Sexting is when someone sends a sexually explicit image or message to another person. Traditionally people used SMS to send explicit text based messages, but with the recent boom in social media use and image based platforms such as Snapchat and Instagram – sexting is now more commonly associated with social media use.
Sexting isn’t exclusive to mobile devices, anybody can send messages or images of a sexual nature through computers, tablets or any other device that allows people to access social media and share images or messages with others.
Although most demographics engage in sexting, it has become very popular for teenagers and young people because they spend more time using the internet and are more likely to connect and develop online based relationships.
People have been exchanging explicit messages and images with their partners (and strangers) for as long as technology has allowed – this is nothing new. However, the combination of technological advancements, the rise in image based social media platforms and a huge increase in distance or internet based relationships has led to the exchanging of explicit images becoming more and more popular within all demographics.
Sexting has become so widespread, that people have even created new terms that are used as alternatives to the word ‘sexting’. Some of the popular terms are:
As sexting’s popularity increases, associated problems continue to manifest themselves. It is important that anybody considering the sharing of explicit images with other people is aware of the risks associated with sexting before hitting send. Some of the potential risks associated with sexting are:
Although sexting can be harmless and for the most part is not considered to be a crime, in most countries and states it is a crime to have and/or share sexually explicit images of a minor regardless whether it was consensual or not – the ‘official’ age of a minor varies greatly from country to country and even state to state. Most countries and states are introducing laws to prohibit the non-consensual sharing or promotion of explicit images of others. Visit our Revenge Porn section for further information.
There is a wide variety of reasons someone might sext or want to send sexually explicit images to someone else. Some common reasons include:
If you do choose to sext someone, make sure the recipient is someone you can trust and that you are aware of all the risks before sending anything at all. Never sext because you feel pressured and be sure to get advice from your friends (the sensible ones). All it takes is that one person to share the content online – and your life could change forever.
If you need help for sexting or revenge porn we can help. Visit our Total Access Support section to learn more about the various ways we can help you with your problem or use our Global Support Service to access trained support advisors wherever you are in the world.