Advertise - Print Edition

Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Sexcapades: The art of the text

Published: March 2, 2012
Section: Opinions

In our world of technology and instant communication, sentiments often get lost in cyberspace. In fact, there’s a whole website devoted to some of the crazy mishaps that can occur during texting. But when texting is successful, I can confidently say that one of its most common (and more recent) uses as a means of hooking-up and conducting relationships.

Some of my friends use text messaging in order to conduct their booty calls in college. If you meet someone at a party and exchange numbers, a text conversation is sure to ensue in the hopes of ultimately having a sexual encounter. One of my friends told me that if she is planning on meeting up with someone that she has been casually texting, she will continue to text until she enters the dorm room or meeting location where they will physically connect. This notion of texting as foreplay is one that is worth our time and consideration because it is perfect for the busy college student.

In the world of the text message, there are a series of unspoken rules that we follow. These obviously differ a bit by location and within social circles, but basic guidelines remain constant. Proper texting protocol can be quite confusing as far as who should initiate the conversation, the use of emoticons, how long to wait between texts and the overall tone of the message. In the case of texting as it relates to hooking-up, however, all of this texting is ultimately foreplay—simply a song and dance leading to sex.

Although texting is often considered the best way to set up a hook-up, it presents some difficulties. With texts, you can be all of the things you want to be in public when attempting to get your game on: a blend of humor that is direct yet still erotic. Texting results in just the right level of invasiveness that allows you to come off as simultaneously interested yet detached. Painfully shy people, who may not be able to express private sentiments about a person they like, now have a means of expressing their inner kinky selves.

There are, however, pitfalls. The limited space of a text can just as easily be sexy and flirty as it can be confusing and hurtful. There are no voice intonations or sarcasm options in texts and, sometimes, a winky face simply won’t suffice. Being rejected or rejecting someone via text is much easier to do than vis-a-vis a real conversation. Sexting and other forms of texting can also be the source of lots of drama in relationships. Where then is the line drawn between texting a potential partner socially and engaging in destructive behavior?

Texting isn’t just for hook-ups, though, even in a romantic context. Couples also use texts as a way to keep the spark alive during the day and to let their partner know that they are thinking about them. During class and across campus, I constantly see people holding their phones with smirks or wide grins across their faces—it’s easy to guess what kind of text they might be reading.

There are obviously a lot of pros and cons to texting as it relates to the way our generation conducts romantic relationships. What do you think? How has texting played a role in your hook-ups, relationships or romantic encounters of any sorts?