It’s a great time to be alive!  Whether it’s advances in medicine or the ability to carry an entire library in our pockets, we’re much luckier than the millions of people who came before us. None of them had access to the kind of resources that we do.

Technology has made our lives so much easier. Take sexting, for example. Now, some of you may be baffled when someone uses such words. Don’t worry, you’re not alone! Most of us don’t get any of the fancy modern jargon either. That is why I did some research and investigation into the whole thing so that you don’t have to.

Smells like teen spirit

Like most trends involving nudity, sexting was also started by the most despicable group of people in the world: teenagers. Now, I didn’t actually speak to a real live teen person for this piece. I wouldn’t wish such a fate even on my worst enemy. Instead, I watched an episode of a “reality” show on MTV and accidentally spent ten seconds in the vicinity of a car that was playing a Justin Beiber song. So, by the conventions of the Indian Columnists Association, I am now considered a bonafide expert on #teens and their psychology. In fact, in some circles I’m known as a teen whisperer. Sure, none of those circles exist outside my head, but as a wise fellow once said, it’s the thought that counts.

Sexting is the practice of exchanging sexually explicit texts and photographs with one (or more!) people. It’s like phone sex but with visual aids. These are meant only for the person you’re sending them to and the NSA agent surreptitiously accessing all your data. Some people assumed the recent theft and subsequent publishing of private photos of a few dozen celebrities had something to do with sexting. That’s not what it is. Stealing someone’s pictures from their physical or virtual hard drive and then distributing them publicly are both criminal acts punishable by law. It’s like confusing an art thief with a museum curator.

When those pictures were published, the hottest take on the market was a variation of the old “if they don’t like it, they shouldn’t have put it there” trope. After all, everyone has to say something, even if it’s just regurgitating conventional wisdom! Yeah, what sort of idiot thinks that he or she is entitled to store private material on a device they own! Hey, your fault for putting a nude picture on your phone. What do you expect people to do? Not hack into your mobile telephony device and steal them? Don’t be daft!  You know what they say:  opinions are like assholes. Everyone wants to share their own with other people.

It’s human nature

Sexting isn’t some new phenomenon that has been enabled by technology. It’s just another step in the evolution of human expression of desire. The need to reach out and bump uglies with another person has existed in our species ever since the first time our ancestors discovered that rubbing their genitals together yielded much more interesting (and fun!) results than when they performed the same action on two lifeless stones.

In the times we live in, most people make connections in what boring people refer to as the “virtual world”. Various studies ‒ conducted in countries where people actually can talk about their sexytime habits without going red in the face or breaking into giggles ‒ have found that sexting isn’t limited to just teenagers. A large number of adults also claim to have sent a not-safe-for-work picture of themselves to another person.

Which is understandable. Emoticons have replaced real emotions. Swiping a profile in an app has replaced dating. Most people today spend every moment they are awake staring at one screen or the other. So why does anyone think it’s bizarre that looking at naked pictures of each other is now a perfectly acceptable substitute for intimacy?

Sexting is also a way to feel close to someone when you live in a country where people imagine that just putting two strangers in a room together would result in them mating like a bunch of rabbits. In India, sex is one of the topics that have been relegated to our society’s hall of fame of things-you-can’t-talk-about along with our latent bigotry towards people we perceive to be different and relatives who still think that a box of Ferrero Rocher “chocolates” is an appropriate gift for every occasion. Seriously, what is up with that? Has anyone ever even opened one of those or is there just a single box that has been continuously re-gifted for the past 20 years?

If you like it then you should have put a ring on it.

The prevailing wisdom in our society is that “sexual relations” between two consenting adults is the worst thing that can ever happen. Unless, of course, they have a permission slip from their parents and 2,000 other people they have some social connection to. And even then, if they’re not “intercoursing” to produce a male heir, they’re just making god sad.

Personally, I believe that the only fulfilling relationship a human needs is with alcohol. Unfortunately for the rest of the world, not everybody sees things the way I do. From my research, I gather that some people are attracted to other people and might want to canoodle with them for some reason. I, for one, find that unpalatable. However, I also don’t think that they’re doing anything wrong.

In fact, as a society, instead of making people feel guilty about what is simply just another function of the human body, we should encourage healthy expressions of sexuality. People spend too much time worrying about what other people are doing with their bodies. If only there was an activity they could partake in which could relive all the tension.

Now, please excuse me, an unopened bottle of whiskey just sent me a sext from the other room.