“He hasn’t said I love you but he has sent me a photo of his penis.”
Modern dating in Australia is heavily focused on sexting. In fact, news.com.au recently did a survey and found 45 per cent of Aussies under 30 admitted they’ve either sent or received nudes.
Forty per cent of Aussies aged between 30 and 39 are in the same sexy boat and 22 per cent of Aussies between the ages of 40 and 49 have sent a naked photo via text.
Dating isn’t just about kissing, sending roses and having to adapt to each other’s housemates. Sexting, has become a huge part of how young Australians date.
Young people don’t just send the guy they like a love heart emoji, they send photos of their private parts and it is considered the normal.
News.com.au is asking all Aussies the questions that really matter in The Great Aussie Debate. From serious to silly, these are the issues that divide Australia and we want to know what you think.
Now, of course it can go wrong.
Sarah* told news.com.au that she accidentally sent a nude to her mum instead of the guy she was seeing and she couldn’t avoid the fallout because she was having dinner with her mum at the time.
Amy* revealed that she was in the middle of what she thought was the romance of a lifetime when the guy she was seeing responded to her very tame text with a confusing sexy reply, only for her to realise he was sexting someone else at the same time he was trying to make dinner plans with her.
Jade* said she sent a nude to a guy she met on the anonymous hook-up app, only for the guy to realise they’d already dated.
It can go rogue in the same way all modern technology can go rogue, but sexting has successfully made the jump from niche to mainstream.
A man sending you a photo of his penis with consent is less scandalous and more a standard marker of the relationship progressing sexually.
Psychologist Carly Dober said that while sexting might sound modern, humans have always found ways to send messages to each other and technology has just added a new element.
“As soon as humans were able to send a text message with the first mobile phones, people started using this technology to send sexually explicit and flirtatious messages,” she said.
Dr Dober explained the “numbers of people” sexting has just increased as technology has become more mainstream but said that it would be more “common” than you would think.
Melbourne model Simone, 33, is single and explains that she’s fallen so hard for sexting that she does it every day and with various partners.
“I’ve always been into sexting, I don’t send full nudes, but I send sexy snippets. I love the attention it gets me, and it makes me feel very excited,” she told news.com.au.
Simone is a sexting expert and she always makes sure that consent is involved and will never just fire off an X-rated image without proper vetting first.
For her it is completely normal to have sexted someone before even a first date or a quick coffee meet-up.
She also doesn’t send partial nudes unless it is a “two-way street”. Simone’s got a very ‘you show me yours, and I’ll show you mine’ approach to sexting, and it’s a formula that she’s most comfortable with.
Sure, it has gone wrong occasionally, even a seasoned sexter can make an error.
“One time when I used Snapchat more, I was sexting and sending photos and videos to a guy I was going to hook up with,” she explained.
How did it all go so terribly wrong? She took a saucy video “pleasuring herself” and then accidentally sent it to a close mate.
“One of my best guy friends did end up seeing my vagina,” she admits, but even a mishap like that won’t keep her out of the game.
She’s also had the classic issue of giving her phone to her Mum or older family members and quickly had to snatch the phone back because they tend to scroll through her whole X-rated camera role.
“Close call!” she quipped.
Simone’s very aware that sexting can sometimes take a turn for the worse, but just like in Brokeback Mountain she has a very “I can’t quit you” relationship with it.
“It gives me tingles, I’m good at, and I love it!”
For Simone sexting isn’t taboo or super sexually aggressive thing, it is something she’s open and comfortable with.
“I definitely use it as a love language. I used to send my ex-boyfriend cheeky photos, and it is like saying, ‘I’m thinking of you’.”
“I don’t think sexting has to be aggressive, it can be cute and sweet and sensual,” she pointed out.
In fact, she’s so into sexting that she’s currently changed the location of her dating app so she can start sexting men from overseas and make plans to meet up with them, when she’s there.
While sexting can be incredibly fun and freeing, Dr Dober does advise that sexting is still a “vulnerable act,” and it is crucial to remain “mindful if you are engaging in sexting, people like what they like, and if you aren’t harming anyone and everything is consensual be in the moment and enjoy.”
Sexologist Dr Chris Fox said that you should also be careful and proceed with caution when it comes to sending photos.
“When we put something out there in the public domain, then we no longer have control of it. I always suggest to people to never include face, or distinguishing features in pics of the body or nudity with their face. This is a safety measure for privacy.”
* Names have been changed