Sexting & Relationships: Is Naughty Texting Good For Long-Term Romance? [VIDEO]
If you're in a casual relationship, you may want to rethink how you talk dirty to your S.O.
A recent study from Drexel University in Philadelphia looked at adults in relationships of various levels of commitment. When it came to sexting, 88% of those studied admitted to having done it, with 74% saying they'd sexted while in a committed relationship and 43% saying they'd done it while in a casual relationship.
Their findings? Sexting can be beneficial in casual relationships, but not so much in committed relationships. Respondents who said they were in a "very committed" relationship had no significant relationship between levels of relationship satisfaction and sexting, but for those who identified as anything other than "very committed," the satisfaction levels increased as sexting frequency did.
"People who are in a good relationship, who have good sex, don't need to find other venues to turn each other on. They are turned on, but the people in the in-between phase need some extra help," well-known sex therapist Dr. Judy Kurianksy told CBS News.
In its short history of existence, sexting has generally gotten a bad rap -- As a means of harassment, like in the notorious Anthony Weiner scandal, or as a sign of how today's youth is wildly out of control. But more and more we're learning that sexting may be a totally normal part of growing up, as well as a means to express sexuality without the risk of the negative physical and emotional consequences of engaging in sexual acts.
And though the focus of sexting studies has largely been on how young adults and minors seem to just be sexting each other non-stop, Drexel's new study shows that consenting adults are doing it all the time, too.
"This research indicates that sexting is a prevalent behavior that adults engage in for a variety of reasons," study co-author Emily C. Stasko told CNN. "Given the possible implications, both positive and negative, for sexual health, it is important to continue investigating the role sexting plays in current romantic and sexual relationships."
Though Drexel's study found that people who sext frequently see their relationships as "fun" and "carefree," their relationships may actually be more serious than they think. In a country where sex talk is taboo in the bedroom, couples who willingly engage in sexting could be getting much more out of their relationships than those who don't.
If you're in a committed relationship and not a casual one, never fear: the same general rules apply. Just being open about sexual desires and preferences -- whether via electronic device or in person -- can be the key to a better sex life and, in turn, a better relationship, even if that communication only happens during sex.