Lots of people find it easier or less embarrassing to talk and share images via text, email and instant messaging, as talking about sex and fantasies face-to-face isn’t always that easy (or sexy!).
But it’s important to know that once you send or upload an image or video, you lose all control over it. Even if you use apps like Snapchat, everything you share could be sent on or uploaded and potentially seen by anyone, including your friends and family, and total strangers. With Snapchat people can also take screenshots and capture your image on their phone. And what's more, those messages, images or video could potentially exist forever and could resurface when you least expect it, such as when applying for a job or for university.
Think before you press ‘send’. Would you be happy for all of your class, or your partner’s friends, to see what you’re about to text? Even if you are happy in your relationship now and trust the person you are texting, things can change.
There are a number of potential pitfalls or consequences linked to sexting, which may not seem obvious at the time, such as:
It is important to remember that it is your choice. You should never be pressured into doing or sending something you don’t want to.
If you are with someone who puts pressure on you to send sexual messages, but you don’t want to, you could be in an abusive relationship. If you’re worried or want to find out more, visit our page on abusive relationships which describes the signs that you're in an abusive relationship and which links to organisations you can visit or talk to for more information and advice.
Page last reviewed: March 2016
Next review due: March 2017