Sexting: Can It Be Good For Your Relationship?

woman texting on couch

A new survey finds more than eight in 10 adults admit to sending or receiving a sexually explicit text message — commonly known as “sexting” — and many say the practice leads to increased sexual satisfaction, particularly when couples are involved.

“Most people have focused on the dangers of sexting and how it can harm a relationship,” said study lead author Emily Stasko, a doctoral candidate in the department of psychology at Drexel University in Philadelphia. “But context matters. Sexting is definitely something that many adults are doing, it’s not going away, and the findings indicate that it can actually be good for relationships and sexual satisfaction.”

The poll found that about three-quarters of those who sext do so with a committed partner. And roughly the same percentage sext while in the comfort of their home.

More than four in 10 of those polled said they had sexted while in a “casual relationship,” and nearly one-third copped to sending sexts either while on the job or elsewhere outside the home. Just 12 percent said they used this form of communication to cheat on someone.

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To get a snapshot of current sexting habits, a study team conducted a 20-minute online survey among 870 Americans. The participants were between the ages of 18 and 82, with a median age of 35, the researchers said.

All of the respondents were heterosexual. While more than four in 10 said they were currently married, an equal number said they had never been married.

Investigators found that nearly 88 percent said they had sent or received a sext at least once in their lives. And 82 percent said they had sexted in the last 12 months, the survey revealed.

Men were more likely to think of it as a “fun” and “carefree” experience, and more likely to view the behavior as an expected part of their relationship. Women, on the other hand, appeared to be slightly more likely to want to send texts than to receive them, the researchers said.

But greater sexting frequency was linked to greater sexual satisfaction among both men and women, particularly when…