Even in a world where online dating has become the norm and it's now possible to skip the tiring process of scouring bars and events for other singles in order to get a date, sometimes it's just the thought of going on the date that's tiring.
No matter what kind of encounter you plan, it will always require some sort of physical effort. We're going to put this simply: we all have sexual needs, and sometimes we'd just like to satisfy those needs with human connection that doesn't require the extra effort of meeting someone in person. For that, we have sexting.
Sexting is the
act art of sending sexually explicit photos or messages to one or more people.
Considering the pandemic and the fact that meeting up with total strangers probably isn't the best thing for public health, using apps to chat and sext with singles is a safer, healthier option to continue socializing and getting your sexy time in, without the health risks. Several apps began offering more virtual services as a result of the pandemic.
It's important to remember a few basic rules:
No app can completely protect your privacy for you — that's your job. Though apps like Confide and Dust have certain features that are designed to protect your identity/content, they don't rule out all scenarios. For example, someone doesn't need to take a screenshot to capture a picture you send. They could easily just use another phone or device to snap or record whatever you send. You should always keep this in mind before sending anything that could be compromising, and do your best to make sure you trust the person who's receiving your messages.
Assess the situation and know your audience. Usually it doesn't take much more than a few pre-sext texts (or pre-sexts) to gauge whether or not someone is interested in doing the cyber-dirty with you. Take the time to figure that out before you lead with something raunchy and uncalled-for. AKA 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 the scary ability to make fleeting moments very permanent. If someone asks you to keep something to yourself, you better do it. While sexting can be light and fun, it also requires a serious level of trust. If you betray that trust, you're ruining it for everybody.
Sexting vs. dating in real life
Real-life dating is obviously the best way to get to know somebody long term, especially if you're looking for any kind of serious, in-person relationship. And real sex will always be better than sexting. *However,* sexting is an alternative that may help you out in ways you didn't even think about.
Convenient: Whether you plan on actually wining and dining your date or just meeting to hook up, it always requires some extra effort. For those with super hectic schedules or those who just don't have room in their life (for whatever reason) for a steady in-person relationship, sexting is practically a saving grace. After all, your sex drive doesn't go away just because you're busy. Sexting allows you to take care of your sexual needs without putting yourself out.
Liberating: As is the case with most behind-the-screen activities, with sexting, you can let go of your inhibitions a bit and feel more comfortable exploring your sexual side knowing there's a certain barrier between you and the other person. You can experiment with language and ideas that maybe you wouldn’t feel completely comfortable exploring in person.
Safe: We've touched on the reasons why sexting might not be completely safe in terms of privacy, but to its credit, sexting offers an element of safety that in-person meetings don't. Sexting allows you to interact with both people you know and total strangers without putting yourself in dangerous or unwanted physical situations. Your experience should always be what you want it to be, and with sexting, if it's not going in the direction you want, it's just a matter of closing an app.
The best dating apps for sexting
Since sexting, by nature, comes with a lot of factors to consider (consent and privacy, for example), we've picked out the best sexting apps to get you off — to a good start, that is.
Our number one pick goes to Plenty of Fish for covering the most bases. Its huge pool of singles and strategic new conversation features put it at the top. For privacy-wary sexters, our favorite is Confide, which we like for their Screenshield technology. (More on that later.)
Here are the 8 best sexting apps for all your NSFW exchanges:
AdultFriendFinderFind a sexting partner fast, no small talk or long website registration required.
- Basic version: Free
- One month Gold subscription: $27.95
- Three month Gold subscription: $59.85
- 12 month Gold subscription: $179.40
Upon registering, you'll be asked questions about your sexual preferences and experiences to help decide how compatible you might be with other users. Some that pop up are formatted as have-you-ever questions regarding kissing, foreplay, porn, and more.
Why it's good for sexting: Everything on this site screams sex, so you'll be able to find a dirty talk partner really easily. There are tons of active users online constantly, so if you log on and you just really need to sext, like *now* there's no shame. You'll be able to find someone to chat with almost immediately. It's a sex-forward community (basically everyone on AFF is looking for the same thing), so you won't have to stumble through small talk to feel out if the other person is looking to get sexy. Your sexual preferences and experiences are used to rank your compatibility with other users too, so you can find a similar (or different) minded person to engage in an online booty call with.
Cons: There's a lot of nudity on the site, so squeamish and first-time sexters might find it a bit graphic. You'll also pay for all the sexual content you're getting, so AdultFriendFinder is quite a bit more expensive than other sites. There aren't any real security or privacy measures either, so it's really left up to you to protect yourself.
Plenty of FishIt's not connected to your social media, so Plenty of Fish offers that extra bit of anonymity.
- Basic membership: Free
- Two month upgraded plan: $38.70
- Four month upgraded plan: $51
- Eight month upgraded plan: $79.92
Game-changer: Plenty of Fish recently rolled out some that definitely upped its sexting potential. Called "Conversation Powers," users can now send voice messages, make video calls, and send photo messages. This lets users get more personal by seeing and even hearing each other in realtime (which, let's face it, can be a lot hotter than words on a screen) without having to fork over their phone number. The catch? These features only become available once users have been chatting for a certain period of time.
Not for impatient sexters: Aside from a lengthy sign-up process, some of the features on Plenty of Fish are designed to encourage lengthier interactions. For example, Conversation Powers only become available once users have been chatting for a certain period of time. While this might be frustrating for some users, it’s actually a great feature that encourages you to get to know the person you’re talking to a little better before you start exchanging pictures. We imagine few things are worse than realizing you don’t even vibe with someone after you’ve already sent them mirror shots of your private bits.
ConfideIf privacy is everything to you, Confide makes it nearly impossible for others to trace a message or sext to you.
- Basic membership: Free
- Confide Plus (premium features): $4.99/month
- Confide Pro (businesses and teams): $15/month
Why it's good for sexting: Nothing quite knocks the libido out of you like finding out your private messages have been screenshot and shared against your will. While a screenshot "notification" is better than no notification at all, we're pretty sure you'd rather the screenshot just not exist. is your saving grace in that respect since a screenshot of one line of a sext without your name attached isn't likely to be very incriminating.
DustDust has tons of privacy features that can help keep you anonymous, as long as you want to be.
- Price: Free
Why it's good for sexting: is theoretically totally untraceable since you don't have to use self-identifying information to sign up and nothing is ever permanently stored. However, even the most careful sexters have slip-ups and may reveal too much, which is why the "delete message" feature is great.
Downsides: Dust actually does prevent screenshots in some spaces on the app (like messaging), but only on Android. But for other operating systems: anyone can still screenshot what you send, so keep that in mind.
SnapchatIt doesn't have the privacy features of some of the more sexting-focused apps, but Snapchat does have the most people.
- Price: Free
You can add all the filters and celebrity stories you want, but is still a great sexting app. The app’s main original function enables you to send pictures to other users which will automatically disappear within a few seconds. Users can choose a time limit of 1-10 seconds, or choose the infinity option which lets the recipient view the photo for as long as they want before they close out of the window. Additionally, the app also has a feature that notifies the sender if the recipient screenshots their photo. What that means: you can send bae a brief glimpse of the goods without worrying if they’re secretly showing it to others behind your back.
Why it's good for sexting: The more people are in a space, the more chances you have to find what you’re looking for.
Cons: While the screenshot notification gives you the benefit of knowing when someone screenshots your pictures, it doesn’t really do much for you after the fact, since all you can really do at that point is confront the person and hope they’re respectful of your privacy.
TinderWhen it comes down to it, Tinder is a sexting/messaging app more than a dating app anyway.
- Basic account: Free
- One month of Tinder Plus: $4.99
- Six months of Tinder Plus: $14.99
- 12 months of Tinder Plus: $19.99
- One month of Tinder Gold: $14.99
- Six months of Tinder Gold: $44.99
- 12 months of Tinder Gold: $59.99
- One month of Tinder Platinum: $19.99
- Six months of Tinder Platinum: $59.99
- 12 months of Tinder Platinum: $79.99
Why it's good for sexting: While is technically a dating app, its reputation tends to skew more towards a hookup app. But unlike more serious, paid apps like Match, Tinder tends to attract people who are open to something casual. Tinder's setup also makes for super easy browsing without the hassle of creating an in-depth profile, so you don't have to fill out all the compatibility-focused questions and can instead focus on the reason you're really there — to find someone you think is hot enough to sext with.
The upgraded memberships come with nice perks if you're using the app for sexting, too. With a Tinder Plus membership, you can choose to keep your profile information private until you like another user's profile. With Tinder Gold, you can see who likes you before you swipe, and swipe around the world (for some cultured dirty talk). Finally, with Tinder Platinum, you don't even need to match with someone to message them, just slide into the DMs immediately.
Bonus: According to a survey, over 70% of Tinder users with their matches in person. Normally this wouldn't be considered a bonus, but in the world of sexting? All we hear is "popular dating app where there's not a lot of pressure to actually meet up." Ding ding ding. We have a winner.
matchIf you feel kind of creepy sexting on Tinder, match could be a better place for you.
- Basic membership: Free, but extremely limited
- Three months of Standard: $71.97
- Six months of Standard: $125.94
- 12 months of Standard: $239.88
- Three months of Premium: $80.97
- Six months of Premium: $143.94
- 12 months of Premium: $251.88
Why match works as a sexting app: Like Plenty of Fish, match has a large userbase of singles, comprised of more than paid members. If sexting is what you’re into, the odds are in your favor as far as finding someone who’s on the same page. You’re also not limited to which profiles you can interact with, so you’re not completely doomed if your recommended matches aren’t looking for something a little more risqué.
Cons: match does tend to skew more on the mature side, but on that note, if you feel you’ve surpassed the age limit on Tinder where you can't send messages without feeling a bit creepy, match is a great option.
ZooskZoosk doesn't offer privacy protection, but could hook you up with someone truly great.
- One month: $29.95
- Three months: $59.95
- Six months: $74.95
- 12 months: $149.88
Why it's good for sexting: Aside from a large pool of members and an easy-to-use app, Zoosk's photo verification factor really shines. In a world where fake profiles and catfishes are commonplace, knowing that who you're chatting with is actually as hot as you think they are can add a whole new level of excitement to your sext life.
Downside: isn't free and doesn't offer any sort of screenshot protection. However, by paying for membership you're less likely to worry about reaching out to inactive accounts and wasting time talking to people who don't intend to get the most out of the app.