Sexting or sending photos in a long-distance relationship can be a real temptation.
And if your boyfriend is asking you to send something, you may not be sure how to respond.
Why should you pause before you send that photo? Joy Skarka, director of discipleship at Authentic Intimacy, offers these five reasons for thinking twice before sexting.
1. Your boyfriend may not be the only one who sees it.
“Because of the world we live in with technology…it could just easily be sent to someone else. Even if you break up and something happens, it’s just a risky thing to do.”
“Even right now with my husband, we still don’t sext or send pictures to each other just because of the fear of, ‘What if our phones get hacked?’”
2. Sexting often comes from a place of fear.
“I think there’s a lot of questions we can ask to get to the heart issue of, why do we feel like we have to do this?
“Is it a fear-based mentality? Because a lot of women, we fear, ‘Oh he’s going to leave us if we don’t do this,’ or, ‘My friends are doing it, so maybe I need to do it too.’ [It helps if we can get] to the root of why we’re doing it.”
3. The right guy won’t pressure you to sext.
“A lot of times there’s pressure involved with it, like maybe the boyfriend might be forcing it. You might not think he’s forcing you, but even in the way he’ll send a photo first, and it’s kind of like, “Oh, well I sent you a photo, now you have to send me one.”
“Not only is this kind of manipulative, it’s kind of a red flag. I would encourage you that maybe he’s not the best guy to be with if he’s pressuring you and emotionally manipulating you into these situations.”
4. Sexting doesn’t reflect God’s design.
“God has a plan for sexuality, and he designed it to bring us closer to him…In a marriage, we see a little glimpse of this metaphor of God’s love. Anything outside of that, we’re missing God’s design.”
“[Sexting] is kind of creating your own porn, and trying to fulfill these needs that you might have that are real needs, like the desire to be loved and wanted. Those are real, but ultimately by sending that [photo] and trying to find that approval, those needs won’t be met in the way that we want.”
5. Sexual desires are good, but this isn’t the way to satisfy them.
“I totally get [why it’s hard] because my husband and I were dating before we got married, and it’s so healthy to have sexual desire. It’s a good thing.
“If you actually aren’t attracted to your husband or your boyfriend, then that might be a red flag, too, if you have no desire at all to have intimacy together. But that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to push those boundaries and send those things.”
For more wisdom from Joy Skarka, read Porn, Dating and the Gospel with Joy Skarka.