Tabatha McGurr is a Brooklyn bred-writer currently residing in Bed-Stuy with her boo and dog Coco. She's been running to the Married To The Mob blog for the past six years. In her weekly column, she gives Complex readers insight into what today's young women really think about love, sex, and relationships.

We’re all guilty of sexting. It’s inevitable in the oversexed, technology-driven world we live in. I’m not against it, though It’s just that sexting requires a certain finesse and grace that men often don’t possess. I know a lot of ladies who claim that they’re "too old" to play such silly phone games, but I think that’s because they’ve had nothing but clowns sending them awful dick pics over the years. It’s amazing how fast a seemingly cool dude can turn into a disgusting douche at the drop of a wack sext, and it’s all due to general miscommunication. Men have skewed perceptions of what women want and expect. But who could blame them? We're difficult to decipher. So guys, if sexting is an activity you regularly partake in, then I suggest you pay attention to the do's & don'ts below. You may have been doing it wrong this whole time...

THE BASICS

 
Once you get someone's number, sending that initial flirtatious text can be one of the most nerve-wracking moments ever. What if the reply is unenthused or there’s not one at all? You’ll be bummed, no doubt, but that’s your clue that they’re not interested and to stop before you embarrass yourself. Don’t sext before you’ve tested the waters either, or you’ll be left with a text recipient who’s showing her friends your desperate attempts while you contemplate the next one. Another huge basic is spelling. I know so many girls that get extremely turned-off when they’re texting with a dude and his spelling and grammar is totally wrong. Not cute, not happening. Oh, and iF u B senDin txtz lyke Diz, den we doNt wAnnA Fuk w/ U Eitha, 1.
 

CHECK THE RECIPIENT. CHECK AGAIN.


You write something completely horrible and by some absolute lapse of the brain, you end up sending it to the exact person it wasn’t supposed to go to. It’s hilariously tragic. Your entire body feels like it’s covered in flames of humiliation. How can such trauma be avoided? Well for starters, if you’re going to write heinous shit, don’t put it in BBM or some other text format where pressing the wrong key can have your shit sent out to an entire contact list in an instant. Sexts need to be edited again and again anyway, so I suggest starting it as a memo before you send. That may sound like a lot of work for mere phone flirting, but that’s the surest way to write exactly what you want without accidentally sending out cringeworthy shit. Then just copy and paste that into a text, and check who you’re sending it to at least four times. A little excessive perhaps, but after hearing the tale of a friend who mistakingly wrote, “I'm going to explode your cunt” to his mother, I think six time might even even better. That goes for social networks too—always be sure you don’t unintentionally Twitter or Facebook what you meant to text, and if you’ve ever fucked up that hard before, remove said apps from your phone permanently!
 

BEWARE OF DRUNK SEXTING


Phones and alcohol are an extremely dangerous combination, but the unfortunate reality is that being drunk is the time when most of these sexts are sent in the first place. It's a catch 22. You gotta take a few shots to muster up the courage for the sext to begin, but then you’re bound to cross the line somehow, whether it’s by coming off too thirsty or drunk. That said, it’s really all a matter of self control. I know heads that whip their phone out the instant they get buzzed, immediately hitting every potential hook-up in their address book. That's when the last rule about checking the recipient is especially important. Plus, drunk sexting can often lead to you having sex with someone you didn’t intend on. When that intoxicated horniness sets in, the common move is to bag whatever textee is most responsive, and it’s generally not first pick. Then the next morning you’ll be left with nothing to show for it but a hangover, an awkward walk home, and an iPhone full of mortifying texts.
 

DON'T PERV OUT TOO SOON


I have a perverted sense of humor, so I have no problem talking crassly with dudes on the phone, or in general. Still, there’s a huge difference between innocent dick and balls talk as a joke and guys who go hard with the sex talk all over your phone. These meaningless little conversations are meant to be sexy ice-breakers, not full-on To Catch A Predator chat rooms. Unless you’ve actually fucked the person you’re sexting, refrain from asking too many personal questions like, “Do you shave?” or “Do you like anal?” When guys talk like that, we can’t help but imagine that they’re furiously masturbating behind a dark computer screen all the time. Being subtle is the key with sexting. You’ve gotta take your time to come up with smooth responses, not just the first thought that pops into your deviant head the second she sends you a tit pic. Which brings me to my next and favorite subject...

DICK PICS


Here’s a little secret about girls: we love assessing dick pictures. We’re usually not praising—unless, of course, it’s huge—but rather, judging, everything from size, to shape, to the fucking sheets on the bed behind you. Clean your surroundings so there’s no clutter in the background. Wipe the stains off your mirror, remove the family photos in the corner, and groom yourself before sending. I think it looks gross and porn-ish when a guy is totally hairless down there, but if the shit is growing wild all over the place, then give yourself a little trim. Dudes expect that much and beyond from us, so the same effort is in order on your parts, pun intended.

Now, as much as I hate to say it, size matters, at least in a photo. That's great if you can make up for it in other ways, but don’t emphasize your small penis by photographing it and sending it to a woman for scrutiny. Those tricky camera angles aren't fooling anyone, buddy. If you're not packing, skip the phone flicks, keep it to text, and wait until you’re in person to show off the goods. Which reminds me, why do so many guys think it’s okay to send pictures when they’re soft? I can’t tell you how many half-rise submissions I’ve seen over the years, which always leaves me totally baffled. A soft penis isn’t the prettiest sight when it’s laying next to you, let alone while trying to look seductive in a text attachment. Personally, I prefer a good bulge flick over straight dick. Leave a little something to the imagination, and for later.
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Sexting is supposed to be like virtual foreplay, a fun filler inbetween seeing someone that makes meeting up more exciting. That’s why less is always more in said scenario. You don’t wanna expose all the mystery too soon, or else what's there to look forward to? Once you’re in a relationship with someone, you can text one another whatever your naughty hearts desire, but until then, these should be some good basics to remember for future reference.