To sext or not to sext?
Published: Thursday, September 29, 2011
Updated: Friday, May 17, 2013 12:05
A text message may lead you to engage in a close and intimate conversation with someone. As one texts back-and-forth to another, conversations may start to get flirtatious, and then things start to spice up when people send sexually explicit images or messages.
Sexting is becoming more common among college students. According to a study done by Michelle Drouin, an assistant professor of psychology at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne, 745 U.S. college students aged 18-25 suggest that sexting is a popular means of sexual communication between committed romantic relationships and casual sexual relationships.
The study showed that 80 percent of students with committed romantic partners have sent or received sexually explicit text messages and 60 percent have sent or received sexually explicit pictures or videos. With casual sexual partners such as, flings or hookups, not boyfriends or girlfriends, 70 percent have sent or received sexually explicit text messages and 51 percent have sent or received explicit pictures or videos.
Sure, I understand for some, sexting is a convenient way to engage in sexual interactions, especially for distant men or women who are less likely to see each other. But I don't understand, for those that are close, the desire to engage in phone sex or sexting when actual sex is an option. Perhaps naughty, long sex conversations through text messaging are good foreplay that one can engage in throughout the day.
Drouin's research stated that although men and women sexted with equal frequency, sexting appeared to be particularly appealing to certain types of individuals – those who were dependent on text messaging to navigate their social relationships, and those who were insecure with or emotionally distant from their romantic partners.
Sexting, however, is not something to play around with, because it can go wrong. There has been a lot of negative backlash for sexting, and there are cases pending about sexual assault via publishing of sexts and pictures.
Former New York Rep. Anthony Weiner posted on his Twitter account a series of lewd photos that he sent to women online. In an interview with ABC news, he also said he was engaged in several electronic relationships with women over three years. It became a big scandal, and three weeks later, he resigned from his seat.
While today's technology, email, IMing, social networking and texting are growing in popularity, the majority of our conversations are taking place in text form. As much fun as that can be, there is something lost when a text replaces actual face-to-face conversation. There is something special about being physically there with another person, hearing their voice, looking in their eyes and having that feeling of a friendly embrace.
Sexting with someone can't replace that physical connection between two people. This is a sexual act that you are consenting to with your partner and no one else.
My advice? Sext all you want ladies and gents, just think twice about what you send. I personally would not like for a guy to be sending me an obscene picture of himself and I would never send one. It's degrading and it lowers one's values. But I'll say this, the occasional flirty sexts using only words can be fun. If there's going to be anything explicit, I'd prefer showing that stuff in the bedroom.
Beatriz A. Castañeda may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.