One of the most exciting things today is technology. It’s fast moving, unpredictable and accessibility brings a level of excitement. Of course one of the most exciting invents is text messaging. But what happens when you start receiving sexually explicit messages and when is it too soon for sexually explicit pics? Before we get into this discussion, let’s set a little background.
From work to home, texting has completely changed the way we communicate. It’s has provided us with a direct and immediately way to connect. The receiver is almost always compelled to respond quickly.
In the dating world, it is a new toy that provides a level of safety allowing the freedom to openly express your thoughts and feelings without having to see a true reaction, such as a raised eyebrow, body language, etc. So, how do you react when you meet a guy who seems to have it going on in all the right places; he’s intelligent, handsome, has a good job and he can even cook! But after exchanging numbers and a couple of texts…BAM! There it is. He’s sent you a pic of his private parts with the words something to the effect of…I’ve got something good for you.
Here’s another scenario: you are in a meeting with your cell phone on your desk. You get the audio notification that you have a text and you walk over to your phone (sitting on the conference room table) to find d_ _ __ pic staring back at you. Yup, free willy is all over your phone screen while you are out in public. Your hands are frantically shaking as you try to get your phone unlocked to quickly quell this unwanted intruder.
You may be a bit turned off or even angry at first. Then talking to others, you learn that this is just how it is these days. And he tells you, it’s just been so long and he finds you incredibly sexy. Now your not sure if you are overreacting. Times have changed and maybe you should just accept it.
It even has a name – sexting. Sexting has become increasingly popular and sometimes seems to derail one’s common sense. We’ve all heard about the celebrity cases where sexting has gone terribly wrong, sometimes to the point of ruining a career as in Anthony Weiner’s case. But there are many others out there who view this as an innocent and private communication, so… no big deal; even when it is done in the early days of meeting.
The other obvious issue is the fact that technology is not hack proof. Just ask Jessica Alba and others who have had their private photos intercepted or stolen and posted all over the internet.
Aside from these obvious egregious acts, electronic communication can be fragmented causing the receiver to misunderstand the message. In coaching, I tell clients that body language is often heard more clearly than words. However, we lose this very valuable communication skill when communicating electronically. On one hand, it may be just a byproduct of introducing new communication mechanisms. On the other hand, it has become a way of emboldening yourself. After all, you only get a muted effect of the person’s real reaction. I also coach clients on the importance of following your instinct and setting boundaries, which will obviously be different for everyone.
Here are a couple of thoughts aimed at both men and women:
For the women, it is indisputable that women and men are different. This is been proven in nearly everything we do including the way our brains are wired. Men are built to compartmentalize. And they do it well. They have the ability to masterfully separate acts and words from emotion. Especially when it comes to sex. Women, on the other hand, are a complex network of connections. In fact, I believe women are the ultimate connected devices…even beating out technology innovations like the iPhone.
Even when women try to will themselves to stay disconnected, they often fail miserably. In talking about this issue, some men say women are sending these pics too. Everybody’s doing it. So my question for you ladies: what are you actually hoping to accomplish by putting all of your goodies on display so quickly. If you objective is just to have sex and not a relationship, you’ve probably scored! But we all know that sex doesn’t get or keep a man and the likelihood that you will become emotionally entangled is a very real possibility. I have full confidence that one day we will learn this lesson.
For the men, we realize that men think about sex fairly regularly during their day. It is what it is. But when you are sending these pics, are you thinking the woman is thinking like you? Because if she is…run! If she is not, you have probably just closed the door to something that may or may not have had potential. Most mature women are just not wired that way and prefer a more emotional connection before the sexy games begin. I also appreciate that you know what you want and don’t have a problem going after it. Just remember, for each action there is a reaction and it may not be the one you are looking for.
Let’s have a conversation. How soon is too soon for sexually explicit pics and texts?
All the best,