All of which should be bad news when young people and questionable decisions collide with the dark alleys of the Internet, where even the most ill-gotten of sleaze is posted.
Snapchat did not respond to an interview request from CNN. But in one of only a handful of interviews he's given since launching, Snapchat co-founder Evan Spiegel told TechCrunch he thinks the sex talk about his app is overblown.
"I'm not convinced that the whole sexting thing is as big as the media makes it out to be," he told TechCrunch. "I just don't know people who do that. It doesn't seem that fun when you can have real sex."
But he also acknowledged to TechCrunch that the idea for the app, which he and Bobby Murphy hashed out after meeting at Stanford's Kappa Sigma fraternity house, was partly inspired by U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner's unfortunate decision to share racy photos via Twitter.
So, if not for naughty bits, what exactly is the purpose of sending images and videos that rapidly disappear?
In a September blog post celebrating its first anniversary, Team Snapchat shared a vision that comes off as downright wholesome.
"We believe in sharing authentic moments with friends," it read. "It's not all about fancy vacations, sushi dinners, or beautiful sunsets. Sometimes it's an inside joke, a silly face, or greetings from a pet fish.
"There is value in the ephemeral," the post continues. "Great conversations are magical. That's because they are shared, enjoyed, but not saved."