Should you send that racy text to your significant other? This might help you answer that question: according to a new study, “sexting” is not only normal, but good for our intimate relationships.
The study, which was led by Pamela A. Geller and Emily Stasko of Drexel University, involved a survey of 870 heterosexual American adults, with participants ranging in age from 18 to 82 (the average age was 35).
The survey showed that the vast majority of participants–an incredible 88-percent–had “sexted” (or sent sexually explicit messages) to someone else at least once in their lives. It also revealed that more than four in five participants had sexted in the past year. Finally, and perhaps most interestingly, virtually all of the respondents (96-percent) said they endorsed the practice of sexting.
The survey revealed that about three in four of the participants had sexted partners with whom they shared a committed relationship, while just under half had sent these kinds of messages to partners in a casual relationships. About one in 10 respondents said they had sexted someone “in a cheating relationship.”
Respondents were also asked about why they sexted. According to the researchers, many of these messages were sent by people in uncommitted relationships who said they felt a higher level of sexual satisfaction by sending them.
Patti Britton, a clinical sexologist based in San Francisco, sees sexting as a way for partners to keep their sex lives active and healthy. “I use it as a homework assignment, when I have couples who are stale or their relationship is what I would call ‘sexually dead on arrival,’” said Britton. “Using the online world creates a way for them to find steppingstones or building blocks to reconnect in an erotic or a sexual way.”