It’s no surprise that given the close relationship some people have with their cell phone, it was only a matter of time before sexting became commonplace between consenting adults. Phone sex’s little cousin, it’s just as exciting because you can do it anytime without anyone noticing. The art of sexting is to send a few titillating lines via SMS.

A veritable, high-tech flirting tool, the “sext” is just as accessible to those who are more timid as it is to the adventurous. Sexy texting is an easy way to surprise your love, fan a new flame or tease a lover from a distance. Here is how you, too, can become a pro at sexting.

1. Draw your line
Sex messages are like a big playground. First of all, determine what it is you wish to get out of it: A torrid night or a sweet rendez-vous with a potential boyfriend? Draft your message accordingly. And a curfew applies to sexts just as it does to late-night phone calls. If he texts you after 11, his intentions are probably more on the physical side.

2. Test the waters
To avoid catching the object of your affection off guard, be subtle. ’I want you,’ is a classic… For the more adventurous, ‘I want to sit on you,’ doesn’t mean anything specific, but it really opens up the imagination, says Sophie, 28, a PR specialist who is tethered to her BlackBerry. You need to know when to up the tone a notch, she smiles. A simple ‘I’m thinking of you’ can also go a long way…

3. Make it short
Another golden rule: short messages with direct descriptions are the most efficient. Avoid abbreviations. Messages should be quickly done, but well done. Abbreviations and emoticons lack taste, says Sophie.

4. Make him wait (sometimes)
While it’s impressive to see people texting at the speed of light, even the most subtle flirting requires a certain finesse. Which means maybe not replying right away. When it’s a short-term affair, you need to be clear, however when it comes to love, you need to know how to make yourself desirable, says Sophie. But don’t make him wait too long! Always respond within 24 hours and within three hours if you’re really interested. Otherwise you might cool the conversation.

5. Be patient
Did you put yourself out there and he didn’t respond? Take a deep breath. Sexts are fun, but they don’t mean commitment. Sometimes it’s hard on the ego, but in the worst cases you might have caught him at the wrong time or he’s not as interested.

The road to becoming a sexting pro continues on the next page…

6. Reign yourself in…
Did you sext while drunk? It’s less damaging than a drunk dial, but we still strongly discourage it. The accessibility of our cell phone can make us do silly things… And so, in order to avoid that awkward morning after, always text your best friend before making a grand declaration at the end of the night to your ex, says Marie-Pier, a 36-year-old researcher who adds that the shame of those messages the next day is often worse than the hangover.

7. …But put yourself out there
Single and looking for the right man? Nothing is stopping you from having sextual relations with more than one suitor. If you’re part of a couple, it’s cheating, but if you’re not attached, you can do it with a clear conscience.

8. Don’t be too quick to hit send
A technical tip: Hit Reply instead of choosing a number from your address book. It decreases that margin for error where you could inadvertently text your boss or your mom. My sister doesn’t need to know this side of my personality, says Marie-Pier. Also, read it over before you hit send! Mistakes are not sexy.

9. Maintain a little mystery
Avoid including your face in photos at all costs – unless you want to dazzle all future prospects. A digital nude photo can be easily uploaded to the web where the mistakes of your past will live forever.

10. Do not deny yourself pleasure
If you think the whole concept of sexting is ridiculous and you prefer actual contact, don’t turn your back on your partner if he decides to spice things up. Try it! By ignoring his sexts when he was out of the country, I ended up pushing him away. After reprimanding him for talking to me this way, which in retrospect was pretty inoffensive, he didn’t come back,  says Marine, a regretful 31-year-old nurse. Now the only calls she gets are related to her job. The lesson here? Have a little fun!

Read more:
Can a mobile application find your perfect match?
Are you competitive with your sex life?
Is social media destroying your relationship?