New research shows that sexting, generally painted as only causing mischief, can improve the quality of adult committed romantic relationships if both parties engage positively.

In teenage relationships, sexting shows no signs of increasing risky sexual behavior. Emily Stasko and Pamela Geller of Drexel University decided to survey people on Amazon's Mechanical Turk to see how sexting affects adult relationships.

They surveyed 870 heterosexual men and women ages 18-82 about their sexting habits and how they affect their relationships. About 88% of respondents said they had sent a sexually suggestive message at some point in their lives, 82% in the past year, and women are just as likely as men to send sexts.

The catch-all is that sexting improves relationships when both parties are into it, rather than when one is receiving the texts unwillingly, in which case this works in reverse. The playing field, as the study demonstrated, must be even.

Facts about sexting:

 About 17% of teenage sexters share their messages with someone else, and of those, 55% share them with more than one person.

 Most sexts are sent between couples.

 In a recent survey, half of the smartphone users polled have some kind of sext-related content on their phone.