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Text Scarleteen

Want quick answers to your questions, even when you're not near a computer? You can text us or free, anywhere, anytime!

To ask Scarleteen a question via text, text it to us at: (206) 866-2279. The SMS service is free, but message and data rates apply, just like with with any texts you send or recieve to or from anyone. Per mobile restrictions, the SMS service is only available for users in the United States. If you don't need us right now, you can save our number to your phone so that you can reach us easily when you do have a need.

We'll pick up the line as quickly as possible just like we do at the message boards to help you or your friends out fast. We can even go back and forth: if you have more questions after asking one (or we didn't answer you as well as you'd have liked), just respond with more and we can continue the conversation.

Response times may vary, but just like with the message boards many of our users will get answers within less than an hour of asking: some even within minutes. We know sometimes your questions are time-sensitive, so we'll do our best to answer them as fast as we can. Response time may be faster between the hours of 6AM and 11PM PST. Currently, this service is only available for our users in the U.S.

There is no additional fee for texting us: the cost is the same as whatever it costs you to text your friends, so message and data rates from your mobile provider may apply. Your privacy is completely protected: we can't and won't ever see or get your name or your phone number. Our service will instead assign you a totally random user ID. Your answers will come from one of our staff or volunteers, identified by our first names.

Text users are expected to follow our general guidelines for the website when using the text service.

What can you use the text service for?

  • Help you need when you're out looking for it and feeling lost, like with finding emergency contraception (or dealing with a pharmacist refusal), a sexual health clinic, a rape or abuse crisis center or hotline, help with any kind of harassment of bullying, even if you're just trying to find somewhere in your area to buy condoms. Seriously: we'd be happy to look up a map on our end and tell you how to get to a pharmacy or clinic as easily as possible if it's going to help you take care of yourself.
  • Having someone on the line during something scary or tough, just so you feel better. If you need us to be textable for you while you're sweating out those long three minutes on a pregnancy test or waiting for someone you trust to pick you up from a creepy party or date, we're around and glad to sit through it with you.
  • For helping out a friend. Many of our users come to Scarleteen to help others out. If you need help helping someone else, or finding a service for a friend, boyfriend, girlfriend or sibling, we can get you started, even if you're not at home.
  • Questions about the website and our organization in general, including if you're a parent or mentor.

Just like with all other portions of the site and its services, be aware that information via the text service is provided for informational purposes and is NOT meant to and cannot substitute for the advice provided by an in-person medical professional. The information we provide is not meant to be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or for prescribing any medication. You should always consult your own healthcare provider if you have, or think you may have, a health problem or medical condition.

Why did we add the ability to text in?

Because as you probably know, people use texting a whole heaping lot and it's always been our aim to make sex education and information as accessible for you as possible. Teens and young adults have enough on their plates already: we want to make getting the important sexuality, sexual health and relationship info and support you (or they, depending on who is reading this) need easy.

Like other services on Scarleteen, we also like that this is something that (save any usual texting charges) is free for our users and which protects and respects your privacy.

According to a 2008 Nielsen study, teenagers between the ages of 13 to 17 “text more than any other demographic group” clocking up an average of 1,742 texts a month. Approximately 79% of all teens have a mobile device –  a 36% increase since 2005. CTIA-The Wireless Association® released research in 2008 on cell phone use by teens aged 13-19 in the United States. From 100 questions about cell phones, perceptions, and attitudes, some of the results included that: 57% agree or somewhat agree that the cell phone has improved their quality of life and 18% agree or somewhat agree that the cell phone has positively influenced their education. 35% have used their cell phone to reach out to someone in need. (We really like that one.) The younger the teen, the more likely they are to choose text messaging over talking on the phone. 28% of teens are browsing the web on their cell phones. 66% want cell phones to provide the freedom to get an education from any location on earth.

And we want to help them have just that freedom when it comes to the kinds of sexuality education we provide.

Some basic text guidelines we ask you to follow…

  • Scarleteen is NOT meant to replace the advice of a medical professional, and we cannot diagnose via text. For these questions, see a healthcare provider or if it’s an emergency seek emergency medical care.
  • Vulgar, abusive or otherwise harassing language is not okay here. Scarleteen reserves the right to refuse to answer questions for anyone who is verbally abusive, doesn't respect the boundaries we ask for or otherwise harasses us. Please also bear in mind this isn't a phone sex line (which should be obvious from the lack of price tag alone).
  • Scarleteen’s services are safe places. Bigotry of any kind can make staff answering you feel unsafe, and can result in the termination of your texting privileges with us.
  • Please be patient and do not send questions multiple times. Those who answer the texts are usually volunteers, and are not always available. We do generate answers as quickly as possible when we are around.
  • Scarleteen’s services are for providing sexuality education and information, not sexual entertainment – and for your own safety, please don’t ask us or anyone you don’t know on your phone for pornography. We are also not a dating service; please don’t ask us for hook-ups or for our personal information. Lastly, please do not use this service for your amusement: it costs us time and money, which we ask you be respectful of.
  • As a general rule, the text service is best served for shorter questions. Questions requiring more than two texts are better for asking at the message boards (this excludes emergencies, such as help with reporting rape or finding EC).

Once more with feeling, to ask Scarleteen a question via text, just text us at (206) 866-2279. You can put that number in your phone right this very second so that it's there if and when you or someone else needs it.

P.S. If you have a website that teens or young adults go to and you want to promote this service, feel free to copy the graphic above and use it for your site!

Message & Data Rates May Apply. Text STOP to 66746 to opt-out.
Support: support[[at]] / 877.667.4699

Information on this site is provided for educational purposes. It is not meant to and cannot substitute for advice or care provided by an in-person medical professional. The information contained herein is not meant to be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or for prescribing any medication. You should always consult your own healthcare provider if you have a health problem or medical condition.