Suggestive texts, raunchy stories, even the occasional nude photo; all of these sexting tools might suggest you’re interested to sleep with the sender or recipient, but according to new findings, two-thirds of sexters aren’t actually sexting with the intention to bone at all.
A new small-scale study, presented this week at the annual meeting of the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality, looked at the sexting habits of 160 participants between the ages of 18 and 69, all of whom were coupled up in relationships.
When asked about their motivations for sexting, the 85 women and 75 men who took part in the study gave responses that surprised researchers, and from the results, they were able to conclude three categories of sexters.
Of all participants, 58 people sexted for fun with sex being the end result. 54 people sexted to establish a feeling of attachment with their partner, and 48 people sexted to receive positive body-image reinforcement or another non-reward.
The findings concluded 63% or almost two-thirds of people sexted for reasons outside of a desire for sex. So, what does this mean?
Underlying reasons for sexting
What was perhaps most illuminating about the study was not the reasons why people sexted, but the insight into what was potentially missing from the relationships: most notably feelings of connection or support for one’s body image.
For those two-thirds of participants, sexting was not a gateway to getting their freak on, but a disguised means of getting what they wanted and needed out of their partners — whether attention, feelings of closeness, or a compliment on their bodies.
The lesson here? Safe sexting is fun, but so is communication with your significant other and letting them know they have a fine ass every now and then, without having to wait for a risque selfie to prove it.