Having a parent or boss read a text in which you describe (in excruciating detail) all the things you want your partner to do to you feels like an offense so mortifying that you’d never survive. Here, 12 people share their sexting horror stories who, against all possible odds, lived to tell their story.
1. “Years ago in high school, an ex and I sexted during a huge snowstorm. Because of the blizzard, my family was home with me for days. My youthful self didn’t think to delete the messages afterward. The day after I sexted my ex, my family and I were playing Rock Band. As I was obliviously banging on the drums with my phone on the couch next to me, my mom sneakily grabbed my phone, sat next to me, and read my messages from last night! I looked at her after the song I was playing finished and asked, ‘What are you doing?’ She simply replied, still reading the messages, ‘Reading your texts.’ I was horrified. Needless to say, I received a lengthy lecture about how to talk to guys and what not to talk about with your boyfriend. I haven’t really made sexting a real thing with my current boyfriend because of that scarring incident. Moral of the story: delete, delete, DELETE!” —Sophia, 23
2. “I was at home and my boyfriend was at work. We had been sexting basically all day and up until about an hour until he got home [when] I decided to change things up a bit.I took out one of the vibrators that he had bought me and I recorded a video of me using it. I sent it and was waiting on a response. I didn’t get any messages from him for an hour, and by that time, I knew he was off work. When he got home, he informed me that he opened it at his desk at work not thinking and three of his bosses saw my video. So basically every time I go see him at work, I feel totally judged by all the guys there, because that is something that you can’t unsee. We also didn’t have sex that night because we were both humiliated.” —Haley, 20
3. “I texted my boyfriend who was mountain biking with his dad, “You still biking or are u ready to ride me?” His dad, who accidentally picked up his phone, replied with ‘Sarah this is Colton’s dad, I’m using his phone this afternoon, but I’ll be sure to pass along the message.'” —Sarah, 21
4. “I was talking to this guy that I met off Tinder. We hadn’t hooked up yet, but we went on multiple dates and texted nonstop. We were texting one day and things started to get extra flirty. He was getting me all sorts of hot and bothered. He was sending me these paragraphs of descriptive, picture-perfect sex scenes. I swear he could be an author if he wanted to. Fifty Shades of Grey has nothing on him. Anyway, I wanted to come back with something equally as good, because I knew I couldn’t top him. I wanted to catch him off guard too. I started typing up something in my “notes” app. It took me all day. I even got help from multiple friends … I was so ready to send it to him and just see what he had to say. So I copy and pasted my note and hit send. Hours went by and I hadn’t heard anything … I was like, ‘Great. I ruined it all.’ I go to look at my text and my heart sank to the ground. I sent it to the wrong person. The wrong person? My cousin. Who is also a David. Family dinners will never be the same.” —Abbey, 23
5. “One night, I was on the phone with my boyfriend and I was telling him about the pictures I’ve taken for him but never actually sent to him. I was always too nervous to send them because they were the raunchiest photos I’ve ever taken. I decided to do it anyway, and I accidentally sent it to his dad! They both have the same name and I sent the picture so quickly that I didn’t double-check to make sure it was the right person! I immediately flipped out and made him call his little sister to delete the picture on his phone while he was sleeping (it was 3:30 a.m.). She didn’t answer, so I had to call his little brother. Eventually, his sister woke up and they both went to delete the picture. Now both of his siblings have seen this mortifying photo of me, and it’s been awkward ever since.” —Liv, 22
6. “I work for my dad and his business partner, who is practically my second dad, and I knew they were out to dinner and drinks one night for business. I was watching TV when I get a text from my boss that said ‘You ready to get naked tonight?’ I knew instantly it was a mistake and replied ‘I hope to God that was for your wife.’ I thought it was hilarious, but he was mortified and told me not to say anything to his wife about it. I also work alongside her in our office so the next morning was a bit awkward when I ran into them, but he had told her, so we all ended up laughing about it in the end.” —Alison, 21
7. “So, my breasts were looking larger than usual … obviously I wanted to take a quick picture and send it over to my boyfriend. Trying to make his Monday a little better, I took a sexy pic and proceeded to message it to him. My phone decided to glitch when I pressed ‘send.’ Meaning, it sent to my work group chat of over 20 people! I’m forever mortified, but I definitely made some other people’s Monday!” —Amber, 22
8. “I am in a very happy and healthy relationship. I see my partner most days of the week, we are ~’NSYNC~ on nearly all levels, and we have an incredible sex life on top of it. I have a pretty mundane office job; I work in a corporate office with cubicles on cubicles with barely any separation between them. My partner and I sometimes like to send each other sexy messages out of the blue, as you do. One day, though, I had planned to send a sexy photo. I took it before work, felt great, was waiting for the break in the conversation where I could slip it in. Once it was sent, I locked my phone and went about my day. In a series of what turned out to be unfortunate events, my boss popped over to ask me about technical issues our department was experiencing. If the internet cuts out throughout the building, cell phones obviously will not be connected either. So I unlocked my phone to check my connection, as my boss was looking over my shoulder, and realized I had fucked up. The last message on my screen was me as naked as it gets and I know my boss has seen it. He tried to pretend he wasn’t looking to begin with and it’s never been brought up; I still saw and knew the look of terror on his face from accidentally invading my privacy. Now, I make sure my messages aren’t up before locking my screen.” —Lily, 24
9. “My grandpa asked me to fix his phone because his texts weren’t sending. He gave me the phone with his latest texts from his girlfriend open. I was in shock after seeing what nasty shit they talked about and nudes they sent. She sent him links to crotchless panties and went in detail about what they were doing that night. He’s old! He’s supposed to be sweet and cute and make desserts with me! I could not keep this in, so I told my mom, which I imagine was much worse for her than for me. I did fix his phone though.” —Erika, 18
10. “One night, when I first started dating my boyfriend, when we hadn’t slept together yet, we started sexting. I had had a few glasses of wine and got a little clumsy, sending an ‘I think it’s time we finally have sex ;)’ text to my platonic guy-friend who has the same name. He responded to my message in literally three seconds with ‘OH MY GOD! Seriously? I didn’t think you thought of me like that but I’m glad we feel the same!’ I had to awkwardly explain that the message was intended for a guy I had started dating … my friend and I don’t talk anymore.” —Hannah, 21
11. “I had gotten some new thigh-high velvet boots and my boyfriend wanted to see me in them … naked. So I obliged and Snapped him a series of topless, thong-on, shake-my-ass-in-the-mirror Snaps. I called him after I sent them and redressed myself preparing to go out to eat. About 15 minutes later, as I’m headed out the door, an old friend of mine calls me. We hadn’t spoken in about year, so I didn’t know why she was calling, but I answered anyway. Right when I pick up, all she says is, ‘DELETE YOUR SNAP STORY!’ Yep, you guessed it. I had accidentally put one of my nude sext videos on my Snap story. About 15 people saw it, including one of his former teammates. I was sick to my stomach, although in hindsight, it’s hilarious.” —Kels, 23
12. “I was messaging a guy I matched with on Tinder. It was in the beginning stages of us chatting and we were sending flirty/suggestive GIFs back and forth, just kinda warming up. Normally when you’re using GIFs, you have to copy and paste the GIF into your message, but on Tinder if you touch the GIF and it just sends right away. So I was looking through the GIFs trying to decide what to send next and as I was scrolling through, I accidentally touched a SHREK GIF. AND IT SENT. Mood killed. Never been more embarrassed. My friends will never let me live down the day I accidentally sent a Tinder match a Shrek GIF.” —Crystal, 19
These confessions have been lightly edited for length clarity.