In recent years, “sexting” or the act of sending sexually explicit or suggestive text messages has become commonplace. Usually, the term is used with a degree of humor. We may make fun of friends for sexting and joke about ours “sexts” at brunch. It seems as if Buzzfeed and similar sites have new lists of “sexting fails” just about every week. For these reasons, sexting tends to be taken with a grain of salt.
When you get past the humor of it, can sexting actually be beneficial to a relationship?
According to numerous opinions from experts on relationships, sex and psychology, the answer seems to be a definite yes. Psychology Today had an interesting write-up on this topic in which expert opinions are combined with surveys of couples’ sexting habits, with the prevailing idea being that there are some very healthy aspects of sexting in relationships. Dr. Yvonne K. Fulbright, the sex educator and sexologist who wrote the article, concludes that “sexting can be a valuable tool for couples who long to maintain or reinvigorate both their physical and emotional connections.” Specifically, sexting seems to serve two key purposes for people in relationships: helping them to keep up an intimate connection while separated by distance, and serving, essentially, as a new means of foreplay.
But it’s not only sex and relationship experts who are spreading the good word about the benefits of sexting. It appears that the actual “sexters,” more often than not, also report that sexting can have a positive effect on a relationship. An Adam & Eve infographic on sexting, which includes a number of fascinating polls and expert opinions, reveals quite simply that 56 percent of people polled who admit to sexting also say that it has strengthened their relationships. Of course, the same infographic reveals that 16 percent of men and 8 percent of women have accidentally sexted family members, so there are certain drawbacks to the habit. However, those who get it right seem to report mostly positive results.
In the end, it’s probably getting it right that makes all the difference. For the most part, the humiliating sext lists we see online are goofy mishaps that are extraordinarily unlikely to happen to you. In fact, a lot of them are probably faked just to make for more interesting and amusing lists. Still, it’s easy enough to send a bad sext without it being a Buzzfeed-worthy gaffe. For example, you may sext a little too soon, or a little too aggressively; you may tease and then not follow up, or be blunt without much creativity. To navigate these sorts of issues, Your Tango’s 8 Do’s & Don’ts (when it comes to sexting) is actually a pretty handy guide‚ particularly if you’re new to the practice, or in a new relationship.
But ultimately, it seems as if sexting isn’t as much of a joke or taboo subject as some might think. Experts and ordinary people agree that there are potential benefits to relationships, and so long as you go about it the right way you may even discover a whole new brand of foreplay. So go ahead and whip out your phone and send a sext‚ just double check it before you press send!
Provided by Adam & Eve