New York: More and more adults are now into "sexting", sending or receiving explicit content via smartphones, which is actually ensuring sexual satisfaction in their romantic relationships, says a study.
Eight out of 10 people surveyed online admitted to "sexting" to their partners or friends, according to researchers from Philadelphia-based Drexel University.
"Given the possible implications for sexual health, it was important to investigate the role 'sexting' plays in current romantic and sexual relationships," said lead researcher Emily Stasko.
Greater levels of "sexting" were associated with greater sexual satisfaction, especially for those in a relationship.
Participants who identified as single (26 percent) had significantly lower overall scores for sexual satisfaction.
The team found that greater levels of "sexting" were associated with relationship satisfaction for all but those who identified their relationship as "very committed".
The survey also asked about attitudes toward sexting and found that people who "sexted" more saw the behaviour as more fun and carefree and had higher beliefs that "sexting" was expected in their relationships.
The results indicate "sexting" is a prevalent behaviour that adults engage in for a variety of reasons.
"Thus, the results show a robust relationship between 'sexting' and sexual and relationship satisfaction," Stasko said.
Stasko and her co-author Pamela Geller surveyed 870 participants from the US in the age group 18 to 82 to assess "sexting" behaviours, "sexting" motives and relationship and sexual satisfaction.
The researchers found that 88 percent of participants reported ever having "sexted" and 82 percent reported they had "sexted" in the past year.
Nearly 75 percent said they "sexted" in the context of a committed relationship and 43 percent said they "sexted" as part of a casual relationship.
Sexting has recently received growing attention as a risky activity, associated with numerous other sexual risk-taking behaviours like unprotected sex and negative health outcomes like sexually-transmitted infections).
"This perspective, though, fails to account for the potential positive effects of open sexual communication with a partner," the authors said.
The results were shared at the American Psychological Association's 123rd annual convention this weekend.