Research has not yet investigated the frequency of sexting outside of a primary relationship. Research consistently shows that most sexting occurs within the context of a relationship, but few studies have taken relationship status into account. Additionally, limited research has investigated if sexting is considered infidelity. This study aims to fill those gaps by examining sexting outside of the primary relationship. University students and community members were asked about their sexting activities outside of their primary relationship using an online questionnaire. Results indicate that 23% of participants have sexted outside of their relationship. Those who cohabitate with their primary partner or are in a non-monogamous relationship are more likely to sext with a secondary partner. The majority of people who sext outside of their relationship do so with five or less partners and do so less than once a month, indicating that sexting outside of the primary relationship is infrequent. Seventy-five percent of those that sexted secondary partners considered this act cheating. Lastly, 36% also engaged in face-to-face sexual activity with the secondary partners they sexted. The importance of considering relationship status variables in understanding sexting and infidelity is discussed.


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pp. 134-142
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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