Good News If You Love Sexting

August 12th 2015

Laura Donovan

Sexters, rejoice. New research from Drexel University found that sexting is associated with higher levels of sexual satisfaction, particularly for those in committed relationships.

How do you define "sexting"?

For the study, sexting was loosely defined as, “sending, receiving, or forwarding sexually explicit messages, images, or photos through electronic means, particularly between cell phones."

The researchers came to their conclusion after surveying 870 Americans ages 18 to 82. The results, presented at the American Psychological Association's 123rd Annual Convention, revealed that nearly 90 percent of survey respondents had sexted before, and 82 participants reported sexting within the last year.

"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," the study concluded.

Sexting and sexual satisfaction

The study looked at sexting and sexual satisfaction, sexting and relationship satisfaction, and sexting and sexting attitudes.

"This finding indicates that greater levels of sexting are associated with greater sexual satisfaction and that participants who identified as single had significantly lower levels of sexual satisfaction than individuals who were casually dating or in a relationship," the study reads.

It's important to note, however, that the study found "sexting is unrelated to [relationship] satisfaction" for those in "very committed" relationships. In other words, sexting has higher levels of sexual satisfaction for serious couples, but doesn't have much of an impact on their overall relationship satisfaction.

"This interaction indicates that for individuals who are not in a 'very committed' relationship, sexting is positively associated with satisfaction," the study explains, "however, for individuals who describe their relationship as being 'very committed', is unrelated to satisfaction."

In response to the study's findings about sexting and sexual satisfaction, Columbia University psychology professor Sari Locker, who was not affiliated with the research, told "CBS Thing Morning" that the findings highlight a positive aspect of sexting.

"[It] opens up sexual communication and it keeps the spark alive," she said.

Some downsides of sexting

That doesn't mean everything about sexting is positive. Locker explained to "CBS This Morning" that sexting can create awkwardness in certain situations and that you might want to consider your current environment before you click on a sext. She also notes that the sext is permanent, and if you break up with this person, you could very well fall victim to revenge porn.

"If your boss is over your shoulder and you click to open it and there's a picture of your spouse, uh oh," she said. "The other thing is we all know that anything sent electronically can be saved, can be forwarded, and can last forever."