I'm a person who has probably received more unrequested dick pics or smutty text messages than the average person, in part because I'm open about being a sex worker, in part because I am a Nice Person and I try to make contacting me relatively accessible so I can offer advice.
Despite that, I still genuinely love sexting. There's something about being on the bus, or at work, or in the grocery store doing mundane shit, and getting that text that makes you want to drop your panties and jerk off right there. It's sexual tension and enjoyment of the taboo at its finest. Never mind that in times of drought having a bunch of super juicy sexts lined up can rekindle the romance realllllly quickly. And it might even be good for your relationship or something!
It's not always necessary to have my sexting companion be a lover or even someone I know, though personally, that does help. When I was 14 I used to enjoy going into the adult AOL chatrooms and cybersexing with folks in various themed roleplaying rooms. Granted, I particularly liked pretending to be a 40 year old man trolling in those chats, which is the opposite of what I was warned about (older men roleplaying as teens). There was something freeing about getting to be anyone I wanted to be, playing around with identity and sexual orientation and fetishes to see what tickled my fancy.
That's one of the things I loved about working for phone sex lines, or a sexting service like Arousr. There was something about the wild unknown when you got a new person at the end of your line. Often, your companion had reasonably standard kinks- spanking, the girl next door, maybe a little bisexual curiosity. But once in a while you'd get someone who would want something really out of the ordinary. It wasn't always my cup of tea, but I appreciated having a space to explore fantasies with someone else, someone who would witness them, have the ability to leave, and then not do it. It's validating, in a way that I can understand as a person with some fucked up fantasies I'd never want to live out.
The written word has always been the spark for my particular erotic interests. I'm glad we've moved from phone calls to texting, because there's something about the filthiness of someone saying exactly what they're going to do, and then being able to look back on that exchange and use it for dirty talk next time we're in bed together. Sexting has helped me get better at finding things to say during sex, though I still have to practice so I don't just blurt out "I LOVE YOUR PENIS" as I am wont to do.
That said there is also some sense of performativity that comes with sexting. It's a bid for attention, and not just any attention, but sexual attention, and not everyone can take a minute out of their day to indulge that bid. I have certainly used sexting as a way of keeping things hot between long distance lovers and myself, and I've felt a little crushed once in a while when my sexy selfies have gone without remark. Sometimes I feel my sexting is more of a self indulgent verbal swagger than actually my desires. Sometimes I can't tell which is which, the performance becomes reality and vice versa. Sex is complicated. Words are hard.
In the end, though, I don't imagine I could have a lover who didn't sext at least once in a while. I may watch porn as often as I read it anymore to jerk off, but the written word is my first love, and someone who can't arouse those senses doesn't stand much of a chance in the long run.
Or at LEAST sexting with emojis. I could work with that.