Sexting your partner may spice things up in the bedroom but could wreck your relationship in the long term, a new study suggests.
Couples were quizzed about their sexting habits and experts found that people who exchange intimate photographs and messages reported higher sexual satisfaction.
However, they were also more likely to have arguments, watch porn and flirt with other people online, according to a new study.
Sexters may be focusing on the sexual part of their relationship and neglecting other areas such as talking, listening and spending quality time together, scientists say.
Sexting your partner may spice things up in the bedroom but could wreck your relationship in the long term. Experts quizzed couples about their sexting habits and found that people who exchange intimate photographs and messages report higher sexual satisfaction (stock)
The study of more than 600 adults, conducted by Purdue University, found frequent and hyper sexters – who did it several times weekly or many times daily, respectively – had problems in their romantic relationships.
They were more likely to row and have doubts about their romantic partner.
The activity also fuelled infidelity-related behaviours on social media, as well as the viewing of pornography.
The US and Canadian participants were all in committed relationships when they were surveyed about sexting, self-esteem, relationship satisfaction, commitment, conflict and their use of pornography.
Most did not sext and were just as happy with their partners as those who did, the study found, but sexters did report more sexual satisfaction than the non-sexting group.
Psychologist Professor Michelle Drouin, said: ‘Sexting may help couples with intimacy and to spice things up. But we definitely did see the negative side of too much of a good thing.’
Professor Drouin said the findings, presented at an American Psychological Association meeting in San Francisco, show people who regularly ‘sext’ their partner are more insecure in their relationship.
The study of 600 adults found sexters were also more likely to have arguments, watch porn and flirt with people online. Sexters may be focusing on the sexual part of their relationship and neglecting other areas such as talking and spending quality time together (stock)
Meanwhile, another study presented at the same conference found couples with similar texting habits tended to be happier and more fulfilled.
Researchers surveyed 205 adults between the ages of 18 and 29 who were in romantic relationships.
Questions focused on emotional security, texting habits and relationship satisfaction.
Those who described their partner as having a similar texting style to themselves reported greater relationship satisfaction.
In other words, couples who were more in sync with the kind of texts they sent to each other were more satisfied with their partner, regardless of whether the messages they sent were love notes or complaints about an issue in the relationship.
Study author Dr Leora Trub, of Pace University, New York, said; ‘How couples texted was more important to the satisfaction of the relationship than how frequently they texted.’
IS THE PERSON YOU’RE SEXTING LYING TO YOU?
According to research by Indiana University, almost half of all sexts sent between partners are lies.
Researchers found that out of 109 college students who had sent sexually explicit texts, almost half (48 per cent) had told fibs.
Two thirds said they had lied about things like writhing around in lingerie or touching their bodies in a certain way to ‘serve their partner’ but one third said they had done for amusements sake because they were ‘bored’.
Additionally, lying during sexting was much more common among women than men, with 45 per cent of women and 24 per cent of men fabricating the truth.
Dr Michelle Drouin, the study’s lead author, likened the act to lying about orgasms during actual sexual intercourse.
Commenting on the discrepancy between the sexes, she added: ‘Women are more likely to fake orgasm than men, for obvious reasons, but more likely to pretend enthusiasm as well.
‘Women lie to serve other people more than men [do].’
Based on relationship attitude questions, people who were more anxious about cheating or who tried to avoid closeness were more likely to have lied in sexts than those who were more secure.
Previous research has shown that couples who communicate similarly in any medium are happier in their relationships.
This research extended those findings to text-based communication, according to Dr Trub.
A second study, also presented by Dr Trub, found that texting can bring people closer to others or create distance, depending on the motivations underlying its use.
She said: ‘We text to check in with our spouse during the work day and to stay connected with friends far away, but we also text to avoid dealing with relatives at the family party and to break up with someone.’
The survey asked 982 adults between the ages of 18 to 29 about their mobile phone use, levels of social anxiety and shyness and general personality traits.
Dr Trub added: ‘Texting can become a crutch and eventually become a barrier to creating meaningful interactions.
‘Texting all the time can also come from being lonely or bored, and that can lead to isolation and alienation.’
She said counsellors may be interested in their findings if they have clients who engage in unhealthy texting behaviours that may be damaging to their relationships.