Wellness

If you're not sexting, you're in the minority, says science

Sorry everyone, your naughty missives are actually run of the mill when it comes to tech and sex these days
(Credit: iStock/Getty Images)

"Mom, tell us again how you and dad met."  

"Of course, honey. Well, I was scrolling through a swamp of profile pics online and his face and very clever bio stood out from most of the others, so I swiped right and we started chatting. Hours later, after our banter escalated, he sent me a pic of his tackle and I eventually sexted him my hooha. The rest, as they say, is history. Finish your martian peas, love."

Romance is relative. Especially from generation to generation. If the exchange above seems extreme consider that it's a pretty basic account of modern coupling. Sure, it's one we may or may not share openly with our kids on Mars but sexting in 2017 is as basic as a pumpkin spice latte. In fact, based on new stats from the annual International Sex Survey released by the Kinsey Institute in collaboration with Berlin-based women's health startup Clue, maybe even more so.

Data collected from 198 countries and 140,000 people has shown how tech now irrefutably intersects with sex and dating, and likely in irreversible ways. An impressive 67% of those surveyed worldwide have sexted in their pursuit of love or lust. I'm no mathematician but almost 70% of 140,000 folk is a lot of naughty floating through the inter-ether. Good thing nothing gets recorded. *wide eyeballs emoji* The real eyebrow cocker is the very new and decidedly high jump in dirty dispatches. A sample survey from as recently as 2012 placed the global sexting stat at a comparatively measly 21%. So, sexters have grown from a handful of eager early adopters to a vast majority in just 5 short years. Smartphones aren't simply one of many romantic tools anymore. Increasingly, they're a necessity and an explicit one in every sense.

Amanda Gesselman, a research scientist at the Kinsey Institute, suggests that "sexting may be becoming a new, but typical, step in a sexual or romantic relationship." Of the marked jump in numbers, she offers that this may not be the start of a passing trend but something far more ordinary. "This increase, and this large of a proportion of respondents, suggests that incorporating tech into our private lives may be becoming normal." As enticing as your most lurid thoughts and barest of nudies may be, they might eventually be considered as banal as a fistful of flowers on a date.   

It may not be surprising to some. The rise of social media has happened almost in tandem with our search for the sensual. Facebook, remember, grew out of a face-rating platform while pornography and the internet always seemed destined to be bedfellows. News flash: we really need sex. Also, love - but less so should Maslow's pyramidal hierarchy of needs still hold some merit.

Still, almost a third of respondents worldwide (30%) were use dating apps to find long term or short term amorous satisfaction. If geo-romantics puts the vibration in your text message, note that Swedes were the most likely to vie for affection via dating apps - 46% of would-be Swedish couplers look for love online. Russians, on the other thumb, barely make a swipe. Only 3% look to hook up digitally. But if you dig old school dating, add Moscow to your travel destinations. Вы сюда часто ходите? is "Do you come here often?" in Google Russian. I'm helping.

With regards to straight up sexting, Americans clocked in pretty high at 74%. But they didn't win that racy race. That honour went to South Africans. 77% of the Rainbow Nation (yup, look it up) love a cute but cheekily candid communiqué. The least likely to send a saucy SMS? South Korea at only 30%, with Japan a surprisingly close second at just 34%. No data was offered on why these east asian countries rated so low but I'm hoping lustily perfumed letters still serve in courtship.     

If the stats are to be believed, no matter your homeland, the chances that you'll be asked for, if not inundated with (I apologize on behalf of my gender for every unsolicited d*ck pic ever sent), dirty digital content from a love interest are increasingly high. My parents, adorably and in true Canadian fashion, met at a hockey rink. It's a nice slice of family history. One that rubs up clumsily against the idea that the future mother of my kids is probably texting some other dude a really dirty pic of herself right now.

For more sexy stats check out the study data in this fun infographic about technology and modern sex.

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