A Treatise On Sexting: Bringing the Erotic Letter into 2016

The following post is authored by our guest blogger  Erin Emily Ann Vance

“I want to do things so wild with you that I don't know how to say them.” – Anais Nin to Henry Miller

I recently purged ALL of my Facebook messages. Without nostalgia or reverence, I deleted messages with ex boyfriends, boys I met travelling and at summer camp, old crushes and fuckbois. (Of course, in 2010 we didn’t have “fuckbois.”) I deleted messages that contained love poems and late night confessions, and of course some saucy, hormone induced early “sexts” that my 16 and 17 year old self exchanged with Facebook friends I don’t even remember. I didn’t read them because I didn’t have to, and I’m pretty sure reading them would have made me pull my hair out with frustration at my younger self. You see, sexting is an art form. An art form that, at 16 years old, I was doomed to butcher over and over.
My generation of twenty-somethings who’ve been attached to cell phones since puberty didn’t invent sexting. Passionate exchanges have always existed, but instead of elaborate prose a la Virginia Woolf, we can now opt to convey that passion with dick pics and emojis. In the age of tinder, sexting has gotten a bad rap. Unsolicited dick pics are never cool and begging for nudes is just plain sad. Between parenting magazines lamenting that children are being lost to sexting and think pieces about how sexting is ruining intimacy and dating, the whole concept seems kind of, well, gross. 
That is why I propose this, a treatise on sexting. We deserve better than eggplant emojis and 3am “u up?”s. We deserve elegant prose that turns us on, moves us, and makes us think. This doesn’t mean taking the heat out of sexting or dirty talk; get as dirty as you want! But do it with proper grammar, spelling, and a heightened sense of articulation. Borrow from the pros of yesteryear and look to famous historical love letters. They aren’t all “I miss you, I love you, don’t die in the war!” Our friends in the past had genitals and desires, too. And they articulated these desires beautifully. 
You might be thinking, “Okay, but what if I’m texting this dude and all I really want to do is fuck him. Do I need to write some sort of fancy sext if I don’t have romantic feelings for him?” You should still sext with this treatise in mind. Erotic prose isn’t reserved for spouses or “great loves;” it can turn a fuckboi into one of the best lays you’ve ever had. The anticipation, communication, and passion that a well-crafted sext adds to a relationship (no matter how serious or casual) is worth it. 

How do you craft the perfect sext? How do you make your partner crave you? How do you make them come home early from work or run out of a dinner with their parents unannounced? 


Start by telling them what you want.

Tell them how you want them to bite your earlobe while they push you into the wall with their hips. Tell them you want them to suck on your nipples and play with your hair. Tell them what you want and what turns you on. Invoke your fantasies as well as past experiences. New to the world of fantasy and erotica? Read up, my friend. Check out Anais Nin, Henry Miller, and the multitudes of free online erotica. 

"I hope you will surprise me some time when I am asleep dressed, steal over to me with a whore’s glow in your slumberous eyes, gently undo button after button in the fly of my trousers and gently take out your lover’s fat mickey, lap it up in your moist mouth and suck away at it till it gets fatter and stiffer and comes off in your mouth.” -- James Joyce to Nora Barnacle

Make it personal.

What about them drives you crazy? Is it the way they KIND of look like a transforming werewolf when they’re coming? Is it the way they stick their tongue out with every thrust, like they’re lapping up the musk of sex in the air? What about YOU drives THEM crazy? Do you know how much they love the taste of your pussy? How loudly you moan when you’re in certain positions? Go into DETAIL. These aren’t generic sexts that you copy-pasted into iMessage from Cosmo.

“Your sonnet is quite lovely, and it is a marvel that those red-roseleaf lips of yours should be made no less for the madness of music and song than for the madness of kissing.” – Oscar Wilde to Lord Alfred Douglas

Appreciate them.

As a poetry mentor once told me, a love poem is NOT about you; it is about the subject. When sexting, make sure to appreciate your partner; make them feel wanted and desired. Tell them that you can’t stand to be away from their cock for so long, that it is everything you need to fill you.

“I liked your hand-walking act; that got me hotter than hell…. everything you do gets me hotter than hell…. throwing clay against the ceiling… you bitch, you red hot shrew, you lovely lovely woman….” – Charles Bukowski to Linda King

Don’t be afraid of hyperbole and metaphor.

What sets the truly erotic apart from the messages in your tinder inbox is creativity. Hyberbole, metaphor, and other poetic and literary devices can elevate your sexts. This doesn’t mean that you should always be comparing “thee to a summer’s day,” or that your love is “like a red, red rose,” but that you aren’t constrained to discussing anatomy and sex positions. Your lover’s body MIGHT just be a wonderland, or their lips like the soft down on a thick leaf in springtime. They might be so fantastic in bed each orgasm is like a thousand tiny deaths.

“I will cover you with love when next I see you, with caresses, with ecstasy. I want to gorge yu [sic] with all the joys of the flesh, so that you faint and die.” – Gustave Flaubert to Louise Colet

Overtly dirty or soft and subtle: you do you.

James Joyce wrote famously and fantastically dirty letters to Nora Barnacle. He wrote in detail about past encounters and his fantasies for the future, as well as about how he masturbated to her letters and she to his.

“Goodnight, my little cuntie I am going to lie down and pull at myself until I come. Write more and dirtier, darling. Tickle your little cockey while you write to make you say worse and worse. Write the dirty words big and underline them and kiss them and hold them for a moment to your sweet hot cunt, darling.” – James Joyce to Nora Barnacle


Virginia Woolf, who was madly in love with Vita Sackville-West wrote many beautiful letters to her lover, but conveyed the sexuality with subtlety that made Vita use her imagination.

“[…]come home late and have a bottle of wine and get tipsy, and I’ll tell you all the things I have in my head, millions, myriads — They won’t stir by day, only by dark on the river.” – Virginia Woolf to Vita Sackville-West

The sext is undeniably the modern erotic letter; it is an art form. Forgo the emojis for genuine human connection. Let’s be honest, weird little icons of fruit and smiley faces don’t exactly set fire to anyone’s loins, but a well-worded text might. Try sending your lover a text like this one from 

Henry Miller to Anais Nin:

“I want to undress you, vulgarize you a bit.”

Whatcha think?

Please don't be mean :-)

Get Off + Give Back

Unbound will donate 6.9% of all profits to nonprofit organizations that support female sexual health and wellness.

Learn more

F*cking popups. We know. They're the worst But free shipping ain't
Sign up for the newsletter and we'll email you a code.
Smut delivered staight to your inbox
Unbound Newsletter