Professional “sexters” are now providing the anonymity and frequent contact their audience is looking for, but they’re talking little about the risks and dangers associated with sexting.
A new company, Adult SMS Texts, is recruiting female employees who will create and send sex-themed, graphic messages to their clients, even including photos if requested. A recent article on the launch of the company quotes the organization founder as saying that the incredible growth of sexting has paved the way for the business. They also reported that many people are either openly sexting, or are not admitting to sexting. Research indicates that approximately one-fifth of teens have sent or received a naked photo via a sexted message, and that up to one-fourth of adults participate in sexting.
What isn’t being discussed, however, are the risks associated with the reality that photos and messages exchanged on a cell phone can quickly become stored and shared on the Internet for decades to come. They can be used as blackmail or cyberbullying material, and can become addictive in nature. Sexting that involves minors is considered a felony act of child pornography in many states, and a sexters’ phone may be accessed and viewed by a child or a minor, which could also carry legal consequences.
Additionally, experts believe people engaging in frequent sexting relationships may often times harbor deep-seeded emotional problems with intimacy or self-esteem issues, and they may use the sexted relationships as a form of escape that can become compulsive or addictive over time.
Pornography addiction, sex addiction and compulsive behaviors toward sexting continue to be the subject of research studies as experts explore new similarities between the behaviors and other types of addiction. They also continue to explore new treatment methods for the progressive and destructive nature of the behaviors.