I’m just going to say it. I am a grown-ass woman and I like sexy texting. I am not a lecherous married politician or an uncomfortable teenager or a celebrity making strategically bad decisions. What I’m trying to say is: it’s much more common than you’d think, and it’s PRETTY FUN. Sexting doesn’t have to be the gross stuff of sordid scandal journalism, and it should certainly be with someone you know and like and trust and who is also into it. These days chances are high that you’re going to end up sending or soliciting a sext or two. Here’s how to do it without sounding like an idiot.

1. Set a comfortable tone.

Not everyone is comfortable with really graphic language, while some people love the opportunity to text about things they couldn’t even SAY out loud. Plenty of folks enjoy a saucy flirtatious exchange more than outright “I want to do this and this and THIIIIIS.” The point is, everyone’s got a different sexy texting steez. Whomever your sexting pal, dip your toe in with some lightly suggestive texts before telling them you want their face between your thighs. It’s just polite.

2. When in doubt, leave it to the imagination.

An awkward description of what you think they’d like to happen is much more likely to go awry than coyly giving his or her dirty mind license to imagine whatever they’d like. Dropping a cheeky hint like “I think you’re going to like what I’m wearing under this dress” basically lets you take credit for the sexual fantasies their brain is making up on its own. 

3. Dis is nawt the time 4 ur bad spellng.

I get it, it’s hard to text with one hand. But if he can’t read it, you’re going to confuse his boner. Likewise, it’s hard enough to take sexy texts seriously without having to decipher weird early-aughties text-speak. No thx.

4. Be careful with those pictures.

Please, ladies. Learn from Scarlett, Miley, Vanessa, Kim, Olivia, Christina etc. etc. ETC. If you take sexy pictures on your phone and send them to someone else, there are a number of ways those photos could end up being seen by others. If you must send saucy snaps, and, well, sometimes you must, just keep your face out of there—those boobs could be anyone’s!

5. Use it as a learning experience!

One of the best parts of being in a long distance relationship has been finding out all the sexy/weird/fun stuff me and my partner are interested in, because all we can do is talk talk talk/wank wank wank. Expressing yourself via text means you have more time to think about what you want and to respond to the wants of your partner. Enjoy the process of finding things out about each other—talking about fantasies or confessing something you’ve always wanted to try can be an easy way to get the ball rolling.

Now get out there and STAR 69 some lucky guy or gal tonight, amirite?