"Sexting" a girl might be a lot easier than making a move in person. You don't have to worry about stumbling over your words, and facing rejection is a little less daunting (you can't get slapped through the phone--physically, at least). But before firing off your next R-rated message, consider this:  She might not be on the same page when it comes to exchanging electronic indiscretions--and new research backs that up.

In a study recently published in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, researchers surveyed approximately 600 undergraduate students to see how often they engaged in sexting, and whether or not they had positive (sexting made them feel sexy or admired, for example) or negative (sexting made them feel embarrassed, vulnerable, or dirty) experiences.

First off, it turns out that sexting's pretty commonplace. Eighty percent of study participants have received "sext" messages in the past; 67% admitted to sending them at some point; 64% have received racy pictures, and 47% of participants have sent sexy photos.

But don’t feel bad if your inbox isn't filling up with NSFW material. The majority of study participants admitted to rarely (less than three times per month) sending or receiving sext messages or photos. Plus, men report more positive experiences than women do, so that could explain why she's holding back. Your relationship status might also be a factor. According to the study, individuals who are dating, in a serious relationship, and/or cohabiting sent more sexts and had more positive experiences with sexting than their single counterparts did.

So, how exactly do you approach a to-sext-or-not-to-sext situation? We have a few tips:

  1. First, see how she feels. Now that you know many women are embarrassed by the idea of sending or receiving sexts, be cautious before you blow up her phone. Ask her how she feels about it, and always start slow.
  2. If you find that she's excited by the thrill of a few discreet encounters, you have found the perfect foreplay.
  3. According to the study, positive expectations correlate with more frequent sexting. So the more positive experiences you have, the more comfortable you’ll feel trying it again (i.e., practice makes perfect). So, if your problem is putting on the brakes--not slamming the accelerator--it might be time to take a leap of faith.