Sorry about that: Average American has sent dirty texts to the wrong person 6 times!

New survey reveals that one in three adults have sent a nude photo of themselves to someone else.

NEW YORK — “Sorry, that wasn’t meant for you!” If you’ve ever sent a friend a dirty text that was meant for someone else, you’re far from alone. The average American has accidentally sent six intimate messages or photos to the wrong person, a new poll reveals.

Although a third of the 2,000 respondents surveyed – which included an even split of genders and age ranges – admit they’ve sent someone an intimate photo, 43 percent think that nude photos are “taboo,” with Gen Z being the most open-minded. Most respondents have a preference for “sexting” through social media and text messages (54% each). However, more than half of Americans want to change this perspective, agreeing that there should be less stigma around consenting adults sharing these photos (53%).

Run by OnePoll in partnership with Avast Photo Vault, the survey finds that people tend to receive more intimate photos from others than they share of themselves. Half of those who send intimate photos claim they do so at least once a week (52%), and another 29 percent send them once a month or more. Many attribute sexting to maintaining long-distance relationships (46%), being asked by a partner (45%), or feeling attractive (44%), while 42 percent say they just felt like it.

People who enjoy ‘sexting’ still worry about privacy

On the other hand, four in five worry that their intimate pictures could fall into the wrong hands, and 69 percent fear these may be used against them. Similarly, 79 percent are concerned that others have these photos saved on their device – and those who’ve never sent an intimate photo worry about the prospect of them being shared with others (21%) or impacting their reputation (19%).

Perhaps this is because a third of respondents aren’t sure how to safely send an intimate photo (32%). Most admit to keeping their own photos (79%) and others’ (82%) saved on their personal devices in a password-protected folder (48%) or on their device’s gallery (46%). An equal percentage of men and women, 39 percent, keep intimate photos of themselves on their devices.

“Are we all really doing it? Why, yes. A third of Americans have shared a nude photo, and 73 percent do so as often as once a month,” says Shan Boodram, intimacy expert and certified sexologist, in a statement. “It can be a healthy expression between you and your partner! Here’s some advice: before even considering sending these photos, establish a code of trust with the person you’re sharing them with and have an open conversation to ensure privacy on both parties’ end. Be aware of the ways to share and send photos safely.”

Private pics can quickly become public eye candy

Nearly three-quarters of those who shared intimate photos found that they were leaked or shared without their permission (73%). In response, they often pursued legal action (43%) or confronted the person (34%).

“We don’t see the sharing of intimate photos as a fad or trend, but as a part of our ever-growing digital lives, so the need for critical online safety measures is more important than ever. People need to consider a digital shoebox for this content,” says Emma McGowan, privacy and security expert and writer at Avast.

“Mobile security products that contain features to protect users – like photo vaults, which allow users to move photos to an encrypted folder – are safe options,” she adds. “These should be protected by a passcode or Face ID, and images should be removed from the device’s ‘Photos’ app.”


  1. Any media stored on a phone can be hacked or passcode easily stolen by a friend. Best advice is to keep personal private media on a sd card and remove it from phone unless media is being sent to someone.

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