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A 22-year-old writer, Emily*, told The Huffington Post via email that she engaged in a casual texting relationship with an acquaintance two years ago that took a turn toward the inappropriate: One day, my phone buzzed and there it was. “He thought it was hilarious and didn’t really care …
“Generally the hysteria over ‘sexting’ is [because] it’s seen as ilicit or transgressive; as an expression of cheating,” says Esther Perel, a therapist and author of “Mating in Captivity.” “But it can be many other things.” Both Perel and Braverman told The Huffington Post that in their clinical experience, most people sending explicit, flirtatious text messages are doing so sans nude photos.
And using words (and images) can be a very powerful medium for building intimacy.
And of that 47 percent, about one in 10 have sent a "not suitable for work" message to the wrong person. However, anecdotally, people extend the definition to include sexually explicit and suggestive words as well.
Although most of the research done on sexting has focused on teenagers, a 2010 survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, as part of its Internet & American Life Project, also studied adults.