Could the act of sexting make you happier in your relationship?
If you’re an American between the ages of 18 and 82, chances are high that you’ve sent sexually suggestive text messages at one point or another—at least that’s what a new study from Drexel University found. Researchers also found a link between sexting and relationship satisfaction.
“Usually research looks at sexting among teens and young adults and is focused more on the risks and dangers of it,” says lead researcher Emily Stasko, MS, MPH of Drexel University. “We looked at the role of texting in relationships.”
Stasko adds that sexting is much more common that you might think. Of the 870 participants who took part in the study, 82 percent said they’d sexted in the last year. While the flirty act is often associated with casual relationships, a whopping 75 percent of participants said they’d sexted while in a committed relationship. The biggest takeaway was that more sexting equaled greater sexual satisfaction for many people with a steady partner.
“The question really is whether sexting leads to relationship satisfaction, or if relationship satisfaction leads to sexting,” says Stasko.
Single folks are also getting in on sexy texting; 43 percent of participants said they’d sexted as part of a casual relationship. Regardless of relationship status, those who did it more often tended to view it as a lighthearted, fun and expected activity.
One notable finding, however, had to do with unwanted sexting.
“Not all sexting is equal,” says Stasko. “Engaging in unwanted sexting had a negative impact on relationship satisfaction.”
Even so, she says that the study shines a light on the potential benefits of sexting as it relates to relationships.