By Polina Pallieraki,
During the quarantine, couples and singles did not have many options to keep their sex life active. Most of the time sexting seemed like the only option!
What is sexting?
Sexting today is a popular way of romantic communication between partners or couples, people who know each other, and people who are simply connected in some way in the digital world. It involves the exchange of messages, images, and videos with erotic content through the use of a mobile phone or computer. As a practice, sexting can have both positive and negative effects on the individual.
Why is sexting so popular?
It is inexpensive, you do not need money to travel, go on a date or book a hotel. It is quick, one does not need to spend much time as it can be done anytime and anywhere. It enables people who would not have the courage, confidence, or ability due to distance in real life to approach other people romantically in digital reality and have the corresponding experience. Especially in today’s era, as it was formed after the pandemic, it is a form of flirting that is much easier to carry out compared to the others that require human interaction, which has been limited to a large extent.
It has contributed to sexual liberation and is now one of the most popular topics of discussion in groups of young people of all ages.
What we should watch out for when we are sexting?
Until now we knew that in our sex life we should take precautions. But what happens when there is no physical contact? The obvious thing is that we should be careful when we decide to send our photos if we do not want them to end up in public view on the Internet. In general, experts recommend being careful about how willing our partner will be to play this game. We start separately and develop the game together, depending on the response.
What ages prefer sexting?
Sexting has no age. However, the search for contacts both friendly and romantic online seems to be becoming a habit encountered between the ages of 14-30 more and more often. Social media and chat rooms seem to be replacing bars and cafes.
The places where people used to look for friends, fun, flirting, and sex have been redefined based on modern technology. Experts from the field of psychology and sociology, judge that these new behaviors are the result of the pressing external reality. It seems that the internet is a place that offers a reality, without many pressures and various ways to avoid the demands of real life.
Can the couple’s relationship work positively?
Sexting is a practice that seems to be particularly beneficial in adult relationships since it promotes the couple’s sexual communication.
It gives the couple the opportunity to talk “dirty”, and to use words that perhaps in the daily life of sexual involvement they don’t find “proper” enough. Therefore, through the messages, one has the opportunity to express to the partner desires, “what I want to do to you” and “what I want you to do to me”, without feeling so uncomfortable.
Recently published research surveyed 490 18- to 21-year-old college students about how sexting has affected their daily lives. 80% of the participants characterized the experience as “positive”, identifying sexual stimulation and the enrichment of their romantic relationship as the main positive effects.
The category of positive effects is completed by the greater expressiveness of the romantic partner in the expression of feelings and love through sexting, the strengthening of the couple’s companionship, and the greater familiarity with the body.
How can sexting have a negative effect?
Sexting often takes place while a person is in a relationship. Dialogue and erotic photos can lead to arousal, masturbation, and climax. Therefore, although there is no personal contact, one partner invests his romantic interest elsewhere, which the other partner can experience as a form of infidelity and this can create a breach in the relationship of trust between the couple, leading to arguments about whether does this particular practice constitutes infidelity or not. When sexting takes place between strangers there is a risk of not knowing who the person we are communicating with really is, with consequences both on a psycho-emotional level and on our safety level.
Sexting can also be linked to “revenge pornography”, i.e. posting someone’s sexual files on the internet without their consent. This act constitutes a form of sexual abuse known internationally as “non-consensual” or “revenge pornography”.
Sexting and addiction
Sexting can potentially turn into addictive behavior. Something like this happens when a person shapes and also centers his daily life around sexting and has the need to repeat the same behavior in order to expel the tension and relieve the painful feelings he experiences (loneliness, inner pain, etc.), and to able to cope with his remaining obligations. The person may experience an increase in tension or emotional arousal immediately before the start of the conversation and relief or decrease in tension afterward. However, the constant desire to satisfy sexual urges and the need to repeat the corresponding behavior in order to achieve the same euphoria, causes intense distress when this is not achieved and/or has significant effects on other areas of the person’s life. It is important to note that sexting can also be linked to both a person’s sex addiction and internet addiction, so it is a good idea to explore it with the help of a mental health counselor.
Consequently, we understand that sexting is a healthy way to keep a relationship alive and not become routinized. It should not be considered taboo. However, as in all things, there must be measures and limits because otherwise, we escape and become addicted and addiction is something we definitely cannot control.
- Ινστιτούτο Ψυχικής και Σεξουαλικής Υγείας, askitis.com, Available here