How to Spice up a Long-Distance Relationship Sexually: 10 Expert-Recommended Tips to Try
Why is intimacy important in a relationship?
Intimacy is key to a healthy relationship, and it can allow those involved to foster and maintain a strong sense of connection with one another. Moreover, openness is often a prerequisite to intimacy, as Madeline Lucas, LCSW, a therapist and the clinical content manager at Real, previously told Well+Good. “When we keep those guards up around trusted people, we’re robbed of the closeness, connection, and feeling of acceptance that can come from intimacy.”
While intimacy is important to any relationship, it can look different for those in an long-distance relationship. Long periods apart and a lack of proximity can often pose challenges for couples to connect on a deeper level—which is why it becomes all the more important to look for ways to keep intimacy alive and thriving.
How can I improve intimacy in a long-distance relationship?
There are many ways to cultivate intimacy in a long-distance relationship, like scheduling virtual dates, or when the busyness of life takes precedence, calling or sending your partner a message to let them know they’re on your mind. Ultimately, what it comes down to is making a conscientious effort to stay in close connection. Physical intimacy is another way to connect with your partner, and it can make you feel closer to one another. While it isn’t the only way to build a closer relationship, it certainly helps if you’re both sexually active.
Can I be physically intimate in a long-distance relationship?
When it comes to physical intimacy, things can get a little tricky for couples in long-distance relationships—how can you and your partner maintain this aspect of intimacy without touch? According to Alexandra Fine, sexologist and the co-founder and CEO of Dame Products: “It’s totally possible to experience physical intimacy while being physically apart”—and thanks to a number of new technologies, resources abound for helping to keep the spark alive in your relationship, even when you’re apart from one another.
How can I sexually engage with my partner in a long-distance relationship?
If you and your partner want to sexually engage with one another over a distance, it’s important to set boundaries and establish consent before anything else. Dominnique Karetsos, the CEO and founder of Healthy Pleasure Group, says that virtual sex is a whole different act unto itself, adding “even if you’re comfortable communicating your needs in person, you’re figuring out to do so in a new scenario.” When considering virtual sex for the first time, communication is essential. Learning about what the other is comfortable with (Are you comfortable using a webcam, for instance, or capturing screenshots while in the act?)—and conversely, what is off limits.
Another virtual sex tip from Karetsos? Set the mood. Dim the lights, for example, or create a playlist for the occasion. Setting the mood can help create a comfortable and sensual space. That said, safety is also important when having virtual sex—and perhaps, not in the way that you would initially think. While technology has opened new avenues for physical intimacy, there’s always a risk of someone intercepting private content. Regardless of whether you are engaging in virtual sex, sexting, or sharing nude photos with your partner, you might want to consider using online platforms with end-to-end encryption.
How to spice up a long-distance relationship: 10 expert-recommended ideas to try
With all this in mind, here are 10 expert-recommended ideas, including long-distance relationship sex ideas, to bring spice to your long-distance relationship.
1. Wear Bond Touch bracelets
Sometimes you just wish you could touch your partner as a means to let them know you're thinking about them at any given moment. Well, now you can—with a tap or two or three of your fingers. Bond Touch bracelets enable you and your partner to sync wearables and communicate messages through your own special vibrational language. The way it works is that the set of bracelets are connected, wherein if one partner taps theirs, the other partner feels the tap—no matter where in the world they may be (so long as cell service and/or Wi-Fi are available, that is).
Tip: Using Bond Touch bracelets is an opportunity to create your own secret (and sensual) language between you and your partner. For example, you and your partner could decide that one tap of the bracelet means you’re feeling horny, two taps could mean you wish you were in bed with them right now, and three taps could mean… Well, how about you go ahead and fill in that blank yourself.
2. Engage in mutual masturbation
While masturbation is what many usually consider a solo act, self-pleasuring in a partner’s presence—aka mutual masturbation—can help make those involved feel closer to one another on a physical level, even if your partner isn’t within reach. It also presents an opportunity to learn more about your partner’s turn-ons and preferences, and vice-versa.
Tip: Initiating the act—and online—might come with initial intimidation, and just with any real-life sexual act, it helps to start slow. If you (or your partner) aren’t keen on self-pleasuring over video, it could still be good fun to conduct it over the phone.
3. Play with remote-friendly sex toys
“There are many awesome haptic sex toys available for couples in long-distance relationships,” says certified sex coach and author Gigi Engle. These products allow you to control the other person’s toy settings (vibrations, pulsations, and intensities) without being in the same room.
Tip: As a suggestion, you could try the remote- and app-controlled We-Vibe Sync, or you could use an oral sex simulator, like the Womanizer, while pretending your partner is going down on you to help bring the fantasy to a more IRL state. You and your partner could also use toys together at the same time while talking dirty on the phone or sexting.
4. Focus on having erotic conversations
In line with the intimate power your words stand to share, sexologist Carol Queen, PhD, says that visual and tactile elements of sex aren’t requirements for sexual intimacy. “Voice-only erotic communication can be evocative in a whole different way. Mastering erotic talk is its own super-useful sexy skill,” she says, adding that the more often you practice talking dirty, the easier and more natural (and pleasurable) it becomes.
Tip: Like any skill, erotic communication takes practice to master—and to start, it helps to keep it simple and begin with phrases like “I want” or “I wish,” according to sexologist Megan Stubbs, EdD, in a previous interview with Well+Good.
5. Communicate your sexual fantasies
As Stuart Nugent, brand manager at luxury sex-toy company Lelo, previously told Well+Good: “Sharing our desires can help strengthen intimate bonds and trust.” In other words, expressing sexual fantasies to your partner can close the distance between you, and it can also give you both something to look forward to when you can see each other again.
Tip: When communicating sexual fantasies to your partner, according to Zoë Kors, a sex and intimacy coach at sexual wellness app Coral, emotion can add to the narrative. For example, what do you desire from your partner—and just as importantly, how would that make you feel?
6. Read erotica to each other or listen to audio erotica
If you need help easing into erotic conversation, consider reading erotica to each other or tuning into audio erotica for inspiration. What’s more, they can introduce you and your partner to sexual desires and fantasies that you might not have thought of before.
Tip: There are many erotica books and audio erotica apps for you to choose from, and they run the gamut from sexy to sensual. Many of the best options are inclusive too, so you’re likely to find several options that will appeal to both you and your partner.
7. Sneak sexy notes in their suitcase
If you’re often apart from your partner, make the absolute most of the time you share by extending it with notes from each other you can read once your visits end. “Write a few little notes about what you want to do with your lover when you see them again, and sneak them into their luggage when they’re preparing to leave,” says Searah Deysach, sex education and owner of sex shop Early to Bed.
Tip: Deysach recommends penning something along the lines of “I can’t wait to kiss the back of your neck,” or “when I see you again I’m going to tear your clothes off with my teeth,” or “I’m touching myself thinking about the last time we had sex.”
8. Sext them
“Sexting is an amazing way to connect with someone if you’re not able to see them often,” as Sadie Allison, PhD, a sexologist and the co-founder of GoLoveCBD Lubrication, previously told Well+Good. It’s also a great way to communicate your sexual desires to your partner, especially if you aren’t ready to have these conversations face-to-face.
Tip: When it comes to sexting, consent is key—and before you press “send” on dirty text, photo, or video, it wouldn’t hurt to be respectful and ask your partner for permission beforehand, even if you’ve been physical before. On that note, you might also want to establish boundaries around sexting with your partner beforehand so you know what they are (or not) comfortable receiving.
9. Surprise them with naughty photos and videos
Surprise nudes (within the scope of a committed partnership, at least) can be a great way to keep that sexual flame burning and let your partner know you’re thinking of them throughout the day. Do be thoughtful about when you send these pictures and videos, though, because your partner might not want to get turned on while working or when they’re with family.
Tip: As mentioned, you might want to consider using an app or platform with end-to-end encryption if you plan on sending your partner a decidedly naughty photo or video. That way, you minimize the risk of your private content from ending up in the wrong hands.
10. Mail them an exciting treat
Because, you know, everyone loves getting fun mail (read: letters or gifts, not bills). “A naughty Polaroid sent via mail can be an extremely fun treat to get, and your lover can keep it handy for thinking about you when connecting via phone is harder,” says Deysach.
Tip: For those who are worried that the photo might get intercepted, keep your face hidden while taking the photo, or whip out a pair of scissors and crop it out once it’s printed. And if sending non-digital nudes isn’t your thing, you can always gift them a sex toy with remote capabilities (see tip No. 2) to use together instead.
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