Sexting can be a great form of foreplay. Assuming, of course, you already know the sexts will be openly embraced by the recipient, and hopefully reciprocated. Whether you’re just starting things out or you’re full-blown committed, a racy text can both open you up to the other person and be a nice build-up for what’s to come. That’s true even when you find yourself in a sexting fail. I should know, because I am absolutely terrible at sexting. It’s not because I’m shy or prudish — no, my shame stems from the fact that I have zero attention to detail.

I’m known for multitasking while sexting. Often, I’ll start sexting on my way into a meeting, while cooking a meal, or when playing a riveting game of online UNO. Unfortunately for me, and fortunately for you, that means I’m well-versed in sexting fails. Seriously, I’ve done them all. And after repeatedly sitting in a bed of my own humiliation, I’ve evolved from being the world’s worst sexter to a sexting first responder. I’m kind of a big deal in the failure community, FYI.

It can happen to anyone — you read the text too fast, you misread the situation entirely, or you accidentally sent some of your best work to your boss. But you don’t need to go into hiding. All it takes to bounce back from a sexting fail is a little creativity and a healthy serving of spin.

Wrong Sender

It’s a rookie mistake that’s too easy to repeat — you’ve drafted your response and you’re ready to pull the trigger…except, you send your racy content to the wrong person. Your $500 phone didn’t come with an unsend feature (I see you, Apple), and humiliation is starting to brew.

You have a couple of options depending on who’s on the receiving end. Hopefully, your comfort level with friends is at a point where you can follow it up with “Sorry, was multitasking like a boss, and that included sexting.” If you sent it to your boss? Say nothing. The next day at work, casually mention your phone was stolen. Yes, I’m encouraging you to lie, but don’t focus on the negative: I’m also helping you keep your job.

sexting fails

Screenshot Fails

It should go without saying that what goes on in a sext message stays between the sexter and sextee. But there have been plenty of times when I’ve needed advice from friends or wanted to show off a proud moment when I single-handedly nailed a sext without calling for backup. It wasn’t until I accidentally shared a screenshot of my most recent work with the person I was sexting that I realized I was not only doing something very risky, I was also an asshole.

He responded with three question marks, and I had to think fast to come up with a simple reply: “Yes, I want you to take a look at those time stamps. You certainly know how to leave a girl hanging.” Fortunately, he took his sweet time getting back to me, and I was able to recover from a major fail. Mark my words: That is the last time I ever share a screenshot of what’s going on in my dirty mind. When I told him the truth later, we had a nice laugh, and I was able to honestly say that I didn’t share with anyone else what should have remained between us. Thank goddess for second chances.

Too Soon

One night, while casually eating chips and watching TV in bed, I received a suggestive text. I read the text over and over, wondering how I was going to play along. Since this was new for us, I wanted to be subtle and not too graphic. After some soul-searching and carefully crafting puns in my head, I came up with what I thought was the perfect response. It began with, “It depends on how handy you are” and ended with a flawless pun that was both over the top and, as it would turn out, completely off topic.

My genius sext would have been fantastic had this person actually been sexting me. All he had actually said was, “I bet I could help you out with a few things,” and my mind traveled straight to the gutter. As soon as the familiar “delivered” mark appeared on the screen, my eyes went to the previous texts, and realized I had jumped the gun. Rather than pretending I had been quoting some obscure movie or concocting any other weak-ass excuse, I decided to go with the truth. “Sorry. I get really into myself when I’m stoned, and I just assumed you were sexting me.” Facts.

Writer’s Block

Writer’s block can happen to anyone at any given time. Even the most seasoned sexter may find themselves with a delightfully provocative text in their messages and have absolutely nothing to say. To be clear, these instances shouldn’t be confused with times one isn’t in the mood to sext (that’s why Beyonce GIFs exist). These are for the times when your body’s saying yes, please be filthy, and your mind is saying, I wonder who invented barbecue sauce.

Rather than come up with the garbage I have in the past, I like to respond only with encouraging punctuation marks and/or emojis. Be warned: This isn’t sustainable for hours of sexting (who does that anyway?), but it can buy you some time until you’re ready to get your mind in the game.

Autocorrect Is Out To Get You

Unsurprisingly, autocorrect has fucked up my shit so much that there’s no need to even give a specific example. Chances are, you’ve been at the mercy of your phone’s presumptuous auto-fills as well. The only thing you need to remember in order to come back from an unfortunate blunder is to stay calm, confident, and even in character. Don’t let a “let’s truck” text derail the sexy atmosphere you created with each other.

Just spell it out in a quick follow-up text, and you’re sure to get the mood back.