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What’s all the fuss about Sexting?

This article was written by a young person as part of our #YouDeserve: Healthy Relationships Campaign. To find out more about the campaign click here.

With the rise of accessible technology, sexting has become increasingly popular particularly among young people. But do you know all you should about sexting? #YouDeserve to make informed choices about what you do, so make sure you stay safe by reading this article! 

What is sexting?

Sexting is when sexual photographs, videos or messages are sent to friends, romantic partners or even to strangers online. Sexting includes:

Sexting is legal for adults over 18. However, it is not legal for these images to be shared without the sender’s consent. If you are under 18, it is illegal to send, receive or share sexual content including texts, emails, photographs and videos.

Can I ask someone to sext?

It might be tempting to ask to sext or to be sent a nude if you’re exploring your sexuality or are in a relationship. However, it’s always important to consider how the other person may feel if they were asked. If you’d like to explore sexting, make sure that you consider these things first: 

What are the risks of sexting?

There are a lot of risks when it comes to sexting. Once a message, video or image has been sent, the sender has lost control of what happens to it. Remember, these things could happen:

Why do people sext?

Despite the risks, there are many reasons why sexting is increasingly common in young people. Let’s take a look at some reasons why people sext:

“It’s the norm” – Quite often, people think that sexting is common and that everyone is doing it, so they feel like they should too.

“It’s enjoyable” – For some people, sexting is a fun way to explore your sexuality online.

“It gives me confidence” – People may find that sexting makes them feel happier about their bodies and gives them a boost of confidence. People who sext may like the attention they receive immediately after sending a photo, video or message.

“I felt that I had to” – People can be encouraged or pressured to take part in sexting, particularly when it involves sexual images and videos. Remember, sexting should be consensual between people over the age of 18. Pressure to send nudes can look like:

 What should I do if I feel pressured to sext?

Sexting should be consensual between people aged 18 or older. It’s not okay for somebody to make you feel pressured to sext. If somebody won’t stop messaging you for nudes or are sending inappropriate messages, images, or videos, you can keep yourself and other young people safe by blocking and reporting them.

If you don’t feel like that you can do this as you’re in a relationship with the person, try explaining how you feel. Part of being in a healthy relationship is being able to openly communicate how you feel without being scared or worried.

Even though some people say that they are sexting, know that they might not be. Remember that a good friend or partner will not make you do something that makes you feel uncomfortable.

What can I do if I’ve shared a nude?

If you’ve taken part in sexting and are worried about what might happen, there are a few things that you can do:

Need advice?

If you’d like more information, guidance and support about sexting, check out these useful links: 

Additional Information

This article is part of the Healthy Relationships campaign. If you would like to read more about the Healthy Relationships campaign and see more content including information and support for young people’s experiences, click here.

If you want help or advice about relationships, or if there’s anything else worrying you, then you can call Meic and speak to a friendly advisor. Meic is an information and advocacy helpline open from 8am to midnight, 7 days a week, for children and young people aged in Wales.


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