A guide to sexting: is it possible to have safe sex online?

According to Clue and Kinsey’s 2017 international sex survey, 67% of adults have engaged in sexting. In spite of that, sexual relations through the phone remains taboo. If you’ve ever met someone online, you may have found yourself asking: Am I being cat-fished? Is my information safe? Who exactly am I talking to? It’s a risky business and there’s a reason there are so many horror stories out there. In this article, we take a quick look at the ways to make online sex as safe as possible.

Before we dive in, it’s important to say that The New Feminist takes internet safety very seriously. This article is exclusively for adults. For parents, guardians and those looking for material on sexual education and internet safety, please explore the links below.

For consenting adults looking to engage in sexual activity online, there are ways to optimise your safety while ‘doing it’. Remember, safe sex is sexy sex!

Talk to people you trust

If you are looking to connect with people you know in the real world, make sure it’s with someone you can rely on. A 2019 survey for the American Psychological Association found that 1 in 12 women in the United States had been victims of revenge porn. This is the sharing of explicit images or videos without consent. If you truly trust the person you are sexting, your private conversations are less likely to be shared with the world.

Having said that, as seen in Netflix’s terrifying new documentary the Tinder Swindler, people can betray, deceive and mislead you. This is where a platform like Arousr comes in handy. Arousr is a fun, safe and sexy alternative to traditional sexting. All information is stored privately, even from the Chat Hosts you choose to sext with. When you get started, you’ll even get free credits.

Verify your partners

While it’s your life, it’s not wise to be sending explicit content to someone you’ve not verified. Much of the internet is unknown; it’s scary and deep. Unfortunately very little you do online is entirely secure. However, as previously mentioned, with Arousr all Chat Hosts’ identities are fully verified and everyone consents to explicit conversations. Arousr really does take care of all the stress surrounding sexting.

Phone with purple lighting, sexting

Set boundaries

Consent should always be the priority when it comes to sex and relationships. Take some time to figure out what it is you want from this relationship, situationship or otherwise-ationship. Check in with yourself: do you want a flirty affair or are you looking to explore a new kink? Having a goal in mind is no bad thing and if you are open with the other person, you’ll be on your way to getting what you want. Even more importantly, setting these expectations will likely be a step to having safe sex online.

Cover your identifying features when sexting

This one may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s an important reminder. If you are sending images or video and wish to remain unidentifiable, ensure to cover up things like tattoos and birthmarks. Oh, and maybe don’t do a sexy photoshoot in front of that unique household feature.

With that, happy sexting feminists!

Sex & Relationships Sub-Editor