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"Sexting" is a wide-spread activity among couples of all ages. (PHOTO: Lindsay Garric)

In Living

"What are you wearing?" (PHOTO: Lindsay Garric)

Milwaukee "sexters" come clean


For centuries, sweethearts and romantic hopefuls have exchanged passionate love messages, from the poetic epistle to the heartfelt outside-the-window serenade. Since the dawn of the 21st century, a new form of sensual communication has transpired: sexting.

Sexting is the act of sending a sexually explicit text message and/or photo to someone via a cell phone. And it seems like a lot of people are doing it.

One of the most high-profile sexting escapades (sexcapades?) was Brett Favre's 2010 "Crocs incident" when he allegedly sent former New York Jets' employee Jenn Sterger indecent photos while wearing rubber shoes. Former Congressman Anthony Weiner (really? "Weiner?") and former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain are among the numerous politicians who were ensnared in recent sexting scandals.

Sexting is popular with couples in a variety of age groups. Teen sexting is problematic on multiple levels, not only because many parents believe it is not age-appropriate behavior, but also because the sexting phenomenon has increased the number of pornographic images of minors floating around.

However, when consenting adults choose this form of racy communication it isn't harmful. In fact, for many Milwaukee couples, sexting keeps their relationship fresh and fun.

Melanie Whitlow is 30 and married. She and her husband, Steve, sext almost every day, sometimes more. She says the content varies a lot, depending on their moods, and range from a seductive message like "I want to feel my body against yours" to a "down and dirty, totally XXX photo."

"You really have to trust the person to whom you're texting those pictures," says Melanie.

Melanie says that even though she really enjoys sexting, and believes it contributes to their loving relationship, it does not replace real sex for her and her husband.

"I enjoy sexting because it helps to keep the fires stoked. It lets him know I'm thinking about him, and not just thinking about him, but thinking about him in probably the best of all possible ways. Knowing that you'll be having sex, on the regular, really helps the rest of life go by with less stress, in our experience," she says.

Milwaukee's Mary (who asked us not to use her last name), 50, regularly sends sexts to her boyfriend. Mary was married once and then in a 10-year relationship with another man, but she says she never sent a sext massage until she started dating her current partner.

"When we started doing it, it was constant. All day long, back and forth. It was super hot, crazy. It consumed my work day sometimes, but it was exciting," says Mary.

The sexts were usually very descriptive accounts of oral sex or masturbation and the photos exchanged ranged from sassy underwear shots to images of extremely graphic sex acts.

Mary says she and her boyfriend sexted so often that some days she didn't get any work done at all. Luckily, she has a job that allows her to set her own schedule, but still, she began to wonder if her employer would catch on or her phone provider would penalize her for sending and receiving naked images.

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Talkbacks

Broner | Dec. 19, 2011 at 7:07 p.m. (report)

"If I'm busting ass, studying for an exam, I like getting a text from a girl saying she's gonna give me (oral sex) later," he says. "It keeps me going." This is a joke, right?

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sandstorm | Dec. 19, 2011 at 2:49 p.m. (report)

i see what you did there with the headline. naughty....

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dw53207 | Dec. 19, 2011 at 10:19 a.m. (report)

Molly You ROCK

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littletinyfish | Dec. 19, 2011 at 10:18 a.m. (report)

@Aardvark I think it's Dave Begel.

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Irish53213 | Dec. 19, 2011 at 9:43 a.m. (report)

I think this is way more popular than people are willing to admit. I know it ads a spark to our sexual relationship.

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