People who regularly send racy messages to their partners are insecure in their relationship and more likely to cheat, according to a new study.
Partners who frequently ‘sext’ one another are also more likely to seek out online pornography and exhibit ‘infidelity-behaviours’ on social media sites.
But there is a bright side, as sexting couples reported higher levels of sexual satisfaction in the bedroom compared to those who never send a taboo text.
People who ‘sext’ regularly with their partners are more likely to be insecure in their relationship and seek out online porn, a new study has claimed (stock image)
Researchers at the University of Alberta that looked into the effects of sexting on 615 people and found that it is rarely a feature of a healthy relationship.
‘This does not seem to be something that’s part of a normal, healthy adult relationship,’ psychology professor Michelle Drouin, who helped to oversee the study, told CBC Radio.
‘They had low levels of commitment to their partner, more insecure attachment to the partner — maybe fearing the partner would leave, or not feeling very connected.’
The study looked at heterosexual and same-sex couples of various ages, ethnicities, income and education levels.
Researchers say the study was much broader than many previous research into sexting, which typically focus on young adults or teenagers.
According to the University of Alberta study couples fall into four distinct categories: non-sexters, word-only sexters, frequent sexters, and hyper-sexters.
Frequent sexters (those who sent at least three or four racy messages a week) and hyper-sexters (at least one naughty message or photo each day) were most likely to feel insecure in their relationship (stock image)
Frequent sexters (those who sent at least three or four racy messages a week) and hyper-sexters (at least one naughty message or photo each day) were most likely to feel insecure in their relationship.
These couples also reported higher degree of couple conflict.
Family scientist at the University of Alberta and lead author of the study, Dr Adam Galovan said: ‘Sexting doesn’t seem to be a feature of a healthy relationship.
‘My interpretation is that the sexters are focusing more on the sexual part of their relationship and may be neglecting other areas.’
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.
Couples who regularly sext were also more likely to become distracted by their phone during face-to-face time with their partner, the study found.
Dr Galovan added: ‘These folks want to get to the end goal – a good relationship – without doing the hard work of talking, listening and spending quality time together.
‘It’s the instant gratification culture – we want it now.
‘But it’s what you do to get to that goal that actually defines a good relationship.
‘They need to put the phone down and have a good old-fashioned conversation – spend some time together nurturing the relationship – instead of shortcutting with sexting to try to get a quality relationship.’