The 8 Best Sexting Apps of 2019

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 fun among consenting adults who are in a long-distance relationship, getting to know someone new, or looking to spice things up with a long-term partner.

What's not so fun is when a sext gets in front of the wrong pair of eyes or, worse, ends up online. It's smart to limit sexting to those you trust. To amp up the privacy factor more, use apps specifically designed to protect online privacy.

Encrypted messages are vulnerable once they reach your phone. Lock your device with a hard-to-guess password or fingerprint, and delete or archive sensitive material. 

One advantage of these apps is that the service can't access your history. Without access to your history, these apps can't share data with advertisers, law enforcement, or any third party. Here are the eight best apps we've found for keeping your sexting private.

01
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Best for Private Communications: Signal

Screenshot of Signal website

What We Like

  • Use for private messaging and phone calls.

  • Open-source, peer-reviewed, and always up to date.

  • Stores little information about users.

What We Don't Like

  • Recipient must download the app.

  • Fewer features than competing apps that use Signal technology.

Signal, Edward Snowden's messaging platform of choice, features end-to-end encryption, meaning that Open Whisper Systems, the company behind Signal, can't read your messages or listen to your calls. Signal is available for Android, iPhone, Mac, Windows, and Debian-based Linux.

02
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Best Alternative for Secure Communications: Wickr Me

Screenshot of Wickr website

What We Like

  • Set how long a message is available.

  • Cross-platform compatibility.

  • Sends screenshot alerts.

  • Doesn't store data on servers.

What We Don't Like

  • Screenshots blocked by default (Android only).

  • iOS doesn't allow developers to block screenshots.

  • Your username could out you on screenshots if others know it.

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. You don't have to provide personal information, such as an email address or phone number.

Send photos, videos, and files up to 10 MB, and set the amount of time before the message disappears once it's read. You can also pick up a conversation where you left off from one device to another

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. 

03
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Best for Wary Facebook Users: Facebook Secret Conversations

Screenshots of Facebook Secret Conversations option on the Messenger app for Android

What We Like

  • Communicate privately with Facebook friends.

  • Uses Signal's secure end-to-end encryption.

  • Set an expiration time for messages.

What We Don't Like

  • Have to ensure recipient turns the feature on.

The Facebook Messenger app has a feature called Secret Conversations that protects communications with end-to-end encryption based on Signal technology. 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 the Facebook desktop app or messenger.com.

04
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Best for Disappearing Messages: Dust

Screenshot of Dust Android app

What We Like

  • Messages disappear in 24 hours or when read.

  • Notified if someone takes a screenshot.

  • Hides sender identity in one-to-one messages.

What We Don't Like

  • Some users on Google Play complain of frequent crashes and trouble with updates.

Dust's main draw is disappearing messages. All messages vanish after 24 hours or immediately after being read (depending on 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 identity is hidden, as long as the message doesn't contain identifying text or a photo of the sender.

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05
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Best for Screenshot-Proof Communications: Confide

Screenshot of Confide website

What We Like

  • Screenshots of messages are blank.

  • Messages don't display sender names.

  • Read one line of text at a time.

  • Messages disappear after the recipient views them.

What We Don't Like

  • Free version has sending limits.

  • Unknown limit on messages and attachments in the free version.

  • Easy to accidentally enroll in the Confide Plus free trial.

In addition to end-to-end-encryption, Confide takes privacy a step further with screenshot blocking. If a user captures a screenshot of a message, it shows up blank. Also, texts disappear as soon as the recipient reads them, and sender identity doesn't display. The free version places limitations on the number of messages, attachments, and other data that can be sent, but the company doesn't disclose what these limitations are.

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 for Windows, Mac, iPhone, iPad, and Android.

06
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Best for Chats with More Security Controls: Viber Messenger

Screenshot of Viber home page

What We Like

  • Trusted contacts feature adds reassurance that chats are private.

  • Set messages to self-destruct and delete sent messages.

  • Screenshot alerts available.

What We Don't Like

  • The default is no alerts for screenshots.

Viber Messenger, like most of the apps on this list, has end-to-end encryption and self-destructing messages. Use it for voice calls, video chats, and texts. It 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 have a grey icon. If there's an issue with the encryption key, a contact has a red icon. Chat extensions add support for GIFs, in-chat web searches, and sharing music and videos. Viber is available for Android, iOS, Windows, and Mac.

07
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Best for Multi-Platform Private Conversations: WhatsApp

Screenshot of WhatsApp website

What We Like

  • Contacts may be familiar with the app.

  • Messages aren't stored on WhatsApp servers and the company can't read them.

What We Don't Like

  • Doesn't block or alert users about screenshots.

  • Full name of original sender displays with messages.

Owned by Facebook, WhatsApp uses end-to-end encryption based on Signal's code and optional two-factor authentication, in which a series of numbers is required along with 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. What'sApp is available for Android, iPhone, Windows Phone, Mac, and Windows.

08
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Best for a Little More Than Sexting: OhMiBod

Screenshots of the OhMiBod App

What We Like

  • Data is stored on your device.

  • Takes sexting to a new level.

What We Don't Like

  • Data isn't encrypted.

  • Only one participant can have a connected toy.

OhMiBod is a sexting app that also acts as a remote that you or your partner can use to control compatible sex toys (this link is NSFW) using Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. The company says it doesn't store personal 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 create your own.

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