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Are my steamy texts going to land me in hot water? Add to ...

I've been texting with this guy in my building for weeks now and it's suddenly turned steamy. We are going for a date next week and I don't know if I can live up to what I've promised. Should I warn him?

Dear Textpot,

So you've sent some scorching missives filled with filthy promises and suddenly feel the need for a retraction. Not to worry. There is no need to state that you are not the contortionist vixen you described. Why? Your pen pal is likely feeling exactly the same set of hesitations right now.

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Did he boast the mystique of James Dean, the torso of Ronaldo and the staying power of Sting? Thought so. He too probably feels like a text maniac, needing to issue a fine-print proviso along the lines of "product may not be to scale."

Let me break down the dizzying event that has occurred over the past number of weeks: Flirting.

This is our prologue to mating: our sauciest version of "Hello, my name is." Undoubtedly, you have flirted before. You recognize that we can be come-hither peacocks, exaggerating whatever prowess we might have. We cock our hips, flutter our eyelashes, offer a provocative yet elusive phrase in the voice of Kathleen Turner.

The differential here: Your flirting is permanent. By texting it, you took a leap far beyond the suggestive body language. You keyed it into your Blackberry. Then you inhaled sharply, felt like a matador, and pressed Send.

Akin to throwing on thigh-high boots or a Russian accent in your sex play, you, Textpot, are playing with a persona. Whether it be Peaches or Ziggy Stardust, there is always an element of truth in a persona. Perhaps there is a streak of the hellion you cultivated throughout your correspondence.

The point: There is room for both of you. My instruction: Go on your date, with full-blown confidence, as yourself. This is far more alluring than anything - or any one - you could pretend to be in writing.



Claudia Dey is the author of How to Be a Bush Pilot: A Field Guide to Getting Luckier .

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