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"We've always sent photographs, drawings, written to each other," Perel says."Sex and love online gives you [the ability] to express yourself in ways that you [normally] do not." This sentiment can apply to people who are single as well as those in long-term, committed relationships.Recombu's survey also found that women had sexted more than men -- although only slightly more (48 percent compared to 45 percent).However, when men did sext, they were more likely to sext the wrong person, and were also more likely than women to initiate the sexting exchanges.The ease with which one can communicate through a smartphone means that some missteps will likely occur."It can be extremely negative," says relationship coach Carol Allen.Thirteen percent of adults 18-29 admitted to sending sexts, while 31 percent said that they had been on the receiving end.

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"When it's used as [a tool for] flirtation among adults ... Then realized I'd have to pick it back up eventually -- and so I did. Ashley*, 24, who describes herself as someone who “sexts all the time” with her long-term boyfriend, spoke about a time that she accidentally sent an explicit message (words only) to a platonic male friend from college instead of her boyfriend.

The survey looked specifically at "sexually suggestive nude or nearly nude images" sent via text message.

The resulting statistics -- although limited since they only refer to sexts containing photos -- give us a good jumping off point with which to understand how many adults are taking part in this sort of behavior.

The survey, which interviewed 2,252 adults by phone in May 2010, found that 6 percent of adults admitted to sending these type of explicit messages, but 15 percent said they had received them.

The numbers go up when looking at adults in the 30-49 and 18-29 ranges (many of the younger adults grew up in the internet/texting/AIM age).