What do you call a text message that's flirty, but not yet a sext? A flext? I'm still brainstorming.
Whatever you call them, flirty text messages are the reality for most people dating in 2017. And text message flirting can be just as scary as in-person flirting. First off, you need to suss out whether or not your crush is at least mildly interested in you before you blow up their phone.
"You know your crush is receptive to flirting if he or she is responsive," says
Barbara Greenberg PhD, a clinical psychologist who specializes in family and relationship issues. "Pupils dilate when a person is interested in you. Look into the eyes of the one you are flirting with. They speak volumes."
If you're mostly limited to texting or online messaging, Dr. Greenberg confirms what many of us already know: More than likely, your crush is into you if they carry on the conversation and respond without too much of a lag time.
At a loss for the words (and emojis!) to send to someone? I put together some tried-and-true text messages to send when you want to flirt but haven't started sexting yet. (But if you're already there,
here's how to kick the conversation up a notch.) While we're arguably more in control of and confident about our sexuality than ever, there's still so much we don't know about female arousal. So this month, we're exploring everything you want and need to know about how women get turned on now. Check out more here.
"Wanna skip class/work and hang out with me instead? ;)"
Why it works: No, your crush might not actually leave their responsibilities behind, but your spontaneity will get them to at least consider it. The fact that you'd brazenly ask them to blow off their day paired with a tongue-in-cheek winking emoji lets them know you'd push boundaries to see them. Photographed by Erin Yamagata. More
"Tell me a secret."
Why it works: Save this for a late-night exchange when you both have each other's full attention. We all know texting into the wee hours of the morning can get pretty open — take a chance and ask your crush to spill. It gives them a way to play the shy card and give in to telling you how badly they want you without feeling too forward (hey, you asked). Besides, if they opt for a secret that doesn't lean sexually, that still breeds intimacy. Photographed by Michael Beckert. More
"You know you miss me."
Why it works: If you're feeling pretty solid about where you stand with your cutie in question, this message has just the right amount of bordering-on-arrogant spunk to make them blush. Confidence is attractive — if you're sure of yourself, they will be, too. How can they say no? Photographed by Michael Beckert. More Read More
"My friends won't stop talking about how cute you are."
Why it works: There's a bit of subtle flattery in dropping that your friends know about them, that they've seen photos, and that they might just approve. Feel like pushing it a little further? Don't underestimate the power of injecting some sarcasm into your flirting. Adding an eye roll emoji to this text playfully serves as a "don't get a big head" reminder to balance out your compliment so it doesn't read as empty sweet talk. Photographed by Erin Yamagata. More
"You've kept me smiling all day."
Why it works: With just the right amount of sweet, you're telling your love-to-be that the thought of them makes you a little giddy. Think of this as a slightly subtler version of, "I can't stop thinking about you." But just what about them makes you smile? They'll be dying to find out. Photographed by Rockie Nolan. More
"When do I get to see you again?"
Why it works: Not only does this let your crush know that you're thinking about them and enjoy spending time with them, but it also gives them an exciting jolt at the anticipation of meeting up again in person (preferably sometime soon). Plus, if you and your crush are in the friend zone, or you aren't going on dates just yet, this hints that you could be looking for more. It also opens the door for them to suggest that you come over, um, maybe later tonight? Photographed by Nicolas Bloise. More
"I can't sleep."
Why it works: When you draw your crush's attention to the fact that you're in bed, their mind is bound to wander to not-so-PG thoughts about you in that particular spot. Plus, you're subtly stroking their ego, since they'll likely ask themselves if you can't sleep because you're thinking of them. Photographed by Natalia Mantini. More
"Let's cut the crap and go out already."
Why it works: As Dr. Greenberg said, if your crush has been responding to your texts, they're likely interested in you. Cute and original messages are a very fun way to prolong conversation and build up hot sexual tension. But do you know what's also hot? Cutting the crap and simply asking your crush out. Confidence is sexy. If you're feeling bold, there's often benefit in getting straight to the point. Photographed by Kristina Wilson. More
"This song reminds me of you."
Why it works: If you send your crush a song that makes you think of them, they'll listen to the track and analyze the lyrics for days. Not only is sending someone a song you enjoy a thoughtful act of flirtation, but music opens the conversation floodgates — it's fun to talk about what you like and don't like. And who knows? Maybe your crush will send you a song back. Photographed by Rockie Nolan. More
"Guess what I'm imagining..."
Why it works: The key to a successful flirty text is constructing one that creates a conversation. While a cute and simple "picturing you naked ;)" isn't always in poor taste, it may leave your crush a little confused about how to reply. Even if they're not responding because they're nervous, it doesn't feel good to have a message go unanswered. By sending this text, you're hinting that you're indeed imagining them in a racy way — but you're keeping things mysterious and opening up a conversation. After some coy back-and-forth messaging, you might just land a date. Oh, and including a cute selfie with this text won't hurt, either. Photographed by Bianca Valle. More
"I bet you wish I was sharing this pizza with you."
Why it works: As Cher in Clueless once said when talking about getting the attention of a crush, "Anything you can do to draw attention to your mouth is good." While you can certainly attach a simple photo of the delicious thing you're eating, we suggest you send this text along with a silly/sexy photo of you actually eating it. Your crush will either want to come to wherever you are immediately, or they'll want to plan a pizza date ASAP. Photographed by Alexandra Gavillet. More
"You made an appearance in my dream last night."
Why it works: This suggestive message lets your crush know that you're interested in them while also hinting at sex (hey, you're telling them about what you do in bed). Pro tip: Don't tell them what happened in the dream so you can keep them guessing and intrigued. And of course, feel free to send this one even if your dream wasn't actually about them. Photographed by Refinery29. More
"How was your day? I just got home and am finally relaxing."
Why it works: This is a great text to send in the early stages of a crush or courtship, as it shows you care and are thinking of them, but isn't directly sexual (though the "relaxing" bit is certainly suggestive in a good way). It's a great one to send during the week after you know your crush has had a long day, since most people love to talk about themselves. Plus, it's an open-ended question that encourages conversation, which is always preferable to a "yes or no" answer. And in this case, that involves talking about how you both like to unwind (which is, again, suggestive). Photographed by Rockie Nolan. More
"Stop distracting me. I'm busy ;)"
Why it works: People want what they can't have. Send this sucker when you and your crush are texting back and forth during the work day or while you're running errands (or, hell, when you're out with friends), and you actually don't have time for them. By stating that they're distracting you (in a sexy way, since you employed the wink emoji), you let them know you're not being mean — and you also remind them that you're indeed a busy person with a full life, so if they want you, they're going to have to work for it. Photographed by Ashley Batz. More
"I can't stop thinking about you."
Why it works: As the saying goes, flattery will get you everywhere. Send this one after a first date. If you haven't gotten it on yet, the sexual tension will be palpable, since you're letting your future bae know they're on your mind. By the time the second or third date roles around, good luck keeping your clothes on. Photographed by Lorenna Gomez-Sanchez. More
"How about we move this conversation to IRL?"
Why it works: If you've just been flirty texting and haven't officially gone out yet (and all is going well), this text is the perfect way to land a date. Sure, you're flirting, but you're also being straightforward and asking for what you want. Have a list of date ideas ready to throw out just in case — that could mean anything from drinks at an intimate bar to a daytime hike to a movie and take out at your place, so no pressure to come up with anything too complicated. Photographed by Alice Gao. More
"I want to experience you."
Why it works: Save this work of art for when you're confident your flirting partner is down to bone. A friend who was obviously about to turn into more than that sent this to me in college, and we were shortly having sex multiple times in the span of a few hours. This text gets straight to the point: You want to have sex with them. However, rather than make it vulgar or about their body, you're demonstrating that you're interested in them as a person. This one's definitely not for everybody, but with the right person, this message could lead to an intimate experience via text and IRL. Photographed by Natalia Mantini. More Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here? These Are The Sex Toys That Every Couple Should Try Why Ben Wa Balls Are The Sex Toys You Never Knew You Wanted How To Tell Your Partner You Have An STI