Sexting, Committed Relationships, Computer-mediated Communication, Technology, Intimacy


This literature review explores research on sexting—the sending of nude or partially nude photographs or sexual messages via technological mediums—within couple relationships. While sexting has often been touted as an unhealthy or deviant practice among adolescents and adults, recent attitudes and research suggest that sexting in committed couple relationships may be associated with some positive outcomes, such as higher sexual satisfaction. This paper focuses on the relationship contexts in which sexting is more likely to have positive or negative outcomes. Insecure attachment, lower emotional commitment, and negative motivations for sexting may lead to less intimacy in the relationship instead of more. For couples with these characteristics, sexting exacerbates previously existing distance in the relationship. Relationships with secure attachment and higher levels of couple commitment are more likely to experience increased intimacy from sexting and are less likely to experience negative outcomes associated with sexting.

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