Here’s What Sexual Harassment Looks Like on Bumble
At Bumble, we’re dedicated to maintaining a safe place for our community so that they can put themselves out there and make new connections. Part of that means keeping sexual harassment off our app—and helping to ensure that it doesn’t happen when matches meet up in person, or move the chat off Bumble.
Bumble considers sexual harassment as any unwanted or unwelcome sexual behaviors between members. What Bumble sees as sexual harassment in regards to our platform is a little stricter than what might generally be considered as such elsewhere, so we’re outlining what isn’t allowed and what may get you a warning (or kicked off the app) so that our community can keep swiping safely and respecfully.
Starting off a conversation with sexual content
It’s against Bumble’s policy to begin a conversation with sexual jokes, sexual innuendos (including emojis), sexual advances, lewd GIFs, or sexual comments (i.e., “you look yummy.”). This is because you haven’t obtained consent before making the conversation sexual, and when you say these things without knowing your match at all, it could come across as offensive or make them uncomfortable. It’s also not a respectful way to start any conversation.
If you’re unsure how to begin a chat with a match, you can try out our Question Game or check out some of our favorite convo starters here.
Sending unwanted sexual advances or comments
At any point in a conversation with a match, it’s not acceptable to send sexually explicit messages without first making sure they’re wanted or welcomed by your match. This can include unwanted sexual questions, comments, or jokes; requests for nude images; questions about someone’s sexual history; unwanted advances, sexting, fetishization, or sexual audio notes; and unwelcome sexual comments about someone’s body, clothing, or appearance. Using Bumble BFF or Bumble Bizz to intentionally seek romantic or sexual relationships is also considered sexual harassment, as folks are specifally using those modes for friend-finding and networking.
We understand that it can sometimes be hard to know if or when it’s appropriate to make a conversation sexual, so a good rule of thumb is never to assume that a match will want to engage with you in that manner. And even if you’ve had a fun, consensual, sexually-charged chat with a match in the past, you can’t assume that they’ll still be open to that kind of conversation that next month (or even week!).
If it’s important to you to take the connection to a sexual place, wait until you know a match well enough to know that they’d be receptive to a sexual comment. You could also respectfully ask if they’d be open to making the conversation sexual. (Also, be mindful of your timing when you bring this up—if someone tells you that they had a terrible day at work or their dog just died, it’s not the time to do so!) Remember: Consent is key, so if you want to make your connections sexual in any way, check with your match to make sure that it would be welcomed.
Sending unsolicited sexual imagery
Bumble has a zero-tolerance policy for sending someone unsolicited nude images or videos, on or off the app, and doing so will get you banned from Bumble. If a match doesn’t ask for them, sending unwanted photos or videos like this can be shocking, intimidating, a serious violation of their boundaries—and in some places, against the law. This means no unwelcome nudes, photos in your underwear, or unsolicited sexually explicit videos or video calls.
We also don’t allow members to send unsolicited or unwanted sexual memes, GIFs, animations, drawings, or pornography links. If you haven’t established a connection or mutually decided to take the conversation to a sexual place, you can’t and shouldn’t assume that your match would be open to sexual content like this.
Trying to have virtual sex without consent
While we know that sex can be an important and fun part of any relationship, it’s against our policy for Bumble users to try and have virtual sex or start sexting with a match without consent. Enthusiastic consent is a necessary and vital part of any sexual encounter, including virtual ones. If you’re unsure of how to obtain digital consent, we have some suggestions that won’t dampen the mood here.
Off-app sexual harassment
Our mission at Bumble is to foster healthy and equitable connections, so your off-app behavior matters too. You can get banned from Bumble for in-person indecent exposure, such as unwanted flashing on a date, or for sending matches unsolicited or unwelcome sexual photos on another platform or over text.
Bumble also takes non-consensual intimate image sharing (sometimes referred to as “revenge porn”) extremely seriously. If you share or threaten to share sexual images, videos, or even screenshots of sexual conversations on any website or platform, without the knowledge or consent of the person involved or depicted, you will be banned from Bumble immediately. This applies even if the images were initially shared with you consensually. Just because someone might choose to send you sexual photos, doesn’t mean they’re okay with others seeing these private images. (This behavior is also against the law in many states and internationally).
Remember: Behind every profile is an actual person, and they might not be looking for the same dating experience that you are, which is something that you have to be aware and respectful of to be part of the Bumble community. If you experience sexual harassment on Bumble or with a Bumble match IRL or on another platform or text, never hesitate to Block & Report the member.
If you don’t follow these guidelines, you’ll run the risk of receiving a warning from Bumble’s support team or being kicked off of the platform entirely. Please swipe, match, and message with respect and consent in mind.