Negotiating sexual relationships can be difficult—especially when one partner wants more sex than the other. But what about sexting? In theory, sending explicit photos or messages shouldn’t be too taxing, and is often touted as a sexy part of new relationships. But a surprising number of young daters say that sexting feels more like a chore than a thrilling part of their relationship.
A new study published in the journal Computers in Human Behavior found that a large number of people sext out of obligation more than pleasure. And it’s not just women: Researchers surveyed 155 undergraduates, and found that around 55 percent of female respondents had engaged in unwanted sexting and 48 percent of men had, as well. Those figures are somewhat similar to the numbers of people who say they’ve engaged in consensual but unwanted sexual intercourse—55 percent of women and 35 percent of men.
When asked why they engaged in unwanted sexting, respondents admitted to a range of motivations, including, flirting, foreplay, and the desire to foster intimacy. Researchers found that women who were particularly nervous about their relationships—who felt particularly insecure or were concerned about the status of their relationships—were voracious sexters. Study authors argued that “gender role expectations,” could also be a motivating factor. Sexting, for men, was an easy way to do very little but maintain a relationship. Sexting for women, was a way to check in frequently without seeming overly clingy or needy.
Have you ever engaged in unwanted sexting? Share your stories in the comments!