More and more adults are now into sexting, sending or receiving explicit content via smartphones, which is actually ensuring sexual satisfaction in their romantic relationships, says a study.
Eight out of 10 people surveyed online admitted to sexting to their partners or friends, according to researchers from Philadelphia-based Drexel University.
"Given the possible implications for sexual health, it was important to investigate the role sexting plays in current romantic and sexual relationships," said lead researcher Emily Stasko. Greater levels of sexting were associated with greater sexual satisfaction, especially for those in a relationship. Participants who identified as single (26 per cent) had significantly lower overall scores for sexual satisfaction.
The team found that greater levels of sexting were associated with relationship satisfaction for all but those who identified their relationship as "very committed". The survey also asked about attitudes toward sexting and found that people who sexted more saw the behaviour as more fun and carefree and had higher beliefs that sexting was expected in their relationships.
"The results show a robust relationship between 'sexting' and sexual and relationship satisfaction," Stasko said.
Stasko and her co-author Pamela Geller surveyed 870 participants from the US in the age group 18 to 82 to assess sexting behaviours, sexting motives and relationship and sexual satisfaction.
The researchers found that 88 per cent of participants reported ever having sexted and 82 per cent reported they had sexted in the past year.
Nearly 75 per cent said they sexted in the context of a committed relationship and 43 pe rcent said they sexted as part of a casual relationship.
Sexting has recently received growing attention as a risky activity, associated with numerous other sexual risk-taking behaviours like unprotected sex and negative health outcomes like sexually-transmitted infections.
"This perspective, though, fails to account for the potential positive effects of open sexual communication with a partner," the authors said.
The results were shared at the American Psychological Association's 123rd annual convention this weekend.
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