|christopher frier brown / Foter / CC BY|
And given that many authors are considerably older than the characters they write and often in stable relationship rather than still seeking Mr/Ms/Mx Right, it pays to be up to date with contemporary dating behavior if you plan to depict this in your stories.
One of these newer practices being explicit texting, which popular culture and the media generally assumes is just a rather risky behavior of teens that allows their nudie pictures to get spread all around school. But as I have previously discussed it is predominantly a behavior within relationships, with generally positive outcomes.
Obviously sexting with a person you have just met or are still getting to know is a more risky behavior, and a recent paper revealed another aspect of this risk. That is that attitudes towards sexting are highly variable and misunderstandings can lead to the initiator of the sexting inadvertantly making the other person feel harrassed or simply creeped out.
In a free online article A A Hasinoff discusses how sexting is portrayed in sex advice columns and how issues of security, privacy, and consent are rarely covered. But that it is important to know that the person you are sexting wishes to engage in this behavior and is not negatively effected by it.
Are your contemporary romance characters sexting? And is sexting consent the new "condom"?