Sexting has become quite popular lately, due to it’s increasing evidence on prevalence, correlating factors, and predictors of sexting among both teens and young adults. It has been established through numerous empirical studies that sexting is a fairly commonplace behavior among young adults. Specifically, statistics vary widely from 12% to 88% in this target population!

If we want to go by the book, sexting refers to the act of sending or/and receiving sexual or explicit texts, pictures, or videos via digital technology. Concerning its prevalence, it seems to be dependant on various factors:

(1) type of sext—text-only sexts are sent more often than pictures 

(2) the direction of transmission—people generally report receiving more than they send 

(3) the gender of the sender—research reports mixed with some studies finding that men send sexts more often than women, some showing that women send sexts more often than men, or even no gender differences 

(4) the relationship context—within which sext messages are sent—people typically send sexts more often within steady or committed relationships in which attachment avoidance is not of common occurrence.

But is sexting “bad” or “good”?

Sexting has nowadays received much media attention, sometimes with adverse outcomes identified. For example,  several times the dissemination of sensitive sexual material without consent, the serious legal consequences,  the negative mental health repercussions, and  the associated risk behaviors are being mentioned. Therefore, much of the research and press has portrayed sexting in a negative light, even in cases among consenting adults. However, in the last few years, the conceptualization of sexting has significantly shifted, from one of deviance to one that can represent fun, flirtation, and relationship satisfaction. Nevertheless, the literature on the positive effects of sexting is limited. Combined different studies suggest that attachment style may also be related to the experience of positive and negative sexting consequences supporting a positive relationship between attachment security (low attachment avoidance) and sending sexually explicit pictures.

Here are some tips regarding sexting. These tips include safety tips as well as practical tips. It is crucial that both safety and practicality are not neglected or taken for granted. 

Safety Tips

  • always make sure sexting it’s consensual before hitting “send”
  • always keep in mind age allowance regulations
  • practice clear communication with your partner during and after sending sexts
  • check-in with yourself and what you feel comfortable with before sending anything
  • acknowledge that there are risks
  • make sure you are sending your sext to the intended person
  • minimize or eliminate identifying features
  • understand how to use your technology

Practical Tips

  • Show appreciation and enthusiasm when after giving consent you receive a sext.
  • Don’t judge your partner’s fantasies
  • Don’t be afraid to open up about your fantasies
  • Take things slowly, escalate the tension 
  • Timing is everything
  • Learn the reciever’s lust language & know the “emoji sex code” 
  • Be specific with your sexts cause  it’s all in the details
  • Remember you’re playing a role so have fun with it
  • Don’t stray too far out of your comfort zone, maybe follow a step by step approach
  • Draw from your own personal experiences 
  • Ask questions
  • Practice since practice makes perfect

Taking into consideration all the above, make sure you keep yourself safe, consider the factors that may correlate to your sexting activity, and for sure if you engage in it let yourself enjoy it 🙂

If you are looking for some more professional tips on sexting and dating, you can book an appointment with a professional here.

Alexandra Symeonidou is an  Intern at Willingness with a BSc in Psychology, who will start her MSc in Clinical Psychology this following September. 


Burkett, M. (2015). A qualitative analysis of young adults’ negotiations of the pleasures and perils of sexting. Sexuality and Culture, 19, 835–863. 

Drouin, M., Coupe, M., & Temple, J. (2017). Is sexting good for your relationship? It depends. Comput. Hum. Behav., 75, 749-756.

Jalili C. (2018).  How to Sext: The Ultimate Guide to Sexting. Retrieved from

Judge A. M. (2012). “Sexting” among U.S. adolescents: psychological and legal perspectives. Harvard review of psychiatry, 20(2), 86–96.

Klettke, B., Hallford, D. J., & Mellor, D. J. (2014). Sexting prevalence and correlates: a systematic literature review. Clinical psychology review, 34(1), 44–53.

Rowe, C.J. (2020). Sexting: tips on staying safe(r). Retrieved from–tips-on-staying-safe-r-.html

Uzer, A. (2020). How To Sext: The Ultimate Guide To Sexting, With Examples. Retrieved from