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Let's face it - we live in a world where online hookups has become the modern-day equivalent to the classic "meet-cute" in every '90s rom-com. But in real life, it's never as simple as it's portrayed on the big screen boy meets girl, boy falls in love with girl. Instead, it looks more like scouring an overcrowded bar for other singles, hoping to find a connection with at least one other person.
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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.
The best sexting apps
No app can completely protect your privacy for you — that's your job. 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.
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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. 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. 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.
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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.
Since sexting, by nature, comes with a lot of factors to consider consent and privacy, for examplewe've picked out the best sexting apps to get you off — to a good start, that is. Our 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.
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For privacy-wary sexters, our favorite is Confidewhich we like for their Screenshield technology. More on that later.
The breakdown: AdultFriendFinder doesn't pretend to be a dating site: It's very much a hookup and sex-oriented platform. The site itself looks like a porn site, so it's not exactly for the faint-hearted — be prepared to see nudes, explicit videos, and dirty text from the moment you log on.
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AFF is inclusive of all sexual orientations and genders, and there are so many people online at all times, that you're sure to find plenty of suitable matches. You won't be hounded with a bunch of upfront, formal dating questions like you would at dating sites like Match or Plenty of Fish, so you can get to chatting right away. 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.
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 thingso 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.
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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. The breakdown: Plenty of Fish really has all the makings of a great sexting app. First of all, its reported registered user base is over million worldwide, with 57 million connections made every week.
Like its name would suggest, there are plenty of fish in this sea, and odds are, some of them are looking to sext. To conveniently narrow your search, the dating app's somewhat long introductory survey allows you to specify what you're looking for upfront. Discretion is also something to be valued at Plenty of Fish, since they don't require you to connect any social media when ing up. Technically, you don't even have to use your real name — a username will suffice.
All communication between members is totally free, so you don't have much to lose. Game-changer: Plenty of Fish recently rolled out some new features 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.
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 -up process, some of the features on Plenty of Fish are deed to encourage lengthier interactions. For example, Conversation Powers only become available once users have been chatting for a certain period of time.
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The breakdown: Confide was created based on the idea that your online conversations should be as private as your in-person conversations. According to the site, Confide's goal is to allow users to have "honest, unfiltered, off-the-record conversations. Using "Screenshield technology," all messages sent and received on Confide can only be read one line at a time.
To read, users either run their finger or mouse over the message line-by-line until they have read the entire thing lines will disappear pretty much immediately after they are read. Confide will also never show a user's name on the same screen as the message. 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.
Confide 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. The breakdown: Dust is another Snapchat-like app that focuses on disappearing messages with the addition of encryption.
Though you can connect your social networks in order to see which of your contacts are also using the app, Dust doesn't require you to up with anything other than a username and password. Messages are never permanently stored and all will be erased after 24 hours, whether they have been read or not.
Screenshot notifications are a thing, and like Confide, Dust will never show your name on the same as your message, so a screenshot can never tie you directly to a piece of text.
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Why it's good for sexting: Dust is theoretically totally untraceable since you don't have to use self-identifying information to 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 messagingbut only on Android.
But for other operating systems: anyone can still screenshot what you send, so keep that in mind. The breakdown: Snapchat has moved its way up the app food chain to become a staple in the mainstream social media roster, putting it on the same plane as Facebook and Instagram. You can add all the filters and celebrity stories you want, but Snapchat is still a great sexting app.
Users can choose a time limit of 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. The breakdown: Few haven't heard of Tinderthe widely-used hookup dating app that originated the "swipe right for yes, left for no" concept.
The way Tinder works is pretty much just that.