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Sexting is an important part of a relationship — whether with a girlfriend or a girl you just met on a dating app and are texting to try and come over for a one-night stand. But, like most things, there are rules to follow while doing it, making sure you don’t completely kill the mood.

Sure, sexting can help re-energize a relationship with your girlfriend or keep things hot while the two of you aren’t together — with dirty pics and videos holding the two of you over till you see one another next. For that reason, we’re giving you a few pointers while sexting to help take your game to the next level.

No dick pics

As guys, we have a weird obsession with showing off our dicks. That’s cool and all, but, when it comes to sexting, save it for when the girl actually asks for it, and not just when you think it’s what you want to do. If you don’t follow this rule, there’s a good chance the mood dies, or worse, she cuts you off altogether. Keep that rocket in your pocket till it’s time.

Follow etiquette

Sure, sexting can be hot and heavy, with two people living out their sexual fantasies through messages, but, for your own self-respect, don’t allow things to get too nasty. According to a study from Indiana University, one in four people who admit to sexting said that they share the private messages with two or three people. What’s that mean for you? Make sure anything you’re saying or pictures you’re sharing aren’t too private. Just stick to the basics and use emojis to get your point across if you have to.

Tell a story

Nothing’s hotter to a girl than having her man take control of the sexting conversation and tell her exactly what he would be doing if she were lying right next to him. Remember, sexting is a way to be physical without actually being physical — if that makes sense — playing out a scene that you both wish would be happening in that moment. So don’t be afraid to tell her how you’d kiss down her neck, rip her shirt off and tease her, then go into more details about what’s next. Visualizing what you’re describing will only drive her more wild.

Hit delete when needed

Sexting someone is a super personal thing, so don’t be the naive guy who keeps all those old messages around for months. When in a relationship, the two of you are probably texting enough that things get buried. But, when single and sexting multiple girls, it’s best to get your rocks off in that moment, peek at some of the sexy pics she sent a few days later and then delete the entire convo. That last thing you want is for the wrong person to get hold of your phone and seeing all those X-rated things.

Follow through on what you’re saying

Assuming you’re sexting someone you’re either in a relationship with or dating, when you finally see each other next, make sure you follow through on all the sexy teasing you two were doing before. It’s clear that there’s interest in making things hot and heavy, so don’t be shy and play the nice guy card all the time; take charge and live out the sexual fantasies you both described.

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