I agree with the many answers saying that you can't expect this word to be understood in most English speaking areas, including the US.
But you requested an alternative phrase. Here are some I'm familiar with in America:
- having frivolous sex
- playing, or wasting time
Lacking a sexual context, I would definitely assume the 2nd definition, but apparently this has strong sexual connotations for some, so careful with that. When wasting time, I am "screwing around".
This is pretty much the same as "screw around", but with stronger sexual connotations. It would refer more to cheating on a partner than just having random casual sex.
Other, similar phrases include:
dicking around, puttering around, goofing around, farting around, messing around, putzing around, horsing around, fucking around
"Puttering", "goofing", "farting", "putzing", and "horsing" wouldn't have sexual connotations.
Some of those phrases could substitute 'off' for 'around': screwing off, goofing off, fucking off.
Examples (Urban Dictionary):
fucking off: To not be doing anything or doing nothing at all. Wasting time just to pass the time. Chris didn't do anything at work, he was just fucking off all day!
screwing off: see "dicking around" stop screwing off you dumb wanker and help me
Any of those phrases could substitute 'about' for around, but I think it's less common. One word 'about' pairs well with is 'lazing': lazing about.
This is just directly saying what you're doing, but not an uncommon phrasing.
There are many idioms available. In my experience, the most common is 'screw around'. If you want be certain you're understood, just say "wasting time".