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An overwhelming majority of people who sext do it for something other than sex in return, study finds

Lily Wakefield November 26, 2019
sexting

Just one third of people use sexting as foreplay. (Envato)

A new study has revealed that sexting is commonly used for non-sexual purposes, and in fact two thirds of the time it’s not about sex at all.

New research from the Sexuality, Sexual Health & Sexual Behavior Lab at the Texas Tech University Department of Psychological Sciences asked 160 people between the ages of 18 and 69 about their sexting habits with their partners.

Assistant professor Joseph Currin and doctoral student Kassidy Cox found that participants’ motivations for sending a cheeky sext were almost exactly split into three categories, two of which were non-sexual.

While one third of people used them as a type of foreplay for sexual activity, one third used saucy messages for “relationship reassurance” from their partners, and another third used them to gain something non-sexual later on like being taken out to dinner.

Cox said: “It was intriguing that two-thirds of the individuals who engaged in sexting did so for non-sexual purposes.

“This may actually be demonstrating some individuals engage in sexting, but would prefer not to, but do so as a means to either gain affirmation about their relationship, relieve anxiety or get something tangible – non-sexual – in return.”

The three motivations for sexting remained almost exactly equal to each other when answers were divided by age, gender or sexual orientation, suggesting that no motivation was more common that the others.

Currin added: “As it is becoming a more accepted method of communicating one’s sexual desires, we wanted to highlight how adults utilise this behaviour in their relationships.

“This tells us that sexting among adults is an evolution of how we have communicated our sexual desires to our partners in the past.

“People used to write love poems and steamy letters, then when photography became more common place, couples used to take boudoir photos for each other.”

However the researchers made sure to remind people that consent is the sexiest thing of all.

“As with any sexual behaviour, it is important and necessary to have consent to engage in sexting. Individuals who send unsolicited sext messages – such as images of their genitalia – are not actually engaging in sexting; they are sexually harassing the recipient.”

More: consent, Couples, dating, foreplay, research, sexting, Sexual, sexual health, Texas Tech University

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