Also, for sex lives that have gone stale, sexting can create sexual tension throughout the day that builds anticipation for seeing your partner later that evening, she says.
"I think sexting can do amazing things for stagnant relationships. It can create a spark. We live in this instant gratification world where sex can become this quick, perfunctory thing, and sexting creates this energy over time. It can help reconnect people," Laplante says.
Oftentimes, however, people are afraid to initiate illicit cyberexchanges for fear that their partner will reject the idea (and by extension, them). Instead, they seek out these exchanges with strangers, she says. This is why many people will feel comfortable e-cheating with strangers, rather than engaging in e-foreplay with their partners.
This disconnect between what we need from our partner and what we get is at the heart of illicit sexting behavior, Wysocki says:
"Sexting is more than just sex. It's about feeling appreciated and good about yourself. I don't think we take care of our relationships. We have all these good feelings at the start, but then real life steps in, bills, babies -- and we don't put in the work to keep those good feelings going," she says.
Instead, people find themselves in a chat room where someone is giving them that initial spark and attention -- a quick fix, rather than investing in their relationships, she says.