Sexting is a dangerous game. Here are five must-read rules to sext effectively:

1 Do your due diligence

Make sure you are sexting the right number. There’s nothing worse than sending Mark the Weed Guy a buttock selfie that was meant for the Mario the International Business Man.

2 Set your intention

Be clear – unless of course, you are like me and prefer your sexts to be vague and open for interpretation. But seriously, if you are gonna be a sexter: sext. Lay it on the line. Some people need you to spell it out for them: “Wanna hang out?” is way different than “me + you = Naked Town”.

3  Assume the worst of people

If you are sending pictures of nudie time, assume those are going to be shared with at least three people you may or may not know. Whenever I text something suggestive or a sexy picture, I think “would I put this online?” because they might. I guess this goes without saying, but I am not one to be sending pictures of my clothes-less bod unless my head has been chopped off and I can edit the picture, and I’m drunk and lonely and desperate (mostly the desperate part). It’s amazing how much people change when they haven’t been touched in a while.

4  Say no

If someone is sexting you and you’re not interested, you have to adamantly decline. Some hornballs live by “the squeaky wheel gets the grease” motto. They believe if they hound you enough, they will break you down. If someone starts getting sexty and you no likey, be firm and clear. A blow off will not do, you gotta pull out the heavy emotional artillery: “not a chance”, “you gotta be kidding me”, followed up with a “go f**k yourself” should start steering them in the direction of Leave Me Alone Avenue.

5  Be prepared to back it up

There is nothing worse than a tease: it’s in my top five pet peeves. If you are going to send suggestive messages, you better be ready to back it up. Some people get real pissy when people mess with their sex drive, it’s true. There are sexting poseurs. They just like pretending they’ll get on the subway in Harlem to come to Brooklyn to give you a buttock rub, then when they are 15 minutes late, guess what? Their phone died. Get the f**k out of here. Be true to your words. Especially when the words are “let’s make out”.

Kendra Cunningham