Communication is key in good relationships, so I suppose it makes some bit of sense that couples who sext together stay together. At least, that’s what science is now claiming. As per research presented over the weekend at the American Psychological Association convention in Toronto, sexting and better sex seem pretty closely correlated, as “those who sexted reported high levels of sexual and relationship satisfaction, especially among those who sexted with a committed partner.” Given the rising prevalence of the once taboo practice, this may become the new normal.
According to the survey, which included responses from 870 people between the ages of 18 and 82, a stunning 88 percent admitted to sending a sext at some point in their life. Seventy-four percent sexted a partner in a committed relationship, and 43 percent reported sexting during a casual relationship. Surprisingly, a much lower percentage — only 12 percent — said that they used sexting as a cheating mechanism.
According to Emily Stasko of Philadelphia’s Drexel University, “These findings show a robust relationship between sexting and sexual and relationship satisfaction.” And despite the stigma that has historically been associated with these racy text messages, experts insist that they do have a place in the modern-day relationship. After all, Stasko noted, “… if sexting were only dangerous, it wouldn’t be as popular.”
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Thanks in part to this latest study, researchers now say that sexting carries “potential positive effects of open sexual communication with a partner.” As a result, it now seems possible that with a little more research to justify the practice, sexting may be used to increase intimacy or address communication problems.
Of course, this isn’t to say that sexting is all great all the time. As relationship expert Siggy Flicker told Today, “If you’re in a relationship and you’re saying, ‘I can’t wait to get home to you and have sex’ — it’s fine. When you’re not in a relationship it’s extremely inappropriate.” Similarly, if an individual is suddenly on the receiving end of unwanted advances, things can also get extremely uncomfortable extremely quickly. So what’s the best way to deal? Says Flicker, “Say ‘Hi, although this could be fun, this is not what I’m about. But I wish you health and happiness in your life.’