We are closing in on the one year mark of a global pandemic. A situation that has wreaked havoc in so many ways and caused incalculable damage and loss. For those who do not live with their partner, locally or long-distance, these have been a lonely, touchless 12 months, and there is no clear future date for when we can all re/unite with our friends, family and lovers. These are uncertain times and long distance love is hard enough without health and travel restrictions! So how do we keep the love alive, and the desire aflame, when we are so literally out of touch?
Use your words
“Communication is the cornerstone of any healthy relationship” is something we have all heard and/or said before, and it’s true. Clear communication is critical to fair, healthy, sustainable relationships. It’s also essential for communicating desire, an expression of need and interest that is most easily done in person. How do we bridge that gap when our love is a world away?
When we can’t show, we must tell. Texting makes up a huge portion of long distance romantic communication, and it can be a valuable way to connect in real time. The trouble with text is that it is notoriously devoid of nuance and that lack of nuance can translate as a lack of intimacy. It’s very difficult to express tone and meaning with just a few keystrokes. If text is a primary way you and your partner communicate, it’s worth it to set some ground rules and discuss how and when you text.
Such conversations are a way to mitigate frustration, hurt feelings and misunderstandings. Discuss, as a couple, what expectations you both have for the frequency, response time and timing of text messages. Pay particular attention to what each of you needs when it comes to getting frisky by text. You may rely on eggplant emojis and heat-eyes to express your ardor, but if that falls short for your partner, you may have to put in more effort and learn to express yourself better with words.
A little effort goes a long way
Sexy texting aka “sexting” can be really, really hot, but it takes some effort. Choose times when you can both dedicate attention to the conversation so you don’t leave each other hanging, and use your words thoughtfully. Robotic, disconnected language can take the reader out of the moment and feel frustrating. Likewise, overly flowery “purple prose” can feel long winded and decidedly unsexy.
Strike a balance between the clinical and the clumsy by using desirous “I” statements. For example, the phrase “I’m touching your boobs now” is flat and unsexy when you compare it to a statement of want that is followed by the actions you wish to take: “If I was there right now, I’d love to feel your breasts in my hand.” When in doubt, read your sexts out loud to listen for the difference. You don’t need to be Shakespeare or Nicholas Sparks to get your partner feeling inspired by words alone, you just need to be genuine.
Use audio/visual technology to your advantage
Back in the day, pre-cell phones, phone sex was a common practice when you were further than arms length from a partner. Dirty talk can seem embarrassing or unnecessary when you could just sext and type out your oohs and ahhhs. But hearing your partner’s voice and letting them hear yours while in private conversation will add back some of the nuance and intimacy that text fails to deliver. If you add video chat to that equation, you regain essential components like eye contact, body language, sound, and the ability to gauge their reactions to what you say and do.
Applications like Facetime, Skype or Zoom give you all the time in the world to talk and play together, but if you want something less intensely conversational, SnapChat can be lots of fun for sending flirty images and short video back and forth. Once you get used to seeing each other via screens, take the plunge to get more intimate. Try a good old fashioned game of strip poker (or strip Go-Fish, or trivia, or whatever silly game will work for you) or make a wager of another kind, the loser has to strip down first. Mutual masturbation by video call is never quite the same as doing it in the same room but a lot of the excitement can be captured virtually at a distance. Coming together, while apart, can go a long way towards overcoming geography.
Take technology into the bedroom
We live in a golden age of sex toys, so going solo need not be dull or boring. Spice things up by choosing sex toys for each other. You will no doubt buy your partner something they might not buy themselves, and then take turns showing them off to each other on video chat. Another option that uses long distance tech to connect folks is BlueTooth sex toy technology. Lots of sex toys are now equipped with wireless connectivity and an app that allows you to control a sex toy in your partners’ hands from across the globe, putting you virtually into bed with them. Think of the possibilities! This is a great solution for all kinds of partners, and works well for folks that indulge in kink play and power dynamics because giving/taking control from across the planet is a majorly sexy move.
We recommend anything from We-Vibe, Kiiroo, and OhMiBod. Try the We-Vibe Melt, Kiiroo Onyx+, or the OhMiBod Esca 2!
Building and maintaining intimacy at a distance, with no end to that distance in sight, can be a daunting prospect. If you’re in love with someone far away, or wanting to get sexy with a new playmate on another continent, there really are no shortcuts; you’ll have to make an effort to compensate for the lack of nuance and touch. There’s plenty you can do to ensure that you and your partner stay together when you must stay apart, but you have to want it. Make the most of the resources you have and push yourselves to become expert communicators within your relationship because someday soon, you won’t have to be so far apart, and when that day comes, your relationship will be all the better for having worked through the necessity of virtual love and sex.
Are you in a long distance relationship? What tips do you have for communication and staying intimate with your partner? Share them in the comments below!