texts/e-mails with a third party — which could have devastating results. And as we all can remember, high school was devastating enough without worrying about semi-naked pictures of you showing up on Facebook.
That column came to mind when I recently had a conversation about the awkwardness of texting sexually suggestive messages to another. I’ll admit that I suck at this. As a writer, I’m pretty confident in my ability to write what I want to say, but for some reason I just cannot answer the question “tell me what you’re going to do to me,” without coming across as totally lame.
For me, texting sexual messages, or “sexting” as it’s described online, is about as awkward as phone sex, something I’ve never actually tried and have always found very odd.
Whether I suck at this or not, more and more young people are using text messages as a way to flirt. Sexual health professionals are finally clueing in to using the same technology to make sure people stay safe.
Coming up in March, San Francisco will be hosting the SexTech Conference Focus On Youth for sexual health professionals to discuss ways to use technology effectively. It’s being put on by Internet Sexuality Information Services, a U.S.-based organization that’s dedicated to “innovative strategies and high-tech solutions for sexual health education and STD/HIV prevention.”
Like many sites, it has a blog and links to tech sex articles appearing in mainstream media.
In terms of other sexual technology, a couple of months ago I had heard about a new kind of e-card. Don’t send that partner of yours a birthday e-card, instead give them an e-card that tells them they may have Chlamydia!
A few years ago I got a phone call from a nurse, telling me I had Chlamydia. I went down to the STD clinic on Eighth Street and Eighth Avenue, took some antibiotics and was ordered not to have sex for a month.
Before I left, the nurse asked whom I had slept with recently. She gave me two options: I could give her the name of the guy and his number and the clinic would call him and ask him to come in to be treated or I could call him. Trust me, that is an awkward conversation.
Knowing this, ISIS created InSpot, an online service where you can send an e-card telling your partner they may have an STI. The e-card will also include the nearest clinic locations to be tested and treated. Unfortunately, it’s only available in Ottawa, Toronto, 10 U.S. states and oddly Romania.
I’ll bet that at some point or another you have flirted via text messaging, Facebook or e-mail (can you flirt through Twitter?) You may have sent a racy photo, made a sexual suggestion or flat out “sexted.” That’s cool. As long as you’re having fun, being safe and honest – let’s embrace our new technologies as an innovative way to get it on.
Questions or comments? E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.