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Julie Spira

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To Sext, Or Not to Sext

Posted: 04/29/10 09:01 PM ET

Today on The Tyra Show, eight women participated in a heated panel sharing their stories with the talk show host about the pros and cons of sexting.

According to Tyra Banks, 60% of the women online believe that the Internet has changed their lives. On the program she said, "Personally I am not against online dating. There are a million steps you need to take before meeting that person, in person."

I have to agree. Online dating safety is a hot button for me and I talk about it regularly. Last week in a conversation with Tamsen Fadal on WPIX, we talked about cyber dating tips to help those looking for love online find love, safely.

These tips included:

• Never Give Out Your Last Name
• Never Give Out Your Address
• Never Talk About Money
• Always Meet In A Public Place
• Use the "Buddy System" (Telling a Friend Where You'll Be and Who You'll Be With)
• If You're Uncomfortable, Get Up and Leave

On The Tyra Show today, we heard stories from four women who regularly engage in sexting, including sending sexy text messages, sending nude photos, and even using the webcam with their significant others to enhance their relationships and spice it up a bit. The women said it's the best thing that's ever happened to them.

One panelist named Alisa said she uses sexting to stay in touch with her boyfriend while she is away from him at college. Another woman said she only uses text messages when she contacts men online, but wouldn't use a webcam or post photos. Amber says she texts her boyfriend sexy messages before he goes to bed so he can think about her in the morning.

Another panelist told us she met a guy she had been sexting with. When they met in real life, they had sex in the car. She later called him, only to find out that he had a girlfriend and a child. She justified it by saying the sex wasn't really that good, but deep down, she was hurt.

On the other side of the panel, four women were vehemently opposed to the idea of sexting. Millions of women are surfing for sex on the web. Kristin felt that cybersex and texting is degrading. Colby said that women who engaged in sexting were lowering their values.

The big issue comes up with online safety. The health risks are big as are the danger to your personal life. The Internet has a permanent footprint. It's important to protect both your online and offline reputation. I always say, think before you push the send button.

Tyra doesn't recommend meeting someone online if you are a teenager. "Please do not do that. It's not safe," she added. I have to agree. Most online dating sites have a minimum age requirement of 18 years old to become a member of their service. This doesn't stop the teenagers on MySpace or Facebook from engaging in cybersex or cyberbullying.

Do you think sexting will improve your relationship? Take our poll and vote.


 
 
 

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