The 8 Best Sexting Apps of 2018

Here's what savvy consenting adults play with

A man lying in bed checking his messages on his phone.
Mint Images / Getty Images

Sexting, the act of sending nude photos or NSFW (not safe for work) texts, can be a great thing among consenting adults, whether you're in a long-distance relationship, looking to spice things up or getting to know someone new.

The part that's not fun is when a sext gets in front of the wrong pair of eyes, or worse ends up on the internet. It's smart to limit sexting only to those you can trust, but luckily many apps protect your privacy against prying eyes and even screenshots. Be aware that even messages which are encrypted are vulnerable once they reach your phone, so be sure to lock your device using a hard-to-guess password or fingerprint, and delete or archive sensitive photos and videos.  

One advantage to encryption is that the messaging company can't access your history, and thus can't share any data with advertisers, law enforcement, or any third party. Here are the eight best sexting apps according to our research.

Screenshot of Signal website

Signal, Edward Snowden's messaging platform of choice features end-to-end encryption. This type of encryption means that even Open Whisper Systems, the company behind Signal, can't read your messages or listen to your phone calls.

Signal is available on iOS, Android, and desktops.

What We Like

  • Can use the app for private messaging and phone calls
  • Open-source and peer-reviewed, so the app is always up to date
  • Stores very little information about its users

What We Don't Like

  • Need to convince the recipient to download the app
  • Fewer features than competing apps that use Signal's technology
Screenshot of Wickr website

Wickr Me is similar to Signal in that it offers end-to-end encryption, but it also supports desktop platforms including Mac, Windows, and Linux, and you can pick up the conversation where you left off from one device to another. It also doesn't allow you to reset your password, and you don't have to provide any personal information, such as an email address or phone number.

You can send photos, videos, and files up to 10 MB, and can set the amount of time before the message disappears once it's read.

On Android, screenshots get blocked by default. If you enable screenshots, you'll get an alert with an image. On iOS, Apple doesn't let apps prevent screenshots. 

Wickr Me is available on iOS and Android.

What We Like

  • Can set how long a sent message is available
  • Cross-platform compatibility
  • Sends screenshot alerts
  • Doesn't store your data on their servers

What We Don't Like

  • Screenshots blocked by default—only on Android
  • Apple's iOS does not allow developers to block screenshots
  • Your username could out you on screenshots if others know it
Screenshots of Facebook Secret Conversations option on the Messenger app for Android

Facebook's Messenger app has a feature called Secret Conversations that protects your communications with end-to-end encryption based on Signal's technology. You can make any conversation private as long as the recipient has also turned on Secret Conversations and you're using the Facebook Messenger app. Secret Conversations isn't available on Facebook's desktop app or messenger.com.

Facebook Secret Conversations is available on iOS and Android.

What We Like

  • An easy way to communicate privately with Facebook friends
  • Uses Signal's secure end-to-end encryption
  • Can set an expiration time for messages

What We Don't Like

  • Have to ensure recipient turns the feature on
Screenshot of Dust Android app

Dust's main draw is disappearing messages. All messages vanish after 24 hours or immediately after being read (your preference). You can even erase messages from the recipient's phone. Also, Dust can detect if a screenshot is taken within the app, and will alert the sender. But even if the recipient shares that screenshot with others, the sender's identity is hidden, as long as the message doesn't contain identifying text or a photo of the sender.

Dust is available on iOS and Android.

What We Like

  • All messages disappear in 24 hours or when read
  • You'll get notified if someone takes a screenshot
  • In one-to-one messages, the sender's identity is hidden

What We Don't Like

  • Some users on Google Play complain of frequent crashing and trouble with updates
Screenshot of Confide website

Confide takes privacy a step further with screenshot blocking in addition to end-to-end-encryption. If a user captures a screenshot of a message, it will show up blank. Also, texts disappear as soon as the recipient reads them, and the sender's identity doesn't display on that screen. The free version of the app places limitations on the number of messages, attachments, and other data you can send, but the company doesn't disclose what these limitations are. You can earn extra ones by inviting friends to the app, though.

When you read a message on Confide, you have to slide down the screen to see one line at a time, which reduces the chances of someone glancing at your screen and seeing personal information or photos.

Confide Plus, a premium version ($4.99 per user per month billed annually) includes unlimited photos, videos, attachments, and stickers, and has a message-retraction feature if you need to un-send a message.

Confide is available on iOS and Android.

What We Like

  • Screenshots of messages from the app show up blank
  • Sender's name not displayed with messages
  • Can read only one line of text at a time
  • Messages disappear after the recipient views them

What We Don't Like

  • Free version has sending limits on messages and attachments
  • Unknown limit on the number of messages and attachments allowed on the free version
  • Easy to accidentally enroll in the free trial option for Confide Plus
Screenshot of Viber home page

Viber Messenger, like most of the apps on this list, has end-to-end encryption and self-destructing messages. You can use it for voice calls, videos chats, and texts. The app also enables you to create trusted contacts, and you'll get an alert if their contact details change. Communications with trusted contacts have a green icon, others, a grey one, and if there's an issue with the encryption key, a red one. Chat extensions add support for GIFs, in-chat web searches, and sharing music and videos.

Viber is available on iOS and Android.

What We Like

  • Trusted contacts feature adds reassurance that chats are private
  • Can set messages to self-destruct and delete sent messages
  • Screenshot alerts available

What We Don't Like

  • By default, there aren't alerts for screenshots
Screenshot of WhatsApp website

Owned by Facebook, WhatsApp has end-to-end encryption based on Signal's code and optional two-factor authentication, in which a series of numbers is required along with your login credentials to open the app. WhatsApp supports voice and video calls and voice messages in addition to text messages, and you can share files up to 100 MB.

WhatsApp is available on iOS, Android, Mac, and Windows and Mac computers.

What We Like

  • Your contacts are probably familiar with the app if they don't already use it
  • Messages are not stored on WhatsApp servers and company can't read them

What We Don't Like

  • Doesn't block or alert users about screenshots
  • Full name of original sender displayed with messages
Screenshots of the OhMiBod App

OhMiBod is a sexting app that also acts as a remote that you or your partner can use to control compatible sex toys (link NSFW) via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. The company says it does not store any of your data, including photos, videos, and other activity, on its servers; everything is stored locally on your device. There are a variety of modes and intensities that you can play with, and the app includes stock messages you can send to your partner, or you can tap out your own.

OhMiBod is available on iOS and Android.

What We Like

  • Data stored locally on your device
  • Takes sexting to a new level

What We Don't Like

  • Data is not encrypted
  • Only one participant can have a connected toy