“What on earth is a sexting competition?” the less adventurous (or just the less Me) may ask. Well, it is exactly what it sounds like.
The month was August, the mood was boredom, the borough was Brooklyn. My friend and I were searching for alcoholic sustenance after an exhausting thrift shopping debacle involving a torn jumpsuit, and happened upon a small chalk-board sign which read, “So You Think You Can Sext: Sexting Competition Tonight! Winner gets $50 bar tab.” With an arrow pointing into a bare-bulbed and oak-wooded Brooklyn establishment.
“You should totally do it!” my yappy friend yapped. “You’re an awesome sexter.” The fact that she knew this tells you something about our relationship.
“I dunno…I’m pretty tired.” I was pretty tired. But she waved the $50 bar tab around and eventually I got her to agree to enter too, and in we went. There were a surprising amount of people there for 10 p.m. on a weeknight. The crowd ranged from a group of magnificently bearded drag queens, to bicycle-hat toting hipsters, to some girls who were definitely of the middle-American tourist variety and would start giggling and give up three minutes into their sext session.
We sat down and ordered some confidence juice and were given the rules:
Each contestant was given a phone number that had been collected over the prior week from volunteers via the bar’s website and also a sign-up sheet in the bar. Some of the volunteers were in the bar that night and some of them weren’t.
Once the starter bell was rung, Al Green would start playing, we would be given five minutes of text-introductions (get to know your new sext buddy!) then 15 minutes of actual sexting. After the 15 minutes, the contestant would be given another five minutes to copy and paste the highlights of their sextcapades into an email to the MC; an amused and flamboyant young gentleman wearing a potentially ironic My Little Pony T-shirt. The regulations: No pictures, no public indecency in the bar, no real names.
Shots were ordered by most contestants, the bell was rung, the Al Green played, and the games began.
(Actual transcript, published with the permission of the participant)
Person: Hi, sorry, who is this?
Me: Uh, eek this is awk. I think we’re supposed to be sexting?
Person: Oh! Ha yeah, sorry forgot. Hey!
Me: Hey! So… what can I call you?
Person: Hm, let’s go with Rex Sexton. Or Dr. Big Bones, your choice.
Me: You’re a Doctor? That might be helpful if this gets too wild.
Rex Sexton: Well, I have a PhD.
Me: Pretty Huge Dick?
Dr. BB: Well, I guess I have both.
Me: Oh, that’s cool. I got an 800 on my SATs.
Rexy: Sexy Ass Titties?
Me: And a baller verbal score, yeah.
And we were off.
It was quite a ride. The humor coasted through waves of sexually explicit puns and innuendos, and by my third whiskey soda, things had gotten down right NSFW, then even a little poetic: “I can feel your fingers wound though my hair,” Rexy said, “I can see the streetlight from outside illuminating the soft curve of your waist…” Things got real.
When the 15-minute bell rang I jumped in my seat, flushed and startled. I had almost forgotten where I was. I looked around me, dazed. A few people looked as if they had given up 10 minutes ago, some were laughing and showing the texts to their friends, a few were as flustered as I was, and others had definitely just wandered in here by accident and didn’t know what was going on.
My friend was one of the ones who had given up and she was slurping down the last of a mojito and checking her Facebook. “My dude stopped responding,” she told me, sounding slightly relieved. “I think it was a chick actually.”
I almost didn’t want to send mine to MC Brony. It had gotten weirdly romantic. I didn’t really know it was possible to have tender, loving sext with a stranger, but there had definitely been a lot of virtual eye contact going on in that sext-fest once we got into it. I picked some of the less intense but more amusing sections and sent them in. He read the best lines aloud, which was hilarious and pretty damn shocking.
Dr. Rex Sexton and I won. Not the $50 bar tab, though -- we actually got second place to the beautiful drag queen with a silver head wrap and a turquoise beard. The MC gave me a shower curtain as a prize (I left it at the bar by accident) but the winner was kind enough to buy me a few drinks for my efforts.
When I woke up a bit hungover the next day, I realized that I felt a little weird about what I had done the night before. It was lots of fun, and I’m definitely glad to have those texts on my phone (though not in the Cloud, please let them not be in the Cloud!) but I think the competition was working under the assumption that technology keeps relations impersonal. That we would get a thrill out of saying sexy things to an anonymous stranger, but that it was not real intimacy.
I think that this used to be true, even just a few years ago. But recently we have become so reliant on our phones that interacting through phones sometimes occurs more frequently than interacting in real life. The text message is (arguably) the most habitual form of communication. Therefore, what MC Brony was asking us to do was less akin to an erotica-writing competition than it was to a sex-mimicking competition.
Though Rex Mex and I got a little more into it than some, it was still a very intimate and personal thing and I felt very exposed and almost dirty. And I’ve competed in a fake orgasm competition on multiple occasions, so that’s really saying something.
Epilogue: In case you were wondering, Dr. Sexton and I did actually meet up in person. And honestly, the sexting was better than the sexing. So there’s another risk involved in sext-sessions: false expectations. Sext safe, kids.