If his sexts have more plot detail than Fifty Shades:
All you did was coyly ask "what he'd do to you." He responded with a full story arc and 11 different ways of calling your panties "moist." While yes, it may be the most eloquent sext you've ever received, and yes, you've never had an entire paragraph dedicated to your butt being "delicately caressed whilst his hands are roughly entangled in your auburn locks," this guy also totally took a two-person activity and made it all about him. Get ready for a bunch of dates where he doesn't ask you any questions and spends the whole time complaining about how he still doesn't have a book deal yet.
If his go-to response is an eggplant emoji:
If he crafts you a tower of tongue emojis in between every remotely sensual sentence, he's definitely freaking out about having a genuine, truly dirty sexting sesh. Talking about his own sexual desires scares him, so in order to guard his own vulnerability after responding to "tell me what you want," he ends every text with a steady line of eggplants, peaches, and oh god, maybe even a GIF. Same goes for, you know, actual conversations about what bothers you in the relationship—he'll just emptily say, "Babe, I’m sorry, let's move on?" and then turn into the human version of the sunglasses emoji.
If he commits to writing fan fiction:
This guy's got the right idea: The key benefit to sexting is that your mind can take you anywhere—this is basically what Reading Rainbow was trying to teach us all along. A man who will happily play a lusty 19th century piano teacher sneaking into the countess’ private bed chambers is someone to hold on to by the imaginary breeches. He's creative and playful and is 110 percent more likely to actually bone in a petticoat sometime.
If all he says is "uh huh" and then "what?":
Nothing wrong with a man who's into his woman being in charge, but a dude "yes, and"-ing you in bed only makes him the improv boy of your sex dreams if he actually gives you something to bounce off of. If you could HTML code "Go on…" and "Oh yeah???" into a bot and get the same sexting experience, he is making you do all the work while he just lies back and gets completely free iMessage erotica. He didn't earn it!
If he asks for pics and then disappears for 13 minutes after said pics:
He has your NSFW Snap on open but didn't send you anything back. You know he did... something because when he gets back he just starts talking about how sleepy is and how he's making grilled cheese. That's right: He just went on his own little sex journey without including you or giving you deets on how good your boobs in a Victoria's Secret one-piece made him ~feel~, other than saying, "Yeah it was good." Don’t be fooled by the intimacy of a photo: A pic says a thousand words but this guy isn't saying anything because he's waaay too closed off for any of this sexting business.
If he keeps emphasizing how much he wants to hold and kiss you:
Most likely, he's a genuinely sweet dude who just wants to check in on your feelings right after he says how hard he wants to do you, which is, in fact, very, very hard. He's the guy who'll always make sure to go down on you first, which is great, as long as he really listens to everything you like and isn't doing all of this as a performative precaution because he just wants to be "nice." A person who actually cares will cut the random "I wanna cuddle you!" sext interjections if he knows they make you cringe.
If he's turned on by anything you give him:
If your response to "what are you wearing rn?" is a very honest "T-shirt w/taco sauce stain," and he's still into you, you're at that comfort level where he finds a uniquely broad range of things hot on you, and you are well aware. He'll be into it all: Oversize PJ pants and vaguely stained "period panties" galore. And if you respond to his "What do you want me to do ;)" with "Get me nuggets," and HE ACTUALLY DOES, marry the hell outta this man.
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This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.