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Sexting and Relationship Development

Today I kicked off the IARR conference and my first full day in Chicago by participating in a symposium (a collection of related presentations on the same topic) about sex in relationships. My co-presenter, Jimmie Manning from the Northern Kentucky University, talked about people’s motives for sexting with relationship partners. In his research, he found although sexts can be sexually explicit, this is not always the case (i.e., “Hey sexy. You have a good morning?”). Rather, people use sexting to communicate a variety of messages in relationships. Some people use texting for playing with or teasing a romantic partner, or as foreplay to get each other worked up in anticipation of a future encounter.  Sexting can be also used for exploring new sexual activities and suggestions for improving a sexual relationship, as well as for satisfying each other (i.e., engaging in sexual activities while apart from a partner). Jimmie’s talk was a nice departure from the typical messages we hear about sexting (i.e., fear-based messages about adolescents use of sexting) and considered an interpersonal approach to how people are using sexting in the development of relationships.

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Dr. Amy Muise - Sex Musings | Science of Relationships articles | Website/CV
Dr. Muise’s research focuses on sexuality, including the role of sexual motives in maintaining sexual desire in long-term relationships, and sexual well-being. She also studies the relational effects of new media, such as how technology influences dating scripts and the experience of jealousy.

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Reader Comments (1)

I know texting has a bad name as a communication tool, but if it's just one of many tools in your tool belt, I think it can lead to lots of hot and very connected sex. It's a great form of foreplay and have been suggesting it for years! Great article. Thanks.

July 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterChrystal Bougon
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