Sending your partner sexy text messages can increase communication and your satisfaction in between the sheets. Here's how to pull it off like a pro.

By Samantha Lefave

Back in the day (you know, before phones were constantly glued to our hands), dirty talk was often reserved for the bedroom. Not anymore: In a survey of more than 800 people, researchers from Drexel University found that 82 percent of people aged 18 to 86 sent and received sexting messages in the last year. They did it for good reason, too: Researchers found that not only can it improve your communication skills inside the bedroom, but sexting conversations can also boost your bond outside it. And we all know that a stronger bond can be the secret to a happy, healthy relationship.

But if sexting isn't exactly in your comfort zone, don't sweat: You can read up on these five sexting tips every woman needs to know. Then, once you're ready, let those fingers fly. When you do, you-and your partner-could reap the following rewards.

What Is Sexting

If you're a total newbie to phone sexting, you first have to know what it is. The answer is simple: Sexting is simply sending suggestive text messages or pictures via cell phone. And the range of raunchiness varies: Some couples are comfortable with just a light sprinkle of sexting lines-like texting the occasional eggplant emoji to let your guy know you're in the mood-while others use descriptive language and explicit pictures to turn their partner on or let them know exactly what they'd like to happen at their next reunion. Wherever you land on that sliding scale is perfect-it's all about finding a happy medium that makes both you and your partner comfortable, while (hopefully) revving each other's sexual engines. (On the other hand, here are 6 texts you should never send your partner.)

Benefits of Good Sexting

If you've ever wondered, "What's the point?" when listening to people share sexting ideas, it turns out there are a few worth noting. According to research presented at the American Psychological Association's annual convention, people who sext while already coupled up are more sexually satisfied. Why? Experts think it's because it gives couples another avenue of open communication.

"People often feel awkward about dirty talk [in bed] because there can be pressure in the moment to say the exact right thing," says Kate Kenfield, sex and relationships educator. "With sexting, you have time to craft a good response." (These, however, are the 5 most ridiculous sex apps on the market.)

Plus, "hiding" behind a phone can make it easier to open up and share secret thoughts and desires, regardless of relationship status. "Sexting helps give language to desires," explains Kenfield. "When we have linguistic precision about the things we want in bed, it helps us actually get those things. Our partners can't give us what we want if we don't ask for them, and many people feel more comfortable finding that language in a text-based format."

Of course, sexting can also be good for those looking to add zest to a long-term relationship, says Kenfield, as it's all too easy to fall into a regular routine-even when it comes to bedroom activities. "When you've been with your partner for a long time, it feels amazing to be reminded that they have lustful thoughts about you when you're not around," she adds. "That can be fuel for reigniting passion." (Try these sexting tips for married couples.)

How to Be the Best at Sexting

There are a lot of sexy ideas out there, but if you want to be good at sexting, the first thing Kenfield recommends is starting slow. "Mention to your sexting partner that you had a sexy dream about them, or that they looked really hot this morning when they left for work," she suggests. It may seem simple, but if you've never sexted before, it can be an innocent way to gauge each other's comfort levels.

Whatever you do, don't just leap to the nude selfies. "It's important to ask for consent before you send the graphic stuff," says Kenfield. "They might be in an inappropriate context to receive sexually explicit material [like in a work meeting with their phone faceup]. Starting slow shows respect, [and that's] pivotal for a healthy relationship overall."

But really, the only objective with sexting is to incite excitement. "If you're doing sexting right, you're building anticipation with your sexting partner," adds Kenfield. "You're thinking about what string of words will turn them on to add excitement to your next in real life encounter." If you feel fireworks at that next rendezvous, consider your work a job well done.

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