This content originally appeared on Mashable for a US audience and has been adapted for UK audiences.
Even in a world where online dating has become the norm and it’s possible to skip the tedious process of scouring bars and events for other singles to get a date, sometimes it’s just the thought of the date, who is tiring. No matter what type of meeting you are planning, the reality is that it will always require some physical effort on your part. That may seem like too much hassle, especially at this time of year.
We’re going to put it simply: we all have sexual needs, and sometimes we just want to get those needs met with a human connection that doesn’t require the extra effort of meeting someone in person. That’s why we have sexting.
Sexting is sending sexually explicit photos or messages to one or more people. And there are apps that are specifically designed for sexting, as well as sexting features in apps that get the job done.
What do you need to think about before sexting?
If you’re thinking about downloading a dating app for the purpose of sexting, it’s important to remember a few basic rules. Yes, there are certainly fewer inhibitions than using a typical dating app to find a potential romantic partner, but there is still a standard set of boundaries and do’s and don’ts you should follow to keep all parties comfortable:
No app can fully protect your privacy for you – that’s your job. While apps like Confide and Dust have specific features to protect your identity/content, they don’t eliminate all scenarios. For example, someone doesn’t have to take a screenshot to take a picture you send. You could just use another phone or device to snap or record what you’re broadcasting. You should always keep this in mind before sending anything that might compromise and do your best to make sure you trust the person receiving your messages.
Assess the situation and know your audience. It usually doesn’t take much more than a few pre-sext texts (or pre-sexts) to gauge whether or not someone is interested in doing cyber dirty with you. Take the time to figure that out before you start anything raunchy and inappropriate. Please don’t just start throwing dick pics at people left and right if they didn’t ask.
Be respectful: privacy is sacred. The internet has a frightening ability to make fleeting moments very permanent. If someone asks you to keep something to yourself, you had better do it. While sexting can be easy and fun, it also requires a serious level of trust. If you abuse that trust, you ruin it for everyone.
Read these rules. Repeat them, remember them, and you should be fine.
Should you consider sexting before hooking up with IRL?
Real-life dating is obviously the best way to meet someone long-term, especially if you’re looking for a serious relationship. And real sex will always be better than sexting. However, sexting is an alternative that can help you in ways you didn’t even think of:
security — We’ve addressed the reasons why sexting may not be completely secure in terms of privacy, but to its credit, sexting offers an element of security that face-to-face meetings don’t. Sexting allows you to interact with both people you know and complete strangers without putting yourself in dangerous or undesirable physical situations. Your experience should always be how you want it to be, and if sexting isn’t going your way, all you have to do is close an app.
Convenience — Whether you’re planning on actually eating and eating out on your date, or just meeting up to date, it always requires some extra effort. For those with super-heavy schedules, or those who just don’t have room in their lives (for whatever reason) for a serious personal relationship, sexting is practically a saving grace. After all, your sex drive doesn’t go down just because you’re busy. Sexting allows you to take care of your sexual needs without giving up on yourself.
freedom — As with most activities behind the screen, sexting allows you to let go of your inhibitions and feel more comfortable exploring your sexual side if you know that there is some barrier between you and the other person. You can experiment with language and ideas that you might not feel comfortable exploring personally.
Exploring trust and intimacy — Being comfortable with another person in close quarters doesn’t always come naturally to everyone — but choosing to sext opens a new level of exploration of intimacy and trust. You never have to meet the person behind the screen if you don’t want to, but being able to feel vulnerable without any strings attached can be a great lesson in being more open.
fun — Let’s be honest here for a second. A sexting night will always be a lot more fun than endlessly swiping right on a dating app and starting the same conversation over and over again. Being able to open an app on your phone and indulge in a little virtual foreplay offers instant gratification and (almost) guaranteed pleasure.
Safety should always come first, but sexting can be liberating, fun, and convenient if you’re willing to give it a try. Maybe you just have to be brave.
What Makes an App Good for Sexting?
Before you jump into any sexting app, there are a few things to keep in mind when choosing:
privacy features — What happens in a sexting app doesn’t always stay in a sexting app; There’s no guarantee your conversations or selfies won’t end up as a screenshot on someone else’s phone. However, certain apps delete photos and conversations after a certain amount of time if you want to try and reduce the chances of something leaking.
security – If you’re looking for a night of no-obligation online fun, it doesn’t matter too much if the person on the other end of your conversation has been verified – but if you want to make sure you’re not being fished or chatting with a bot, consider an app that links social media or verifies users.
user friendliness — You don’t want to find yourself in a hot and steamy conversation trying to figure out how to attach a picture or voice memo. When it comes to sexting, the more user-friendly the platform, the better. You want something that is efficient and fast.
Subscription pricing versus free features — How much are you willing to pay for frills? There are plenty of apps that charge a few pounds a month for premium features if you’re looking for something a little more tailored to your interests, but just as many offer excellent free platforms.
There are other things to consider, like pricing and subscription plans, but these features are a good start.
What is the best app for sexting?
Because sexting is inherent many factors to consider (Consent and privacy, for example) we’ve handpicked the best sexting apps to get you going — that is, to get you off to a great start. We’ve tried to have something for everyone, so take a look at these options and choose your favorite.
These are the best sexting apps in 2023.
https://mashable.com/uk/roundup/best-sexting-apps-uk Best sexting apps in 2023 (UK)