There's no way around this:
Long-distance relationships can be difficult. On top of the jealousy that can arise and the deep pains of missing someone you care about, living apart can make physical intimacy, well, impossible.
Lucky for us, the year is 2017, and the communication options for long-distance couples have come a long way from hand-written love letters (although that's still not a bad idea). Thanks to video chat applications like Skype, you can now see one another — which means that you can get sexy with your partner over Wi-Fi, even if it's going to be a long time until you can get busy in real life.
Of course, as exciting as Skype sex can be, it can be daunting for people who haven't tried it. The first thing to keep in mind? Skype sex should be as personalized as real-life sex, which means it can be whatever you want to make it. Also, considering the horrible prevalence of
revenge porn, it's important to know that you shouldn't do anything you're not 100% comfortable with (like showing your face or getting completely nude). Of course, there's absolutely no shame in doing sexy things over video chat — the only people in the wrong in revenge porn scenarios are the ones who share videos, images, and screenshots without their partner's consent.
So if you're in a LDR (or you and bae are just going to be apart for a short while), it may be time to try Skype sex. Not sure where to start? We've enlisted
Devika Singh, a tantric sex and relationship coach, to help us round up a list of tips to make your Skype sex game hot enough to keep you satisfied until you see your partner IRL again.
Explore your own fantasies. When in a long-distance relationship, you have time to yourself. To enhance your partnered Skype sex, utilize some of that alone time to explore and discover your kinks. Singh suggests having each partner write down a list of their fantasies. Unsure of what turns you on? Watch some porn or read erotica and take note of what gets your blood flowing. Once you know what excites you, you can bring those fantasies into your Skype sex to spice things up. Who says Skype sex has to be vanilla?
Communicate. Communication becomes even more crucial when in a long-distance relationship, and as Singh says, that includes your dirty talk. After you've made a list of what turns you on, share it with your partner over a Skype call. Feeling nervous about dirty talk? Don't worry, that's perfectly normal. “A lot of people don’t even vocalize what turns them on," Singh says. "[It’s like] exercising a whole new muscle, if you will.” Bringing up your kinks can be scary, but just relax and be yourself. A list is a useful tool, as you can literally just read off of it. Try something like this: "I watched some porn where they used dildos, and there was a lot of dirty talk, so I thought we could try sex toys and some more sexy talk if you're down."
Inject a little humor. Awkward moments are a normal part of sex. Accidental farts, a flushed face that accompanies telling your partner you'd like to wear an animal tail butt plug, or actual animals (like your cat or dog) jumping onto the bed mid-orgasm. The same holds true for Skype sex. To embrace awkward moments and help ease the nervousness of sharing fantasies, Singh suggests adding a little humor to your streaming routine. (She says she once used a line from Mortal Combat during Skype sex with a gamer partner, and he totally came.) Adding humor to your Skype sex can mean everything from surprising your partner with a themed costume to adding fun, thoughtful elements (like a pre-planned cheerleading routine) to an otherwise super sexy role-play scenario. While this is a great way to mix up IRL sex, keeping a sense of humor is crucial during Skype sex, which can involve lost Wi-Fi connections and the spinning wheel of doom.
Be patient. Depending on where you and your partner are Skyping from, things could get blurry, connections could fade in and out, and time zones can make coordinating an online sex session annoying. This means you're going to have to be patient. If you're about to come, and all of a sudden, the spinning wheel of doom appears on your screen, it's easy to want to chuck your computer off your bed and take out the frustration on your partner. But it might just be a matter of waiting it out or making small adjustments. If you're experiencing repeated video connection issues, Singh suggests opting for simple Skype chat rather than video, since it requires less bandwidth (and can be just as erotic). Also, if you're nervous about having your face on camera during dirty talk, you may feel more comfortable with sending text messages anyway.
Add sex toys. Are you in a long-distance relationship with someone who perhaps misses penetrative sex? They might have to wait until your next visit to experience it hands on, but tease them by using a dildo on yourself during Skype sex (feel free to keep your face out of it if you want). Do you miss watching your partner come? Have them use a vibrator on their clit and watch their orgasmic expression when the toy brings them to climax. Into anal? Dare your partner to wear a butt plug throughout your entire Skype chat, or keep one in all day and message back and forth to see how they're enjoying it. Next level: New high-tech sex toys, such as the We-Vibe Sync, come with apps that let you play together even when you and your partner are apart, Singh says. With the We Connect app, if a partner with a vagina is wearing the toy, their lover can control the vibrations from their smart phone using the app, no matter how far away they are. But if that's too complicated, any sex toy enjoyed by couples during in-person sex can also be added to Skype sex with a little boldness and imagination.
Role-play. Virtual sex can be just as kinky as in-person sex. After you've revealed your fantasies to one another, it's time to act them out. Perhaps your apartment is dirty, and your partner enjoys the French Maid role-playing scenario. Rather than open another Skype sex session lying in bed, set up your computer so your partner can watch you while you clean your apartment in a sexy outfit.
Skype in different places. Get out of bed and try Skype sex in new locations. For instance, try setting up your computer, phone, or tablet in your bathroom so your partner can watch you take a candle-lit bath. You can keep it PG-13 and use the romantic scene to catch up about how much you miss one another, or you can make it X-rated and add a waterproof sex toy to your Skype session so your partner can watch you get off in the tub. Or, if you're out at a party and your partner is missing you, slip into a private room (like a bathroom) for a moment to open Skype and let them know that you haven't forgotten them.
Tease them. Add to the build up of Skype sex by giving a strip tease, removing one item of clothing at a time as your partner watches and masturbates. Uncomfortable with showing your face on camera as you strip down? There are ways to play burlesque dancer without showing your face. Using the Skype messaging app, drop a photo of your panties lying on the ground and leave the rest up to your partner's imagination — and then resume the dirty talk. Singh says you can add an element of romance by stripping with lingerie that you've worn with your partner before.
Experiment with senses. Oddly enough, the experiential failings of video chat can be the perfect tools to help you play with specific senses — namely, sight and hearing (since Skype hasn't quite yet created a touch simulation feature). Mute yourself to let your partner focus on what's happening on the screen, or deprive your partner of a visual by covering your camera with a sticky note (or your underwear) so that they can focus on the sensual sounds you make.
Even "non-sexy" talk matters. "The sexiest organ is the mind," says clinical psychologist and relationship expert Barbara Greenberg, PhD. And she's right — keeping up your daily intellectual connection with a long-distance partner is essential for the success of your Skype sex. Yes, communicating during sex is important, but putting as much intention into the way and amount you communicate outside of sex helps maintain your general intimacy — so that when you finally get down to it, you and your S.O. can feel as present as possible.
Keep the conversation going between Skype sessions. Build up sexual tension by dropping dirty messages spontaneously. A racy photo while you're getting ready for work or a detailed text about that sexy dream you had last night can be perfect ways to arouse your partner in between Skype sessions. All that excitement will definitely pay off the next time you see each other face-to-face — or screen-to-screen.
Watch porn together. See something while searching on your own that turns you on a little extra? Drop a link in a message to your partner and add, "This is what I want you to do to me next time." Or mix up your next Skype call by using the screen-sharing feature to watch it together. You can discover new things that get you both off by paying attention to your partner's reactions to what's happening on-screen.