Frame; What is Really Happening…

By Jo Phillips

What Really Happens In The World Of Online Sexting

Most millennials will know what sexting is, but for the uninitiated; sexting is simply the sending of sexual pictures and messages via phone or the internet. Some view it as a dangerous and irresponsible past-time, but many embrace this new realm of sexuality that the internet has allowed us to explore. Although many will not openly admit to it, most young people have sent sexual text messages at some point in their life. It is currently estimated that around 70% of people aged 18-24 have sent and received sexually suggestive photos and messages, so chances are, you know someone who’s tried it.

What Is Sexting?

The vast majority of sexting occurs between people in some form of relationship, but it is by no means limited to this. Sexting can be a fun and light-hearted way to enjoy yourself without commitment or pressure to perform. Online services such as Arousr are designed to provide just that; they connect people looking for a sexting partner with each other. On these sites you are anonymous, and can dictate the ‘level’ of sexting you are interested in. Some users are only interested in text messages and the occasional photo, but others take it further and engage in video calls and phone sex with whoever is on the other end of the line.

Who Uses These Services?

You might be wondering who actually uses websites like Arousr, and the answer is – everyone. There is no set category of people who like to use online sexting services. Many of the women working for these websites report meeting a wide variety of people from all different age groups and backgrounds. From priests to politicians, to your next-door-neighbor, sex connects us all. Sexting has become a taboo subject in modern-day society, but recent studies have found far more people engage in it than like to admit it. People from all genders, backgrounds and sexuality can find freedom of expression and sexual liberation through these services, which is what makes them so enticing.

Who Are The People Providing These Services?

The majority of the people working in the online sexting business are women who enjoy sexting themselves, aren’t camera-shy and like the flexibility and freedom that this kind of work can bring. Of course, it’s not just women; gay or bisexual men and trans individuals also all have a place in the online sexting arena. It’s important to note that the people working for online sexting websites are there by their own free will, and many report choosing the job because of the enjoyment they get from it.

To quote one such woman: “I log into Arousr for the same reason as customers. To share and play out X-rated fantasies with other like minded adults”

The chance to make money by online sexting is an enticing opportunity for many women who want the freedom to work wherever and whenever they want. For many, having a job like this is a necessity that allows them to spend more time with their family or have an extra income, while also having fun. Although many find it difficult or impossible to open up about the true nature of their work to their family and friends, more and more are finding that slowly attitudes towards the profession are changing, and they are more comfortable having open and honest conversations with those close to them about it.

Why Is It So Popular?

In his book ‘Everybody Lies’ Seth Stephens-Davidowitz exposes some of humanity’s darkest secrets and fears. Using data found from the internet, he shows how much we really hide from the outside world, and how little we hide from the internet. Everyday thousands of people search for advice on their medical issues, relationship problems, body image and sexuality. In his book Seth exposes these secrets to show that we’re not all that different. Our sexual preferences and wishes can seem like a taboo subject, not to be discussed, and are easy to feel ashamed about but the reality is, everybody has them, and everybody lies about them. Online sexting is just one of the many ways that people can liberate themselves and explore their sexuality further, without the fear of being judged by others.

The anonymity and exclusive nature of these services allow for commitment and attachment free fun that is private and low-risk, something many of us are afraid to admit we want. From an outsider’s view, it may not seem like online sexting would be all that popular, but in reality, it’s not that different to the incredible success found by online dating apps such as Tinder. Both allow you to meet new people, discuss new topics and have fun without necessarily having to commit or shy away from the fact that we are all sexual beings.

What comes as even more of a surprise to some is that many of the conversations that take place through online sexting services aren’t that sexual in nature. Many people are simply interested in getting to know a person before exchanging any revealing pictures or dirty messages.

One woman working for Arousr said “I’ve had awesome conversations about music, Pokémon, books, sport, art etc. I’m happy that my profile catches the attention of customers who are actually interested in the same things as I am.”

Online sexting has opened up a whole new realm of sexuality. Before the dawn of mobile phones and the internet, sexuality and sexual expression was viewed and experienced very differently to how they are now. There are concerns from some opponents that sexting and the internet has tarnished the sex lives of younger generations, but a look back through history shows that this is probably not the case.

As with everything, proper care and caution should be taken, but just as the invention of the pen and paper allowed for human sexuality to explore new realms millennia’s ago, so the invention of the internet has allowed human sexuality to expand today.

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